You feel like you’re in a good place; you’ve been making healthy changes in your lifestyle. You may have quit smoking or lost weight or landed a great new job. But doubts about your worth continue to creep into your thoughts. You second-guess yourself and even doubt the sociopath is really a sociopath and that maybe everything that happened was really you’re fault after all.
These doubts you’re experiencing are normal due to many factors, the least of which is your lack of validation and justice in the aftermath. But justice is coming, and it begins within.
You’re biggest questions seem to be, “What if he/she can change? What if he/she has changed?”
My question for you is, “So what? Sociopaths always change. Why does it matter to you if the sociopath changes? Why not focus on your own changes and transformation?” Besides, profound, core change and transformation consists of phases and actions an individual must take, resulting in relearning, reconditioning and an altertered state of one’s default system. The types of changes a sociopath makes are only surface changes based on the sociopath’s need to appear a certain way in order to gain money, status, sex, and popularity. There’s no self-reflection required and no tapping into or questioning their core values.
Unfortunately, most people think changing habits is indicative of change. It’s not. Sociopaths are master chameleons and can adapt to any environment; it may look like profound change from the outside, but the same mirroring technique and the same self-motivating factors activated and used when the sociopath was with you and adapting to your individuality and environment are the same he/she’s using with his new girlfriend/boyfriend or group of friends he/she’s currently duping into believing he/she’s a good guy.
Once you make the choice to focus on yourself, worrying about the sociopath and what the sociopath is doing or not doing falls away. Obviously, thoughts of him/her are going to creep in. You’ll be tempted to compare your progress and growth to the sociopath’s, and you will even find yourself wondering if he/she would approve of all the remarkable accomplishments you’ve made. There’s nothing wrong with these thoughts. However, they’re indicative that you’re still bonded to the sociopath and dependent upon the sociopath’s approval. I recommend looking into cord cutting techniques and practices. We’re all energy influencing and impacting each other. But once you build your force field and refuse to allow his energy to penetrate your peace of mind, you’ll take yourself to places you never thought possible.
We all possess a light side and a dark side, or more appropriately called our shadow side. You may have been attracted to your sociopath’s bad boy/bad girl persona, because that dark behavior reflected a shadow side of yourself that you had never explored. You were essentially attracted to your shadow self reflecting off the sociopath.
I recommend exploring your shadow side and understand that it is the self-destructive side of our nature that takes over when we allow other people, groups, or situations to control and dictate our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Think of a crowd mentality; people do stupid things due to crowd influences that they wouldn’t do alone. On an individual relationship level between ourselves and a romantic partner, this surrender of our core values happens when we put ourselves in the hands of another who claims he has our best interests at heart. This type of surrender leads to suffering when our partner acts from a place of self-interest and not from a place of love and compassion. We think his/her behaviors come from the same place inside his/her core that we activate when we behave the same. Mirroring is only surface; beneath the surface, their motivation is drastically different and opposed to our motivation.
Below is link to a site that outlines the phases of change leading to transformation. Ignore the fact it focuses on organizational transformation; the curve and details apply at the individual level too (and the book I’m currently writing applies recovery from toxic relationships to this change management approach).
Where do you think you currently fall within this curve?
Advocate and Author