I hated being in public with the sociopath, especially around the holidays. Not only did he insist on controlling me, he insisted on behaving in ways that pushed people away…from both of us.
He was always so sweet and charming to the very people he repeatedly talked negatively about in private.
And he talked shit about EVERYONE in private:
His mother, his brother, his sister in-law, my sisters, my friends, his friends and even their pets!
No one was off limits or safe from the sociopath’s miserable judgements.
But few people got sucked in by his fake and charming demeanor when we got together for holiday parties with friends and/or family.
(I still get pissed at myself for tolerating his ability to be the biggest asshole in any room. I thought he was JUST insecure. I felt sorry for the cad.)
My sisters certainly did not see him as charming, funny or even attractive for that matter. They tolerated him, because they loved me. My mother was the only one who tried to be friendly, but even her patience failed eventually.
And most everyone in his so-called inner circle seemed like they just tolerated his presence. I picked up on this quickly.
He never attracted people’s energy; he seemed to detract their energy. No one ever seemed to give a shit if he showed up to their parties or not.
And why should they have cared? He was either talking about himself or trying to isolate me somewhere in the corner of the room.
And if he felt like our conversation wasn’t properly engaging me, he would physically smother me. Always needing me to sit next to him (or on his lap), to hold his hand, to kiss him and to only have my eyes on him!
His behavior and neediness frustrated me. It was maddening and tiresome.
I am a social person. I didn’t like alienating people due to his extreme need to overwhelm me with PDA.
Why go out if your hell-bent on ignoring the party host, your so-called friends and your family. Doesn’t it make better sense to stay home if you’re not interested in being social with anyone other than your significant other?
(Yeah. That’s a no-brainier, right?)
So I always, always tried to break away from his clutches at family gatherings and parties. But being bold and independent only caused the sociopath to react with more troubling anti-social behavior:
At my family parties, he would go off and pout.
(Yes, pout. Male or female, drama drives the sociopath.)
Imagine a grown man of 35 walking up to a grandmother (my mother) and saying, “Why doesn’t she love me? I love her soooo much, and she just ignores me.”
My mother’s favorite retort, “Are you for real?!?”
If the sociopath expected to be coddled and for me to be reprimanded by my mother for not giving him my undivided attention, he was sorely mistaken. My family obviously knew and respected my nature much better than the sociopath, the same man who claimed to know me better than anyone because he was my soul mate.
(Pfft! Vomit. Don’t fall for that line, Ladies and Gentlemen. Do not fall for it!)
Eventually, him tugging on me and interrupting me mid-sentence while talking to a cousin or aunt pushed me to take him aside.
(Exactly like a mother would take her impish child aside to knock sense into him.)
I would walk him back to a private room closed off from the general bustle of the party. Initially, he would think I was doing it to get frisky. (You know, to have sex.) But once the door was shut behind us, I’d explain to him how his behavior was spoiling everyone’s good time.
But guess who left the room feeling guilty?
Although I knew his behavior was childlike and selfish and immature, I was somehow shamed into thinking I was being hateful and insensitive:
“You know I’m not used to being around large families like yours. I just want to feel needed and loved. I just love you so much, and you don’t seem to care how I’m feeling. This is your family. This is where you feel comfortable. Just give me more time. I need time to feel more a part of everything.”
And I’d fall for it. I’d fall for one of his biggest lies and deceptions:
“I’m interested in loving your family as much as I love you.”
(Lies! We know that love is not something sociopaths know or understand like the rest of us. Loving my family comes naturally if you love me. No need to feel excluded. Me inviting you to my family holiday should be a sign that you’re already included. There are no tests to pass. You’re in!)
The pouting and pity party occurred repeatedly, because the sociopath didn’t want to share my attention. He was selfish and callous. That’s not love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
“It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications.
(Image source: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20331806,00.html)