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.

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

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Glad you’re alright, Jenni. Yes, you’ve been prayed for.

I have to laugh. I woke up at 10am and I thought I was late for work and scrambled out of bed to try and get ready to show up 2 hours late for work….. I don’t work on Sundays, hahaha.

I peeked out the back slider door to see if his note was still stuck to the gate, and guess what? It is now stuck to the slider itself with a little piece of duct tape at an almost perfect height for my eye level, with the words facing inward for me to read from inside…

He has a terminally ill friend and I wondered if maybe that friend passed away….with a smile. Otherwise where on Earth would this guy even come up with this comment? He’s not that deep. He doesn’t really care about all the friends who are gone now. He just counts them on his fingers and how they could have lived longer if they would have just done ____ (fill in the blank). sick.

That means he came back between 4am last night and now. If he knocked when he came back then I didn’t hear him, and it’s daylight now so he won’t go around to the front side because there would be too many chances for other residents to see him.

Last night was intense. This morning I am fighting my thoughts of feeling sorry for him. Isn’t this the sickest thing you can think of? Feeling sorry for THEM?!

Would it be wrong for me to look at this NO CONTACT thing I am trying to enforce as a survival game? Like him, I like to win too, but I like to play by the rules. Is NO CONTACT the only rule for dealing with sociopaths to get them to stay away from us? I am confused by him, because he keeps coming back around. If I am such a “B###H” and “Too stupid to be his girlfriend”….why would he even come around in the first place…..

He and his whole life is an oxymoronic trip down weirdo lane.

I’ve decided to take the detour and get off weirdo lane.

I guess later today I will stop feeling sorry for him as soon as I start thinking about all the things he did to me that weren’t very nice.

Yes, he enjoys making others lives miserable at every chance. He is also one of those “FRENEMYS” who sneaks in an insult between a half-ass compliment. Like, “that color shirt looks a lot better on you than the shirt you were wearing the other day that washed your complexion out”.


Jennie Marie

Any comment about going to heaven has morbid connotations”

Jennie Marie,
We often become so embroiled in our relationships with these very dark people that we can’t see straight anymore. Distance yourself immediately so you can start healing.
You need to have one good friend that can talk you down every time you THINK you need to see or speak to him. He is giving you all kinds of warning signals that this connection you have to him will end VERY BADLY.
If you are feeling sorry for him then that just proves what a great job he is doing manipulating you. Sometimes in life we have to face the fact that we will never be able to ‘make a thoroughbred out of a jackass.’

That’s a great expression! See what I made out of it: http://way.to/SalemWitchHunt

Sunday morning and he was still parked in my lot. I pretended not to see him, but I saw him pull away, and as I pulled out onto the street I saw him go out one of the complex driveways, headed toward his house. I got gas across the street, then drove past his house to make sure his truck was there and it was, so I felt like I could go to my regular coffee place and he wouldn’t show up in his truck like he has done before during prior break ups.

WRONG. He had left his truck in his driveway and walked over to the coffee shop. I’m less than a mile from him and the coffee house is right down the street from him.

While I was in the drive-thru, he walked up to my drivers side window and asked if there was any chance that I would want to talk to him today. I said I don’t think so. He pointed over there and said he would just wait over there if I decided to talk to him, but I said I didn’t think I had anything to say to him. He then asked if I would give him a ride home.

I know at this point it was 12:02pm from the sticker receipt thing on my cup. I drove the .2 mile to his house and parked out front. He had a huge thick down jacket on and he said he was hot on the sun, so I backed up into the shade of the tree by his mailbox.

I thought he would get out, as I WAS giving him a ride home, but we ended up sitting there, talking about everything else in the world except for OUR PROBLEMS. FOR TWO HOURS! I heard myself tell him once that he is a grumpy pill, pissy, complainy negative kind of person but that is beside the point.

He finally got out when the topic turned to auto body repair and we got out to look at my car. I mentioned that this new car would be expensive to repair if it got hit on the rear panels, blah blah blah, then he said that he better call his friend ‘R’ whose dog just died so he can make the plans to help bury him on the guys property. hardpan. hard to dig in…..blah blah blah.

I left. I didn’t see him the rest of the day sunday. I didn’t mention the note he left on my door about I WISH YOU THE BEST OF WISHES AND I HOPE YOU GO TO HEAVEN WITH A SMILE and neither did he.

Today, I am having fake jealousy feelings because I know him so well that he is probably visiting one of his ‘girls’. and if I were with him, later on I would hear some lie about where he really was today…..

He kind of used the pity thing by asking for a ride, didn’t he.

Jenni Marie,
The wonderful thing about keeping No Contact is that YOU ARE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE—THEY LOSE THAT CONTROL!

So your ex is “creative” in finding ways to break NC.GET CREATIVE YOURSELF!Whenever you go thru a drive-thru,keep your doors locked and all windows up except yours.BTW,I’d find another coffee shop if AT ALL possible!!! He’s banking on you going there!He knows your routine!You have to be honest with yourself.Why would you even want to go near his house?!!So change your routine in whatever ways you can,change the locks on your doors and windows.Install a security system and porch light/motion detector.Talk to your neighbors and the police.

When you mentioned that the two of you set in the car and talked for two hrs,I thought “uh-huh,that’s how they work you up!”My husband did the same thing.I did my best to be understanding and compassionate;I would often apologize when I wasn’t even at fault,hoping to ‘make peace’.Once he started talking,it would be non-stop verbal abuse,twisting my words;my motives….and my mind!!!

Obvious baiting. You knew it but you went for it. Why? I think you need to decide where you stand and stick to it.


(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.

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