Book Review: "The Psychopath" by Mary Turner Thomson
5/5 - An amazing insight into a twisted mind...
When we think of a psychopath, most of us think of murderous and horrid people and we would be right to do so. But most of us do not even know how to define a psychopath, have not actually met one or have only really seen this stuff on television so do not connect with it in a truer sense. As we are unable to actually put this into perspective, it always comes as a surprise when someone writes about their experience with a psychopath in a very realistic way because it challenges the notions put forward in films such as "American Psycho" (2000) - which may be a good film but not wholeheartedly accurate according to the DSM.
This book is about how a woman met, fell in love with, married and had children with a psychopath who was actually not at all who he said he was. He was already married, already had kids with another woman and even though he said he was infertile as a way of luring her in - the narrator knew that there was probably much more she did not know. He was not infertile and he was not single when they first met. As the relationship carried on, he gained access to her credit cards, her money, her savings and everything else she had in her accounts. He gained her trust and love even though practically everything he had said about himself was a lie. Finally, there was the straw that broke the metaphorical camels back - he was a convicted pedophile.
The book is written with such dramatic emphasis that you have to keep reminding yourself that this actually happened to people. I do not doubt her for a second because whilst reading the book, you can literally hear and read the words of great emotion that she puts into the text. She lost her trust, she lost her money, she lost herself in this process of being wooed by a psychopath. Having everything you have believed for over five years questioned by a seemingly strange pattern of events can be so difficult to put into words that I really appreciate what we have as book form here. It is a brilliant text and an unbelievably heartbreaking story. As I was reading it I just wanted to get up and give this woman a hug - and I am not a person who does hugs - so that should tell you something.
In conclusion, I think that in our modern days, this is a very important book to read because it teaches us never to accept something at face value, question everything and people are not always as they seem. She met this person online and therefore, that teaches us to never blindly believe people who are behind a screen because as they inch closer to your real life, it can get harder and harder to distinguish truth from lie. As I read this book I was not only assured that this woman did all of her research into the subject of psychopaths but there is something incredibly realistic about her emotional reactions. Something you cannot find in the movies or in music, or in any art form. It is something that will just make you want to scream from time to time. You say to yourself ‘why did she not realise it sooner?’ But then you realise that it was practically impossible because she was being blinded by all of these lies on top of lies on top of lack of emotion. You feel every single feeling for her but most of all, when she gets out, you are both relieved and scared. This is a feeling that basically underlines the whole book. It is just a feeling you get whilst reading this book. It is empathy.