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When trying to understand a sociopath and how a sociopath will react to you and any attempts you make to seek justice or revenge, you MUST remember two very important facts:

1. Sociopaths are not connected intimately to a spiritual core.

2. Sociopath’s are unable to empathize or be guided by a conscience.

Why are these facts important to remember?

As empathic and spiritual people, we react to life and loss with feelings and deep emotions:

>> We wonder how what we did today will affect us negatively or positively in the future.

>> We consider how our choices will impact others in negative or positive ways.

>> We worry about the possibility of making the wrong choices in life that could potentially cause harm to ourselves and others.

>> More importantly, our conscience reminds us that our existence, choices and actions affect others and that we must be careful and thoughtful in our decision-making processes or else hurt another unintentionally.

The last thing we ever want to be accused of is hurting another person, right? It stings deep through to our core when we discover we’ve been careless with another’s heart and trust.

A Sociopath doesn’t have that conscience, that little voice warning him/her that what s/he is about to do could hurt someone. And the sociopath certainly doesn’t have that little voice that makes him/her feel guilty for hurting you once you express to him/her that s/he hurt you!

So a conscience doesn’t just work in one direction. It’s cyclical and holistic and surrounds our core. It protects us and others from potential harm, because it keeps us ever-mindful of the importance of using care in making decisions involving ourselves and other living creatures.

But sometimes we ignore our conscience. Sometimes, in the case of being spiritually, physically and emotionally abused by another, our conscience malfunctions and we are instead guided by our anger and deep need to seek revenge and justice.

Is it the trauma effects that take over, clouding our judgement, our conscience and our ability to rationalize? More than likely, yes.

So the moment you feel the need to see the sociopath suffer in ways you have never wished another to suffer, that is your cue that you’ve been victimized/traumatized and you need the help of a licensed professional to guide you back to your conscience.

You cannot and should not act without your conscience being fully active, responsive and healthy.

Otherwise, you react in revenge mode, and you do not want to seek revenge on the sociopath; it will back fire.

The sociopath isn’t afraid of you and your emotions, because the sociopath has no emotional fears or connections, remember? A conscience provides us with those fears, and sociopaths do not have a conscience!

Without a conscience, the sociopath uses your emotions to control you further. (People with a healthy and active conscience just wouldn’t think to do such a thing. Instead, we’d recognize that person’s pain and seek to understand it and help relieve it, not exacerbate it!)

If you start throwing hateful accusations and names at the sociopath (like calling him a “sociopath”), the sociopath recognizes that your conscience is out to lunch, rendering you weak.

When your conscience is out to lunch, you open the door to the sociopath who will effortlessly turn your efforts to destroy him emotionally right back at you!

You bypassed your conscience. When you bypass your conscience, you are an easy target, and you will suffer every single time.

And the sociopath certainly isn’t afraid to hurt you. The sociopath will find joy in watching you collapse. The sociopath feeds off of your emotional weakness.

Therefore, we only end up hurting ourselves when we seek to hurt the sociopath, because the sociopath is spiritually empty. Nothing at the spiritual or emotional level affects or harms the sociopath.

So what should you do? How do you deal with never getting justice for all of the injustices inflicted upon you by the sociopath?

I believe you should always be true to your conscience. Always seek the path of least resistance when dealing with a sociopath in family and divorce court. Always approach negotiations in a reasonable, thoughtful and caring way.

Act as your conscience dictates, not in absence of your conscience.

Otherwise, no judge or mediator will understand or even care about your emotional claims of abuse and turmoil.

Once you enter a court of law, everything becomes black and white. How do you begin to explain the varying shades of abusers you experienced when you can’t measure or prove the abuse took place?

And don’t expect the courts to take you on your word when you make claims of being abused by the sociopath. The courts can only go on what they see and hear before them.

If you’re in the courtroom resisting and crying and spewing hate in the direction of the sociopath while the sociopath just stands there without reacting to you emotionally, that’s what the court will see.

And what is it that the court sees? How does the court interpret this behavior?

The court sees a hateful and verbally abusive person (YOU) who isn’t using care to express his/herself. The court sees a person acting without a conscience and without remorse for the consequences of his/her accusations. In stark contrast, the court see the emotionally empty sociopath as a controlled and reasonable person.

Who do you suspect the court will rule in favor of?

I realize this doesn’t seem fair, and it isn’t fair. Your life was ambushed by a conscienceless piece of trash who tried to strip you of your conscience.

And the sociopath nearly succeeded.

But instead of abandoning your conscience and getting angrier and angrier at the sociopath’s lack of a conscience and an ability to be a decent human being, imagine how unfair it would be not to have the gift of empathy and a conscience.

>> Imagine not caring if you harmed yourself or others.

>> Imagine how empty you would feel if your mind was only capable of understanding the material world before you.

>> Imagine being absolutely unable to see into your soul and into the infinite possibilities of a spiritual life filled with love, peace and joy?

That’s not living. If I recall correctly from my time in hell with the sociopath, that was dying.

(And Sociopaths don’t even know they’re dead. We should keep that our secret, huh?)

Never abandon your conscience and never seek revenge or wish harm to befall the sociopath. (After all, zombies and dead stuff cant feel pain, so why bother.)

Instead, focus on rebuilding your conscience and employing it to find peace and grow love as it was intended.

Namaste!
~Paula

© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications

(Image source: http://arkthefury.deviantart.com/art/guilty-conscience-183143181)

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Join the conversation! 30 Comments

  1. Hey, I happened to find this while browsing and I want to say one thing. I don’t mean to be offensive but his bothers me a little. Being a sociopah doesn’t necessarily mean that we ‘enjoy’ seeing people crushed. In fact, most people try to avoid doing so. Obvious not because we feel bad but because it would kinda ruin our reputation and etc. But anyways, just because we don’t feel empathy does not mean we feed off others pain. That’s a common misconception that I find irritating. It puts us in a bad light.we’re not these ‘horrible people’ you may find a few who are but unless you have something we specifically want, we really don’t care. And we might even have befriended you because we enjoy your company. Not like love, obviously, but like a movie or a good videogame people can be quite funny, interesting, and entertaining. So don’t assume that all sociopaths are evil. Some of us are just doing what we can to survive.

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    • And what if we do have something ‘you’ (not specifically calling out YOU, of course) want? I know a sociopath who emotionally manipulated and abused me because she wanted attention (including sexual attention) from my boyfriend. She effectively broke us up – then proceeded to manipulate and abuse him! While she would be begging him to visit, she’d be laughing along with me because he COULDN’T manage to. She then used my anger to make him feel like a shitty person. I can understand she (maybe) didn’t do it specifically to hurt me, or him, but she obviously found it entertaining, what with her manipulating him by being sexually promiscuous and sending him underaged nudes.
      If I’m correct, a portion of sociopaths have suffered extreme child abuse? From what I can infer from that, they’re too busy being afraid for themselves to worry about others – which is quite understandable, but it accounts for their lack of empathy and in turn they tend to abuse the people they cohabit with. Because of this, you must understand that it is VERY HARD TO SYMPATHIZE with a sociopath. Sorry, but it’s hard to /not/ see her as a monster after she made me feel worthless for months on end, and took away someone who meant so much to me only to use him for ‘what he was worth’. Which, well, I guess people tend to search for the worth they don’t have themselves.
      Not all sociopaths are horrible people, no. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that my experience with one was traumatizing and has given me extreme trust issues.

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  2. I have been a victim of a sociopath (my sister). Don’t let a sociopath make you their target! They hate you and want your life destroyed. I hope these words from Saint Teresa help all the victims out there. ” In the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them.”

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  3. i totally love this post!! my husband was married to his ex wife who is a sociopath for almost 7 years. she really took us to the cleaners at first and accused my husband of some awful things. we were eventually able to best her in court and he walked away with everything, including sole custody of his 2 kids, with only receiving limited and supervised contact. it has been this way for about 4 years now. it is so sad because instead of owning up to anything that she did to throw her kids under the bus (so many things that she did, it would take up too much space to say) and ruin any shot she could ever have at getting any real visitation with her children, she continues to this day to see what she can manipulate out of us. she is always looking for the place to stab the knife, or the chink in the armor so to speak. if she is being nice, watch out. no conscience whatsoever. over the years i have learned not even to say anything her anymore because i truly know that it goes no where. she is empty and there is no conscience to be found. i have to remind myself that she doesn’t think like we do, and there is no real “love” so telling her what she has done to her kids will never do any good. it has taken me years to learn this. thanks for the post!!!

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  4. I didn’t live with a sociopath, but my husband fell in love with one which caused our family to break up. She broke up her family too. I never heard her officially diagnosed as a sociopath, but the symptoms were there. One of her own children resorted to “cutting” and an eating disorder to cope with the horrible mom they had. So this sociopath got my husband to move out while she was telling her husband she wanted to work on their marriage. This woman (NJ) was as nasty and as vile toward me as she could be, and it was completely unjustified. At that time this all began I didn’t realize how twisted she was. Over the course of 10+ she was all sorts of hateful and accusatory and full of the most evil lies and stories. It hurt so bad to see my ex husband take this on and become like her. Neither one cared if the kids were hurt,,,,it was like they just wanted to see me suffer and they DID enjoy it. Here’s one example: My parents died when I was young. I had kept photo albums and momentos of them thru my adult life. My husband was in the military when we were married and when he got out, our things were put in military storage under his name – free for the first year then we would have to pay. Well it took us more than ayear to get on our feet so we were paying for our things in storage, lots of things, pics our children being born, pics of our life growing up. When the divorce happened, he stopped paying for the storage company. I called the storage company and they said since I was the “dependent” while he was in the military, I could not take over the account unless he wrote a notarized letter doing that. So, my attorney forwarded that info to his attorney and then to him. My ex purposely refused to do the letter and said he didn’t care about it. I lost every precious photo of my family, of my childhood, and of my children being born. It still hurts to think someone would intentionally be like that. Esp when you share children together.

    I’ve often said, that woman, NJ, is the reason I will probably go to hell. I have wished every sort of nastiness on her possible. Not now I don’t, but I still can’t pretend to be ok with her. I’ve watched her life flourish and watched her get so much inheritance and benevolence, while her kids suffer and move as far away from her as they can. I do get caught up in the unfairness of it all. It seems so wrong that someone so evil can thrive and hurt others. Her daughter said she tried to get with another man and break up another family a few years ago,,but that the guy changed his mind and stayed in his marriage.

    How does one get over the feelings of unfairness?

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    • Ah…the injustice of it all. It’s the injustice that causes us to react with such bitterness and hate. It’s one thing to be abused; the lack of justice magnifies that abuse by 10+!

      It takes a lot of processing and understanding before we get to the place where we can calmly accept the absence of justice. It takes a very long time. But we must. Otherwise, we become consumed by the need to seek revenge and to be redeemed. The beauty of acceptance is that once we free ourselves of all the hatred and disgust, the inner justice reaches our soul.

      My son and I will never receive an apology or any form of traditional justice. However, telling my story and sharing and helping others share their stories is justice. Being that person who doesn’t judge another victim/survivor and believes them when they explain what happened to them is giving them justice. We provide it to each other with validation, support, and care.

      Moving forward, we must refuse to allow sociopath abuse and behavior to go unnoticed. If someone treats me or my family or friends with disrespect or hatefulness, I let that person know how I feel about them. Informing that person is justice to me. Others may see it as judgment, but those of us here know that calling out abusive behavior isn’t judgment; it’s stating facts and truths.

      Do I feel a rush of hate on occasion? Of course! I’m no monk living in an ashram or cave somewhere. And I can’t erase the reality of my past and the lasting marks those memories leave to linger and float around in my subconscious only to emerge due to some outside reminder. It happens. But when it does, I think of the people who love me and whom I love. My body, mind, and spirit deserve better than the hate the sociopath spew in my direction with the intention of destroying me the way his hate has destroyed his own life.

      Material possessions do not make a person. It’s what’s inside of a person that makes a person rich.

      Namaste! 🙂

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  5. I have lived with one for seven and a half years, married for the last four years. I have thrown
    him out of my life finally. Tolerated lies, deception, infidelity, all kinds of abuse….. He put pills in my tea causing miscarriage of my pregnancy… Our own baby….. I forgave him for that. It was my mistake to take him back as he became bolder. I am sadder but wiser without him now.

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  6. I wish I had read this a year ago when my ex got so under my skin that I snapped and tried to make him suffer as much as I was. I tried to tell the people I knew he cared about most and was hiding his sick behaviors and lies. I wanted them to be as mad at and disgusted by him as I was so he was left all alone like he had done to me. I can’t believe I had those thoughts and acted on them. I am so ashamed. Less about trying to hurt him because I’ve learned now that nothing will hurt him but I feel so guilty and ashamed about hurting his innocent loved ones. And despite all of the horrible things he did to me and never once apologized or showed empathy to my suffering he had the nerve to tell me that I was unhealthy and there will never ever be contact between us again. It shattered me. I just can’t believe that he got the last word and thinks that I am the crazy unhealthy one and the reason that we ended. I embarrassingly still miss him and want him to contact me and apologize and acknowledge that my bad behavior was not acceptable but understandable given all he did to me. It is true that hurt people hurt people, right? And people who do bad things are not bad people, right? I just need help to release my guilt about hurting innocent others in order to harm him. That’s just not the kind of person who I am.

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    • Elena, Yes, Hurt people do hurt people, especially when we are confused and betrayed. Although your reactions to his treatment of you were very normal considering the impact trauma has on our ability to analyze and digest that which makes zero sense, you can’t take it back and you must realize he will never understand why you reacted as you did because he simply does not care. He is unable to self-reflect, be accountable, be remorseful or admit to any wrong actions. In his eyes, he is perfectly justified in his behavior because YOU hurt HIM! How did you hurt him? By not conforming and agreeing blindly to being controlled, manipulated and used. You are crazy only because you are out of his control. But the more you allow the lack of an apology to unhinge you, the more he remains in control of you emotionally. It’s the emotional control and attachment you must learn to release and let go. Some of us do it through writing or sharing in a group and feeling like we’re no longer alone. True understanding from those who have experienced similar mental manipulations in romantic relationships has a powerful and empowering effect and boosts our energy and desire to reach a place of acceptance. You are a good person and you were pushed to act in a manner that repulsed you. Don’t keep shaming and blaming yourself for having a completely normal reaction to the senseless behavior of your ex. You are more than those moments of anger and hate. Your heart is filled with love and not hate. You matter. Everything you felt and moved through has been valid and necessary.

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    • Thank you Paula for this reply. It have me great comfort. I am struggling so terribly over letting him rob me of my conscience too. I already let him shatter my self-esteem, confidence, dignity, respect, … and then I also let him turn me temporarily into him to some degree. From what I read here, the main difference though is that when I was trying to seek justice and revenge, I was sick to my stomach and mortified that I was unable to stop myself from trying to emotionally hurt others in an effort to punish him for all he had done to me. Who does that? Maybe a person with no conscience or empathy but definitely NOT me! I knew it was wrong but I felt like I lost control of myself, like it was the only way to feel a little bit better about all of the suffering and pain I had been and still was going through due to all of his lies and manipulation and taking advantage of me.
      So here I am now aching so much and I can’t even determine why anymore … I do know that I hate thinking about how he views me now and that he has a valid reason to call me crazy and unhealthy due to this one incident when I am genuinely NOT crazy or unhealthy. I am an incredibly good and loving and kind person who just lost it due to the abuse, which I didn’t even know was abuse at the time.
      I appreciate all that you wrote in response to my previous post and have been reading it over and over so I’m not sure there is more for you to say but I am grasping for anything at the moment to help me stop hurting and blaming and shaming myself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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    • I know I totally understand. Currently I am obsessed with revenge. It’s funny how the sociopath makes us crazy. Then to make it worse we are stuck with the guilt. I don’t know how to make it better but I believe you deserve peace.

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  7. Exactly! Great post!

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  8. Paula…this is a question that has been baffling me and maybe you could write about…I’ve read that many women lose their jobs while living with/married/dating a spath. I was at the same job 11 years as a nurse…granted..I have multiple sclerosis…I did not quit my job…I fought for my job…july 11th of this year…my job MADE me go out on short term disability. Not my neurologist,but my job. The spath I was engaged to,whom left me last week,is a very hard worker. Why is it,that I read so many women lose their jobs while with these moron’s? What is it? I must know the psychology/sociology behind this…..WHY WHY WHY? They,if they are functioning spaths,keep their jobs,and we lose ours. WHY?

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    • I have been married to a spath for 13 years. I lost my job twice. Why? Don’t even know where to start..
      I have children with him. He would not show up when was the time to pick them up or drop them off, dismiss my babysitter, leave the house just before I was going to go to work, causing me to be late, take my car keys, home phone, and my cell phone with him, not pay for anything, causing us to be without electricity and internet while I was often working remotely, send me emails with sexual content to work, call me 20 times per day, and send me 40 text messages per day.
      After that, he would stir up a fight or be physically abusive till 3 am causing me to sleep by the children’s bunk beds to at least get 2 hours.. or just leave the house for a few days without any notice – then come home and told me he prayed about our relationship and God told him that he needs to forgive me with true agape love just as Jesus forgave sinners…
      And that would be a tip of the iceberg..

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    • Very typical! Wow. I wish this weren’t such common behavior. Very righteous…over-the-top righteousness. I am so sorry you had to live this.

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  9. paula,thank you. You are so correct! Im eaten alive with guilt???? How nuts! The guy has left me countless times,he left on thanksgiving for f@@ksakes..I have multiple sclerosis…and am in no way,shape or form….debilitated with it…My job of 11 years….im a nurse that was working 30 hours…pulled the we cant USE you anymore. That was just this past July. I was such a wreck over that,I am in counceling. I did not lay on the couch…I went to ballet everyday,I got certified to teach pilates…but “My situation was bringing him down” as though,him snorting Percocet was sweeping the nation. And he even went so far,to tell me I am the reason he got into snorting Percocet! I don’t take pain meds. His family is even happy he is away from me. I don’t get it? I mean,I get it…but I don’t get how it affects me,and not him! its fascinatingly sickening. The guy knew my “situation” with work. He saw me fight to work. He knew I was not lazy. He saw me daily say “I just want to work” He gave me credit for nothing. He gave a flea more credit!

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    • All that energy you’re spending on feeling guilty could be spent on something much more joyful and productive. You feel guilt because you thought what you said hurt him, pushing him to walk away. No way! That’s not why he walked away! He would have walked away even if you had said you thought he was God. You could have been absolutely perfect in everything you said or did and he still would have found something he could criticize. Give yourself credit. Who cares if some loser couldn’t see past his own ego and into a world he could have shared with you. Co-existence is a foreign idea to the selfish sociopath. 🙂

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  10. Great blog post, Paula!

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  11. Thank you Paula. Your blog is so helpful. I wonder though, when the sociopath or the person who went out of their way to destroy others lives, does get their come-up-ence, is it okay then to be a little happy? Cause I have done my very very best to detach. I know that I can expect only evil and cruelty from him. I have gone through a very difficult legal battle. I have watched and continue to watch this man manipulate my children and lie and try very hard to pull them away from me and turn them against me. I maintain the high road, if there is a such a thing, I only tell the truth and I talk very kindly and respectfully of their father. But things are beginning to get rough for this person. He is spreading himself very thin. It is one thing to be able to hurt one person, but to be a puppet master weaving all kinds of things together and keeping a very complicated facade alive, a person gets tired. A person eventually has to say that it is not worth it. And my sociopath is just not that smart. It will crumble. The children will see, and are seeing him, for his true colors. Is it terrible to rejoice in this moment?

    I am not invested in doing things that are full of revenge or spending any energy manipulating to get even. I spend all my energy just trying to function and do the right thing. I make mistakes and I take responsibility. But when I see things falling apart for him, I am very pleased.

    I was surprised the other day and this is when I knew that I was still “me”. I was in a situation where he was considered to be a bit of a laughing stock. No one around but me and my attorney. And we were laughing, but I instantly felt immense sympathy and shame. I instantly felt badly for this man who has caused more pain on purpose than I could ever begin to share in your blog. Yet I felt bad for him. People are laughing at him and he doesn’t get it. And it is very sad. And I was not proud of myself in that moment. I felt sick.

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    • Be thankful that your conscience is working. You will rejoice for a moment in his downfall (like you did with your attorney), but your compassion and empathy for humans, even for the most evil, will always win. Rejoice in the fact that you don’t find prolonged satisfaction from other people’s suffering. Only worry when you enjoy it too much and their is an absence of guilt. 🙂

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    • Anonymous,
      You should absolutely rejoice! I didn’t understand for 30 years, and he IS very intelligent and really CAN manipulate many people. He did turn my children against me. I wish I had been stronger long ago and things may have turned out differently. Rejoice, not because his life is falling apart, but because that fact just might save you and your children from a life of heartache and turmoil.
      I’m happy for you.
      Signed,
      Stronger now somewhere in Canada.

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  12. There have been many times that I have wanted to hire a hit man to get him out of my life and give me some peace. I truly would have done it if I thought I could get away with it but I didn’t want my children to lose 2 parents at once.

    I suspect that had I been able to have him killed I would have felt the guilt you are talking about and my conscience would have tortured me forever.

    Very tempting though to think that if you could only get rid of them it would all be better. I know now that isn’t true.!

    I think we all need to get this information out there – the internet is a powerful thing and there are thousands of us blogging about similar things. Narcissist, Sociopath – whatever personality disorder it is, the behaviours are often similar and the effect on the victim the same.

    FT

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    • Absolutely! There is never such a thing as having too many outlets for awareness. The more blogs that share, the more people we touch and can begin to heal. 🙂

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  13. the part where you talk about calling them a sociopath….I did that,and I feel immense guilt. I feel I drove him away,for calling him a sociopath,after realizing he was one. I hate this guilt. I want it gone. We were engaged for 4 years….My 1st time ever…..he has left so many times,its sick….this last time,he left on thanksgiving…he changed his address before he even announced he was moving out….This guilt is getting to me. Why is it so important,when a sociopath leaves you…..to get rid of YOUR guilt,and not theirs?

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    • Because a sociopath makes you feel incredibly ashamed. Feeling that degree of shame and guilt is our biggest fear. Sociopaths are sure to stick it to us. But the irony is that people who love us would not want us to suffer from such immense shame and guilt even if we do misspeak or do something careless. You were fooled to think the sociopath cared about you; ironically, it’s his ability to make you feel so shameful and guilty that speaks to the fact he NEVER cared. Does that make sense?

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    • You simply have to come to the enlightened conclusion within your heart that what you did (you called him a sociopath; big deal in the grand scheme of things you could have done or said) wasn’t deserving of being thrown away like a banana peel. The statement didn’t hurt him nor did it make him change his mind about how he felt about you. The only thing it changed was his realization that you are no longer someone he can manipulate and fool. Unfortunately, his last power move (walking out and dropping all contact with no REAL reason) has left you under his control through the guilt you feel. Release the guilt, and you’ll release yourself from his influence forever. 🙂

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  14. how true! thanks
    I shared this

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    • Thanks, Gert. It’s one that we can easily lose sight of if we get too immersed in our anger and frustrations we have surrounding the sociopath in our life. 🙂

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