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By | March 28, 2011 112 Comments

Sociopaths change our beliefs about being human

Lovefraud received the following e-mail recently from a reader, who we’ll call “Iris.” She was married for 20 years to a man who she now realizes is a sociopath.

I avoid talking to my ex-husband as much as possible, but he is 4 months behind on court ordered spousal support as I am in school getting my business degree and working. He has to pay $600 a month for 3 years. The court also ordered the support to pay me back for $11,000 I had to put into our house and property to make it “sellable” after he left me in the dust and moved to another state. He left me with 5 acres, a house falling apart, a barn with code violations, and our 3 family dogs. I went into survival mode and got it all fixed and sold and re-homed all of my dogs (who I love and miss very much) through a wonderful adoption agency. He also owes me for a mortgage reimbursement check he forged my signature on and cashed after he talked the mortgage co. into sending it to him in Calif. I filed a police report.

I was hoping you could help me. I e-mailed him with the threat of taking him to court and he called several times before I answered. I try to avoid talking to him because I always feel I am being manipulated. Within our conversation, he was mean, evil, nice, ugly and caring and same old guy. I brought up that I know how he operates and that it took distance for a lengthy period of time to see that he was a sociopath and smooth talker and that his agenda is to “win” and manipulate. I said many other things also. HE ADMITTED THAT HE OPERATES DIFFERENTLY AND DOESNT FEEL THE SAME AS OTHERS. I was blown away. The only other time that he ever came close to this was when I was about to leave him several years ago when I found out he was cheating on me again. His exact words were, “I can’t help it; I’ve always gotten a RUSH out of getting away with stuff. It’s been like that since I was a kid.”

I guess what I “need” to know is, why did that hit me so hard? Why did it make me so emotional when he said he operates differently? Why did it make me feel sorry for him? Why do I feel so exhausted and why can’t I stop crying now? Does his admission make it that much more real? Did the reality that he really is a sociopath and my whole marriage was meaningless overwhelm me? I have been divorced for a year and a half and apart from him since Nov. 2008. We have a 21-year-old son. We have not even had to communicate much.

All I know is, I am still affected in a very dark way because of being with him for so long. I’ve been to a psychologist once a week for quite a while. It helps, but she doesn’t KNOW what it actually feels like. Do you have any words of wisdom to help me move on? I am ok most of the time, but I don’t trust anyone and can’t even think about dating. I feel paralyzed sometimes and felt that way throughout my long marriage. I still find myself resorting back to thinking, “maybe it was me.” Am I damaged for life? I am usually pretty busy, but when I have time on my hands, things still get dark and I am tired of feeling like this.

Extreme difference

One of the hardest things to wrap our brains around is the extreme degree to which sociopaths are different from us.

On the home page of Lovefraud.com, I state that sociopaths have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. Think about it. Sociopaths are missing all the qualities that make up the core of our humanity.

This is why coming to terms with the idea that sociopaths exist is so difficult. In order to grasp the concept of sociopaths, we have to give up some of our most cherished beliefs about what it means to be a human being living in our society.

Exploding myths

In our society, we may have differing points of views as old or young, men or women, liberals or conservatives, religious or secular, management or labor, or any other polarity. Still, some cultural ideas are so widespread, and so entrenched, that they are regarded as axioms.

When sociopaths are factored in, however, these axioms are nothing but exploding myths. Here are a few:

1. We all want to be loved. Sociopaths don’t care about love. They don’t even feel love. They certainly do not feel empathy for fellow human beings. When they appear to be acting out of love, it is probably nothing but manipulation, a tactic to advance their agenda. Sociopaths only want three things: power, control and sex.

2. There’s good in everyone. This, unfortunately, is not true. There are people in the world who are rotten to the core, and they’re the sociopaths. But unaware of the inherent evil of these predators, we believe that everyone deserves a chance, a second chance, and even more chances. Sociopaths milk this belief by promising to reform, but they never do.

3. Parents love their children. Most of us probably believe that, even if our childhoods were imperfect, our parents loved us and did the best they could. We don’t want to consider the idea that some parents simply don’t care about their kids. But if sociopaths have any concern about their children, it’s roughly equivalent to the concern they feel for an inanimate possession, like a flat screen TV. There is no real love.

4. Truth and justice will prevail. Many of us end up in legal battles with sociopaths, such as filing for divorce or claiming fraud. We approach the legal system assuming that we’ll get a fair hearing and justice will be served. But for sociopaths, court is show time. They lie to suit their agendas, and judges either don’t see it, or don’t care. Court isn’t about truth, it’s about winning, and sociopaths are wired to win.

5. We should live according to the Golden Rule. “Do to others what you would like them to do to you—”this rule of ethics is at the center of every major religious tradition. But if the “others” are sociopaths, living by the Golden Rule sets us up to be exploited. Treating them as we want to be treated, we’ll eventually find ourselves drained, and the sociopath on to a new source of supply.

Recovery

So how do we deal with the loss of what we thought were unshakeable truths? I think recovery has three aspects to it.

1. We accept that they are what they are. It is extremely unlikely that any sociopath, by the time he or she is an adult, is going to change. We must give up feeling guilty, or responsible, or even concerned. We may need to release grief or anger over what happened to us, but we must realize that there is nothing we can do about them.

2.  We are grateful that we are not them. Although sociopaths probably don’t realize it, theirs is an empty, barren existence. They do not feel love, they do not feel human connection, they do not feel the warmth of belonging to anything. We may be in pain, and temporarily feel paralyzed, but we can recover our humanity. They don’t have a chance.

3. We resolve never to be exploited again. Now we know that sociopaths exist. We know how they think. We know how they act. We will never lose this knowledge, and knowledge is power. We take back our power, establish our boundaries and move forward.

Yes, the experience of a sociopath rattles us to the core. But it is possible to learn from it, gather ourselves and live again, with much more wisdom than we had before the nasty encounter.

 

 


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Ox Drover

Excellent article, Donna….and Iris, I hope that you will progress on that road toward healing, that you will regain your trust in yourself. Knowledge is power, and as we learn more about them, and as we learn more about ourselves, that we can keep ourselves safe and discern who is trustworthy and who is not, that we don’t have to be “alone” in our journey on this earth, we can share that journey with other good and caring people–friends and co-workers, neighbors, family, lovers–but we can avoid those that are not kind and caring, or good or giving. The dishonest ones who take but do not give. God bless.

wisergirl

I agree with Donna on the recovery part, 1 and most important, is to know and accept 100% WHAT they are. Notice I said WHAT and not WHO. I hesitate to call these predators a who because they have no human emotion, at least none that are genuine. And yes, this is so hard to finally accept and really get through your head and yes, your heart. Fortunate for me I stopped loving my predator years ago, and realized what he was as well, I just had to get up the courage to leave. NOT easy, I relate to the what to do about money/court issues as well. He has LOTS of money, I have very little and he sees no point in supporting children he fathered if they arent at his disposal anymore. I brought a halt to that when I took my children and left. Far away. Im sure he will be flying in anytime to begin his whole charade again, only this time Im alot smarter, I wont be a sitting duck. I dont count on the courts for help, they dont get “it”, and judges orders mean nothing to these people. They’ve never had to take responsibility for anything so why now? I am clueless what I am going to do for support, all I ever did was all his behind the scenes work for his businesses. He was incapable. I have no degrees, married right out of high school. What do I put on resume? “I know how to forge documents for psychopaths quick, fast, and in a hurry?”
As for us and why the mental devestation, perhaps its like Stockholm syndrome? Or maybe its hard for a normal, loving person to accept such a creature truly exists? Im saying both. You will get better, you will win. Keep educating yourself on this, be well armed.
Best wishes and peace to you
A

agreenbean

this touches on so much that i struggle with. it is comforting to know im not alone in having such a hard time accepting what i learned from my ex, which is that some people are just not what i think of as human. so to iris, know you are not alone either.
he shook all my perceptions of what people are.
he told me himself that he was a robot. that he feels nothing unless he has thought it through and decides that its right to allow himself to feel. i dont think thats a feeling at all! i think thats a carefully constructed defense mechanism that an adult shouldn’t be using.
i do not think he was evil. he may not even be a “real” sociopath, but he has been diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he certainly has sociopathic tendencies.
he always said im not a monster, im not a moster. and i never thought that he was. but he is a cold and calculating mind in a human body, and that is extremely hard to accept. i think: what do i classify him as if hes not quite what i think of as human, but isn’t a soulless murderer? and if he has a soul, isn’t there hope? couldn’t i love him enough to make him feel valued and secure and he could heal?
no one wants to think they could love someone with whom love “does not compute”. we all want to think love exists universally and it turns our world upside down when we find out it doesn’t. its frustrating and devestating and i too have so many of the dark moments iris speaks of.
they have slightly lessened in frequency over time and i hope they continue to. but when they strike, they are as dark as ever. it only took this person a few months to do their damage, i imagine it probably takes twice as long to really start to fix it so im stronger than i was before.

Ox Drover

Dear agreenbean,

You are NOT RESPONSIBLE for “healing” this person’s problems. You are NOT Jesus, and you are not required to go to the cross and be crucified for the sins of the world…or the sins of this man’s parents….or who ever mistreated him. (I don’t mean that in a nasty way at all either)

HE is an adult and HE is responsible for HIS problems as an adult. We all are responsible for ourselves. If we have enough brains to function and count all our fingers and toes, then we are responsible for OURSELVES….and how we treat others.

Not everyone does have “good down inside” them because they have CHOSEN at some point to go toward the “dark side.” They have CHOSEN to have a “reprobate mind.” I very much believe in “free will.”

Sure, there are children born who don’t have enough brain matter and thinking to be ABLE to make a “free choice” and those unfortunate souls are not responsible for themselves.

There are people who have brain injuries and severe mental deficits so that they are OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY—they “hear lightening and see thunder” and those people can sometimes be dangerous to themselves and dangerous to others, but those people are not responsible for their choices or behaviors. Sometimes they must be kept confined for their own safety and for the safety of others, but they are not held accountable by the law (or I believe God) for what they do like others would be.

So unless someone is mentally deficient then THEY are responsible for their own actions and choices.

Knowing RIGHT from WRONG and “good from evil” is what makes us human, but that does not mean that every person is willing to choose GOOD over EVIL. Some people freely make up their choices to choose EVIL.

Yes, I believe there is a genetic component to psychopathy, just as there is to alcoholism, but just because a person has the genetic tendency for alcoholism does not mean that the UNIVERSE FORCES BOOZE DOWN THEIR THROATS, they can CHOOSE not to drink/drug etc. A psychopath knows right from wrong, but chooses to ignore this and to participate in EVIL acts, in knowingly doing wrong. They have a CHOICE just like I do. I am “tempted” at times to do things I know are wrong because I think it might be fun, nice, benefit me, or just because I am angry, but I am in control of whether or not I do these things. So is a psychopath.

Whether or not I am loved or not, secure or not, my choices are my responsibility. No one else can make those choices for me.

Bean you were not responsible for his choices, HE WAS. I’m glad you are out, and I’m glad that you are a kind and caring person, but focus your kindness and your caring on yourself to heal. YOU DESERVE THAT!!! ((((hugs)))) and God bless you.

lostinthedarkness

Iris,

Please excuse me as I don’t believe that I can be as articulate as I once was (which is why I don’t write much), but I will try my best to explain my feelings and reasoning. I don’t know that I have wise words or wise advice, I only know what the stories and advice of people on this site have done to help me realize and see what I needed to do to try to get my mind and heart back.

My soon to be X used both lies AND truth to manipulate my emotions too, and no matter what they want you to believe, I think they know (especially after being with us for a long period of time) EXACTLY how to use their words (whether real truth OR lies) to manipulate our emotions. They know how we will react to the words they use, and that is really what they want above all – to find out that we react in some way so they can know that they still have some control of us through our emotions – I think that they believe that if they can control our emotions, them they still have control over us, after all, control and winning are their primary goals in everything they do, and they have had years of practice achieving their goals.

My stbx still tried to manipulate and control my emotions with truth, partial truth and lies even after I filed for divorce, so the only option for me was to follow LF writers advice and go totally NC (fortunately we do not have young children to have to parent together so I was able to do that). Now, anything in regards to our divorce or of a legal nature has to go through my attorney who forwards it to or discusses it with me, and I just refuse to have anything else to do with my stbx at all. I do not answer e mails nor do I read them (my logic is that whatever he says, whether truth or lie, is ONLY said to try to manipulate my feelings in some way, so if I don’t know what he says then his words can have no affect on my feelings). I do not answer phone calls from him or from anyone who has ongoing contact with him (even my own brother who insists on remaining friends with him).

I think that NC is not about punishing them (even though I think it frustrates them to no end because it seems to take away their ability to see whether we react or not), I think NC is really about allowing us to prevent them from seeing (and confirming in their minds) our emotional reaction and therefore allows us to be able to protect our emotions from their attempts at manipulation and control of them.

I’m not sure I explained this well, or that anyone else would agree with my feelings, but I know that NC has allowed me to feel as though I do have a little bit of control over what happens with regards to my feelings, at least for right now.

I would be willing to bet that your ex said what he said to you ONLY for the reason that he KNEW you would feel at least some pity and guilt, and my feeling is that he wants something from you – either for you to give in to something he wants or give up on something you want, and he is beginning to try to set you up so that he can get you to do what he wants. I believe that if you focus on the facts you know about his past behaviors instead of the words he used that are causing you distress and pain, I think you can and will discover what it is he’s REALLY trying to accomplish here.

In the meantime, pleae consider NC, you can always find an attorney to handle any (necessary) legal issues and contact you have to have with him, and since your son is 21, you don’t have to have the ongoing contact that visitation and custody court orders require. I know that for me, doing this has probably saved me untold amounts of pain, distress, and tears.

Please know that my hope and prayers and hugs are with you if you should need them.

raggedy ann

Iris,
It is entirely appropriate for you to pity your ex. FROM A BIG DISTANCE!

You bought a cottage adjacent to a beautiful meadow, but it turned out after a long period of time that an alligator with a brain tumor lived on your property accross the field. You can’t completely banish the animal from your world, YET. You can pity him because he is a stupid reptile and his tumor (maybe it is a worm in his brain) is making him do weird things, like chew off his own tail and take naps in the middle of the asphalt road. But probably an animal specialist that saw him would assure you that the sick alligator suffers at times, but not immensely. But of copusr you know that the fact that he is an alligator with a tumor makes him extremely dangerous to get near, which is why you should not go over the the alligator’s side of the meadow.

The pristine, peaceful, safe meadow you had envisioned was an illusion. But you are still alive, and on this meadow with its potential hazards, you yourself, have managed to live an authentic human life, while the meadow was whatever is was, and you raised a child. I think that is the most important.

So pity the diseased alligator, but there is no need to be consumed by your concern for it. There is worse suffering than his. Just keep your own safe distance (including minimizing communication as much as you can), and remember that alligators are primitive and dangerous. And if sometimes it sounds like the alligator is talking, remember that he really isn’t an authority on anything it might sound like he’s talking about — most likely it’s just alligator babble.

I hope things stabilize for you, inside and out!

raggedy ann

agreenbean, Ox Drover is right! You are not Jesus, and not supposed to be. What your friend has is a completely intractable problem. “Standing by” someone like him or “loving and supporting” someone like him enough that he could “heal” is analogous to trying to love somebody into being healed from cancer.

Every once in a while there is a person who got their act together because of a loving, patient partner, but they usually are not starting from a point like what you describe your friend to be. There must be thousands of women, and men, who approach a sociopathic or similarly troubled person with compassion and give and invest and believe that some improvement in the other person’s situation will result from their invested energy/emotion/sacrifice/support, but after a lot of this, or a lot of time, or a lot of loss, realise at some point “I am no match for this. This is way bigger than me or anything I could possibly do.”
Which is separate from the fact that you do not owe this person this help.

Ox Drover

NOT Lostinthe darkness,

Sugar you are NOT lost in the darkness at all, that was a GREAT way to explain things, ABSOLUTELY great!!!!

Raggedy ann, that was also a great way to explain a psychopath, as an alligator with a brain tumor….we can pity it from a DISTANCE but can’t fix it or get too close.

How many people have sacrificed their entire lives and beings to try to get some loved one to quit drinking or drugging or whatever they are doing? We cannot save everyone. We cannot save ANY one, truth be told.

Even as perfect as Jesus was, one of his closest friends turned Him in to be crucified…and the powers that be hated Him enough to frame him for a political “crime.” Just as we cannot “love” someone enough to cure them of cancer we can’t love them enough to cure them of psychopathy either. Good analogy!

bluejay

Iris,

Your letter was helpful to me (having your ex-h say what he KNOWS to be true about himself), reaffirming to me that sociopaths literally DO NOT CARE about any of the problems that they cause us to experience. The fact that sociopaths put good, decent people through unnecessary trials (trauma) speaks loud and clear to me – they will continue to repeat their behaviors (eg. not paying their bills, creditors suing them, getting massively in debt, stealing, etc.) – being unscrupulous is the rule of the day for them. I think what befalls them is tragic, but it also disturbs me that all of us wind up suffering for their misdeeds. Your ex-h doesn’t care about what he has put you through (mine certainly doesn’t), what you’ve had to weather. I would stop pitying him. If he was normal and could feel all the stress and heartache that you’ve had to endure, he probably would not have persevered (he would have collapsed under the strain). Between the two of you, you are the jewel.

bluejay

agreenbean,

You are a good person, having a heart of gold. In time, all of the lessons (regarding the spath encounter) will come together for you. In the meantime, stay strong, taking good care of yourself.

lostinthedarkness

Ox Drover,

Thank you for your validation of what I said – what you said to me means more than you could ever know, most especially since so many of your posts here shine the light I so badly need to try to find my way out of this darkness that my heart is in.

It has been a very hard year since I told my ex that he had to go. When I told him, I had no clue that I had been emotionally and psychologically abused and that my mind and heart were so crushed and bruised, I told him to leave because I had found out that he had been cheating and doing other things, and even after he promised not to ever do them again, he still did, and had been constantly and consistently lying about these and many other things. For a while, I hoped he would realize what he had thrown away and straighten himself out, but that was not to be. And then I discovered information about what a psychopath was and how and what they did to other people. The pieces didn’t just slip into place at that point, they slammed into place with the strength of an earthquake – there was no doubt for me as to what he was. After that, I filed for divorce and went no contact without even knowing what NC was or why I needed to do it. While I think my mind has come a long way from the total mush I think it was, my heart still has a very long way to go before it sees light. He took so much from me and did so much to me as far as my emotions go, that I feel sometimes that I may never ever again find the loving, caring, and trusting person I once was – just like Iris asked, am I damaged beyond repair? Sometimes I’m afraid that I am. What he did took away almost everything I believed in, and I just thank God that the one thing that he was not able to destroy was my faith in God – if he had, I would have had no base to even begin again.

I commented on what Iris wrote because I could identify with what she said in her last paragraph. I still feel the darkness too, and and I totally understand what she means about not being able to trust, as well as her worry about possibly being damaged beyone repair. I’ve tried therapy (even with different providers as you suggested to me some time ago) – it has not helped much as they just do not understand, and how do you explain something to someone who has no clue about what you are trying to tell them. I really believe that it is just not possible for anyone who hasn’t been there to really understand what someone is feeling. I have gotten and learned more here at LF from you and other members than I ever got thru any formal counselling, and for that, I thank you all from the bit of heart that I have left. All I know right now is that I do not feel as if I can even fully trust any of my family (I don’t think many of them can or really want to see what my ex is), and because of this, I cannot let them know what is going on in my heart for fear that it will get back to him. I do not dare to let them know that I am afraid and hurting, because if he finds out that I am, he will do his best to hurt me more and try to make me more afraid. And that’s why I tried to explain how I feel about NC – right now, it is my only safety net against his control and manipulation of my heart and mind. I know this, and so I cling to it.

Ox Drover

Dear in the darkness,

Sugar you are not lost, you may not yet know your way, but you are NEVER LOST as long as you have God….and hang on to that.

I understand about your family not believing you, and believe me mine doesn’t either except for my adopted son who has been my rock through this all. I am not sure how I could have made it without him, physically or emotionally either one.

I lost my ability to trust myself and that was the worst loss of all I think, but now I am regaining that trust, to trust myself to keep myself safe from predators.

I let myself down by WANTING to trust the predators, even when I KNEW in my heart they were not trustworthy….but I will continue to protect myself and keep myself safe from now on.

A year or two ago I had 2-3 dates with a widower that “seemed nice” but then he asked me to do something that was IRRESPONSIBLE. That would have been illegal (though not like robbing a bank, still NOT within the laws and regulations) and I said NO!!!!! and ended any thought of dating this guy again….but you know what, just this past week I realized JUST HOW RIGHT I had been to dump this guy. He just “dropped by” to see me when he came here to visit his brother—and just CASUALLY mentioned he’d gotten married but didn’t seem the least bit happy about it….BOY WAS I GLAD I HADN’T KEPT ON SEEING THIS GUY. I kept myself safe by listening to myself, to keeping my P-dar on alert. In the years since my “summer of chaos” I have let go of several “friendships” with people that I had considered friends for many years—and you know, I should have let them go a long time ago. When people are dishonest with anyone, unkind to anyone, they will eventually be unkind or dishonest with me as well.

Each time I have to make a decision, to SET A BOUNDARY for myself or for others, I realize that I CAN KEEP MYSELF SAFE, yet I can have friends and I can enjoy those friends, I just need to continue to watch how they ACT not what they SAY.

It hurts when I realize that I cared more for someone and thought more of them than they cared for me or thought of me, but each time I set a boundary and must enforce it, I realize that it hurts less, and I also realize that those people who are good, who ARE LOVING and who DO love me are so much more precious. Just as having a big, flashy Zircon or lots of zircons isn’t really as nice as having ONE SMALL, GENUINE, BUT TINY, real diamond. Having ONE WONDERFUL FRIEND is a bunch better than having 100 “fake” ones.

I agree with you totally about keeping away from ANYONE who is in contact with him. Sometimes INNOCENT people get sucked into the vortex of the psychopath and we lose our relationship with them, but that collateral damage is part of the price we have to pay to get away and stay away NC from them!

I’m glad you are here and I hope you will continue to share here on LF, the sharing does help at least for me. I’m glad that some of what I’ve shared has been of some help to you! ((((Hugs))) and God bless.

lostinthedarkness

Dear Oxy,

“Sugar you are not lost, you may not yet know your way, but you are NEVER LOST as long as you have God”.and hang on to that.”

I do hang on to it, and I know, without a doubt, that the one set of footprints I’m seeing in the sand are the Lord’s and that He IS carrying me. Any strength I have at this point is not mine, but His, and He will NEVER abandon me or take His love or strength from me. If I make it thru this, it will be His doing, not mine. Knowing that is all that is holding the little pieces of my heart together right now. May He bless you too, Oxy, abundantly, in your life and in your heart, because my thanks for your help and caring could never be enough.

Ox Drover

dear In Darkness,

I’m still here at LF because I get a lot more than I give…but I am glad that I have helped you …”a joy shared is doubled and a burden shared is halved.” I don’t know who said that first but it is so true.

One of my cousins in a hair dresser and she went to give hair cuts to the homeless people at some sort of an event, and she said that some woman came up to her….an old woman, homeless in a wheel chair, no teeth and only one leg…and my cousin said what a blessing this woman was to her and how she really appreciated what she had and would never complain again about not having this or that. I agree. WE are all so blessed, because we do have a place to lay our heads and clean water and food…so I have to keep my eyes on the BLESSINGS I have and do my best not to focus on the things I don’t have. Because compared to what I have, what I don’t have doesn’t matter! LF is one of the blessings I have, too, and I thank God every day for this site and for Donna. ((((hugs)))

bluejay

lostinthedarkness,

What I have concluded from this whole spath encounter is that we have gained insight (wisdom) concerning human beings – there truly are a range of people, some being good and others being the opposite, evil. We know with certainty (having had real-life experiences) that there are people (the spaths) who are unable to be fully human – they can be truly wicked. Why we have had these lessons, I don’t know (yet). We have seen beneath the veil (if you will), expanding our knowledge base. I know that you have been hurt – my prayer is that you will some how recover in time from all that you have suffered.

superkid10

I think those are great points, above….

a) accept
b) be grateful
c) resolve

I realized my lover was an liar only a few weeks after we met. I figured out my lover was a sociopath after only a few months.
Yet I keep getting sucked into his web, because

a) I believe there is good in everyone, including him
b) I want to be loved
c) I figure if I love him, he’ll love me back.

So what happened now? I had crazy sex with him in a locker room shower at his office.

The very next day he says he’s WAY too busy to see me, but goes off and plays a nice game of tennis with his ex-wife.

And that same evening he shoots me a text message, and recommends I hire somebody for a job opening I had, giving me a bit of a sob story about her (but also hinting that he thought she was sexy). Of course, I was quite alert to the “hint” and I discover that this girl is 20 years his junior and discover he’s been having sex with her too… so he’s intentionally trying to shove his shit in my face.

What the hell is wrong with me that I keep thinking he’s a good guy?

Why do I keep thinking he’ll change, that if I show him how much I love him, he’ll love me back?

I am such an idiot.

I can’t get over the pain.

I can’t believe my continued stupidity.

agreenbean

superkid i wish i had more to offer you than to say that i know EXACTLY how you feel. and that you are not stupid! think of how hard it is for a fly to get out of a spider web. and then realize you are kind of like that fly and he is the spider. its tough but it doesn’t mean you’re stupid!

for me, the most comforting thing about LF is that people here understand how you feel when you think no one else will.

Hope to heal

Ooh, that spiderweb analogy is great! The black widow spider comes to mind…

zoey

I spent too long-9years with a sociopath (diagnosed by a psychiatrist and psychologist) and did not realise how damaged I was.
When I finally fled his violence and manipulation I suffered for quite a few years with regrets and hopes that somehow he would one day change and love me like he always promised.
It was all a dream and I had to constantly force myself to face the reality that he was a sadistic and cruel manipulator who worked on me through friends and family and our three young children who he brainwashed and influenced each fortnight and on school holidays.
It took 14 years for him to stop attacking me through the Family Court and at Access handovers and drop offs.
I found the best thing was to act totally disinterested in him, as if it was normal for the children to be going away or coming home, and he did not even exist, even if he was standing next to the car.
When faced with violent rages and him yelling and charging at me with a big piece of wood threatening to hit me, I acted cool and in control, like a school teacher talking to a naughty child.
I told him his behaviour was unacceptable and he should be ashamed of behaving in such a manner in front of his children,.
Because it was not my usual terrified response, he was stunned and tossed the wood away in disgust and ran to his car growling like a mad gorilla.
I had a lot of stalking and prowling around my home at night and decided to just ensure the locks were good and sleep through it.
If I called the police it made me look like I was neurotic as he would be long gone before any police ever arrived.
The neighbours big collie dog did get to bite him on the butt one night as he leapt through the neighbours yard in his usual jopurney through about 7 backyards to access my yard in the night.
I still have a laugh about that with the neighbours if we ever cross paths again.
The problem was that I moved to another district, began a new life, but did not realise the damage done to me.
I fell into the same trap again with marriage another soicopath who did the big romance, flowers, cards, phonecalls etc that I had never experienced in my life.
Same sociopath personality, different tactics.
I realised what he was in 2 1/2 months because I fell pregnant and he ordered the local Doctor to abort me without me knowing when he sent me to her for a “health checkup”.
Next he threw me out of the home to drive hundreds of miles from the north west mining town we were then living in, and told me to drive to the capitol city Perth and have an abortion at a particular clinic or he would not have me back.
I defied him and kept my child.
I divorced him.
Still not realising that I needed help to overcome the damage I carried on raising my children alone and socially isolated by my low income-social security.
Years later, I fell for another big con and guess what, the man I married was a sociopath too!
He approached as a christian man who felt sorry for my poor kids who had no father to love and guide them.
Of course he was nice to the kids and wooed them as much as me, then abused the youngest, bashed me and left me pregnant,, dealing with a young child suffering from violent abuse, deep in debt (seems to be a trait of sociopaths) and lied about me to every church that knew me, so that I had people condemning me everytime they saw me in the shops or street.
Then he sued me through the family court for custody of the child I gave birth to.
A corrupt judge and lawyer later and I lost my son on the grounds that the Judge claimed I lied about the child abuse.
Police and Doctors gave evidence that the child was telling the truth.
The abused child was too young to give sworn evidence in court (under 8 years) so the authorities could not charge him if he did not admit to his crimes.
I would advise every victim of sociopathic partners or family, to get help.
Seek good counselling and develop yourself so you have stronger belief in yourself.
I lacked self esteem and it made me an easy victim.
I was too naive and too caring and too easy to manipulate because I would always feel guilty if I said no or did not help a person who asked for help, or forgive someone who said “sorry”.
Now I tend to say a few rude words when I get angry instead of feeling that I have no right to get angry over injustice.
I say “NO” if someone is imposing on me or trying to manipoulate me.
I refuse to give answers on demand if I feel I am being manipulated.
I tell the person “I will think about that”
or “I’ll let you know later when I have time to think it over”.
One trait of sociopaths seems to be to back you into a corner emotionally, and demand you answer yes or no immediately instead of giving you time to think things over at your own pace, and make decisions without rushing.
I am still alone and I dont know if I will ever trust anyone again.

lostinthedarkness

Bluejay,

Thank you for your prayers, I truly appreciate them. I hope that I have learned enough here, and from the many books I’ve read on this subject to begin to take some small steps towards the future. While the pain is still deep and my heart is still shattered, my mind does seem to be clearing, and I feel like maybe it’s clear enough now to focus on trying to help others if I can.

Yes, I agree, I believe we have all gained wisdom, and I think we’ve paid a very high price for it, emotionally, psychologically, and/or financially. It is my hope now that I will someday have the opportunity to pass this wisdom along to someone else who needs it so that they can gain the wisdom without having to pay that same high price we did.

I am so sorry that any of us had to go through this, but it gives me much comfort to know that I am not alone and that there are people who truly do understand and want to help others through this. I think the time has come now for me to try to be part of that comfort for someone else, and I hope I have the opportunity to do that also.

Thank you all for everything you have given to me and done for me.

unknown

An easy way to identify a sociopath is he/she devoid of empathy and sympathy.

krbrown2

Zoey,
Thanks for your post. I especially like some of your suggestions at the end.

On Friday, we are having our suvivors of interactions with sociopaths meeting and our topic is:
“What Works: When No Contact is Not an Option, Tips for Dealing with a Sociopath
Share your ideas!
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. This is an oppotunity to share what has worked for us and brainstorm suggestions for dealing with sociopathic behavior.”

No Contact is best, but some people are still in litigation or have children with the person who is disordered. If anyone has ideas on this topic, please let me know. If we get a good list, I’ll be glad to share.

kim frederick

krbrown, What we suggest here, for those that must be in contact with spath, is: Go gray rock on him. That means, DO NOT REACT TO ANYTHING HE DOES. Be boring. Do not get sucked into the drama. Remain cool and detached. We also say: POTTED PLANT< POTTED PLANT< POTTED PLANT. We give them about as much importance as a potted plant. They are not human, they are vegitation, so to speak. I hope this helps.

Stargazer

Superkid,
You are not stupid. It takes a while to really grasp what kind of person a sociopath is, and the sinister games they play for whatever ungodly reason no one has ever figured out. It often doesn’t hit you all at once. But once it hits you, you’ll be done with him. It will take longer for your heart to heal because your love was real, even though his is not.

Once I figured out mine was gaslighting me (I didn’t know the word for it at the time) and caught him in a glaring lie about being married, it STILL took me several months to really wrap my mind around what a sociopath was. Give yourself a break.

Hugs,
Star

sistersister

Iris, your letter reveals a lot. Your tormentor handed you a gift — a clue to how to move on. He showed a rare understanding of his disease, even though he doesn’t know what to do about it or want to change. Compartmentalization. So now you know: it wasn’t you. The point here isn’t to inspire sympathy for him but clarity on the exact nature of his disease, so you’ll know finally just how dangerous and deceptive it can be.

Hope to heal

Iris ~ Oh my goodness, your marriage was certainly not meaningless! It just meant different things to you and your ex-sociopath.
Please do not blame yourself. It is never “you” when you’re involved with a sociopath. WE are the victim, THEY are the cold, scheming, manipulating PREDATOR.

Keeping busy is a good thing, but you also need to have time to grieve. You have suffered the loss of someone you loved deeply. Even though that person was an illusion. Keep in mind, he was an illusion of the man he knew you wanted him to be.

They are ACTORS, just characters in a play.

Aeylah

Iris,
I’m sorry for your pain and confusion. Dealing with a psychologically manipulative Sociopath is a blinding, confusing experience and a rollelr coaster ride of emotions. Donnas advise is simple and true, as all the other ones here.

If you have to have any contact with him show APATHY! they are drama kings and queens. They lack emotions so they feel them vicariously through you, and continue to draw you into them until you are sucked dry. The less emotion you show, even anger and pain the more they will retract….and the more power YOU will recover.

LouiseRosen

Raggedly Ann,

I think that your post relegating the sociopath to being an alligator with a brain tumor is right on!

Their behaviors are so similar, their needs evoke primeval predatory urges, and their greed knows no bounds!

When we correct our perceptions and allow that not everyone is kind, nice and good, and that there is a reptilian element with whom we share the planet, then we grant ourselves the space to acknowledge that they are out there and that we can take protective measures to insure our physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

So, instead of floating down the river of ‘de nile (denial),’ looking like an enticing ‘meal’ for the reptile, we who have received a ‘wake-up call’ learn to observe the characteristics of the reptile, their habitat, and their agendae.

Iris,

Granted that he owes you support and other reimbursement monies, the fact of the matter is that he has removed himself from your judicial jurisdiction thereby making it extremely difficult to collect anything from him.

In that regard, he is very much like a snake (another reptile) who has wiggled his way out of responsibility for his actions.

My advice would be to let go of collecting anything from him – he hasn’t come through so far and undoubtedly won’t in the future. So rather than continuing to pursue getting paid from him, I would put the entire issue behind me, write off a debt which is probably uncollectible and get on with my life.

I know that there’s something within us that doesn’t like to let them ‘get away with it,’ but at what cost to ourselves? It just keeps the dance going and going and going.

You’ve already proven that you’re a strong person who has repaired the homestead, has an income and is involved in furthering your education, and I applaud you for that.

I would have no further contact with him as he is now part of the past, which is a good place to leave him.

Sparks
Equipped with this knowledge, we can observe them from afar and not become involved with them.

Ox Drover

Zoey,

I am so sorry that you have suffered so much at the hands of so many…and that is not unusual for those of us who have been victims once to be victims AGAIN unless we have figured out the ways they control others and how they gain that control.

Learning to trust, not just trust OTHERS, but to learn to trust OURSELVES to spot them and to keep ourselves safe is difficult, but I am learning that now.

My “Rule #1” is HIS S/HE HONEST? If the answer is even a “little bit” NO, then I do not trust that person AT ALL. If someone is dishonest I do not let them into my circle of intimacy.

Rule #2 is ARE THEY KIND? If someone is unkind to anyone they will eventually be unkind to me.

At ANY TIME if ANYONE violates rules 1 or 2, or lies then they are OUT of my circle of trust….it is not impossible for someone to regain that intimacy, but there has to be ACTION, not just words….and just “saying sorry” is not even enough to start with.

I do not treat others badly, and I will not allow others to treat me badly. My life is good now because I do not have people in it that treat me badly. Sometimes I miss those people that I THOUGHT loved me, but I don’t miss the pain they brought into my life. I realize the pleasure they brought doesn’t outweigh the pain they also brought.

agreenbean

i am having quite the internal struggle about how the person in my life challenges my views of what it means to be human. i have very circular thoughts about this, and never feel resolve.

i have been reading about dignity. here are some quotes:

“Dignity is your birthright. Simply because you exist you are worthy and have every right to hold these powerful and profound beliefs about your self:

 I have every right to exist, to live, and to thrive. I am worthy of life. I accept my self.
My life is important. I have a right and responsibility to live my life to its fullest potential. I have a right to be successful and happy, to feel worthy and deserving, and to request and pursue my needs and wants.
My observations and viewpoint are valid. I see what I see and know what I know without requiring further validation. Similarly, your viewpoint is also valid.
I am lovable, admirable, and powerful.”

now, i can see how important these things are to anyone who is been in a predicament with a sociopath or similiarly disordered person.

but does not the sociopath have the same intrinsic rights simply because they exist as a human being? do they not also deserve to be loved? is their viewpoint not valid even though at times it is clearly false (gaslighting)?

civility is one thing, being assertive towards a sociopath we must deal with for whatever reason without being aggressive is, i would think, proper and the correct thing to do.

yet it is very hard for me to see how i am supposed to tell myself not to miss this person, not to want to be allowed to love this broken person about whom i cared, regardless if they will ever choose to “fix” themselves or not?
and if they do deserve love, who should be the one to give it to them? can someone else give them love without getting hurt? if so, why couldn’t that be me?
then i tell myself “not you, because you deserve to be loved the way you are, and not have to change that to not be hurt in your relationships”.
but it goes around and around in my head, that the foundation of everything i know about what people deserve is shaken, including myself.

Hope to heal

Agreenbean ~ Love is something that is meant to be shared. That, in and of itself, is a very good reason NOT to love a sociopath. They are incapable of feeling or giving love. I believe that is part of their curse, and also what makes them what they are. They feed off of our emotions because they cannot feel anything themselves.

Relationships are supposed to be give AND take. NOT just give, and certainly not just TAKE. That is all a sociopath will do take, taKE, TAKE!!

We are never supposed to change ourselves for someone else. That is giving up our right to BE ourselves. A loving, honest relationship consists of compromises for sure. Those compromises MUST come from both sides, not just one.

Take care of YOU. (((hugs)))

kim frederick

Greenbean, I don’t have the answers to these questions. I sometimes get caught up in them myself.

I feel a certain pity for them. I tend to think of them as broken spirits, incarnate. The problem with that is our extreme empathy, and how it is used against us. We have to guard against being taken in, so, I think we defend against it by detachment, and sometimes anger. We dehumanize them, in order to escape their extreme power over us.

Who is to love them? I’ll leave it up to God, because any human being that does is bound to be hurt, and badly.

That doesn’t mean you have to abandon your feelings of love for this broken person, that would be a denial of your feelings, but you can love him from a distance, and you can stay true to yourself, and what is right and good for you.

raggedy ann

agreenbean,
A sociopath is entitled to love and respect if he wants it and takes/accepts it from another on fair terms. The text you quoted was probably not intended to have “no matter how much abuse and betrayal he or she may have heaped onto the person expected to do the loving” appended to it. Just like it probably would not have been intended to be followed by “no matter how many innocent children he or she may have tormented and killed after repeatedly being told how wrong this is” or “no matter how many acts of genocide he or she may have participated in”. The right to love and respect is a starting point in my opinion.

I would also say that that even if a person is entitled to love and respect *in the abstract* because they are alive despite having lived venally for the most part, they do not have the right to be entrusted for the umpteenth time with trust they have historically pi**ed all over again and again. That is absolutely not anybody’s right.

You may very well miss that person — you can hardly be faulted for this, and your experience is probably the norm. It was my experience in my most significant S experience. But often what a sociopath’s victim is missing is an illusion. At the very least missing cherry picked momenrts and not the whole of the other person — because the whole was an awful person and an awful experience! I still miss my S in some ways, but I know he is almost certainly beyond fixing, no matter how wonderful and giving a person I might be to him. And possibly some part of him respected the women who told him to get lost *more* than the ones who kept giving.

I don’t know if you saw my comparison of a sociopath to an alligator with a brain tumor. I added that maybe it was a worm eating through the brain precisely to undermine any linger “desirability” a predator might have to his victim and substitute for it a little bit of “Ewwww!” factor. the fact is that for most sociopaths, there are countless women that *don’t* want the guy. They are either more alert to what he is because of previous experience and so he inspired in them only an “ick” response, or maybe he is just plain not their type for other reasons. But I think it is helpful to keep in mind that at best these people are buffoons and ultimately not attractive people. And some aspects of them can be plain gross.

As to “why not me?” I say the answer is: because the person is such an idiot that he decided he didn’t want it to be you. And is probably so stupid that his mind or feelings won’t change, ever. Plus, with time it becomes clear that such people either did not want to change, or they lacked the dicipline to work toward the change they briefly believed they wanted, despite YOUR investment in them, and I mean patience and love, not necessarily a financial investment.

The thing about the alligator living on Iris’s meadow was that it was just SO adorable in the past when it was a toddler alligator (even though the pathogen in the brain was already there waiting to damage the brain in a way that would later make the alligator sabotage its own life on top of being a cold blooded reptile focused only on dinner at any moment). The toddlerhood of the alligator was not the whole picture or story of the alligator — more that happy, innocent, safe moments or era that can’t be returned to.

Being alone is such an opportunity for peace and recovery, despite the fact that some aspects of being alone can suck. But opening one’s self up for yet new abuses puts the peace and recovery at risk right away.

I love all the comments about grey rock and apathy. And of course “no contact” is the ideal medicine.

raggedy ann

LouiseRosen,
“de nile” — hee hee. Crocodiles, alligators, pretty much indistinguishable to me! Sharks, cobras, boa constrictors… all scary in my book…

Ox Drover

Greenbean,

I agree so much with what Raggedy Ann says…and Kim and Hope2 as well….

The Bible says “love your enemies” but LOVE in that context is not a squishy feeling, it is an ACTION, a verb, not a noun.

It simply means to be honest and good to people…even those that treat you badly, but it does not mean that you MUST ASSOCIATE WITH THEM no matter what they do.

Even Jesus and St. Paul told us that if a “brother” (someone close to us) sins against us that if we can’t get them to stop doing that we are to TREAT THEM AS A HEATHEN, and NOT EVEN EAT WITH THEM….doesn’t that sound like NO CONTACT to you? It does to me.

As a human, even a psychopath deserves to be treated with “love” (kindly) but that does not mean that they do not get the CONSEQUENCES of their actions…and that might mean prison, or even execution….IT DOES NOT MEAN that we must continue to allow them to abuse and use us.

Why do you think you are obligated to allow THAT particular psychopath to CONTINUE to abuse you?

We call it the “fog” or FOG which stands for FEAR, OBLIGATION and GUILT….and until the FOG clears, and you see that you are NOT OBLIGATED to allow anyone to abuse you, you will live in FEAR AND GUILT….but you don’t have to. (((hugs))) and God bless.

raggedy ann

Zoey,
Treasure your solitude and know you will trust again. Just give it time. Both time for your healing, and time regarding any individual you know… quietly observing them when they are not focused on you, and noting any red flags when they are focused on you. And don’t ever again put up with unexplained mysteries, unresolved confusion, or anyone’s insistence to you put them fisrt and not yourself.

I hope you feel better soon. And remember you are not completely alone at all. You have your children, and you have everyone here. 🙂

anne

Hi everyone. I am so thankful that you are all out there. I thought for a long time that I was damaged goods. My picker is broken. I doubted myself for years. I believed the P in my life that I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t live without them. Even my best friend of 18 years, I thought I couldn’t live without them telling me what to do next.
Now a year later, no more girlfriend, she ran off with the live in boyfriend. Her true colors are clear as ever today. I am with all your help started to trust my own judgement, and believe whole heartedly that God is doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. Thank you God.
I am taking time to heal, big time. As the days pass and I have removed myself from the people, no contact, I really see that I have a voice and value. I shake hard at times, but I know it’s the feelings of fear and scare that I lived in all my 50 years. Today I feel that fear, but knowing I am safe today, safe alone and trust that I with God’s help can get thru this pain so deep in my gut.
The relationships with these sick people are coming to an end, I can feel it. Two weeks ago the ex was calling in the middle of the night threatening to come and get me that he was right behind me. The old me would have trembled and cried and locked myself away. I have a voice today. I called the police, wrote a statement and took care of myself the best I could. The old me would have thought I was doing something wrong, that he didn’t really mean to threaten me, he just misses me. Honestly, I still think that, but with your help here a LF I am taking my power back, slowly, but I feel it. I walked from anyone involved with these people, best friend and even family too. As soon as I hear, ” Oh he and she are’nt that Bad”, I just turn away. Yes it hurts, hurts bad. I know that there is light beyond all of this. I am experiencing a glimpse of it. What’s funny is I have never felt this strongly about my well being before. God is doing for me what I was always afraid to do for myself cause I thought I was the bad gal. Not a Bad Gal, An Unhealthy Gal trying to get Well.
Thank you all so much and God Bless, Gotta Love you all.

Ox Drover

Dear Anne,

Congratulations on your new found backbone!!!! and as we say here TOWANDA!!!!! Great! Good job!!!!

It is important to get away from the dishonest people in our lives and NOT make excuses for them and their bad behavior.

I know it is difficult to recognize that some people we love are not good for us, and are damaging to us or they are just hoodwinked by the bad guys, but we cannot fix them…we can only protect ourselves.

Sometimes over time people change too…someone that we may have loved for a long time becomes toxic to us, self absorbed, abusive or just dysfunctional…but we can’t allow that to pull us over the cliff as well. Remember the old saying our parents probably said to us or we said to our children ‘Okay, everyone else is doing it—if everyone else was jumping off a cliff would you jump too?” We must hold ourselves to a standard of protection no matter what others are doing. We must put ourselves FIRST when it comes to protecting ourselves. (((hugs)))

anne

I believe I was groomed as a child to protect the P, to be loyal to them at any cost. Cause if I didn’t stay loyal I would be all alone. Where there was harm I would bring love, where there was unjust I would bring just, where there was sickness I would bring health. Today I know that I am not that powerful to be able to bring all the good loving things into relationships that they cannot comprehend. I use to beat my head against the wall trying to stay loyal against all odds.
One day 16 months ago I stood up said no more, why I do not know. All I remember was I was sick and beat down. All used up. It takes a lot of energy doesn’t it to invest in such futile relationships. I was scared to death and made a lot of mistakes 16 months ago, but those mistakes taught me to endure. No matter what the whole town thought of me, what rumors these people said about me. Somehow I endured. You are the first people I relate to. I am no longer all alone. I see that pain is the toushstone to recovery. Lots of pain, confusion and second guessing, but it is paying off. Not all the time but a lot of the time.
I worked for the army for 28 years and I started to learn about PTSD and in that process I learned about living with the fear and unability to say no to the ugly things in life. PTSD support people understand this harm. But LF is showing me a way out.
It feels good to be honest with myself today, and trust I can make better life decisions today for me. Every once ina while I get very angry at the people who hurt me,a nd I want to act out, just as they did. It’s not pretty, but I am trying to use restrained, cause it wil just open that door to a fight or flight response from me. N/c is the best thing but not the easiest thing. I feel hate deep in me, to the bone, but they won’t get it if I fight them one on one. You all taught me that. You fight with an idiot and you loss. Right?
Huggggggs

Ox Drover

Dear Anne,

Yep, you are getting there I think! Hang on, the hate/rage/anger will pass…and then come again, it is like a roller coaster ride I think sometimes, and even now I have an up and a down sometimes, but the ride does start to smooth out as it goes along.

Keep on with the healing, the learning and the growing. It DOES get better, but it takes some time. (((hugs))) and God bless.

lostinthedarkness

AGreenbean,

I agree with the right we all have to hold those beliefs, but I think that along with every “right” that we are entitled to also comes a RESPONSIBILITY, maybe in this case to realize that just as WE are entirled to hold these beliefs, SO IS EVERYONE ELSE.

Because we as caring people automatically accept that realization and responsibility without even thinking about it, it seems hard to understand that N/S/P’s probably do not. I think if you asked a caring person if they felt that others were also entitled to these beliefs, they would say “Of course” without even thinking twice about it and THEIR ACTIONS WOULD BACK UP THEIR WORDS, however, if you asked an N/S/P (or P for short), while they may SAY they believed it, THEIR ACTIONS would speak the opposite. Their actions DO speak the opposite every day of their lives.

For them, when they are done with us, we do NOT exist therefore they do not believe in our right to exist. Our lives, happiness, and viewpoints are not the least bit important to them, they show us that they do not believe we are entitled to these things by the way they treat us.

So, if they are not willing to accept the responsibility to afford others the same rights as they claim, are they entitled to claim those rights? I don’t believe they are. I think I read in a Dean Koontz book once something about having rights without also having responsibility being nothing more than chaos. I believe that to be true.

No one has the right to tell you what you should believe, but I will ask you this, and please think about it – when your thoughts go around in circles sometimes like you said they do, might it be because your focus is on what you’re wishing for rather than on what you know without a doubt to be true?

Wishing you peace for your mind and heart. 🙂

Hope to heal

Dear lostinthedarkness ~ methinks you’re not so lost after all. Your thoughts above make very good sense to me.

I am truly grateful to have found everyone here at LF. Peace and tranquility to all!!

anne

Ox Driver,

It is like a roller coaster ride. Ironically though my life was always a rollercoaster ride. The difference today is I choosing this ride of recovery and well being. Removing the other players and taking on the help of people who want a better life. I’m so hopeful for the calmer days and never doing this before it’s scarey, and a voice in you all to me says Keep walking Anne, dont turn back, keep going, there is hope. I am so afraid of repeating the old behaviors and choices. It’s like I’m starting my journey all over again without the toxic people. I removed everyone or should I say myself from everyone. Slowing I am starting to reach out again being careful to not intoxicate myself with the old patterns. I ask myself, Is this person harming me, am I allergic to this person, this contact. I slowly consider my actions today. Staying safe is so important. You all are a safe haven for me. Glade to be a part of this uncovering, discovering, and recovering. Hugs and thanks so mcuh.

Ox Drover

Anne, you are very welcome! There will come a time you will reach out a hand to hold someone else on the path, and it will continue.

lostinthedarkness

Dear Hope to heal,

It isn’t so much my mind that’s lost anymore, that seems to be coming along a little bit better every day, but please believe me when I say that my heart is still very much lost in the dark. I’m sure most (if not all) of the people here would know what I mean when I say that knowing something in your mind is very different from knowing it in your heart. That’s just about where I am now. I know in my mind what I have to do, and what I should do, I’m just having trouble trying to convince my heart. Hopefully with time, that will happen. In the meantime, I’ll just pray and keep trying to hang in there by my fingernails.

wildstylenomore

Superkid10,

After reading your post…so sad, no you’re not stupid, you’re just still not ready to admit what you’re dealing with…it is hard…the sooner you can get it, the better off you will be though…having sex with a sociopath can be deadly…STD’s are serious…remember, when you are getting ready to have sex with him (again) how many other people has he already had sex with today, and will have sex with later in the day…unfortunately that is the way it works…if you look at it that way, it really isn’t all that “sexy”…just scummy.

Bob

As it is with my story I have noticed a common statement in many
comments: So many people say their story is almost too hard for them to tell because it is so long and complicated!
I have found it to be one of the most confounding and aggravating things (besides the sociopath) is the twisted mess they will get you into and leave you with. The process of healing invariably involves talking to someone but how difficult it is to tell the tales and have someone believe you! As cowboys used to say, “I feel like I been rode hard and hung up wet.”

winifred

Dear Iris, please know first and foremost, it doesn’t make you stupid because you were taken by a sociopath! The smartest of us out there have been duped. The most effective and powerful advice I can give you is…Take your Power Back!” The more time you spend trying to figure out “WHY” or “HOW” the more time you have wasted of your life and continue to give him. Move forward and trust again….you deserve that as you do happiness.(just watch for the signs) The big difference between us and sociopaths is that we can be truly happy within ourselves…this is impossible for them. Remember, “what comes around goes around”, but it is not your job to make sure he gets his…..he will do this himself, he will self destruct in time…it just may not be the time you want him too. I have spent 7 years trying to get even with, and understand why my husbands sociopath ex wife Laura can destroy her children and anyone who hasn’t learned what a real monster is…? I am just now realizing in order to save myself, my sanity, I have to turn my hate to confidence that whether it is God that gives her what she deserves, or life itself…she will get what’s coming to her…she will see to that because of her screwed up , unempathetic ways. I used to be the one who wanted to make her suffer…now, I just want the front row seat when she does. God Bless Good Luck

MissLed

Hello everyone, Newbie here….

I never would have imagined there would be others that experienced what I did with the ‘love of my life’. After stumbling onto this site in Feb., I am amazed that there is a name for their condition/disease/illness/whatever it is.

Ox Drover

Dear Missled,

Welcome to LF, sorry you had to find us, but since you did, welcome to the healing place—yep, there’s lots of names for’em.

Knowledge is power so start learning ALL the names and all the symptoms of this dreaded dis-ease…NO CONTACT with’em is the CURE, but it takes time and work….but it is worth it. There is healing and peace and wisdom at the end of the tunnel. Again, welcome, and God bless.

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