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12 Reasons to forgive yourself for falling for the sociopath

Photo by Merelize at FreeRange Stock Photos.

Once I figured out that my entire relationship was a scam, the person I was most angry with was myself. I really beat myself up. Why did I fall for the lies? Why was I such a chump?

Sound familiar?

Since my disastrous experience with my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, one of the most important things that I’ve learned about tangling with sociopaths is that we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves for believing them.

We are not stupid. We are normal, empathetic people who didn’t stand a chance against skilled predators, and here’s a dozen reasons why:

1 . No one told us about sociopaths. In school, church, college or even magazine articles, we never learned that there are people among us who seem to be normal but live their lives by exploiting others.

2. We are conditioned to be nonjudgmental and forgiving. All our lives we hear messages like, “we’re all created equal” and “everyone deserves a second chance.” No one says anything about exceptions to these platitudes.

3. We want to help people. We feel good when we offer assistance or do something nice for others. Sociopaths take advantage of this with their “pity plays.”

4. Sociopaths are professional exploiters. They’ve been manipulating, lying and exploiting all their lives. They are very, very good at what they do.

5. Human beings are lousy lie detectors. Research has shown that people can spot a lie only about 53% of the time. That’s not much better than flipping a coin.

6. The “warning signs” of lies do not work with sociopaths. They feel totally entitled to lie, so they do not exhibit any signs of distress or anxiety. That’s why they can pass lie detector tests.

7. We are biologically programmed to trust people. Our bodies release a neurotransmitter called “oxytocin” when we experience intimacy — anything from a hug to conversation to sex. Oxytocin makes us trust people.

8. We all have vulnerabilities. A vulnerability means we want something. Sociopaths target our vulnerabilities by promising to give us what we deeply desire and to make our dreams come true.

9. Sociopaths hijack the human bonding system. They pour on the attention to make us feel close to them, and then they do something to make us feel fear and anxiety. This actually makes the psychological bond stronger.

10. We are not taught to trust our instincts. Usually we intuitively know something is wrong with the person or the involvement fairly early on. But no one tells us to listen to our gut.

11. We’re taught to give the benefit of the doubt. In the legal system, “everyone is innocent until proven guilty.” We apply the same standard to our involvements, staying until we have proof. Then it’s far too late.

12. We are normal people who have a heart and a conscience. And that’s exactly what sociopaths use against us.

 

 



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9 Comments on "12 Reasons to forgive yourself for falling for the sociopath"

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Bless you Donna, this article has made me feel so much better. So grateful for all your wisdom

Re point 6. If you look back into your relationship you may realize that sociopaths actually have told you what you address as a lie. They tell you facts that are just not put into context. That is why they can pass a lie detector test because they did tell you, it was up to you to figure it all out and put it together yourself. Remember that they are logical and rarely ever put facts into context which is what normal people do. They don’t elaborate and don’t use adjectives or adverbs.

My example of just one of these out of context relays by him is as follows:

My husband informed me that “Blurred name” had twins that day while he was driving to his parents because he had something to tell them. I didn’t know what it was that he had to tell them at the time. I would figure that out years later. It appeared his news of the twins was prompted because we were driving by a man’s house he attended fire hall with. I assumed it was the wife of this man he was referring to and stated I didn’t know she was pregnant. No not her he said. He went on that they were named them Jack and Lucas.

Turns out 8 years later I finally figured out that it was this man’s sister he was addressing and the reason why he knew about the birth was because he was there for it. They were his children. The boys were put on the Medical insurance benefits the week that he was arrested for assaulting me. I was immediately cut off from the medical benefits being told that I wasn’t allowed to see the names of the two boys that were put on it. I hadn’t figured it all out at that point. It was a year later while I was in supervised access with my children that the blurred woman’s name was mentioned by my children to me as his girlfriend. It was the sister of the man at the firehall of the house we drove past and prompted my ex to tell me those non contextual facts. My children went on that they feel so sorry for the poor boys since they don’t have a father and have never met him. Imagine my face when hearing and putting this together as they went on about the boys and the girlfriend.

Again statements and facts are given to us. Those statements and facts are just not put into context when the psychopath gives it to us. Putting things into context is left for us to piece together and figure out later on. Hence in his mind he never lied to me. He already told me. He is a diagnosed psychopath and this is their MO.

I have to laugh about the names of the boys as well because his favourite PC game at that time was “you don’t know jack” (talk about telling), and Lucas is derived from Lucifer.

I especially note the point “we didnt trust our ‘gut’ instincts. I know (now) that I am an HSP..and I have asked myself, repeatedly, why I didnt have any warnings about my socialpathic ex. I know (now) that I WAS having warnings; all kinds of nudges, uneasy feelings, jittery emotions, ALL the signs of danger. I overrode them all; passed them off as ‘nerves’, being anxious, fear of losing him, etc. I would not ignore these, not now. I pay attention, I give myself space, quiet time alone, to think things over..and Im much more willing to listen to that ‘small still inner voice’.

Sounds like he was playing with you and messing with your mind – which spaths do for fun. Giving cryptic hints isn’t real communication; it’s twisted game playing. He may use the hints to justify his lies to his victims, but spaths generally pass lie detectors because they don’t believe lying is wrong. They believe they are entitled to lie.

That is how spaths live. In webs of lies.

Once they are ‘discovered’ they often discard the dicovere and run off to reinvent themselves again…if you are lucky, at least.

Some terrorize forever, if you discover their lies…

Donna, I love this list, and I hope that your readers will use it over and over to help alleviate some of the guilt and shame they are left to struggle with.

That shame, which really belongs to the abusers, is so debilitating and toxic. For a long time it kept me from being able to process #8, my vulnerabilities. Even looking at my vulnerabilities made me feel all that more ashamed of myself, that I was FLAWED, that I brought it on myself, due to my flaws.

It really took time to move beyond that view, and to fully understand that we all have places in our psyche’s that need to be examined, understood, and healed. It’s not the victims fault they are vulnerable in some areas, and it is easier to emotionally feel this when we acknowledge that everyone has these weak spots. Just like it is part of the human condition for us to suffer from a multitude of mental and physical ailments, so it is that we are all vulnerable.

I myself had several large vulnerabilities, including childhood exposure to sociopaths, resulting in co-dependency and subsequent difficulty with my self-concept, boundaries, maturation. I was also willing to have sex very early into any new relationship.

Was a tough time coming to terms with the ways I had behaved in the world that had contributed to my own unhappiness. But once I did I was free to make very different choices, and it was as if the clouds simply parted. At this point I was making big strides, and feeling very differently about what had happened between myself and the s-path.

Slim

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Hi Slim! I am looking for California Mom. I don’t know if she still posts here or not. I know that she had changed her user name around the time that her spath ex killed himself. do you know if she is here?

Thanks,
One Joy

one/joy_step_at_a_time

#4 and #9 were big ones for me…I was missing so much in my life, and the spath exploited my deep needs and desires (focused on promising to fulfill them, which created a lot of joy for me), and constantly threatened that possibility and my very connection with her by pretending to be very ill and at times, close to death), and used that exploitation to create the bonds. I am still unraveling this knotted ball of yearn.

Deleting this post because I think I accidentally shared it on google by clicking one of the icons above. What can I say? I’m very special. LOL

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