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Advice for dealing with sociopaths: Don’t take it personally

Lovefraud recently received this note from a reader; we’ll call her Allison.

I want to thank everyone involved with the Lovefraud website. It is truly a gift. To the brave survivors, I wish you peace. I am a survivor myself. In fact, I’m divorcing mine as we speak. I will write my story another time because this time I only want to give a piece of advice that has helped me the most. When I was able to do this, the rest was easier to get through. I stopped taking it personally. It was not an easy task. I read everything I could get my hands on and while I learned his actions were mostly textbook, it was easier for me to let go. Once I convinced myself that I was not the first nor will I be the last, I shut my heart off and stopped taking it personally. This was my key to survival. I offered a silent apology to the women of the world for throwing this one back into the dating pool and went on with my life. I stopped taking it personally and I slept better, dreamed better, laughed more and found that I’ll be just fine. If this helps even one person, it will have made it worth it. Take care.

Allison’s advice is very simple, but it goes directly to the core of the sociopath’s manipulation, betrayal and abuse. The sociopath never cared about us one way or the other. We were convenient targets. We had something the sociopath wanted. Or we presented an opportunity for the sociopath’s amusement.

Sociopaths do what they do, because that’s what they do. We just happened to be there.

Of course, that’s not what the sociopath told us. First, he or she proclaimed love and devotion, or a sterling opportunity to succeed together—whatever the promise was. Then, when the promise started falling apart, the sociopath told us it was all our fault.

We, as normal human beings, believed the original promise—how could anyone say those words and not mean them? So, when the blame started flying from the person who made the promise, we believed that as well.

As we say here on Lovefraud, the sociopath is the lie. And the sociopath lied because that’s what they do. They are missing the parts—emotional connections to other people and conscience—that make us human.

Opportunity for healing

Still, there is a reason that we went along with the sociopath’s program, and that is something we do need to take personally, for our own recovery and growth.

This does not at all excuse the sociopath’s heartless behavior, nor is it meant to blame the victim. But most of us engaged because we wanted to believe the original promise.

We have to ask ourselves, what was missing within us that allowed us to believe? Did we have experiences in our pasts that made us susceptible to the manipulation? If so, it’s time to look at these issues and heal ourselves.

So as we extricate ourselves from the sociopath, understand that this is how they are, their behavior is not our fault, and we shouldn’t take it personally.

But we should take very personally the opportunity to excavate the old, erroneous tapes in our heads, and create wonderful new lives for ourselves.



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713 Comments on "Advice for dealing with sociopaths: Don’t take it personally"

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When I saw this thread had been pulled up from the archives, I had to indulge and go back to the beginning and read a little. The thread was started a year post-sociopath for me, and I still had some lingering thoughts and feelings (pages 22-24) but mostly, the recovery from the sociopath had neared its end. Since many of the bloggers here are newer, I want to share what a very special place this was to me. The members here helped me so much in my recovery, and I don’t think I would have recovered without this site, at least not as quickly. I wish I could get updates on some of the old posters. I wonder how they are doing.

To repeat something I said back on one of those early pages, please do not give up on yourselves. For some, the healing may take longer for some than for others, but it DOES happen. You DO eventually recover. They key is awareness. Strive to know yourself and what is going on inside of you and strive to be as honest about that as you can be without the judgment or the story. The second – and equally important – key is knowing you have choices. You always have a choice in how to think, how to act, and how to respond to any situation. If the way you view yourself and your life makes you hopeless or despondent, change the story. It is NEVER too late to rewrite your life story.

When I was in the midst of grief, I thought it would NEVER get any better. A few years down the line, I was like….sociopath who??? So please hang in, everyone. The wonderful brothers and sisters on LF are here for you if you need them. I’m not around much these days, but I do check in from time to time. Sending a virtual hug to all.

Stargazer

Thank you so much stargazer for letting me know there is hope and there is recovery at the end of this. I am in the beginning stages and still grappling with the lies and figuring out 9 years of my life was just that–one big lie. I have good days and bad days but this site has helped a lot.

I cant believe that my nearly 53 year marriage was all a lie, my husband died this year & after discovering he lived a double life that he admitted to me & that he cheated during most of our marriage he also admitted that he had had 2 mistresses & tried about everything there is.
Our Doctor told me that my husband was a Narcissist/Sociopath & told me to make arrangements for an Exit, that I must get out of this marriage, so I have been preparing towards getting a divorce & praying to god for help & then in January he died totally unexpected, my closest friend says that his death was Gods way to end this horrible marriage,. I still can not fully understand
it , my husband said ” this is just the way I am, there was no empathy,no I am sorry,nothing. We met when I was 16 and he was 18 years old,I spent my whole life with this monster now I am 71 years old.Yes, I knew from time to time that there where problems, not only was he a control freak than he brought home porno movies that he wanted me to watch with him ,which I refused to do.
Also I found out about 2 Affairs many years ago & I had filed for divorce,after him living with one woman ,he called & told me that he wanted to kill himself or just disappear for ever & begged me to have Dinner with him & to talk,well he talked me into taking him back with promises he would never cheat again because he didn’t want to loose me….he still loved me…
So for many years after this I did not find out of new
affairs, he must have become an expert from keeping it from me but just the last 7 years things came up
that made me wonder. When I threatened Divorce, he told me over & over that he did not want a Divorce eaven after he admitted that he had lived a secret life,mistresses, prostitutes & tried about all there was.
One thing, he did have my back, I am surprised. Now I am struggling to get over this & start a new life at 71.

Hi Uschi, my heart breaks reading your post. Sending you lots of hugs tonight. I was married for 12 hellish years to a sociopath. I cant imagine 50 years with a sociopath.

I want to let you know, you are an incredibly strong woman to be able to endure everything you did for so long. Please know this. You, with time will find peace…and will be thankful that you did not have to go thru a divorce. I know that his death was a shock in all sense. From just the death of your husband to the shock of finding out all the double live manipulation he lived while trying to calm your mind & find a new fresh start. It’s a lot for one person to handle alone. I am so glad that you posted to night. It’s part of the healing journey to open up about what you have been dealing with.

Where do you begin to unravel the mess? I would recommend you go to the home page hear at Lovefraud & read everything especially the yellow box tab. Also do a search on Mary Ann Glynn up at the top right corner of Lovefraud. She & Donna (LoveFraud site creator have a few interviews posted) that will be helpful too you.

Also if you go to the top of Lovefraud click on the “video” tab to watch the informative videos Donna has posted. Also if you to go the “Book store” up at the top, there are excellent books to sort out everything. Your local library may have many also.

I would also recommend that you find a good Endocrinologist doctor who specializes in adrenal fatigue to get tested. Most if not all victims of a sociopath have PTSD. Most likely you to. I believe the root issue of PTSD from my own experience is the Adrenal Glands becoming fatigue.

Look at sites for symptoms list:

Dr Lam. com

Adrenal fatigue. org

google Adrenal fatigue

Continual stress such as a toxic marriage will cause adrenal fatigue. Some symptoms include anxiety, depression, mood swings, panic attacks, sleep issues, brain fog, memory loss etc etc. Its a very long list. (I have zero affiliation to these sites other then my doctor giving me adrenal vitamins).

To heal your adrenal glands you need a good clean diet, plenty of rest & relaxation, vitamins & minerals, possible hormonal balancing, good sleep etc). There are no Rx drugs that will heal the adrenal glands just good old fashion simple means.)

Google:

Dr Amen PBS you tube

Dr Amen Depression You tube

Once you start to heal your adrenal glands you will be able to think clearly again.

I can tell you from my own experience that when you are emotional (sad, sobbing, crying, angry etc) come here & read, watch the videos, post vent etc as it really does help to clear your mind. I would literally wake up from my sleep sobbing. It’s interesting how the brain sorts out things even in sleep. During these times I would come to Lovefruad and read & watch the video till I was able to calm mind mind. It really did help.

Do a search here at lovefruad & the net for:

gas lighting abuse

sociopath smear campaign

sociopath triangulation

Have you opened up to your children about what was really going on?

Wishing you all the best!! 💜

Take care

JAN7
thanks for the kind words & advice. I have read many books on Narcissists/Sociopaths etc, also a niece came over after his death & told me that her Dad his BROTHER was also a Narcissist & cheater,abuser & control freak,it must have been passed on through DNA from their Dad? There is so much that had happened,also verbal, physical & mental abuse,there also is a history of mental illness in his family,so the DNA maybe correct.
Yes, I will be reading & posting on this website,its good to let it out. My Children are split on this,one daughter cought him once cheating & the other 2 daughters cant believe it.
Regards, uschi

Hi Uschi, you are welcome!!

It’s extremely common that this personality disorder runs deep in the family.

Without a doubt my ex h’s brother was a sociopath. My ex h was a highly functioning sociopath while his brother was not. I also believe that their sister had some traits from their mother (she had a different father). I believe with regards to my ex h, the sociopath gene runs on his mothers side as I believe his mother was one but maybe with age not as manipulating?? But she was very stealth when sucking in a new husband (she was married 3 times almost 4 but the guy quickly wised up I think with the help of his children). His maternal grandfather no doubt was a sociopath, cheating on his wife and other devious actions from the few stories I heard.

Glad your one daughter sees the truth. The others with time after their grief may also see all the red flags he gave off.

Dear Uschi, I am sorry for the losses you have suffered. Since you undoubtedly loved your husband, his death after 53 years must be extremely painful in and of itself. But finding out what he was has got to be a double whammy. I can’t even imagine. In spite of the grief you must feel, you are ultimately much better off without a sociopath in your life. It is my belief that your purposeful and authentic life can start at any age, even at 71. You are now free to create any kind of life you want for yourself. It may take a little work to purge the negativity from your body (and emotional body), and to try to make sense of what you have been through. I believe trauma sits in the body until it is intentionally released, and this may take some time. He took 53 years of your life. I hope you don’t let him take any more of it. To be alive at all is a gift and one best not wasted on a sociopath. It is probably like waking from a nightmare to find out the depth of your husband’s deceptions. But the good news is that you will never have to go through anything like that again.

Hi Stargazer,
Yes, I do feel a great load has lifted from my shoulders & I do grief for the men
that I once was in love with, but that was all a lie, the charm(love bombing)the cheating the abuse has long taken its toll. Now I am free at last after wasting my life on him,but the question I have is
did he really not have any control over his behavior since he just told “That’s how I am”

Uschi, you ask: did he really not have any control over his behavior since he just told “That’s how I am”

As humans, we all have control over our behaviors ultimately, so I would have to answer “yes”. However, he cannot help what he is, and his sociopathic nature compels him to act the way he does. Sociopaths can learn to manage their condition so as to cause minimal harm, but they don’t do it out of empathy or moral compass. They do it if they feel there is personal gain for them.

The best analogy I can think of is that of my pet boa constrictor. She has an innate tendency when she is hungry to strike at the window of her cage whenever I walk by. However, she can learn after trial and error that striking at the glass will cause her physical pain but will not get her the desired result – a rat. She has therefore learned to wait until I open the plexiglass door and signal to her that it’s feeding time before she strikes. She still forgets sometimes though and strikes randomly. She will not avoid striking out of any kind of empathy toward me, her owner, however, no matter how much I love her and cuddle with her when she’s not in feeding mode. I have gotten taken many bites over the years due to feeding errors and misreading her body language. Thinking a sociopath can learn to care how you feel is like hoping my snake can learn to care how I feel.

Bobbyjpcv: 9 years is a long time. It may take a little while to recover. In the meantime, it’s okay not to feel okay for a while, even for a long time. It is human to not feel okay when you’ve gone through a traumatic 9 years. But still be very kind to yourself and give yourself the space to recover. That means setting boundaries where you need to. You may be in a dark space, but a lot of the darkness comes from the sociopath. They are the most destructive types of people on the planet. As you begin to purge that negativity from your life, you will start to feel better. At least you know what you were dealing with.

This is very good advice.

I am new to the “Recovery.” Now that I’ve filled my mind with knowledge as to what I was really up against for 2+ years here’s what I am presently feeling: I’m having AhHa moments where I now realize how before leaving the state (and me) my Sociopath was “grooming” her 14 year old son with the lies she will now create about ME to her new target(s). I knew towards the end that our relationship was “dysfunctional” at best, but I was in love and believing all the lies that were being spoon-fed to me. Not being able to comprehend what was going on at the time I started suffering from severe anxiety. About 3 weeks before my “discard” I told her I cashed in some savings and quit my job (which I did) for very personal reasons. Suddenly, a couple days later the texts began; “someone” had “broken into her home and stole what little cash savings she had hidden away.” I know for a FACT that she had NO money (for she had been living on SSD/SSI for almost a year). She would even ask me to go purchase medications and supplements for her at the tune of $150-200 a month. Three days before my “discard” I went to her home to give her what she asked for. She showed me how “someone” sliced all the backs of her framed pictures looking for cash. I knew at this point something was “off” and I know that after all the dozens of times in the past 2+ years that she told me people were breaking into her home for no reason, nothing was making any sense anymore. Every time I would think to myself, “if you love your kids as much as you say you do, you’d NEVER subject them to even a THOUGHT that your privacy is being violated time and again by total strangers!” I told her to move in with me, I offered to pay her rent and set her up in a new place if she knew “people were breaking in.” I told her to move in with ANY of her 6 sibling’s families. She had an excuse every time as to why she couldn’t/wouldn’t. I thought that her “craziness” I had glimpses of (all the red flags from the start) were becoming paranoia on her part. I NOW know, that because I told her I “cashed in my savings,” that she used that to tell her kid that I stole all of her savings! Of all the things I know she’s capable of lying about I FEAR that she will come back to DESTROY me financially (she knows she was successful at destroying me emotionally). So the question I pose to you all is this, Once a psychopath discards you, rather than using you in the future for triangulation, will they come back to FINISH destroying you? Or can I just move on and be thankful she left the state and has moved on to another target?

This always helps.

This is good advice.

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