Many of us were pushed by the sociopath into believing we were the one with the serious mental defect. The sociopath would go as far as telling us that we were bi-polar or suffered from borderline personality disorder.
The boy in my story went as far as visiting a counselor, not to figure out himself, but to figure out ME! Here is an actual excerpt from an e-mail the boy sent to me after I left the relationship the second time:
“When was the last time someone went to therapy in order to better understand you, what is happening to you? When is the last time someone in your life went to therapy to Better understand depression and alcoholism to better understand you? Paula, why would anyone want a relationship with someone that has said the things you have? Done the things you have done? Love? Because I want to be in your life? Help you in all this? Be a friend to lean on?”
Keep in mind that this message came to me after I had left the relationship…for the second time…and had not asked for his help on my way out.
Like most sociopaths, the boy was a King at pointing out all of my failings and weakness (some justly so), but most of his finger-pointing tantrums were cowardice displays of his own projections and insecurities.
Not once did I begin arguments by calling him names, telling him he was a loser, telling him he needed counseling or telling him he was not a good person.
All I ever asked from him (and justly deserved) was for my feelings and opinions to be fully considered, not just brushed aside as the ramblings of some “mentally ill” woman who was confused, as he liked to call me.
I am convinced that only someone who is disordered and without a conscience or ability to empathize could ever project so much onto a supposed ‘loved one’ as to accuse that ‘loved one’ of being disordered.
Accusing us of being disordered is how the sociopath continues to successfully deflect his/her blame and accountability for the relationship’s high toxicity levels.
The sociopath repeats to him/herself:
“If I can prove to her that she’s sick, I can prove my actions are justified and were only taken to help her come to her senses. My senses are completely and utterly intact and 100% healthy. I do not need to change a thing about myself. She’s the one with the issues. I can convince her of that. Just watch me!”
And in partial defense of the sociopath, I believe we absolutely and without question appear bi-polar or borderline to the sociopath.
The sociopath is a victim, a victim of our desire to remain free and independent in our thoughts and actions.
The sociopath expects us to be his/her puppet, and when we refuse to be manipulated, we are viewed as out-of-control and sick.
We do not think as the sociopath wants us to think so the sociopath concludes: “She MUST be crazy!!”
But there was/is nothing crazy or disordered about us. Most of us never stepped foot into a counselor’s office prior to our dalliances with a sociopath. Before these fools entered our lives, the majority of us had manageable issues. Issues, yes. But relatively minor ones.
The sociopath interpreted us as behaving out-of-control and crazy-like when we were simply reacting normally to the prospect of being caged and enslaved by the sociopath.
Who doesn’t react with passion, emotions, refusal and legs kicking when being pushed, shackled and dragged down a rabbit hole?
Sociopaths can not be bothered with the unpredictability of another’s independence. It’s too messy and complicated for them, and it interferes with their free will and plans.
We must be contained…somehow.
One way is by the sociopath proving to us that we are ill and that the sociopath is the only person who can save us from ourselves. Once convinced, we lose our independence and rely on the sociopath to fix us.
And what does fixing us look like?
>> Punishing us for having independent thoughts.
>> Alienating us from our friends and family.
>> Hospitalizing us or calling the police on us for our “uncontrollable” outbursts.
>> Secretly calling our mothers/fathers/best friends and feigning concern.
>> Secretly calling our counselors or sponsors to “tell on us” or make sure we’re remaining in line.
>> Shaming and belittling us so we lose total and complete confidence to act independent of the sociopath.
>> Sabotaging even small independent efforts by refusing to relinquish control.
This type of “fixing” sends us into a deeper pit of despair and cognitive dissonance. We lose sight of ourselves. Become more depressed. Seek ways to self-medicate. Hide our real issues until those issues are bigger issues, bigger than elephants that could ever possibly find a corner in which to hide!
Suddenly, we find ourselves in real need of anti-depressants, hospitalization and interventions.
Suddenly we find ourselves saying, “OMG!!! The sociopath was right all along. I am crazy. I do need help. Thank goodness he was here to inform me. Thank goodness!”
Unbeknownst to you and at your lowest low, you fail to realize that all of the parts of yourself you sacrificed and shared with the sociopath, the sociopath exploited and used against you to lead you down the dark path you now find yourself. The path of complete dependence and complete despair.
And what happens in the moment that you find yourself in need of real help? The sociopath no longer wants to help you. You are nothing to the sociopath. You’re useless, used up and disposable. The sociopath wonders why he ever bothered caring about you in the first place. What a waste you became!
The sociopath’s only option is to toss you aside, refuse to acknowledge he ever had any type of association with you and to go off and discover someone else to be his host.
You truly become dead to him despite all you sacrificed and gave. The sociopath will even delete/burn/discard all remnants of your pathetic existence from his life, so the next host/victim/supply knows nothing of who you once were.
With each new partner, the sociopath’s slate is magically and effortlessly wiped clean. The next victim becomes the soul mate/the one like no one else the sociopath has ever met.
And the grooming begins. The charm is reset. The chameleon once again adapts and changes to match and mirror the lifestyle of his new target. And there will be the temporary envy from those in the sociopath’s new circle.
(But only temporarily. The rabbit hole follows alongside the sociopath, waiting quietly and patiently.)
Soon enough, the new victim will voice an opinion counter to the sociopath’s and the gaslighting and manipulation will commence.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
And the new victim will find herself torn between understanding what she had grown to believe about herself and her values and what the sociopath projects as being the fallacy in how she perceives herself and those values.
She’ll begin entrusting the sociopath with her everyday responsibilities, because the sociopath claims he wants to help her relieve artificial stress so she can focus on healing from her deep-seated issues.
(Let me tell you, this new victim is even more crazy that the last one!! Poor girl. It’s like the sociopath was born to help people or something, always finding the most sick among us to heal and help. What a saint that sociopath is!)
Out of the kindness of his heart, the sociopath allows his name to be added to her checking account, just in case deposits or payments need made and she’s not well enough to do it herself.
She’ll allow him to tell her what she should or shouldn’t be eating or where and when or how much exercise she should be doing.
She’ll add him to her emergency contact list and HIPAA release with her doctors and counselors.
(The sociopath does not deserve this much power and control over anyone’s life, but it’s given up freely!)
The sociopath is a con artist that continues to magnify his new victim’s known weaknesses by inflating her microscopic foibles, convincing her that she is one big messed up mass of humanity and only the sociopath understands, only the sociopath has the tools to fix her!
And fix her, he sure as hell will.
The sociopath will use every detail about her health and wellness to destroy her self-love, her self-respect and her independence.
Then she’ll find herself on a page like this trying to make sense of it all.
But you know what?
No matter how much was taken from her, no matter how lost she became, and no matter that she lost all dignity and grace, she will emerge stronger, more beautiful and more in love with life than ever before!
Just as you will. Just as you have.
Don’t take my word for it. Trust in your desire and determination to not be defeated by the most despicable creature that exists: The Sociopath.
When you rise from the ashes of your sociopath experience, you will discover life has limitless possibilities and your skills are too many to count.
Cherish your skills. Nurture your skills. Share your skills.
The one skill you will use and cherish the most is your skill to remain graceful under the pressure from those pesky sociopaths and their pushy determination to convince you that you have no skills.
What a bunch of kooks those silly sociopaths are! The joke is on them, because we’re aware of the one-sided games they play, and we aren’t interested in being duped anymore. ❤
(Image source: http://megshouse.org/abuse-recovery-games-program/)