When you have been abused your sense of self and reality is altered. Whilst you might think there is only one you (in theory there is) there are also three you’s!
- How you think others perceive you
- How you perceive yourself
- How others actually see you
These three senses of self are the real you. They are the three senses of self, how you rate yourself. How you see yourself. Your value and your place in the world. When you have been abused, your sense of you, is distorted. It is distorted by the distorted reality of the abusers mind. Some people ask, have I became a sociopath? I cannot seem to love anymore?
Do you know that this is not about love at all. It is about fear. If you felt positive, and you looked at the three senses of self, you would tell yourself (if you were confident)
- Other people are warm towards me. They smile and seem happy when they are in my company. By the way I am treated I know that I am valued.
- I am a good enough person. I might not be perfect, I like myself. I love who I am. I am proud of me, and I am proud of my achievements. I am a good person. I value me.
- Other people treat me with respect. They seem to listen to me and what I have to say. They call me up and ask me to go out. I am popular with other people. I feel valued and loved I am treated with respect.
If you had not been in an abusive relationship, and you felt good about you. It is possible that all of the statements about you are true. You feel good, you know that other people value you. You make a valuable contribution to life. You love yourself and you know that you are loved.
Living in fear – the sense of self after an abusive relationship
After you have been in an abusive relationship, you might be exactly the same person. Now you are looking at life in a fearful way. You are living your life in fear.
Lets look at the three senses of self after the abusive relationship
- Other people don’t seem to bother with me much anymore. I am no fun. I feel small. I know I won’t make a valuable contribution to others, so I keep myself, to myself. Other people have stopped talking to me. I am not invited to events anymore. I think other people are judging me. Other people are different towards me
- I don’t feel worthy. I don’t like myself. I am hurting. I don’t want to bother others. I am old/fat/useless/ugly (whatever words your abuser told you that you were). I feel lonely, isolated, depressed. I can see no future. I feel embarrassed and ashamed
- We miss the person that you once were, you have changed, were those things said about you true? You don’t seem to like us anymore. You are always sad and negative.
What has changed?
The only thing that has changed is your perception. You are still the same person. Nobody can change your core personality. What has changed is your perception of you and the world around you.
You can choose to look at life in two ways.
- Through the eyes of fear
- Through the eyes of love
it really is that simple. Life is actually more simple than you think it is. The difficulty after you have been in an abusive relationship, is that you were (forced) to see the world through with their disordered mind. It was their disordered view of the world that has changed you, and your perception of you.
When you are in the relationship with a sociopath, they manipulate you with (fake) love, and control you with fear. After a while you are hurt by the fake love. Believing in love, hurt you. Each time you forgave your partner, when they offered fake love again, it meant that you were hurt again. It became easier to see life their way. If not easier, this is how you lived your life – being controlled through fear.
Different ways that sociopaths control through fear
- Making you fear that they will let you down
- Fear that you are not good enough to be treated well
- Fear to have friends/family your independence
- False accusations to start rows – lead you to stop doing things you once loved – to avoid arguments
These and many more that I am sure that you could apply to your own situation.
How to change your world and start loving YOU!!
There is a common saying ‘you are what you think’. It is short and sweet but true. What you need to do is to stop looking at life through the disordered sociopaths eyes – you are FREE… you don’t have to do this anymore. You don’t have to look at life through fear anymore.
Realise that you are breathing OUT toxic things, situations, and the controlling element of your life. Breathing IN FREEDOM!!! …. This is freedom to be you.
Can you remember in the beginning of the relationship. All the wonderful things that the sociopath said to seduce you? If you can, write these things down. These are true words about you. Hold onto them. Can you remember, things that you loved. Things that made you feel happy? Were there things that you enjoyed that you stopped doing?
The only thing holding you back is YOU!!
When you get a negative thought….this is fear based. Change this thought into one that is love. It is that simple. Being in the relationship with a sociopath you didnt have time to think about you and your needs, you were either keeping them happy, or dealing with the endless dramas that they created.
You don’t have to do this anymore. So, you have the rest of your life ahead of you. You can’t expect others to love you, if you cant love yourself. The first step is to forgive yourself!! Its not your fault. Your not stupid. You didn’t deserve this to happen to you. But… again, this is looking at life through fear. Instead change this thought. Instead of feeling bad about what happened, think, what have you learned? Write it down.
The next task, is to start goals to rebuild your life. Remember to make these goals SMART (specified, Measured, acheiveable, realistic, timeframed), what this means is
- Specified (WHAT do you want?)
- Achieveable (Make sure that its something you can realistically do) – DON’T put I want to fly to the moon next Tuesday 🙂
- Measured (How do you know you have achieved it?)
- Timeframed (When is your time frame to complete this goal)
- Realistic (how realistic is it that you can achieve the specified goal in the timeframe outlined?)
Making your goals smart, is important. It is important to focus on positivity. Not failing because you made goals that you could never complete. You might feel ‘but I don’t know what I want anymore? I have been so abused I don’t even know who I am anymore!!… this is why it is really important to start writing your list. Just do some things. These goals are designed to make you feel like you are achieving in life. They will keep you focused on YOU and take away your energy thinking about the sociopath (when you do, you go back to their disordered view of the world). You don’t want this. You want to love you!!
Goals can be anything. But always try to put one long term goal. The rest make short term goals. Examples of goals…. (try to think especially of things you loved prior to socio-satan, but couldn’t do with them) for an example
Long term goal – buy a house (be specific – where do you want this house to be, what area, what would you like the house to look like? How big will it be?) – timeframe for doing this – is two years. What do you need to do to achieve this? … get a secure job, start saving so much per week, is it realistic? Yes… if you put the other things in place.
Short term goal – to call ONE friend who meant something to you, who you lost out of your life since being with sociopath…. yes it is achievable its only one person. Time frame to do this…. within five days. (or you could say within 24 hours)…. is it realistic YES….
How will this help me to love myself?
This will almost certainly help you to love yourself as it will reclaim YOU. It will help you to focus on you. More importantly it will help you to bring back into your life so much that you feel you have lost.
Positive people attract positive people. So, if you start by making the pledge to yourself, that you will do the work to focus on you, that you will set goals to achieve what you want to achieve (goals can be as simple as going for a walk, or clearing a cupboard). What you will see happening is the law of attraction. You are putting out to the universe what you want to achieve. Hopefully you should start attracting those things back to you. As this is YOUR list, it is written by you, designed by you, and has the essence of you…. you cannot help to both find yourself…and will start loving yourself again.
Leave the disordered thinking with the sociopath. You are free now. Stick to No Contact, and instead focus on you. Remember, if you have a negative thought about you… STOP!!! Think, is this thought based on fear? How can I switch this thought to love?
Here are some more posts that might be useful
Sorry if those posts appear to repeat the same message. This is because I really do believe that it is true. Don’t let the disordered mind ruin your life and your self love. Take back control for you. Love yourself. I promise you, if you follow these steps, you will start to see change in your life.
Additional things to do to start loving you
- Learn a new skill
- Take a candlelit bath
- Go for a walk to a beautiful place
- Call a friend/family member who loves you anyway
- Achieve in life – start making goals and achieve those goals
- Listen to a music album you love (that doesnt remind you of socio-satan) that you haven’t heard in a while
- Call up a friend to go out
- Write – its theraputic
- Reach out to others and help someone
- Smile… even if you smile at one random person on the street you will make their day
- Learn to do something new, take a course
- Plan a holiday
- Look at your career
- Love a pet
- Art is good therapy
- Recognise the beauty in the world, it is a beautiful world. It is all the more beautiful because you are a part of that world.
If you are still struggling, see a professional. A therapist to help you with counselling or CBT therapy. Visit your GP, if you are feeling really low, you might be depressed.
Honestly, loving yourself and being happy is all in the mind. Don’t let someone elses ruined distorted mind ruin your life, and self perception. You are wonderful just the way that you are!! 🙂