Sociopaths have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. They purposely drain the life out of people and then throw them away. Despite their charming and charismatic veneer, they are evil to the core.
In my opinion, the people who truly understand this personality disorder are those who felt the full brunt of sociopathic deceit, and then woke up to the truth.
We, the former targets, remember the promises of love and luxury, and how it all seemed so possible. We remember the confusion—how reality didn’t match the promises, and the excuses that explained away the discrepancies. We remember attempting to express misgivings, only to be told we were crazy.
We, the former targets, also remember the shock, dismay and devastation we felt upon learning that everything we were told was a lie. The devastation didn’t happen just once, it happened many times, as layer upon layer of deceit was uncovered.
How we tell our stories
Our group of people, former targets who learned the truth, is only a small percentage of the population. In a way this is good, because none of us wish this experience upon anyone. But it is also bad, because it means there are millions of unsuspecting individuals who can become targets in the future.
We want to warn the unsuspecting, but that presents a circular problem. Because they can’t comprehend the evil of sociopaths, they don’t realize the danger. And because they don’t realize the danger, they can become targets themselves.
So what do we do? I think it’s important for those of us who are survivors to tell our stories. But how we tell the story is critically important.
We can’t just ask for sympathy, although we certainly deserve it. We need to educate others about sociopaths. We need to know some facts ourselves—like sociopaths are 1% of the population, which means there are 3 million of them in the United States. We need to say, “These predators are out there, this is how they operate, and I know because it happened to me.”
When we tell our stories
It’s a difficult message. Those who haven’t experienced sociopathic deception wonder how we fell for it. They think we’re stupid.
So I think when we talk about sociopaths is also important. If we’re still in the midst of the struggle, we aren’t talking to warn others, we’re talking to seek support for ourselves. We quickly discover that friends and family can only listen for so long—again, because they don’t understand.
It’s probably best to talk about sociopaths after we’ve escaped the relationship, and have had time to recover and reflect. Educating ourselves about the disorder will help us know the truth of what we experienced. This will also help us recover our strength and dignity. Once we do, we can tell our stories with authority.
Maybe, if we all start talking, our stories will eventually reach critical mass. As awareness of this personality disorder increases, the sociopathic predators may find that there are fewer unsuspecting targets.