It’s the holiday season, and many of us are running around doing last minute shopping, trying to find gifts for everyone on our list—and possibly, with this economy, on a limited budget. But what are we planning to give the most important person on our list? That is, what are we planning to give to ourselves?
This year, some of us have been forced to face the fact that the person to whom we dedicated our time, energy, love and money was a sociopath, thoroughly prepared to take everything he or she could from us. Some of us discovered this a year or two ago, and are still processing the awful truth.
When we become entangled with a sociopath, it shakes the foundation upon which we built our lives. Axioms by which we lived turned out to be flawed: No, not everyone can be saved by our love. Yes, when some people say, “I love you,” they’re lying. No, not everyone is good deep down inside. Yes, evil exists.
The turmoil can leave us feeling like we’re drifting without an anchor.
I’d like to suggest that this year, we give ourselves the gift of a new anchor, a new axiom. And what is the gift? Trusting ourselves.
Most of us knew on some level, early in the involvement with the sociopath, that something was wrong. The sociopath’s stories didn’t add up, the behavior seemed odd, the emotions didn’t match the words. But we doubted ourselves. We let the sociopath explain away our queries, or convince us that we were paranoid.
Then, as the entanglement progressed, we started to lose ourselves. Perhaps the sociopath told us we were insane. Perhaps it was easier not to argue. Eventually our lives no longer seemed to be ours.
Well, we’ve learned the hard way that we were right all along. So let’s not berate ourselves for not heeding our instincts. Let’s take it as proof that our instincts work.
We may have to start slowly, by consciously asking ourselves, “What do I want to do now? What is right for me in this situation?” But as we release the anxiety of the sociopathic relationship and listen to ourselves, we’ll find that we have the answers.
This year, let’s give ourselves the gift of trusting and believing in our own good. We can do it. We can emerge from this experience with hard-won wisdom, and move forward to create a happy and fulfilling life.
The Lovefraud authors will be taking a break for the holidays, and will resume posting after the New Year. We wish all of you a healthy, safe and Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, blessed solstice, or whatever you celebrate, and a wonderful New Year!