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By | January 28, 2019 4 Comments

To survive a sociopath, we sometimes act like a sociopath

act like a sociopathI almost didn’t recognize myself. There I was, plotting with my cheating husband’s mistress to steal money from his bank account.

Before I married James Montgomery, I never would have considered such an action.  But after he convinced me to blow $227,000 on his ridiculous business schemes, and after I discovered that my entire marriage was a scam, I was angry, broke and desperate. I did what I had to do to survive a sociopath (although at the time, I didn’t know he was a sociopath).

Maybe because of your own entanglement with a sociopath, you’ve found yourself doing things that you never, ever did before. This happened to “Stevie2018,” who just posted her story in the Lovefraud Forum. Her boyfriend invited her to spend the night, and while she was there, was texting another woman. She writes:

I lost it, threw the phone at him, screamed a lot… then went to the garage and broke only the presents I gave him.. ie glasses for Xmas, crystal bowl for Father’s Day.

The boyfriend, of course, blamed her for violating his privacy (a typical sociopathic denial strategy). And Stevie2018 says she is embarrassed, because she’s never done anything like this in her life.

I’m ashamed, my self esteem in gone, and now he’s telling our friends I trashed his house… which I did not.

Read her entire post:

Am I the “crazy” one?, in the Lovefraud Forum.

Reacting to the sociopath

In response to Stevie2018’s question, no, no, no, she is not crazy. She also has no reason to feel embarrassed. Stevie2018 was simply reacting to the insanity and betrayal perpetrated by her sociopath boyfriend.

With their deception and manipulation, sociopaths do two things: They break all of the rules of social interaction, and they push us to the limits of our endurance. Whether we face physical danger, financial destruction or a complete loss of self, we reach the point where we must do whatever is necessary to save ourselves.

Sometimes that means bending or even breaking the rules, because we learn that the rules aren’t going to help us.

Sometimes it means flying into a rage. After tolerating so much abuse, we either have to release our emotions or self-destruct. We lash out in anger.

Anger, for normal people, is a scary emotion — probably because we have bad memories of being the brunt of someone else’s anger. But anger, when warranted, actually protects us. It spurs us into action — such as expelling the sociopath from our lives.

We are not sociopaths

When we do things that are so contrary to our nature, our actions surprise us. We wonder if we have become just as bad as our tormenter.

Yes, our behavior in particular situations may resemble that of a sociopath. But no, we have not turned into a sociopath. We are reacting to the sociopath’s provocation. They are at fault, not us.

I would not criticize anyone who has bee targeted by a sociopath and reacts aggressively. However, I will say that sometimes it’s a tactical error. I’ve heard from plenty of people who were so angry that they finally hit the sociopath, and found themselves arrested for domestic violence. I’ve also heard from people who screamed at the sociopath in anger, only to learn that the sociopath recorded the tirade and used it against them.

Sociopaths can drive us to violate our own standards of behavior, but that does not mean we become sociopaths. How do we know? Because we feel badly about our actions. Sociopaths don’t.

The answer is to escape the disordered individual. Once the sociopath is out of our lives and we’re on the road to recovery, we will return to our regular selves.

Did this happen to you?

Did you find yourself doing or saying things that were totally out of character for you because of your relationship with a sociopath? Please share your experience — and how you returned to your true character.


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FleeingDeer

I love your use of the phrase “Tactical error” – it’s so true! Thankfully, after I woke up and left, I inundated myself with books like “Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and “The Narc Decoder” and “Women who Love Psychopaths”. It really gave me a sense of what I was up against and what he was capable of. So when he did things designed to throw me off-balance like locking down my cell phone (the account was in his name only and he quickly took me off of being an “authorized admin”) so that I could ONLY call or text him and 911 and NO one else (and denied that he had ever done that.) – those things didn’t shake me. They only confirmed his diagnosis in my mind. They made me more resolved to divorce him and leave him in the dust. (“Come on… that’s all you’ve got? I’ve read about the guy that moved ALL the furniture out of the house leaving only a child’s bed, furniture and toys for her!”)

BUT – what did happen was this: I got smart. I got tactical. I schemed. I played chess in my mind and thought through everything, every way he could hurt me or use me or hurt the children. I made sure that the kids and I were safely on the road to my mother’s house before I even let him know I was leaving. Later, I made sure we were safely on the road, and halfway to my mother’s house (2 hrs away) before letting him know I had withdrawn the kids from the private school and was enrolling them in the public school in her county. I gave him the equity in the house during negotiations (i couldn’t keep it anyway, I was filing for bankruptcy) so that the atmosphere of the negotiations was made amiable and I could ask for the 5 tax deductions (which I got – and Thank you Mr. Trump for doubling the child tax credit this year!!) and for the right to move states with the children to the former city where I used to live and where I had reconnected with an old boyfriend that I am dating and soon to marry. I made sure I had his signature on that document, and it was notarized and filed with the court 3 months BEFORE letting him know I was dating someone.

I really didn’t recognize myself. In an amazing twist – I was using all of the scheming and situation spinning and tactics that i had LEARNED FROM HIM during those 15 years he groomed me to keep the public persona spit-polished, but I executed them way better than he ever did. So yes – I didn’t recognize myself at all. That’s not me. Am I the crazy one? I am almost scared that I was so good at navigating those treacherous waters. But only to protect myself and my children from him. Living with him has given me a “particular set of skills” – but I only use them to protect myself and my kids from him. *sigh* but yes – I don’t even recognize myself. I can’t believe I am actually capable of all that scheming, but I am glad that I learned fast.

Redwald

Congratulations on your well-planned tactics, my Deer! (Good strategy too.) And although this is merely an irrelevant side issue, to someone like myself who is heartily bored with the unending monotony of the vicious attacks emanating from our horrendously biased “news” media, it’s SUCH a refreshing change to hear someone actually saying something NICE about our beleaguered President!

c1ara

I dunno if this would be considered acting out but I dated this Guy Mr A ,he was extremely charismatic and sucked me in completely while we were dating he kept telling me he wanted me to marry him and that I should sell my property move to his city give him the money so we can buy a house together .He also told me specifically not to get to know other men while we were dating ..I wanted to respect his wishes and liked him a lot so I agreed to his demands .Once he was at my place and we had jus had sex while he was asleep on the sofa I did something shameful I went through his phone( I have never ever done that in my entire life I have always respected the other person’s privacy ) but I duno what came over me that day call it a gut feeling I kept hearing his ph vibrate which was conveniently hidden in his bag , I saw msgs from so many girls in his inbox,on WhatsApp,missed calls from different girls and msgs from dating websites I was so shocked and confused I woke him up and asked him after a while are u on dd dating website and his initial reaction was did u go through my phone and then I did something more shameful I denied it and said no my friend saw u on it and I don’t understand why are u speaking to other women when u wanna buy a property with me and marry me .He was speechless.I asked him why did he wanted me to be exclusive if he couldn’t do it himself he kept saying u went through my ph and I kept saying no .I didn’t have a angry outburst we slept in the same bed and I tried to keep my cool.He kept saying u are such an angel and if it was some other girl she would have thrown me out looking back now maybe I should have done that but I was hurting inside and was confused and was in denial .Before he went in the morning he asked me if we are good I was like ok ..we spoke after that for a month or so because it was a long distance relationship he kept reassuring me he was done with other women but I couldn’t just trust him .I realised he was pulling away ( I guess because he knew that I found about his hideousness behind his mask ) it eventually faded out but left me quite hurt and I blamed myself for going through his phone which led to the end of that relationship (I also feel it in my bones i would never find that electrifying connection that I had with him ) and now I have trust issues .I know for fact that if I hadn’t gone through his phone I would have kept dating him and would have eventually given him all my money and love and he would have disappeared .So I’m glad I did the shameful act for going through his ph because frankly speaking that saved me from a sociopath narcissistic a—s like him .
I’m still hurting from it but not blaming myself anymore.
Going through his phone was out of character for me but it ended up saving me .

emilie18

I consider myself an honest, moral, trusting human being, but after my ex started pulling away – taking a job out of town, emptying his clothes from my closets when he did come home, forgetting my birthday then leaving me on my own after a surgery – and after I caught him in a lie about where he was (a friend spotted him in my town when he told me he was going to be out of town all week) – I became a different person. When he was at my house taking a shower, I went through his phone and discovered recent texts between him and a much younger lady from the apartments he was renovating who he claimed he was “helping get out of an abusive situation” that sounded much more personal – things like “You need to treat me nicer.” and “You need to pick up your stuff and return my babies carseat” and “Why are you doing this to me?”, then “You were amazing last night sweetheart.” We had a shared cell phone account, so I went online and looked up his call records and found he had been calling this woman hundreds of times over the previous three months – calls lasting hours at times – and a pattern of his 5 minute calls to me followed by an hour to her. And yet, when I confronted him (not telling him I knew all this) he denied she was anything more than a friend. I discovered I could block numbers online – so I blocked hers and her mothers. A week later he told me he was getting a new phone because “he couldn’t get hold of anyone and people couldn’t reach him”. Hah – the only one he had issues with was hers! Cost him hundreds for a new phone. Then when he left that new phone unattended while at my place, I blocked her number again. He replaced that one, too.

Months before all this he had asked me to help him set up his email and Facebook accounts and I had kept the passwords… so, yes – I went into both and discovered much more – like he was on four dating sites – even while he was with me – and had corresponded with dozens of woman. He had gotten involved in a “sweetheart” scam where he was sending Walmart cash cards and gifts (including an engagement ring!) to a “Mavis” who needed to “get back to Africa to claim her father’s gold bars stored in a vault” – She sent him nearly nude photos. I reverse-imaged them to find they were of a South American porn star. That one made me laugh as it proved just how very stupid he really was. But it also irritated the heck out of me because he had never paid back the “loans” he took from me. So – yes – I did some nefarious and sneaky things but I do not regret them – they only solidified my resolve to be rid of the jerk.

I am now involved with a real human being – and I would never think of invading his privacy, looking into his phone, sneaking a peek at his email. He has never given me any reason to distrust his words or actions, nor I him. And that’s the difference.

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