After the sociopath is gone: Changing our language

On May 21, 2003 I was given the miracle of my life. The sociopath who had terrorized my existence for almost five years was arrested and I was set free from the web of his deceit.

Almost imperceptibly, healing began. Without his sinister presence, the FOG of his lies began to lift. Even though I was scared, and beaten down, I began to think and feel and take action for myself, not based on what he had told me was best or good for me, but based on what was best and healing and supportive of me. Without his insidious words stealing my peace of mind with every breath, I began to unravel the web of his deceit and find myself again. I began to make choices that loved me. Choices based on my thinking clearly about what I needed, not on the design of his constant weaving of lies and deceit.

One of the choices I made very early on in my recovery was to eliminate the possessive when thinking, writing or speaking of him. He was not, ”˜my’ P or S or N or even jerk. He was, ”˜the’ P or S or N or whatever I chose to call him, my favourite being, The Lie. That simple step of disconnecting from ”˜owning’ him in my language had a powerful impact. I no longer thought of him as ”˜mine’. He was depersonalized.

The choices we make in how we speak, think, write, or simply refer to the abuser have a powerful impact on how we stay connected in our minds to his abuse. In making him a noun, ”˜the P’ for example, I let go of my attachment to him. What ”˜the P’ did was not about me. It had everything to do with him. I could have called him, ”˜the sink’, ”˜the drain’, ”˜the toilet’ — it didn’t matter. As long as I didn’t call him, ‘my sink’ I wasn’t connected to what I called him. My connection was with me. I took ownership for what I did, thought, felt, said and let go of attaching myself to his name whenever I refered to him.

In erasing the possessive term from my language I was giving my psyche, and the world, a very clear message: I do not own him. He does not own me.

And that’s where the power of depersonalizing and dispossessing them of their connection to us plays out. For so long, when in that relationship, I believed he owned me. I believed he was omnipotent. I believed he knew everything I did, thought, felt, said. He knew whom I spoke to. He knew where I went. Even when he wasn’t beside me, he knew what I was thinking, doing, being. And he went to great lengths to convince me that was true.

It wasn’t.

But, as we all know, ‘truth’ doesn’t matter when we are in those relationships — it’s what he/she can get us to believe that makes the difference. What he told me was true is what counted. And, he told me he knew everything about me. He told me he had me followed. Pictures taken of me while I was unaware. He told me my phones were tapped. My house bugged. He told. I believed. In my belief he ”˜knew’, I relinquished my personal power and attached myself to the lie, he was all-powerful. He was omnipotent.

The tactics he used to convince me of his power and control are, sadly, all too common. We’ve all experienced them. We’ve all experienced the fear and confusion, the sense of utter helplessness, the overwhelming ennui that descends upon us as they manipulate and weave their web into our minds, our bodies, our spirits.

Unraveling their web, being committed to No Contact wherever possible and feasible, are two very important components of the healing path. Cutting the ties that bind in our language is also very important.

To cut the ties means to let go of the need to use the possessive. It means to claim our right to be the centre of our attention, without fear that they will overshadow our truth. It means letting go of our need to stay attached, by speaking of them as if they are ours, and embracing our freedom to make choices that with each day disconnect us from them, more and more.

We were possessed. It doesn’t mean we have to possess the evil one that possessed us.

It means, claiming our place under the sun. Bright. Shiny. Brilliant.

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117 Comments on "After the sociopath is gone: Changing our language"

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hey guys, im having a hard time knowing what to say to the detective, i really want to tell him to seek professional councilling but don’t want to insult him and i know that all we’ve talked about isn’t helping him with his situation, as he’s still living with his wife. I know im going to have to put a halt to him coming over as i know it isn’t helping him nor i. He’s still in the bargaining phase and will remain there if i keep letting him come by or until she leaves and he’s not ready for a relationship nor does he know what he wants but he’s very confused and im wasting my energy i feel. It s hard to turn my back as i feel we could be friends but further down the road, boy it’s made me look at what people must think of me when i go back for contact and how iv’e hurt others just putting up with and complaining about the s. and all the pain i not only put myself thruogh but my friends as well. Bottom line is he needs to get out of his situation and talking to me isn’t going to move things along, just prob prolong it as he’s venting still. i can see the bargaining he’s doing as she’s still waffling to keep him on a string, not telling his mother etc. even though he has told her. I also don’t want the wrath of his disordered wife either as i know she is a nasty vindictive person as he’s told me so, last thing i need after all i’ve been through lately. I have to promise myself that i will talk to him abou t this as i find im letting it go on out of loneliness and i know its not healthy. love kindheart

It is not going to be easy but the longer you lend a listening ear the harder it will become. Boudaries are hard to set when you are not used to doing this.

Best way is to be firm and direct when you speak to him. If you come accross to “nice” or wishy washy he will not “hear” you.

You could say any number of things but don’t over explain yourself. Don’t feel you have to justify your reasons.

Something like, you need to focus on your own recovery right now and redirect your energies to finding a job and going to meetings. Things that have faultered since his visits. And He will need to find someone else to talk to, preferably a therapist to help him through this.

Don’t think of a relationship with him, even friendship, further down the road. Because that will hold you back and you will be to soft in your delivery. WHO knows where he will be further down the road? Maybe still where he is now.

Focus on the fact that you DON’T need the wrath of his wife (in your life) if she finds out about his visits to you.
Just think about YOURSELF and your needs.

Actually if you do this with conviction behind it, you will be amazed how it will make you feel. Kind of like you DO have the ability to take your life back. And this is the start….

witsend, not it’s not going to be easy but i know its for the best. i just received a book i ordered him called “Why is it always About You” narcissism etc. so at least i’ll send him packing with something. Pisses me off to see how damaged he is and myself and the mean s’s get to go merrily on there way to the next targets. not fair i know. lov ekindheart

did you read the book? it’s the very best book ever – an amazing book. Please don’t give it to him until you’ve read it.
Also, I can guarantee you he will not take no for an answer. He will keep coming back as long as you seem even a tiny bit sympathetic. That’s why you need to tell him: Please see a therapist, I’m not a therapist and can’t help you. Your life is out of control and there is nothing I can do about it. You need to leave your wife and move on with your life.

sky, maybe it was you who suggested the book in the first place, as i heard about it on here so thanks again. No i haven’t read it but you are right i should. I know he needs a therapist, funny how we see things so much clearer in others isn’t it. Gosh it’s made me think how messed up i must sound to others yikes. thanks again for the suggestion and i ordered it online as i couldn’t find it locally. kh

Littlewhitehorse:)xxxx I do relate, to quite a few things.

Seeing EVIL was a great big shock for me, although I had what I now see as an evil upbringing I never really realised what I was dealing with. As a non- reliious person (I think I am naturally ‘spiritual’, but I have not been exposed to structured religion) just the WORD EVIL, the concept of evil was not something I had ever really come across intellectually.

I understand how mindblowing that realization is. I told people at first and it sounded crazy, even to me.

I was lucky that a couple of trusted friends really did believe me,and were actually way ahead of me in realising that this ‘thing’ was pure poison. but you know, now I sort of dont care what anyone else believes, I KNOW that these creatures exist and what I was involved with and I no longer NEED to be heard (after a year mind!).

The food thing is interesting, it called me food too. I rather liked it at first (to be a source of nourishment to someone) but I soon began to feel that I really was being consumed, depleted, and receiving no nourishment for myself. I was littlerally being drained of every drop.

The ‘I found you’ is also very creepy and I had that too. I realise what he meant now, he had found a nice little co-dependant package with absolutly no boundaries to ‘possess’. I have found it really helpful, to stop thinking about ‘him’ and really look at why I was such a ‘tasty treat.’ It has been (and still is )hard to face up to my own lack of self esteem and boundaries but its energy and time much better spent than mulling over the whys and wherefore of the personality disordered.

I get it when you say that you felt like you were surrounded by lots of different abusers… they have cornered the market on the whole spectrum of abuse and manipulation, pushing pulling, manipulation of feelings and thoughts, physical, sexual manipulation, financial….

“he walks about , his kind caring self” ? No, no he doesnt. He doesnt care or feel anything good or kind, he is wearing a kind caring costume but is completely empty within. Think of yourself as the lucky one, those people, are being duped, but you, you CAN SEE HIM.

Have you thought about finding a different therapist(its okay to do that) someone who has experience or knowledge of Sociopathy? I am sure Donna would be able to suggest someone or at least point you in a direction…

And littlewhitehorse, you WILL get over it, in time, and for now, as Oxy says, you need to really concentrate on looking after YOU. Finding some peace and calm to heal. eating properly.

Taking back your power, even from the therapist if you feel she is not understanding what you are telling her, you might want to think about letting it fly, if you find someone who ‘gets it’ and they STILL think you are psychotic… then okay, ‘its a fair cop governor ‘;)Lol!xx (that was tongue in cheek btwxx)

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