Choosing to leave the sociopath before the sociopath is ready to discard you may cause increased cognitive dissonance if you don’t know what to expect.
In the beginning, the sociopath exhausts you of all your novelty in the early love-bombing and idolization phase.
The sociopath is so interested in your interests and becomes so immersed in your life and daily routine that you become intoxicated by all of the attention.
You interpret this as a good thing. You interpret this as an AMAZING thing. The sociopath must love you so much to want to become your twin, huh?
The sociopath even seems to bond quickly and easily with your inner circle of friends and certain family members.
You’re in awe of how alike you are! Where has the sociopath been all of your life?
And that’s exactly the question you should be asking. Where HAS the sociopath been? Where are the sociopath’s friends and family? If the sociopath is so amazing, there MUST be others who think the same, right?
Oh, wait! You bought into the sociopath’s professions that YOU are the first person to enter his life who makes the sociopath whole and complete. Sorry. You’re so special. I forgot. You have superpowers and are the only effing person out of millions and millions that “gets” this pitiful creature and can give him the love and understanding that he needs. Everyone else from his past, including his mother and siblings, just couldn’t grasp the genius of the sociopath. But you can. Sorry. I forgot.
Do you see how absolutely absurd this is? Everyone else left this person, and you seem to think it’s because the sociopath is somehow superior and that’s why everyone misunderstands him but that you are somehow superior in your ability to care and listen to him and that’s why the sociopath chose you?
Um. Not exactly.
You won’t be feeling very special and powerful once the sociopath sucks you dry of your creativity and energy. You REALLY won’t be feeling very special once you finally decide to ask the sociopath for love and support and understanding and instead get the sociopath screaming at you, “You’re such an ungrateful bitch. I give so much to you and all you want is more?”
And you feel guilty and continue to give freely, because that’s what love is about. You stop asking for anything in return, because only ungrateful whores do such a thing and you refuse to be accused of THAT again. Some people just show their love in different ways, right? The sociopath is so much more evolved in the way he loves you, and you should be just as evolved in how you love the sociopath. Right?
Again, the absurdity! This is how you get stuck in cognitive dissonance. You know love is patient and kind and compassionate and reciprocal. You know it is, so why do you believe the BS spewing from the sociopath’s mouth? Oh, because he’s done things for you and bought things for you and said nice things to you and complimented you on your character? Wonderful. The sociopath must really love you.
Did you forget that people who love you don’t keep track of their good deeds? People who love one another listen to each other’s pain; they don’t deny their pain or shame them and make the other feel miserable and ungrateful for expressing their pain.
The sociopath said and did some nice things, but now the sociopath holds those nice things over your head as his free pass to treat you in any shitty way the sociopath pleases. Is that love? Do people who really love you not listen to you and immediately point a shaming finger back at you if you open up about what you perceive as unfair treatment?
No. A caring person does not deflect. Someone who loves you will say, “Wow, I had no idea when I did that you felt that way. I’m sorry. Let’s talk about this more. I don’t want to make you feel like that again.”
How many times do YOU say that to the sociopath and how often does the sociopath say this to you?
And don’t count the times the sociopath sat seemingly attentive, bouncing on his seat, arms folded in front of him just waiting for you to shut up so the sociopath can say, “Are you finished? Do you feel better now?”
How condescending, rude and disrespectful! You’ll eventually tire of this lack of respect and lack of caring and compassionate reciprocity.
Once you show any signs of being tired or unwilling to give, give, give, the sociopath interprets your behavior as uncaring and unloving.
The sociopath fails to see this lack of reciprocity. The sociopath thinks just being in your life is the sociopath’s gift to you, and the fact that he keeps forgiving your ungratefulness and hasn’t left or discarded you should be indicative of how much he cares, right?
The sociopath doesn’t “forgive” you. The fact the sociopath remembers every slight you’ve commuted against him should be your cue. And the only reason the sociopath hasn’t left you…yet…is because there is no one waiting in the wings ready to pity the sociopath and provide the sociopath with immediate supply.
There is no doubt that if you decide to leave the sociopath now, without a source of supply waiting in the wings for him, the sociopath will act and seem devastated. The sociopath will cry and whine to others that he loved you more than you loved him and you unfairly abandoned the sociopath. And in all of his crying and flailing about, he’ll gain pity. The sociopath may even convince one of your friends that you are the cause of the breakup.
Now you have someone else that you thought cared about you brainwashed into thinking you’re ungrateful and uncaring. It’s enough to make you lose your mind defending yourself.
And it seems to make zero difference to anyone that you are not the person who repeatedly loses girlfriends, fiancees, spouses and best friends over the course of your lifetime. It doesn’t seem to matter to these unsuspecting folks, who are getting dragged into the sociopath’s triangulation, that it’s the sociopath who behaves from a place of hate, fear and jealousy…not you.
The more you reach out to your inner circle, the more you realize that these unsuspecting individuals have been fed so many lies. The sociopath even said to them, “And she’ll say X, Y and Z in her defense. Just wait. You’ll see. That will be your proof that she never cared about me, used me the entire relationship and is the cause of all my pain!”
And you DO respond exactly as the sociopath predicted you’d respond.
How could the sociopath be so foretelling in how you’d respond to the criticism if the criticism were not true?
Easy. Who wouldn’t be defensive when shameful secrets you once shared in confidence with the sociopath are now being used against you to make you look like the abusive and hateful person?
Somehow this very simple observation gets lost on people. Maybe it’s because people like knowing the struggles and misfortunes of others so they feel better about their own lives. It’s true. And the sociopath counts on it. The sociopath counts on people judging you negatively based on secrets that the sociopath carelessly shares.
It’s not even worth wasting your breath trying to defend yourself, because “yes” you did those things and said that thing. Defending the facts misconstrued out of context as lies and judgement is exhausting and can drive a person mad. Don’t even attempt to defend yourself against people hell-bent on choosing the dark gossip over the innocent truth. Dark gossip always wins.
So what do you do about it?
The first thing you do is accept that you trusted the wrong person with your secrets.
The second thing that you do is refrain from participating in the destructive gossip of others. When someone comes to you with someone else’s secrets, stop the gossip in its tracks. Simply say, “That’s unfortunate. I really have no opinion.”
And how could you have an opinion? What that person did can only be explained by that person and that person isn’t even in the room.
And if the gossip monger refuses to shut up, ask the gossip monger, “What is your purpose in telling me this?”
Hmm? An honest gossip monger will say, “Because I want you to dislike that person and like me instead.”
Hehe! But we know there are no “honest” gossip mongers among us that understand their motivation like this.
Instead, the gossip monger will say to you, “Don’t you think so-and-so is a terrible person for behaving in such a way?!?!”
Ahhh…the deflection. The deflection of judgment. If you agree and say the person is terrible, then the gossip monger sociopath can hold that over YOUR head if you ever decide to defend so-and-so in the future:
“You said on such-and-such a date that you thought she was horrible and now you’re her friend? I’m telling her.”
Again, jealousy, hate and control are what drives these people.
When the person you’re now defending confronts you about once calling her crazy, simply say, “Yes, I said that. I was wrong. I am ashamed. I didn’t have all the facts, and the sociopath seemed so convincing.”
Forgive this person. They were a pawn just like you.
Remember, you’re going to lose friends when you leave the sociopath. But know that it’s because lies and drama excite people. People gravitate toward drama, because they are so lost and bored with their own lives. Sociopaths count on other people’s boredom to gain supporters. Accept it, even if it means standing in a corner alone for a while. All that alone time will provide you with the much-needed opportunity to self-assess, self-reflect and self-improve.
Reject the urge to lash out at the lies and personal secrets being spread. Remain non-engaged.
And when and if those people who once “followed” the sociopath come running to you to apologize, accept their apology without forcing them to explain why they supported the sociopath in the first place. You already know why, because you once supported the loser, too.
(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/441704675925805414/)