Sociopaths are parasites.
Sociopaths come in many shapes and sizes. They look like our neighbors, our bosses, our co-workers and even our best friends. They even come disguised as our soul mates. (Yikes!)
But the one thing all of these sociopaths have in common is their ability to suck us clean of every ounce of talent and goodness we have inside and then toss us on the side of the road leaving us wondering what we ever did to deserve such punishment.
Yes. We see the abuse inflicted upon us by the sociopath as punishment for something we did wrong. We committed a crime against the sociopath, and we must handle the punishment because all the sociopath ever wanted was for us to need him as much as he needed us.
In the beginning:
- We were adored by the sociopath when he first met us.
- We listened to the sociopath and his complaints of his past girlfriends, lovers, friends and even siblings.
- We were convinced that the poor, poor sociopath was misunderstood and that we would be the one who would finally make his life worth living.
- We were placed on a pedestal that was so high above all others, we couldn’t even catch our breath most of the time.
- We became convinced that the sociopath really loved us; we were the love of his life, the one, the best thing that ever happened to him.
- We got comfortable. We felt safe. We started sharing more about our dreams and passions.
Once he knew we were hooked:
- We were shamed slowly and insidiously, and our past was thrown in our faces.
- We were led to believe we weren’t good enough and shouldn’t think so highly of ourselves.
- We experienced confusion, and the pedestal slowly crumbled beneath us, putting us off balance and jolted repeatedly and endlessly.
- We failed to be patient enough when the sociopath raged and cried.
- We failed to comply when the sociopath told us we shouldn’t wear that or listen to this or watch that or be friends with him.
- We failed to act fast enough with our empathy when the sociopath was crying and injured due to what he deemed our insensitivities.
- We failed to put the sociopath first before all others.
- We failed to bury our dreams and desires in place of the sociopath’s fantasy.
Once we realized the sociopath was not as righteous as he wanted us to believe:
- We disagreed more openly with the sociopath. We spoke up.
- We did what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it without the sociopath.
- We made friends outside of the sociopath’s established inner circle.
- We talked to strangers and enjoyed talking to strangers.
- We planned more and more of our free time without considering the sociopath.
Once we started to fight for our freedom:
- We were abused, shamed and blamed more. Sometimes we were physically attacked.
- We pointed out the sociopath’s delusional thinking.
- We told the sociopath what we really thought of him.
- We got angry when the sociopath gave us the silent treatment and ignored us when we started asking questions.
Once we realized we had been completely discarded as a human by the sociopath:
- We got tired of being angry and being ignored by the sociopath, so we started telling anyone in earshot what was happening to us.
- We were pitied or even ignored.
- But we kept talking. Someone was listening.
Once we realized we were not alone:
- We helped ourselves and listened to our gut.
- We promised to love ourselves and be better than the person we were before the sociopath entered our lives.
- We worked hard to change our destructive thinking patterns.
- We ate better, began a new habit or two or three, made new friends and took long walks again…all by ourselves.
- We relearned self-love and self-respect, two things we thought we had in spades before the sociopath came into our lives.
- We learned to trust ourselves again.
- We learned to focus on our happiness and joy and not worry about the sociopath’s next victim.
- We learned that our savior is inside of us.
- We learned to love again.
What did the sociopath learn?
- The sociopath learned to sharpen his skills.
- The sociopath learned how to be more stealth, patient and charming.
- The sociopath learned how to prolong his game, so he can suck more out of his next victim(s).
Because there will always be a next one and a next one and a next one.