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Doing battle with sociopaths

Today, July 4th, is Independence Day in the United States of America. On this day 235 years ago, the country’s forefathers declared independence from the tyranny of a distant king. Today, let us all declare independence from the tyranny of sociopaths.

Declaring independence, of course, is only the beginning of the struggle. In 1776, the tyrant did not want to lose a prized possession—the Colonies—and retaliated by sending an army. The Colonists who believed in independence had no choice but to fight, even though most had little experience—they were farmers, tradesmen and laborers. But they learned how to fight. It took five years, many battles and many hardships, but in the end, the United States of America emerged victorious.

What can we learn from those Colonists that we can use in our own battles? The early Americans believed in themselves, believed in their cause, and did not give up. Oh, they suffered defeats, but they retreated, regrouped, and fought again. They learned from their mistakes, found allies and kept going.

If you’re doing battle with a sociopath—and make no mistake, any interaction is a battle—here are some strategies that will help you:

1. Know your enemy. Be brutally honest in evaluating the sociopath in your life. Remember: The sociopath never loved you. All you ever were to him or her was a source of supply. Once you get over the shock of their soullessness, you’ll begin to see the patterns of their actions. This will enable you to predict what they will do, and plan accordingly.

2. Never underestimate the sociopath. Do not anticipate that the sociopath will act as you, a person capable of love and empathy, would act. The sociopath has no concern for your emotions, your feelings and your welfare. Without empathy or a conscience, the sociopath is capable of doing anything, even the unthinkable, to get what he or she wants, which is to win.

3. Conserve your own resources. You can’t fight if you are sick or injured, so do your best to take care of yourself. Eat right; avoid drugs and alcohol; get enough rest. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, a good way to relieve them is through exercise. Be gentle with yourself as you recover from trauma.

4. Plan strategically. Figure out what you really want and need, and figure out a way to get them. Never let the sociopath know your plans. If you are living with the person and need to escape, prepare a getaway bag and leave when he or she is not around. If you are going to court, keep careful records and document everything that happens. Keep in mind that you may need to use subterfuge and diversion to execute your plans.

5. Pick your battles. Determine what is really important to you, and what you can let go of. Your life and health are important; you may need to give up on recovering your money, saving your reputation or seeing justice done—at least for the time being. Only take on the battles that are vitally important at the moment.

6. Use overwhelming force. If you do have an opportunity to serve justice, go after the sociopath with everything you’ve got. Do not play nice; do not hold back. The harder you hit, the more likely your chances of success.

7. Seek peace. Remember, the only life you absolutely, positively can influence is your own. Your ultimate objective should be your peace of mind and peace of heart. Achieving it may mean letting go of material goods, people and past traumas. You may need to redefine yourself and how you relate to the world. If you can get to a place of tranquility, you are victorious.


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510 Comments on "Doing battle with sociopaths"

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Hi Jen,

I read your story and I’m really sorry that you had to go through all that, especially the part where your mom called you an alien baby. What the heck!?!?!?!

Where is your family from?

I ask because I just left Turkey after living there for 3 years. In Turkey, boys are princes and girls are accidents. Boys can do NO WRONG and girls are supposed to accept this about their brothers and eventually their husbands. Your story just strikes me as very…Mediterranean or Middle Eastern. I have heard that Asia still has a lot of patriarchy, but I haven’t experienced it myself. The stuff in the Muslim cultures though is no freaking joke. Sexism is really strong there.

Just curious.

Your mom is mean. She might be disoriented, but if she’s been calling you an alien since you were three, then I really cannot make excuses for her. YOU ARE HER CHILD and she should love you unconditionally, even if you were an alien 🙂

Hi Panther,
I am from the SW part of the United States. I have a little bit of commanche indian in me, but other than that I am white (western european descent. On my mom’s side, my gma comes from Missouri and they were all big time farmers. My gpa and his family were cowboys (the real ones lol) from up in Wyoming. My dad’s family were redneck’s from Oklahoma.
I agree my mom is mean. I just read something Ox said somewhere else, and it was a butt kickin thing. 🙂 She said she accepted what is, and quit grieving what she wished it was. (or something very close to that.) It slapped me in the face. Screw crying over her! I shed enough tears. I am not going to spend any more time letting her hurt me. That is my new goal. When I start getting upset or slipping back into anything with my ma, I am going to steer my thoughts to something else, something good.
It is time for me to just accept things as they are. I have grieved for enough years. It seems pointless by now.

Dear Jen,

Yep, that’s exactly what I said. Didn’t mean to kick your butt though, but I spent so much time just WISHING to change the past, and it CANNOT BE DONE! I just have to accept what IS and that is my egg donor never did really value me as a person, as an individual and part of it was because I was female and in our family, (Scots-Irish Rednecks all!) boy children were “more better” than girl children because they “carried on the name.”

Then when I came along, even though I was a girl child, I was the first grandchild for 10 years and we lived with my grandparents and guess what, even if I was a girl child, I was the “child of their old age” and was also the GOLDEN CHILD, just like her brother had been the golden child before her, and she was still LEFT OUT. I was competing with her for her father’s esteem and love, at least in HER MIND. No wonder she took every opportunity to put me down.

But I can not change that past. She’s 82 years old now and I’m 64 and not only can I not change the past, but I can’t change the future with her, there is too much water under the bridge for that. There is NO TRUST. There is no foundation on which to build a relationship with. She is not going to examine herself and her thoughts honestly (even if she had the emotional capability to do so), and I am not going to accept less than honesty.

There is no more of the family “game” of “let’s pretend none of this happened and start all over.” NOPE! Can’t do that because IT DID HAPPEN, and it happened to ME, and YOU did it. I have had to validate my own pain and injury and I have done that, I don’t need your validation any more to make it real. Your denying it happened doesn’t make that true.

Hi Jen,

Yeah, your mom is mean alright. My dad sucks big time, and I eventually did accept it for what it is. Once I started realizing that there was no excuse on the planet for him to treat me the way he did, I started caring a lot less about having acquired half of my genetics from him and more about whether or not that entitled him to ruin my life. Eventually it sunk in that just because he provided part of my DNA didn’t give him a special “you can treat me like crap” VIP card or something. It felt so mean to me at first. I am hard-wired to believe that family is special, but this is something I believe, not something which means anything to him.

Also, about the sexism thing in the SW….I have heard of this but never been there to see it myself. Sexism is one of my “go crazy” buttons. I really really really have no tolerance for it. Maybe it’s in part because I even have enough respect for spiders to take them outside of my apartment gently and drop them in a bush. I really hope that your family’s devaluing of you based on your gender didn’t soak into your own beliefs about yourself….cause that’s something I’d be worried about for someone growing up in that environment.

Panther, I rescue spiders, too. 🙂

Kimmie, I do not rescue spiders, I STOMP them! One of my childhood friends had a brown recluse bite about a year ago and his leg almost rotted off! Ii got bitten by some kind of spider here a few weeks ago and it formed an UGLY dime sized bruise looking place on my arm. Fortunately it probably wasn’t a recluse…but I’ve killed several recluses in my home in the last year and they are NOT something I want to have around…them or poison snakes! KILL’EM DAID!!!!! LOL

Oxy,
me too. my empathy is limited to those whose eyes I can see.

BTW, the crazy husband stealing neighbor told me she couldn’t kill a spider or a mouse. It was all a ruse. She collected cats and deer around her house, just to complete her facade.

Sky, I can see the EYES of the snakes, those vertical slits for pupils, and it does not give me any empathy for them! LOL

I’m sorry about your kitty, Sky. (((hugs))))

It is odd that some psychopaths do attach to animals, and “couldn’t kill” any animal…even if it is suffering. It is like they think it makes me think they are so much more humane, when in fact, I think the opposite, that they don’t even comprehend the suffering the poor sick animal is going through enough to give it some relief from the pain. My redneck drug addict, thieving neighbors who had the horse who was starving to death just “couldn’t bring themselves” to put it down…finally they let me do it, but I have to sort of stay on “good terms” with them if I can….don’t want my house to burn!

Oxy,
they lie. they could kill it, but they’re too lazy and don’t care enough to do it. It’s an inconvenience to them because why should they bother, when they know that it will die eventually or “hey, I bet Oxy will do it for us if we look pathetic enough.”

thanks you for the hugs, it means a lot to me.

I have to tell you though, that the spath mentality is not that clear cut. My spath really liked cats. I know that he did because he collected them since he was a little boy. At some point, his large collection of cats and kittens got put in a bag and drowned in a river. He told me that his mom did it. His mom denied it. She said the boyfriend of her best girlfriend did it and when they learned of it, the gf dumped the guy.

Now I know that this dude wouldn’t have bothered to do this without a reason. She probably paid him to do it. She wasn’t a spath, but she was not a very mature woman either.

Later, spath killed 2 of my cats, (I’m pretty sure). There is no doubt that he was “attached” to them, but that didn’t stop him from killing them. That’s just how spath are. If it serves their immediate needs, even their “loved ones” are expendable. I know, I know, I’m preaching to the choir, but nobody else will listen…..

I agree, they lie! I think they honestly keep the sick animals that need put down as a means of sympathy for them. Use my sick, oh so very sick, step monster, I mean step mother. (lol) She took any dog or cat I ever loved to the pound and had it put to sleep (didn’t even let it be adoptable) only because I loved it. My dad would not let her put 1 of our dogs down (threaten her badly), so she ran my dog over several times. No, the dog could not go to the vet, and she had to nurse it each time. Then when the dog was so bad it needed to be put down, she made her suffer. My dad finally snuck her off to be put to sleep, and made up some stupid lie about how she got ran over and killed. The only animals she keeps around are ones that badly need medical care (which they receive none) or ones that are suffering past the point of cruelty. I m not even going to get into it about the other animals (cows/ horses/ pigs).
I cannot personally kill any animal. I can take my animals to the vet, and if I have to, have them put down. I had to put Jackie down last March, and I still miss him terribly. We just could no longer control his seizures with the meds, and he was suffering so bad. He was my golden retriever, who wasn’t quite 3. It is awful losing a fur baby, but it is worse watching them suffer.
Yep, spaths have no heart and none of them actually love their animals. They walk around bragging about hitting their draft horse in the head with a hammer. (step monster is so sick!)
Panther, it isn’t a sw thing. It is just that my family is screwed up! lol!
My ma called tonight. I just didn’t want to talk to her. I have been so angry the past few days. I think that is a good thing. I go through about once a year with her. It does seem like each time, I hurt a little less. I am learning to deal with it all, and I am accepting it. I just get a little broken hearted from it, but I always bounce back more and more each time. Someday, it will not hurt nearly as bad.
Also, I won’t have time to deal with it all pretty soon. It won’t be too long before I get to meet this wild little girl that has been kicking the crap out of my insides for the past month or so. The kids and I are so excited to have a baby!

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