At the beginning of every relationship, there are dreams. Before you meet the person, you have a dream of your ideal person, what they will look like, what things you would like to do with your ideal partner. You dream of stability, a happy family life.
In a normal healthy relationship, you talk together about your future plans and dreams. In the beginning everybody is on their best behaviour. Between 6 and 12 weeks, your true self starts to be shown. The average relationship lasts between 6 to 12 weeks. Usually by 12 weeks, you discover whether you are compatible, in your needs, your wants and plans for the future. Also how fast you want these things to happen.
Sometimes you discover that actually you didn’t have as much in common as you previously thought. Maybe there are something’s which you cannot compromise. If things are compatible, then the relationship continues to a long term relationship. If you decide that you are too different, or want different things, or maybe even at different times, then you decide to split and go your separate ways.
In the relationship with the Sociopath, things are not like this. From the very beginning you are being manipulated, and conned. You will not be aware of it. The Sociopath is mirroring the early start of a relationship, where you are both on your best behaviour. So, for you, in the very beginning, everything is just as it should be. After all, everybody puts on their very best behaviour in the very early weeks.
Whereas in a normal healthy relationship, those first few weeks, are spent talking about your past, your current situation, and discussing hopes and plans for the future. Both are being honest, and you know that the relationship can go either way, and you won’t know until you have got further into the relationship. It’s an exciting time, learning about each other.
In a Sociopath relationship, something very different is happening. You are being open and honest, and talking about things that you want. You discuss what is happening currently in your life, what happened in the past, what you don’t want again, and what your hopes and dreams for the future are. The Sociopath however, is listening earnestly to what you say, assessing, deciding whether (if you tell him that you have the source of supply that he is looking for) he plans to move the relationship further, and to seduce you.
When the Sociopath is in seducing mode, he comes on very strong, even his body language is in very heavy seducing mode. There is a lack of respect for your personal space. You, the victim take this as a compliment. You tell yourself that this person must REALLY like me! You are flattered, that he has made his decision about you so swiftly. Then it goes further, the Sociopath will then mirror you, and start to sell you dreams for the future.
By actively listening to you, he is now in a position to be able to manipulate you, with the information that you gave him. He is therefore able to sell you back exactly what you have been looking for. It feels almost too good to be true. Not only is the man that you have been waiting to meet all of your life, in front of you, being everything that you wanted him to be, but also, he seems to be very keen on you!
But of course, you still do not know whether this will fizzle out, after all the average relationship lasts around 6-12 weeks, so you know, that things could go wrong at any time. So you keep your cool, and are reserved, although you have to admit that you are now being swept off your feet. This is moving so fast, and feels a whirlwind romance.
Time passes, and as you are heading past the 6 weeks and moving towards the 12 weeks you start to relax, this feels real. This feels like the romance of a lifetime. It won’t occur to you that everything that you are being told is a lie and that you are being manipulated.
Why it is difficult to get over the sociopath relationship – and how your mind can play tricks!
The sociopath continues to sell you your dreams, and you start to feel that you are living in a fairy tale. Sure there were things that seemed slightly off key, or not right, but you put those thoughts to the back of your mind. This feels too good. We want to hold onto that ‘feel good feeling’. You feel so happy.
Now you are falling in love, with not only the sociopath. But also YOUR OWN DREAMS!!! The sociopath armed with charisma, is able to sell you what it is that you truly want and desire.
But the sad fact is that these are just words. The words have no bearing on reality, or what the sociopath actually has to offer you. They are just words designed to seduce you.
The relationship moves forward and starts to become more serious after 12 weeks. Many sociopaths however are keen for the dating process to be over as swiftly as possible and some may offer to marry you within a very short space of time, or at least get engaged. They don’t want you to get cold feet and change your mind. After all, it is quite hard work playing Mr nice guy and selling you your dreams all of the time. For those that do not get married, it is highly likely that marriage or engagement will be discussed.
You are being offered and sold
- A long term future
- A happy stable relationship
- With someone who is just like you
- Who thinks like you
- Who has what you want
- Most importantly who is offering your dreams
The importance of dreams and why the abuse of your dreams can be psychologically damaging
However our life has been, we all have dreams. As a child we have dreams. Many things shape and create our dreams in life:
- Our sense of morality
- How we have been raised
- What we have seen and witnessed in childhood
- Influence of friends/family and those close to us
- What we perceive as ‘perfection’ or our ‘ideal’
- Our expectations of what we think is of value, or what we think we are truly worth
All of these influences shape us, and are a vehicle for our dreams. We carry these dreams in our heart and one day we hope to fulfil them.
The sociopath is, as we have already established:
- Without empathy
- Is selfish
- Does not experience remorse, guilt or shame
- Has a lack of life plan or long term goals
- Is very opportunistic
The Sociopath will then sell back to you your dreams. Before you met the Sociopath, you were patiently going through life. Your dreams were still intact and a part of you. You didn’t know if your dreams would ever happen, but they were the light that kept you going and gave you hope for the future. If a relationship ended, you could ration and reason, that it was because the person was not right for you. You could tell yourself, that it was the wrong person. You wanted different things. You thought differently, lots of reasons. You part company – but your dreams remain intact, you have hope for the future.
This Sociopath trick is akin to emotional rape. By selling you your dreams, he is deliberately abusing you. This, can cause long term psychological damage
Why can it cause psychological damage?
When you have given someone else your dreams, your hopes, your dreams for the future, this is given with trust. You do not expect to meet somebody who is just like you, and certainly not somebody who will deliberately manipulate you, with the very things that you hold close to your heart. The Sociopath presents back to you, those dreams, as (false) plans for the future. This could be anything, but more likely it will be a number of things
- Stable relationship
- Marriage and children
- To travel the world
- Music the arts
- Meeting ‘the one’
- Financial security
These are a examples, but it could be one of a number of things, whatever YOUR dreams are. Often it has been a process of very painful learning to know what you want. Sometimes those dreams have been a part of you, for a very long time and are part of the fabric of, or the essence of the inner you.
It can be hard to let go of your dreams, when you have carried them for a lifetime. You have given your dreams to the Sociopath, who sold those dreams back to you, as promises for the future. Your dreams now seem tarnished.
After the break up, you are left feeling confused. Your mind feels in a fog. This person seemed so ‘right’ and now everything is going wrong. Also, and additionally BECAUSE this relationship seemed so right and so perfect -
- You gave more than you otherwise would
- You shared more than you otherwise would
- You gave away your heart and soul
Many victims (me included) say how because this relationship felt ‘so’ right, that they gave everything that they had to this person. How often they shared more than they had, leaving them in debt. Many found that they were paying (so say temporarily) until the Sociopath found his feet. You didn’t mind too much, after all, soon he would be financially stable, as he told you, and he would pay you back. You are a team, and you think that this is going to work long term.
It is only further down the road of the relationship that you realise that everything that the Sociopath says is just ‘words’…. but these words were your dreams. You gave your dreams away to the Sociopath. They are the dreams that have lay always deep within your heart.
Now that the relationship is over. There is silence. You remember the dreams that lay in your heart that always gave you hope, but – your dreams are now attached to the Sociopath. The Sociopath has played a mirror image of you, and you feel that you have lost a part of you.
THIS is why it is so difficult to get over the relationship with the Sociopath. He has used your dreams to manipulate and abuse you. And it is our dreams in life that create ambition. It is our dreams that give us hope. It is our dreams that keep us going, and motivate us. Without them, we can feel empty inside.
You can feel like the Sociopath has stolen a part of you. When you think of your dreams, you think of the Sociopath, he is now linked to the most inner part of you.
You now start to go through the 5 stages of grief and the healing process. But often, you will think of those dreams, and you will feel sad. Or you might feel anger. However you feel, the experience with the Sociopath will affect you deeply, and it does have the potential to be long term psychologically damaging.
To avoid long term psychological damage you need to
- Talk – access counselling or therapy if you need to. Or talk to someone that you trust
- Realise that your dreams, were your dreams before you met the Sociopath and they are still your dreams today.
- That the relationship that you had with the Sociopath was FAKE you haven’t yet experienced the real thing, with someone who is truly compatible with you
- That the Sociopath was ONLY a mirror image of you
- You can never lose what you did not have in the first place
- You still have you, and you still have those dreams
- Take some time to find you again. To heal and recover
- Catch up with OLD friends, family, old interests, this will help you to recover your dreams.
- Remember that when you feel this way, sometimes you need to go backwards before you can move forwards
If that nagging thought comes into your head that you have lost you, or lost a part of yourself. Pull back, and look at this again. Nobody can ever steal you. You are whole and complete and just perfect as you, to recover that part of you, you need to go back over old ground to remember where your dreams came from, to remember once again who you are!
Love yourself, you’re worth it!!