By | April 3, 2007 3 Comments

It would be a shame to let the sociopath win

Something I struggle with on a daily basis is to be free of the past. To fearlessly let go of all that was so that I can live joyously with all that is.The Twelve Steps teaches you to become accountable and responsible for yourself. To not look to fix someone else’s problems but rather, to face your own behaviours, to be accountable for your responses to someone else’s behaviours and to own your responses.One of the most challenging steps for me was the 4th step — To make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself.I would make the inventory, and when it got to those things for which I carried great shame, I’d sugar coat them, dress them up, pretty them up. I wouldn’t let them stand in their stunning awkwardness without supporting them with lesser truths and observations that took the spotlight off what I perceived to be their glaring truth about my lack of humanity.

Perfectly human in my imperfections

What a dichotomy. I am perfectly human in all my imperfections and yet, I felt anything but human because I couldn’t accept I wasn’t perfect. Throughout the relationship with the sociopath I behaved in ways that hurt me and those I love. How could I have done that, I wondered? I love these people, yet I hurt them? How dare I?When I wrote, The Dandelion Spirit— a true life fairytale of love, lies and letting go, I struggled with revealing the depth to which I sank, because I carried my shame into each word.

I had to let it go.

Shame debilitates me. It keeps me stuck in unforgiveness. Its sticky, gooey yuckiness keeps my wings feebly struggling to rise above me. It weighs me down so that I cannot fly.

Shame hurts me

The definition of shame, according to is:

Shame (shām) n.

  1. A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace. Capacity for such a feeling: Have you no shame?
  2. One that brings dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation.
  3. A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy.
  4. A great disappointment.

In everyday living, there is a healthy dose of shame required to help us move forward, to grow, to learn and to evolve. When any emotion becomes too intense, however, it unbalances us, disturbs our status quo and causes stress.

In living with my grief and sorrow about that relationship and my loss of self, my shame had mushroomed into a toxic cloud of demoralizing waste that kept me trapped in self-condemnation, blame and regret. To move beyond shame’s grip on my psyche, I had to face myself in the mirror and love myself, exactly where I was at — a broken, wounded, frightened and sorrow-filled woman. A victim of her own life.

Letting go of my feelings of shame was instrumental to my claiming my place on my healing path. Letting go of shame let me lovingly face myself in the mirror and speak honestly, truthly, and knowingly about what I had done, who I had become — without giving the tirades voice within me the opportunity to drown me out. What a shame that would have been! To let self-deinigration, condemnation, denial, blame and regret hold me back from claiming my right to be accountable and responsible for what I had done so that I could claim my right to do and be all that I am meant to be.

Travelling into the past without a flashlight is dangerous

Yesterday a friend told me about some things another woman has said about me regarding that journey into hell with the sociopath. I know that her truth is not my truth. But in the darkness of wanting to stand up and shout, “Listen you b…., you don’t have the right to talk about me like that. You don’t know me.” I wandered into the zone of past regrets without taking my flashlight with me.

Not a good idea.

My self-defeating characters stand watch waiting for any moment to jump out of the bushes and claim my light.

It is my responsibility to walk in my truth. My responsibility to stand free of the darkness so that I can live freely in this moment without the past shadowing my every move and casting a pall on my tomorrows.

Can’t change the past. Can’t see into tomorrow.

I can choose to live freely in today. To keep my mind and heart open to the wonders, joys, and opportunities today brings and to hold my hands up and out so that I can fly.

Sure, there might be moments of frustration — who knows? The day has not yet unfolded. As long as I stand in my light, I will deal with those moments when they arise and step freely of their shadow without regret.

In this moment, right now, where I sit typing, I am completely present to this moment, letting the cloying tendrils of regret, sorrow and shame drift back into the shadows so that I can walk freely in the light of knowing I am perfectly me, beauty and the beast, a wondrous woman, walking my path with truth, dignity and grace.

This is my journey. My one and only life. Let me be me.

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

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I am new to posting on this site though for about a month it has helped me tremendously. My therapist was calling dude a sociopath for a while and I didn’t want to accept it. I read about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and swore that was the case. Then I allowed one more episode of absolute disrespect and at that moment decided this is not a normal human being(yet again…). I found a great book which convinced me he was a sociopath. “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout, Ph.d/ That book is a must read!

It helped me accept every interaction over four years of that totally chaotic relationship as being one of a great illusion I created and as I read on this site somewhere, ‘he helped me maintain.’ I am in a place of deep healing. Accepting my faults and my underlying issues that help set me up to accomodate a person like him in my life. When I think I am doing so well, over my shame, on with my life, some feeling or a bad day reminds me just where I am. But I also know that I am choosing to be in this place. I am holding on to this like a quitting smoker inhales second hand smoke and savors that sensation- though they know they will NEVER go back.

My deal is different than many on this site. My heart goes out to those of you who married and/or had children with one of these beasts. Dude was telling me all along he can’t give me what I want, this is all an illusion… Never brought a flower, never did anything for me. But he still played with my head to the point of evil and to no end. Though I changed my number 3 weeks ago, after many years of not being ready, he has found ways to get in touch with me. I have been ignoring him. I secretly like that he calls. It’s that control thing… I can pretend for a second he cares and still thinks of me but will remind myself that he just wants something and is just figuring out a power game in the meantime- because I know his secret.

In the same breath I am trying to convince myself he is not sociopathic and maybe just NPD. Than my therapist says at that end of the spectrum and after what he has done to you, why does that matter! I am still attached.

It would help to tell a short summary of my story. He’s a trainer at the gym I used to work out at (great place for supply!). He tried to get my attention for months and then got it in a charming sick way and we had a fling and he was perverted and ghetto and I said leave me alone. For a year I ignored him even in person and he would talk to me anyway…called me for a year without me answering. Then something turned and I answered. Sex was good. He told me secrets about his many years in prison and my compassionate just graduated law school wanna be social justice lawyer self, felt bad for him.

I got whipped up in his drama for the next few years learning more of his dark secrets and helping him with energy I should have placed on myself. Years went by and it’ll be 4 years I know him soon. Last May I tried to extract him from my life but he pulled so many disturbing sick tricks on me I got so mentally, emotionally messed and ungrounded. I sought psychics, astrologers… this that… my friends didn’t know what to do with me… I was out of control and a mess.

Then in December, I realized this is ABOUT ME! and I found a wonderful match with a therapist and she has been really helping me work through my CO-DEPENDENCY and family issues. I am determined to extract this sick twisted man from my heart, mind, and Soul. He stole my soul for a long time but I know I have it back now. I also have my mind. My emotions are somewhere between me and him now and I am getting closer. Thanks to this site for validating when friends tell me I am villifying him just to create another illusion. They have no idea.


Ah…thanks for your reply. It is warm to be received and understood. This is truly a place to reclaim and confirm my sanity. I am so grateful that today I can say I am no longer a sick and wounded women the way I was just months ago–maybe days ago. Every day with no contact is a step closer to the remoteness of that experience. Kudos to the Southern man on this site who shared how he went a day without even thinking of her! I can’t wait but now I know it’s possible!!! -thanks

So for those of you in the thick of it now, and it could be months after you’ve cut sociopath off, know that time does heal…even if you can’t imagine it with any rational cell in your brain… if you seek a therapist who understands this, it will help…but with time, the YOU who’s soul had been stolen, who’s mind was hijacked, and whose emotions were tortured and all taken off guard… have FAITH and YOU will take your soul, mind and emotions back. YOU will resurface again and shine your light on the world even though now you may feel trapped in a cave of utter darkness and despair. Just don’t lose hope.

I am learning that as I understand the tormented psychology of my unbringing, it makes sense how I was set up to accomodate such abuse. No matter how obvious the lack of conscience, no matter what act of total disrespect, I didn’t have the tools to understand that healthy men/people do not treat women/people this way. That I was worth so much more then a ruthless ego determined to take advantage of my compassion and twist my life to suit his needs-with no empathy and no remorse.

If I truly believed that I mattered, the I that was denied a space to breath my whole life… perhaps I wouldnt’ have put him before me and given him the opening to enter and wreak havoc on my emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing.

I am growing everyday but without the help of a qualified therapist-and arming myself with knowledge from books and online, I would still not recognize what a true predator is. And thanks to this space because as an open and expressive woman, I need to share and sometimes it’s quite a big mistake to choose the wrong person/friend to just melt on. I have made that mistake and found myself having to define a sociopath and defend that he truly was one, to one too many and it is 100% counter productive. The other night I found myself doing this and my ‘friend’ was saying that I was giving him too much power by villifying him like that and while we were on the phone he looked up sociopath on the web and had me defending point per point on the checklist, my belief that dude was a sociopath. My ‘friend’ sat there trying to rebut everything I said and asked for examples!!! I ended up in tears and had to get off the phone. For this and other compelling reasons, I have cut that person off- and I rarely cut off anyone….hence so hard to cut off the rutheless sociopath.

In conclusion, the experience with sociopath in the end is helping me weed out of my life people who really are not operating with a mutually respectful conscience. I am finding myself to be much more bold and not taking disrespect from people I consider to be friends, family, or even the underdog–wolf in sheeps clothing– who I always had too much misplaced compassion for…


thanks so much for this space,
ms. compassion

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