setting boundaries

setting boundariesI never had boundaries before I met the sociopath. I was naive and too open and honest. I wasn’t afraid of sharing my dreams and weaknesses and past mistakes. I believed my history made me the strong person I thought I was, and I just liked sharing.

When I hooked up with the sociopath, he seemed to like and respect me immediately.  This “instant attraction” led me to share too much, too soon. And boy did I share!

I shared without any expectations. I didn’t expect anything in return from the sociopath and figured that if he wanted to share himself with me he could, if not, that’s okay, too.

Although I expected nothing in return for all of my disclosure and sharing, I still became hurt and angered when it became increasingly clear that the sociopath was only interested in rejecting, defiling and dismissing my feelings, my opinions and my worth. Every chance he got.

My hurt and anger at what I perceived to be his change of heart and disinterest in me as a person turned into self-destructive behavior and crazy-making. Now I understand that trying to keep a sociopath in your life is never worth losing your dignity and self-respect. Never. But I allowed his treatment of me to affect me this way. I allowed myself to become invested in a person who I shouldn’t have been invested in.

It’s human nature to desire people to like us, and when someone doesn’t like us or seems to suddenly stop liking us, we want to know why and try to make them like us.

The sociopath fools you by making you think he likes you as soon as you meet him. You become invested in him emotionally and instantly. After all, he seems so interested and concerned and caring, doesn’t he?

But then suddenly, as if you were thrust into a parallel universe, the sociopath starts treating you as if he doesn’t like you and as if you don’t really matter after all. This leaves you confused, and you flail and try to figure out what you did to make him stop liking you.

You might even threaten to leave him.

It’s a no-win battle. No matter how many times the sociopath claims, “I love you. I’m sorry. I’ll change. You’re the love of my life. I’ll die if you leave me,” he’ll continue to degrade you with every opportunity.

You must set boundaries.

Boundaries help you say no to people (like the sociopath) who don’t align with your values. Boundaries keep you healthy, honest and true to your core. Setting and using boundaries is a mindful and beneficial practice.

When with the sociopath, you either need to use your forgotten boundaries or find the strength to create new boundaries.

You must not be so forgiving of the sociopath. Boundaries will help you put yourself first. You must be smarter and more aware of yourself and stop worrying about hurting the sociopath, because after all, the only thing the sociopath is capable of doing with any great success is hurting YOU!

They are masters at inflicting pain.

You should leave. You can leave. You will leave. You do leave.

You don’t have to take it anymore. You utilized your boundaries.

And once outside of the relationship and armed with a full understanding of what struck you, the hardest part is letting go of your need to keep “your” sociopath from hurting anyone else. You must realize that you can’t prevent the inevitable. The sociopath’s harm is inevitable. It can’t be stopped.

Your boundaries are limited. Your boundaries can’t save anyone else but yourself. That’s okay. It’s got to be okay.

You’re safe now. The sociopath is on the other side. The outside. He can no longer hurt you or your family or your friends and all those people you love and deserve your love.

You’re free.

I keep this page going and my blog fresh because I want to help people avoid the prolonged confusion I felt trying to make sense of the mess I found myself in emotionally and spiritually during and immediately after escaping.

I want others to learn from my mistake and to understand the importance of setting healthy boundaries in order to preserve their integrity and worth.

Strong, healthy boundaries can help you avoid being exploited.

I do not wish for anyone to endure the pain and confusion I endured trying to figure out the “other” species living among us that hurts and harms with impunity.

Namaste! ~Paula

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/9007267977441132/)

Category:
abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Lessons, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 39 Comments

  1. P.s.Ive noticed they are highly intelligent and successful and often alcoholic/ promiscuous.

    The lying is amazing, caught both out.One ex lied stupidly, ie.university he went to when I met him,upped it to a much better one when heard mine,saw truth on Facebook, bizarre.You think how insecure, but will be more careful in future.I opened up too much too.But fought a good battle.I’m unbelievably attracted to these men their sexual charisma is through the roof lets be honest, everyone fancies them, but we must be strong and walk away while we still have energy to do so.Its interesting you talk of them vampiring our positive light, that’s exactly it.I feel drained and exhilarated by them on alternate days.They do hunt weak spots like blood.

    Strangely however I have had good advice from one ex.They are great problem solvers.You can see why they do so well in their careers.

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    • Hehe! Yes, they can be exciting, but so can all those other attractive men who are each equipped with a conscience. You give these fools a little too much credit in the fun and fabulous department. I simply can’t give any person who inevitably brings harm to those who cross his path any type of kudos. It’s like trying to find redeeming qualities in a pile of dog shit. I guess if you step in it, no one will bother you. And I guess that’s a good thing if you don’t want to be bothered. Come to think of it, that’s exactly what happens when we align ourselves with a sociopath. It’s like stepping in dog shit. 🙂

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  2. For obvious reasons Ive used a fake name, but Paula enjoyed reading your blog.I sadly have come across 2 of these men and seen friends involved looking back.The charisma and charm and creativity they use is toxic and powerful and difficult to resist.If they’re good looking too they get away with even more chaos.

    The oddest part is even after you’ve left them its difficult to forget them, they burrow into your psyche like devilish worms.Fascinating characters for a novel , I could write an excellent Machiavellian character.Life is less exciting without them,less passionate but as you say it’s all lies like a Venus fly trap to suck you into their insane dark world of abuse, power play and manipulation.I’ve highly irritated both of mine which amuses me looking back as I am a complex mix of weak and strong. Submissive and dominant but dominant came out in the end and I escaped.They hate it when they percieve you have won/one upped them!Hilarious.I did it twice by accident;) Moved in with friend of one ex after it was over and rejected a Booty Call from another after he ‘disappeared’ for 6 months.Control technique Im sure.Its interesting once you tap into their alien way of thinking so different to ours.I feel sorry for them they lead such shallow existences.

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  3. Gaslighting /// whoooa!!! Speechless! 😱

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  4. Awesome line …”They are masters at inflicting pain.” It can be easy to live in the illusion that sociopaths are not as bad as they seem, or they don’t mean their behaviors, etc. etc. This one line really captures the driving dynamic of these individuals.

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  5. Paula, do you have time to give me the Cliff’s Notes version of “Gas Lighting”. I’ve Google it, but I need someone to dumb it down for me as I don’t really understand the term. If you prefer to email it off line, I can read it from my iPhone. 🙂

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  6. I so understand what you have been through, and therefore I’m sending you a huge hug!
    Great article, Paula ….Hugs Paula xxx

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  7. Wonderful, wonderful!! I just keep learning so much from you!! The person I have finally extracted from my life keeps trying to make contact …..but, I have learned..and am still learning that I don’t owe him anything. Yes, we all make choices…sometimes bad ones….I wish I could turn the clock back and never allow this person a foot hold in my life.For the most part I am doing good…some days though..I hear his voice and his words in my head telling me how awful I am..among other things..and I have to stop and say..NO!!! Out loud…that’s when I get on here and read…and read…and read some more…Thank you for such teachings…and helping me realize I am not the crazy person I was thinking and being told I was! Since this has been over…I have learned of even more lies and betrayals….including his lying to get on 100% disability from the government….but..that’s not my problem…HE’S NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE!! Thank you..and I wish you continued success with these blogs!! 🙂

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    • I always like when you pop up unexpectedly, Faye. I’m glad to hear you are staying strong and know that you are none of those harsh things that person says you are. You are amazing! 🙂

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    • :-)…..I would like to apologize for a post I left recently on another blog….to Stella…..once I posted it…I never did see her post to me…maybe it was sent privately??? I know I received a notification of her post..I read it and replied…never knowing it wasn’t on here…I am sorry…Had I known I would not have even responded to it…So I am sorry….Anyway, have a really great day! And a gain, Thank you for all you do! ❤ P.S. If there is some way to post privately…could I ask how?? 🙂

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    • You can send me a private comment through the Contact Me link at the top of my blog. 🙂

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  8. I truly, truly enjoy reading your blog. I have been incessantly reading everything I can get my hands on about sociopathy/psychopathy, ect.

    There are so many obstacles in life to go through, and although every adult learns, relationships are complicated and hard to navigate a lot of the time. The one thing I realize through your blog is that having to live with a person with a social disorder is by far harder to work through than the average relationship. After reading about the similarities of post-traumatic stress syndrome with a person coming out of a sociopathic relationship—-it is interesting to note how fragile our inner selves are. We may be strong persons, but we can be broken down as well.

    I am so glad you have this blog—-for you to cope and that you share this information out there. I am most positive this helps others who have had similar dealings.

    Thank you for this. ; )

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    • Thank you, tbrando, for your thoughtful words. This blog has definitely helped me find hope and connections. I started it not thinking others would relate, but much to my surprise, too many related. Relationships ARE difficult. They require work. But a pathological love relationship can’t last on a healthy plain, even with a lot of work. The pathological relationship, if prolonged, becomes a one-sided affair where one loses themselves…completely! I lost myself, but I found me again. I want others to also. 🙂

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    • Please keep this blog going. It is helping others—much more than you realize. It has helped me on so many levels—and I will continue reading it. ; ) Thank you for sharing your story—and, I am glad you survived through the hell-hole relationship you were in. You could have lost yourself completely—you are lucky.

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  9. Hi Paula!

    What you are describing is a soulmate relationship and not the kindredsoul relationship everyone is looking for. Soulmates come into our lives to teach us lessons they are not meant to spend a lifetime with us. At some point we must take responsibility for our choices and accept that we stayed in such relationships because we did not love or respect ourselves enough to walk away from the start, perhaps we did not know, we didn’t have the strength to do so and that is what that person came to teach us. Once we walk away the lesson is complete and we must let go and move on to the next experience.

    Every soul has lessons to learn. We cannot save them or prevent them from making their own choices. The best thing that we can do is figure out how to be happy ourselves and find the kind of love that we deserve. Once we do that we can inspire others to do the same. But as long as we continue to hold onto what no longer serves us we will remain stuck denying ourselves of the happy future we do deserve.

    We will not come upon the new open doors destined for us as long as we continue to open a door that has already been closed for us. You may not be ready to walk away from this yet, but just give it a thought. You should be thinking about how much you have grown. How different your life is now, your dreams your future.

    God bless you!
    Mayra

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    • Thank you, Mayra! Yes, my life is very different now and how I perceive others is, too. I definitely feel more free to explore the world and also feel that I have something genuine to offer others. There is a need within me to share my experiences. Putting this away, this blog, I feel that coming, too. Not that I’ve exhausted all I have to share but that I’ve got too many other exciting stuff happening in my life. That day is fast-approaching. I can feel it because I feel myself not wanting to let go for fear it is too soon. But what am I losing? As far as my blog, nothing. But as far as the connections I’ve made with others, a huge part of my heart. I had this very conversation with a trusted friend today. To end my blog means ending relationships and thats a tough decision to make but a necessary one. But you already know that. 😉

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  10. How is it you can capture how I feel? Hmm? Awesome post!! Thank you!!

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