Games our minds play

After the sociopath, when the fog starts to lift, many of us ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I see what was going on?” According to a new book, we should probably cut ourselves some slack.

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95 Comments on "Games our minds play"

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Welcome to LF.
What you wrote about the sociopath watching us…..and using our illusion of a bond to manipulate us is so true!

Sorry you’ve had the ‘encounter’. LF is a great place to learn and be part of a community who ‘get’s it’……

I look forward to hearing more about what you have to share.

Again, Welcome to LF!

Kalina – Welcome. I got goose bumps reading the last few sentence’s of your above post, am looking forward to reading whatever you have to share..

Still trying….I really feel for you…I have been dealing with these feelings I can’t shake for 5 years. I can’t quite figure this whole thing out…I feel like I am still missing something. What makes me feel better right now, although i pop in and out of sadness, depression, hopelessness, is good self care, doing everything I can each day to move forward (my story is different than yours I realize)…but I still have anger, sadness, frustration, I am incensed that this happened!

I need to forgive myself…I blame myself for a lot…I even go as far as to wonder maybe it was all my fault after all. I know that isn’t true. I think I am mad at myself because I ignored the red flags while dating x spath and put myself in this situation…and since I left him five years ago and have been in such shock and grief and loss I still have let myself down, not taking care of myself in a way that would mean I wouldn’t be here today in this situation. I feel I am being cryptic, sorry…I’m actually just writing and sorting it out.
It sounds like you are putting some closure on one part of the situation…your husbands affair. That is positive, working in therapy. Maybe you have forgiven him but not forgiven yourself? We give these people so much power by thinking and allowing them to live rent free in our heads. I am guilty of this daily. Because I give him so much power that way I can’t get past it. I need to also forgive him. Not for him, but for me. That will help my toxic feelings. I think if I forgive him I can let go of him and then get to that place of indifference OxD was talking about. I wish you well….I know it is so painful.

Kalina, welcome. I think what you said about them watching, observing, working off the illusion of a bond is right on. I think I have been going through something similar currently. This guy I was writing about, who is a new friend, but he wants to date me and I do not…I have been watching him watch me….I don’t trust anyone at all and I won’t let him in and he is trying so hard to figure out how to get me in. I don’t think he is spath, but I do think he has some big issues…I also think my x spath used therapy as a way to understand the verbage and use it against me. And to learn more how to hide in his darkness. Or maybe hide his darkness is a better and more accurate way to look at it.

I just want to be free. I am very very tired. I have no friends left after all of this and a lot of that is my own doing. My own crazy behavior as I have tried to make sense of this…I wasted five years but I also learned a lot and the thing is I am here now…it’s better than not being here and not finally having an understanding as to what happened. But my behavior the past five years in my fear, frustration, anger, panic has hurt me big time and I am so mad at myself. Sometimes I just think for a smart woman I am an idiot. But, also, I know I have suffered many losses in a short time. Too many. deaths, divorce, custody loss, ailing parents, loss of friends, realizing I have no real family that they are sick and horrible people (except my father and my children), job loss, lost my house…financial devastation through out this…I ended up paying my worthless attorney over 100K. and for what? All the money I had. I look back just even 6 months before I met my xspath…my life was so fun and happy. I had a great job, friends, a life that was full. Wow! so much devastation since that time. I feel sometimes that I am too old to make it through this…that is not true I know. I am much more of a fighter than that. I heard someone say this next decade is for the best from us….and I believe that can be true…as long as I can let go of my own obsession with x spath and what he did to me. If I don’t let go of that and take that power back I will continue to hurt myself…because when I am in bondage to him like this I do not make good decisions. My emotions are all out of whack and I don’t think clearly or take good care of myself. I must not think I am worth it or something. I can’t quite figure out why I would allow him this power.
Ok, am rambling…just having a weird day. I have been talking to my daughter reguarly and planning on see her next week. That is good. But I feel so sad…she is living there, entrenched in that life, and our relationship that was so close and wonderful is something different now. That first four years home from China was about me helping her adjust and become who she is now and I don’t get any say in her life at all right now. He doesn’t tell me about her school, he leaves me out of everything. I write and call her teachers and try to do what I can do…I refuse to be ignored. kidding…that was reference to fatal attraction above…but really he wants it to be as though I don’t exist…this is how he hurts me, through my beautiful girl. I pray she gets it some day. I pray I get through this and learn to let go of him. Thanks for listening….support.

Does any one else who read this book find it disturbing? I’m about half way through, and I get the feeling that I can not be sure of any thing. I can’t be sure that my ex sociopath really was/is a sociopath, because what I remember him doing, maybe never happened.

Dear Sherry Winter,

Yes, I read that book and yes, it is disturbing, BUT at the same time, it also makes me know that many times that may be why others don’t “see” the psychopath the way WE do, and why they don’t GET IT. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

I’m reading another book on how our brains “trick us” It is “A mind of its own, How your brain Distorts and Deceives” by Cordelia Fine. It goes along with the Invisible Gorilla one and compliments it very well.

I dont’ think either of these books makes us crazy, or that we should feel crazy, it is just that what we perceive as “reality” may only be PART of reality.

I remember vividly the day of the airplane crash, with my husband lying on the ground, the first sight I saw, then the fire leaping 50+ feet into the air, and I could NOT see my son and the other two people from the plane. I was frantically searching for them, I could not SEE THEM. My son said that I was 3 feet from him and looking at him apparently, but not seeing him.

We both have short term memory problems and he will “remember” one thing llike “I told you Y” and I will remember “something else”–like “No, you did NOT tell me Y” It is difficult for us to know if he is really remembering he told me, or that he THINKS he told me because he MEANT TO TELL ME, or if He did tell me and I forgot. We have learned not to be cranky with each other in this situation which happens frequently unfortunately.

Personally, I don’t know anyone who could put up with my frequent “forgets”—and vice versa, but I understand his/our problems and though it is irritating at times we don’t get irritated AT each other. We just try to figure out ways to keep it from happening as frequently. So we have a JOINT activity calendar so we can keep up with doctor’s appointments, social engagements, out of town plans, and so on, as well as a LIST of “to do’s” so we can keep more or less on task.

Sherry don’t let yourself get sucked into thinking that none of the bad things he did really happened. If necessary, confirm them or document them to keep you from thinking you are “going crazy”—believe me the GASLIGHTING that my egg donor and my P son did to me—made me wonder if I was crazy and if they were saying “you did, or you did NOT” when I knew I did or didn’t, and I second guessed my own recall when I was 100% correct and they were twisting my reality with gaslighting.

I’m open minded, but not so open that my brains fall out!

I think it is good to be aware that sometimes we don’t actually SEE something when we are focused on other things, but STRESS makes our focus NARROW and so what do they do to us, they STRESS us so that we are essentially almost blind to the reality of what they are doing. Just as a magician “distracts” us from seeing what he is doing with his hands and things appear as if by “magic” we know there is an illusion. So do the psychopaths, they distract us with stress so we dont’ SEE their tricks, but that doesn’t mean we are crazy or it never happened.

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