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Sociopaths say you’re crazy – and you believe them

man in maskThe sociopath behaves badly: Lying and then lying to cover up the lies. Disappearing for days without explanation. Draining your finances. Cheating and you have proof!

You are understandably upset. Justifiably angry.

Yet when you confront the perpetrator, not only does the sociopath deny, deny, deny, he or she says it never happened, you imagined it all, and you’re paranoid. In fact, you’re losing your mind! You should be committed!

You are so confused that you think the sociopath may be right. Are you losing your mind?

How does this happen? How does the sociopath lie, manipulate and deceive, yet you feel like you’re the one going crazy?

The root of the problem is that when this person came into your life, you didn’t know about sociopaths. Therefore, you are vulnerable to the sociopath’s plot.

So here’s what happens.

Step 1: The sociopath convinces you that it’s love!

You meet and the sociopath sweeps you off your feet in a whirlwind romance. Or, you meet and don’t like the sociopath, but he or she is so persistent that you finally decide to give the person a chance.

Either way, you interpret the sociopath’s behavior to mean that he or she is smitten with you. Because who would be so attentive, or keep trying to see you, if they weren’t head over heels crazy for you?

It must be love!

According to your understanding of life, people who are in love are kind to each other. They want the best for their partners and never intentionally hurt their beloved.

Since the sociopath is proclaiming undying love, that’s what you expect.

Step 2: The sociopath lies about almost everything, but you don’t know it

You don’t realize that the caring behavior is a charade, and that all the sweet nothings that come out of his or her mouth are just that nothing.

In fact, you don’t realize that just about everything the sociopath says is a lie.

After all, the sociopath looks deep into your eyes, convincing you of his or her sincerity.

You know that some of what you’re told is true. But you don’t know that sociopaths are experts at mixing enough truth with their lies so that the entire story sounds like the truth.

Yes, sometimes the story doesn’t make sense at first. But the sociopath explains away the discrepancies, and the explanations are always so plausible.

And then there are the times that the story is totally outrageous. But it has to be true, because no one would ever make up such a tale.

You certainly would never say such things if they weren’t true, and you can’t imagine that anyone would. Who would have the nerve to make those claims if the events hadn’t really happened?

Sociopaths will do it but you don’t know that.

Step 3: The sociopath intentionally makes you doubt your perceptions

The sociopath’s objective is power and control over you. That means the sociopath wants to control your mind.

One way to do that is to make you doubt your perceptions. It’s called “gaslighting.”

According to Wikipedia:

Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity. Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

The term comes from the 1944 film, Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman as Paula.

In the movie, the sociopathic villain intentionally hides things, and then says Paula took or moved them. He has a violent outburst and then denies that it happened, saying Paula imagined it. He keeps this up through the entire movie, until Paula thinks she is insane.

Sociopaths actually do this.

One Lovefraud reader recounted how the sociopath kept moving her keys, and then criticized her for losing them. Many sociopaths make promises, and then blatantly deny that the words were spoken.

They are adamant. Vociferous. Indignant.

You would never intentionally move things just to confuse people. You might break a promise, but you would never deny that you made it.

So you wonder did you really lose the keys again? Did you imagine what was said?

Step 4: The sociopath insists that you have mental problems

The sociopath proclaims true love, lies fluently without you realizing it, and then intentionally tries to make you doubt your perceptions.

While the sociopath lies and denies, he or she continually professes love for you.

In your mind, and in your way of life, love is about being caring and supportive. It’s about trust. You would never dream of blatantly lying to someone you love, or intentionally treating them badly.

So you must have misunderstood. You must have imagined it. The only rational explanation is that you are losing your mind.

That’s what the sociopath tells you. Consistently. Repeatedly.

“That never happened. You imagined it.”

“Why are you so paranoid? You should go to counseling.”

“I’m really getting concerned about you. You seem to be losing your grip on reality.”

Learning the real truth

Eventually, somehow, you learn the truth: The sociopath has been lying all along. About everything.

This truth is devastating. Earth-shattering.

You didn’t know that there were human beings who look and seem normal, but who have no heart, no conscience and no remorse.

Before you know about sociopaths, you may have had a tendency to see people as you are, and interpret the actions of others in terms of how you would behave.

You had no idea that there are humans living among us who operate under a totally different set of rules. Or, make that no rules.

Once you learn about sociopaths, you realize that your perceptions were correct all along. Contrary to what the sociopath so forcefully stated, you are not crazy.

Red Flags of Love Fraud

Protect yourself. To learn the early warning signs of sociopathic behavior, read Red Flags of Love Fraud: 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath.

 



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28 Comments on "Sociopaths say you’re crazy – and you believe them"

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Thank you for this great article. So true, every word of it. I was sent to a mental institution by my cop ex husband cop friends. He claimed “I was a danger to myself, and should be committed”. Luckily the psychiatrist noticed my ex’s evil plan and released me immediately. He even suggested I should sue the Sheriffs Dept for the deputies abusing their law enforcement “powers”. I didn’t, instead hired a great attorney, divorced my husband, and never talked to him again.
The emotional abuse and gas lighting is one of their most favorite tactics. He shifts the blame away from them. I was the “crazy housewife” while he was screwing his cop co workers. Unbelievable.
I am out over 2 years now and my silence was my closure. I will remain no contact as long as I live.
Thank you for the great website, everyone gave me so much hope and strength. Knowing that I am not crazy is great…

Reminds me of the time when my father had me convinced I needed to be locked up in the mental institution. Could not find a doctor to do it. Told my father that the advice given by the doctors I went to, for the admittance referral, was always to change the circumstances in my life.

So father made an appointment with his doctor. To this day I am still dumbfounded by the amount of control I gave another person, back in the day, just because he carried the title of father. When I was not running from him I would get worn down to a mindless numbness of doing exactly what this man wanted, which went against my best interests. This man who did nothing one could call fatherly, I did not live under his roof ever after becoming a teenager (yes before the age of 13 because of foster homes and the like) and this man stole from me when I was a teenager.

Back to the day of the appointment with father’s Lithuanian doctor for the referral to get admitted as an in-patient. Father picked me and my suitcase up and sat in the doctor’s parking lot downstairs waiting for me and the referral,to drive us to 999 Queen St.

His doctor asked me why I wanted the referral. None of the other doctors knew my father so I went on about all the things father said were nasty about me, with them. This doctor was my father’s personal physician from the same country where he was from so I told her what he first told me. He was nailing something and when he thought of me the hammer slipped and he hit his thumb. This prompted the necessity of having me admitted.

I had no idea at the time of how ludicrous the situation was so when the doctor said to go to the parking lot and tell my father to come upstairs to see her I happily said “Oh you will give him the necessary documents”. She said “Yes”. Said she would have the necessary documents ready to get HIM admitted.

Needless to say my father bad mouthed that doctor in the Lithuanian community. I have never been inside of a mental hospital but have been diagnosed with severe depression and PTSD. My father could not get me admitted so the next smear campaign was to say that I was a prostitute. Discovered that has been my life’s career choice at my father’s funeral. My cousins and all of the rest of the people who knew my father are convinced that is how I made my living.

For the longest time I could not understand why people reacted toward me in such a strange manner, those who knew my father, when we met by chance. Most of those people are either dead or not in my life anymore so I can truly say I am happy.

Father did destroy what should have been, for example I mourn for the children I never had and that is why I believe in reincarnation. I will have those children and give them a normal life because every lesson learned in the here and now has prepared my soul to give pure love. Father would have had my children taken from me and killed their spirit so God saw to it that father never got that chance. I believe God prepares us for the next lifetime through the evil ones.

Great article and so right on.
It’ is creepy the way that this comes naturally to them.
7 years ago I ended up in the ER and on meds because he was able to convince me that I had mental problems. 4 years ago I left.
Now he’s been trying to convince me to check into the mental ward of the hospital because, ” they will take care of you and you can rest”
I just smile and nod!
Stay strong people, you are not alone!

Wow, allison, that is so evil..I cannot believe what he is saying….they will take care of you and you can rest.”
I am so grateful I do not give my ex husband the opportunity to try to declare me mentally ill ever again. I stay no contact to protect myself from that. He is a cop and I just cannot trust him.
He would love to have me locked away somewhere so he would not have to pay me alimony..
I am always one step ahead of him. His goal was to destroy me in this divorce and he tried everything to make him look like the victim and me, the wife, as some crazy person. I will never forgive him for that. And he did it right in front of his only child, his teenage son. He told him ” your mother is better off in a mental institution, there she can get the help she needs.” I never had any “mental issues”. I was emotionally upset that he was cheating on me, that he lied and betrayed me…after 20 years.
Its all over now but he will never have access to my life again, and to his sons life…and that is forever.

My ex is still scary. He keeps insisting that we are married and that he loves me until the day I die.
I’m thinking about moving to another state with my kids and cutting him off completely. As for now, he lives very close and try’s to contact me numerous times each day. It’s exhausting to say the least…

Fantastic article that best depicts exactly what it’s like to be involved with a sociopath. After my encounter, I’ve come to the realization that the reason for the gaslighting was to make sure if I were to describe this sociopath to anyone else, no one would believe me. Gaslighting causes great confusion in how one organizes his/her thoughts in order to express them coherently and in a logical fashion so that others may have a clear understanding. One thing I noticed about the sociopath I encountered was that this person despised harmony.

Before I met this person, I had no idea what a sociopath was. It is true, once we discover all the sociopath has said to us was a lie, it’s shocking to accept the fact that these people have no shame in their games. Most of us have a keen perception of what’s going on around us, and I believe that sociopaths that target us know it too, and this is part of the reason why they choose us.

When I was finally able to figure out what this sociopath’s intentions were, I was reluctant at first to expose this person. I watched while this person started their smear campaign against me, but also stayed low key as to not let this sociopath know that I already caught on to their game. This was how I was able to observe more of the sociopath’s ways and maneuvers around the truth. After a while, this sociopath learned that was smarter than them, and that’s what actually scared them off.

The lesson being that whenever you are faced with discovering a sociopath, do not let them know you are onto them. If it helps, try to write down everything that they say for future reference. Actually, I recommend this. Keep a journal, but don’t let the sociopath know you have one. That was one error I made at first (letting the sociopath know I was taking notes.) Play as oblivious as you can whenever you’re around them. I had to go as far as secretly tape recording our conversations when we were alone just to have proof of the things he tells me and how he acts when we were alone together, and this actually became really valuable when this sociopath started the smear campaign to prove they were a liar.

For all those who are recovering victims, please find ways to vent so your experience doesn’t turn your heart hard against humanity. For me, I found creating a blog to be very helpful. There really are decent human beings out there, but now with more knowledge under your belt, you should be able to determine who is worthy of your time and of sharing your personal space.

Best wishes to all of you!

Learus, great advice! I too started a journal and it was my saving grace. It enabled me to keep my head and facts straight. I too slipped up and he found out I had the journal; one day he said “every single day I have to listen to you crying and bitching, that is why I have to look for other women. Every day I listen to this.” I got my journal and read from it, I had been saying how I had not cried for over a week and not taken the bait when he wanted to fight. It shut him up but then he found the journal and destroyed it and then denied it ever happened. I kept a journal for the last 6 years and it helped me immensely many times to prove he was lying, to prove I was not lying and to help me keep my sanity.
I also found that blogging was very therapeutic.

Fantastic article and so very accurate! Sounds exactly like my (cult)family! Only now, years later, do I realize the motive behind their charges of being “crazy”. It was a convenient way of “getting rid” of me while not jeopardizing their future possible inheritance!
No one who hasn’t dealt with a sociopath can possibly understand the depth of degradation we victims have suffered; I wish we could all join together for strength and to form a movement but sadly, I see our society as adopting and venerating more and more sociopathic traits.
Right on, Donna!

flicka
I agree about the depth of degradation we have suffered, NOT because of who we are but because of who we married. The way that society enjoys narcissism and sociopathy is like living in the dark ages. Virtues are defined as weak. When did that happen? Or were we blind and evil has always been admired? UGhh.

Thank you Donna.

Very acurate!

And thank you Learus: One thing I noticed about the sociopath I encountered was that this person despised harmony.

One of the best descriptions of psychological abuse and psychopathic lying that I have ever read. Now look at our politicians. Our County is under the influence of a bed of snakes making us all think we are crazy. Few other than those of us who have experienced it can see it.

I agree 100%! If we don’ blow up our planet (from egotistical hate run amok), surely our species is doomed for it’s selfish inability to adapt to the new reality of usurping our planet’s resources.

So important to be reminded of this…my ex-“alien” presence was with his newest “love” since I was so abruptly discarded that I wondered if it were “me all along.” But….it now appears that her time, also, has come to an end…it seems to be a 4 year cycle. If that timing is correct, I can understand why his therapist diagnosed him with bipolar syndrome. I still believe that it is an incorrect diagnosis, but can comprehend why and how well hidden these beings are. Thank you…as ALWAYS!

This describes exactly how my ex was and did each and every one of the things this article list. And everything he put me through. It’s been 4 years no contact. But I find myself still looking over my shoulder. Does that ever stop?

marcyll
I know I will never stop looking over my shoulder. My ex won’t ever stop, he’s an opportunist. That said, I do have certain practices to protect myself and I know when I am safer. I sit with my back to the wall in public places, and then I relax. I engage in chit chat with strangers and it remains chit chat, not personal. I share my traumas and emotional feelings here on LF and with my therapist and NO ONE ELSE. Friends don’t understand about sociopaths but they do understand that I had a dangerous husband and so I don’t talk about him. And I am always suspicious of charming people. It’s a red flag when someone needs other peoples approval so much that charm is their dominant characteristic. Snakes are easy to spot. I have other red flags that I pay attention to. What I am MOST certain about, it that if I do ever get caught by a sociopath ever again, I will NOT blame myself for it, and I will LET GO IMMEDIATELY. No fast romances. No fast friendships.

Hope this reply validates your caution. I think such caution is a mark of wisdom.

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