By October 23, 2013 82 Comments Read More →

Recovery From A Sociopath: Learning From Past Mistakes

by Quinn Pierce

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the process of learning from our mistakes.  It sounds simple enough.  After all, it’s easy to look in the rear-view mirror and see exactly where we went wrong.  Events always look so clear and uncomplicated when looking at them from a safe distance.

So, with a little self-reflection, we can identify those decisions that led us into unsafe territory and vow never to make them again.

Complicated Choices

But, this is where I run into a problem.  I know which experiences I do not want to repeat, but the choices I made that led to those experiences are not as black and white as the experiences themselves.

For example, I chose to love someone and trust them to love me back.  The problems arose because I chose someone who was incapable of love or trust, but, at the same time, that person was very good at pretending he could.   I had no prior experiences to tell me that such people existed.  Essentially, I was trusting in the goodness most people are born with, unaware my soon-to-be husband either wasn’t born with it, or lost it somewhere along the way.

I think this is why recovery from a sociopath is such a complicated road.  Most of us did not make choices that need to be avoided throughout life, in fact, just the opposite.  Love and trust are essential components of healthy relationships; we just chose people who are innately incapable of healthy relationships.  That’s the part of the experience that needs to be avoided in the future, but it’s not quite so easy to detach those things from each other.

Discovering and Accepting the Truth

Once I knew my husband’s emotions were all a matter of convenience for him, I was angry, confused, frustrated, and sad.  It’s taken me a long time to actually accept this as fact.  I constantly held out a glimmer of hope that he was capable of, at least, compassion and understanding.  If not for me, I wanted to believe this for my sons’ sake.  But, it isn’t so.  And the sooner I could accept this, the sooner I could move past all those emotions that were keeping me stuck and unable to break free of the relationship completely.

Necessary Steps

This was the most difficult step for me.  I just couldn’t believe, despite what I had experienced, that another human being was incapable of loving his children.  At least, not the way I understand love to be.  He may feel obligation and some type of responsibility, but it’s only as much as he has figured out that society requires from him in order for him to be regarded as a ”˜good father’.  The reality is he sees them much more as objects that belong to him than the beautiful, loving, amazing boys that they are.  And, again, that is reality, and pretending otherwise does not help any of us heal, it just prohibits any chance of moving forward.

Today, I’m much more aware of the dangers hiding within some people in this world.  So much so that I wouldn’t even consider myself to be an overly cautious person, just more alert to the signs I now know to be the red flags of behaviors and personalities.  I’ve also learned to trust my instincts and stand up for myself.

But as far as the choices I made so many years ago that led to a disastrous and regrettable relationship, I’m not so sure those are things I need to change.  I would say, instead, that my healing requires that I continue to make those same choices again, but only with those who deserve such important parts of me.

If I were to never to love or trust anyone again because of my experience with a sociopath, that would be my most regrettable choice.

Comment on this article

82 Comments on "Recovery From A Sociopath: Learning From Past Mistakes"

Notify of


(and Human I very much like the ‘thoroughbred’ poster – my Pastor said that to me about my ex)


I don’t know why I went for it other than I suck. (hopefully temporarily suck)

I know I cannot be with him for my own sanity’s sake. Damn near lost it in March 2012 already, and I could make excuses and think of reasons why I gave him a ride home, but what difference does it make? I suck at giving up on someone I love. Even though his love his fake. Mine is not.

I know the picture I painted of him in my heart and mind is not real. I’ve educated myself on how disordered people operate. He is a text-book Sociopathic/Narcissitic bag full of barf.

Manipulation is his middle name since childhood when he says he was always the one who had to keep everyone in line and make the plans and make sure everyone did his or her own job according to his magnificent planning in order to get it right. He described to me how to pick the ‘right’ person at the counter to get ‘sympathy’ from when he’s paying traffic tickets or bills late, because they can ‘help’ you out if you turn on the charm (he stated this fact just yesterday in the car in front of his house). Me being Me- I said “yeah well some of those people have you figured out and they know you are trying manipulate them, so they will make it more difficult for you to get your way with them”. He totally agreed.

He doesn’t know it of course, but he has solidified himself as a Cluster B. And believe me, he has completely lived up to “Fake”.

I will just have to disappear so he can’t keep playing me. I am too nice and have realized, sadly, that I just cannot be cruel to someone I care about. (EVEN IF THEY DON’T CARE).

There is a DV shelter in my city, but it’s for women with children and I have just become an empty nester in July when my son and his fiance’ got their own place, but they do have a hotline I can call.

Thank you all for supporting words. I’m weak or something. No wonder I’ve made such a juicy target. Never ending supply…….

In order to get him out of my life, it is going to have to come down to me having to disappear. I have already blocked his calls, which might be good and bad. Now instead of calling, he just shows up. Can’t win for losing with him……

Jenni Marie

Jenni Marie,
YOU DO NOT SUCK!Obviously,you have been brainwashed and made to feel worthless,as many of us here,have.FREE YOURSELF!Call the DV hotline…they probably have counseling you can take advantage of.
That’s where I got my counseling and it was such a relief to understand what had happened to me,to be able to talk to someone who cared and they assured me that I wasn’t worthless.In fact I was encouraged to think about positive things and to find ways to build my self-esteem.

1 4 5 6

Send this to a friend