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The sociopathic betrayal is not your life — it is an incident in your life

Highly sensitive peopleMany Lovefraud readers experience the phenomenon of “losing yourself” in the sociopathic relationship. Before meeting the sociopath, you may have been, for the most part, happy, confident, successful and financially stable. You had a network of people who cared about you. Yes, there was some kind of vulnerability—perhaps you were a bit lonely—and the sociopath used the vulnerability to infiltrate your life. But, for the most part, you were okay.

Then, either suddenly or slowly, your life disintegrated, and the problems you face are so immense, and so interconnected, and so overwhelming, that you don’t know where to begin unraveling them. You don’t have the energy to start. Rather than the happy and confident person you once were, you are anxious, depressed and fearful. You don’t know how you are going to survive.

And you don’t know how it all happened. Trying to figure it out, you describe the individual’s behavior to friends or a therapist, and someone mentions the word “sociopath.” Or you do a Google search—perhaps on “pathological lying”—and end up on Lovefraud.

You are in shock. The description fits, and you realize that the individual never cared about you, that you were targeted, and that you allowed yourself to be scammed, either financially or emotionally. You’ve lost money, or your home, or your job, or your support network—or all of it.

Blame game

As you realize the depths of the betrayal, the blame game starts. And whom do you blame? Yourself.

You are furious with yourself for not seeing it sooner. You didn’t listen to people who warned you, or to your own inner voice that was telling you something was amiss. Instead, you believed the silver-tongued liar, the crying and pleading actor, whose real intention was to drain from you everything he or she could.

Besides everything physical and financial that you lost, you are most upset because you no longer have your sense of self. You feel like you lost your soul.

Now what?

The sociopath is responsible

First of all, recognize that you are not responsible for the abuse you experienced.

The sociopath may have blamed you for his or her actions, saying, “You made me do it.” Understand that statements like these were all part of the manipulation. The terrible words were spoken specifically to throw you off-balance and break you down, so that the sociopath could maintain control.

He or she is responsible for the hurtful words—and for all abusive actions.

Commit to recovery

Next, know that you can recover. The key to recovery is recognizing that the fraud and betrayal is NOT WHO YOU ARE. The devastation by the sociopath is something that happened to you. The betrayal was an incident, an experience. Do not allow it to define the rest of your life.

Make a decision, a commitment to yourself, that you are going to heal.

This means you need to allow yourself to experience the deep wells of pain, disappointment and grief that the experience caused. You have to get it out of your system, and the only way to do that is to allow yourself to process the pain, which means feeling it.

Finally, you need to let the experience go. How do you do this? You accept that it happened, and that there is nothing you can do to change the past. This does not mean you excuse what the sociopath did. But you do recognize that the betrayal was an INCIDENT IN YOUR LIFE, and NOT LET IT DEFINE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

It is true that you will never be the same after the experience with the sociopath, and you may have, in fact, lost yourself. But by facing the pain, processing it and letting it go, you can find a new “you,” one with a richer, deeper understanding of the human condition, and more capacity for love and compassion than you ever had before.

You can recover. You can grow. You can acquire wisdom. And you can move on and find happiness—perhaps sharing the wisdom you acquired to help prevent others from going through what you experienced.

Lovefraud originally published this article on July 9, 2012.



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23 Comments on "The sociopathic betrayal is not your life — it is an incident in your life"

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I wholeheartedly agree, take back your life. I like the saying *the best revenge is to live well’.
Today I realised that I hadn’t thought of my ex at all until almost lunchtime, yesterday I sorted out my finances. I’m in the process of moving on and away from the abuse I suffered; I’m at peace. Yes, there have been bad days but they are getting fewer and fewer, I’m getting there!

What about God-forbid you have a child with a psychopathic monster? Guess what? There is no such thing as peace. That’s my hell right now. I don’t let it define me. I’ve learned what a crooked court system we have. If your psychopath has money and hires a Pitt-bull attorney (female, no doubt), like mine did, that goes beyond the realm of what an attorney is supposed to do, look out! All I can hope for is I don’t lose my home and I stay alive through this process as I did fight fire with fire. I’m hoping my ex will feel a little heat for a change and his attorney too. As you know, most psychopaths believe they are above the law and break the law without a thought, will even testify to their deeds on record. Well, what comes around goes around. It does catch up. I was told by a counselor that these things happen all the time to a person such as a psychopath. They are not wired properly to see their faults. I keep trying to remind myself that my son’s father is sick in the head – I can’t find it in me right now to feel any kind of compassion towards him while he continuously conjures up ways to destroy me and eliminate me from my son’s life.

momto4kiddos…I too have children with my ex-spath. It is a hard road. The judge in my case has said several times “yes, he has hurt the plaintiff (me), but he hasn’t harmed the children.” Ummm…hello??? Causing me extreme duress, fear, and despair doesn’t hurt the children? I have lived in fear for my life in the past year while my ex stalked and terrorized me. Isn’t the threat of losing their mother harmful to the children? And if they do lose me? If he finally does the unspeakable and kills me? The bottom line is, unless physical harm comes to my children (god forbid) at the hand of their father, or unless he kills me, the court sees absolutely nothing wrong with sending them strait over to him for visitation. I am taking things one day at a time. I will do what I can to compartmentalize his ongoing abuse. I will aspire to be able to say one day “Oh, yeah, that’s just him again. Time to deal with this newest antic (*sigh*)” rather than crumbling to bits every time he attacks again.

That’s the problem – Judges don’t want to deal with this. It’s because either they don’t believe us or they are not trained to see what we see. I’m making it my future endeavor to change the court system. Power comes in numbers. I think it’s about time we hold these people accountable for all the destruction they cause. How many body bags does there have to be before something is done.

“The sociopathic betrayal is not your life — it is an incident in your life”
This is a calming statement for me. Thank you, Donna!

I so agree! This article was very helpful.

Police might not know that sociopaths exist? You are a bunch of idiots. Good luck with that.

Who are you speaking to, exactly?

The police…or the people on this site?

“help,” do you live in a small town by any chance? The reason I ask is that when we hear complaints of this kind about truly outrageous examples of inaction or incompetence by police, it’s usually in some small, isolated town—a “hick” town if you like.

I don’t mean to suggest all small towns are that way, because that wouldn’t be true or fair. I think the problem, rather, is that where police are unusually incompetent or corrupt, it’s easier for them to get away with it in a small town than in a big city where there’s more supervision. Of course I realize there can be corruption of certain kinds in big cities too, but what you’ve described is unusual. If you walk into a police station with blood on your shirt, complaining that you’ve been physically assaulted, they’re duty bound to take down a formal complaint. They can’t just tell you to “get lost”! There must be some back story to what you’ve been telling us, some details about what they said, and about why domestic violence hotlines couldn’t help you either. What you’ve told us suggests to me that you might live in one of those small towns where your abusive partner or ex-partner is hand-in-glove with the local police, and that’s why they made excuses to take no action.

I suppose you ARE in the United States? Or some English-speaking country that pretends to be civilized, at least? Some years ago on a site like this one a woman was complaining about her abusive husband, and half the posters on the site didn’t spot that she was in SPAIN! Furthermore, her abusive husband was the local POLICE CHIEF in the SMALL TOWN they lived in! What a horrible combination of circumstances! It was no use these people urging her to “go to the police” when her abuser WAS the police! I know Spain isn’t a “third world country,” but it is somewhat behind much of Western Europe and America when it comes to domestic violence policies.

(I’m pleased to report that this savvy lady managed to “do a deal” with her husband. She wouldn’t complain publicly about his abuse and ruin his reputation if he gave her a divorce, which he did.)

I appreciate that you’re not in that position, but it’s hard for us to help you if we don’t know more details about your situation.

Regarding police who “don’t know that sociopaths exist,” of course police are entirely aware that VILLAINS exist: thieves, con artists, murderers and all the rest of that trash. The point is that not all police necessarily understand the NATURE of psychopathy and the uncanny ability of the psychopath to appear NORMAL and to FOOL people! If your abuser happens to be someone who’s liked and respected in the town where you live, and the police see him that way too, they may not have a clue that he has a “dual personality’ and can act like a monster in the privacy of his personal relationships.

maybe its just a short-term incident, in YOUR life; but it was an incident that stretched out over 30 years of marriage in MY life. That’s a huge chunk of living, that I cant take back and do over. I married at 19 1/2 stayed until before my 49th birthday. Almost all my hopes, dreams, youth, strengths..gone. Not much to show for it..3 estranged grown sons, grandkids I dont know, dont see. To add insult to injury, I trusted a crooked contractor, when I did buy a house in town, to re-do and live in. That cost me a chunk of money I couldnt afford to lose, but did. Another incident to you, maybe; to me another huge loss..

I need all the support I can get….. I work with my ex S and he immediately got with another woman who also works where I do. And they flaunt their relationship in my face EVERYDAY!!!
This is the toughest thing I have ever had to go thru.

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