Do you, after a period of recovery miss the sociopath? Do you look back to the happy times? Do you ever wonder how did things go so wrong? If you hear the voice inside of your head that questions, ‘why couldn’t it just have been like that all of the time’? I hope that this post explains how the sociopath operates to control and manipulate you. What is going on inside of your head, when you have those ‘missing you‘thoughts and pangs. Remember that you have been in a relationship, that was controlling, manipulative, and deceptive. This post will look at how the sociopath focuses on feeding your comfort zone, to own you.
The sociopath focuses on your comfort zone to manipulate and control you. Think about what is in your comfort zone? Where are you safe? What makes you happy? It could be anything at all, home, comfort foods, things you love to watch on tv, candle lit baths…. everyone has a comfort zone. This would have been your comfort zone before you met the sociopath. The sociopath will focus on providing for your needs in the comfort zone, to keep you ‘comfortable’ and happy. When you leave the relationship, this can impact on your ability to heal and also your ability to move on. Even when you are much further down the line with recovery, you can suddenly miss the sociopath and all the good and happy times that you experienced.
It is likely that many of those happy times, were when you felt most ‘content’. It is normal to feel content when you are in your comfort zone, and not pushing boundaries.
I will describe a diagram to illustrate this. Imagine a circle. In the centre of the circle is your comfort zone. Outside of this circle there is a set of three rings. The first ring that is surrounding the comfort zone is labelled anxiety. Around that there is second ring. This ring is labelled fear. Around this ring there lies the final ring. This ring is labelled panic. In another circle, away from the comfort zone there is the magic. In that circle, lies freedom, but to get to freedom you have to take a risk. You have to go through anxiety, fear, even panic. But if you stay determined, and keep going. You will find your freedom.
The sociopath will after assessment, groom you, to keep you. They do this, by keeping your needs happy and fulfilled (or so you think) within the comfort zone. For example, if you like chocolate, they buy you a chocolate cake. This will make you feel happy and content. It is feeding your needs, of what you like. If you like going out, they will come with you. If you enjoyed watching particular programmes on TV, the sociopath will mirror you and not only watch those TV programmes with you, but will also schedule the shows for you. The sociopath will feign interest in everything that is within your own comfort zone, and not only share those experiences with you, they also feed your comfort zone. They nurture your comfort zone and take care of it. In this way you feel ‘happy’ and ‘content’.
So far, this is all good. The sociopath is feeding your comfort zone. You are not aware that this is happening. All that you are aware of is that you feel ‘happy and content’. It wouldn’t occur to you, that the things that the sociopath are interested in right now, with you are things that they were never interested in before, and likely won’t be once the relationship is over. Unless, of course they meet someone who is an identical blueprint of you, which is of course, highly unlikely.
What lies in your comfort zone?
Your own comfort zone is individual to you. Everybody is individual, and what lies in one persons comfort zone, might not be in another. Your comfort zone is where you feel safe and secure. That spot that makes you feel happy, safe, content and secure. Your comfort zone is determined by various things such as your background, what your needs and wants are, your morals and values, memories, etc etc. When you are in the comfort zone you feel ‘content’ this is why you will hardly notice the isolation that is occurring. In your mind, you are ‘content’.
Whilst still in the relationship, you will eventually need, like all people, to leave your comfort zone. This is so that you can grow. Everybody needs personal growth. However, the sociopath will feel threatened when you assert your own rights and freedom of will. They will not be happy with the thought of you going anywhere other than the comfort zone that they are feeding. This makes the sociopath feel threatened, as they risk losing control. If you try too hard to leave your comfort zone, you will find that the sociopath will then feed the next level around the ring – anxiety.
What lies in the ring of anxiety?
When the sociopath feels threatened that you are no longer happy living in the comfort zone, or that you are looking for individual growth/personal achievement, the sociopath shifts, and starts to feed the next ring. This second ring is labelled control/fear. The sociopath will attempt to keep you locked into the comfort zone by feeding you control and anxiety.
In the anxiety ring – the sociopath will attempt to knock things that make you feel secure
- Will tell you false information
- Will lie to you
- Will make you feel that you are only safe with them
- Will make you feel anxious about a future without them
- Most importantly, will unsettle your comfort zone, to knock you off balance
The sociopath will go further. If you start to object, or if you fight back and are still determined to leave, the sociopath will up their game and focus. To keep you controlled. In the following ring is Fear – in the ring of fear lies direct threats
What lies in the ring of fear?
- If you do this, I will do x x
- Nobody would want you anyway – you will never meet anyone as good as me
- I will tell others about you
- I will report you for….
- I am going to be with someone else and live an amazing life
- I will ruin you, and ruin your life
- You cannot be with anyone else, I will not let you
If you are still determined to leave, the sociopath will move further. Now they go into the next ring and in this ring is panic. Often by this time, the sociopath has left the relationship. The sociopath will often leave when you move out of the comfort zone and into the zone of anxiety and are determined to keep going.
The ring of panic is particularly difficult to deal with and to cope with. In this ring the sociopath is upping the game. You are now at a loss, and feeling absolutely devastated. You cannot believe that this is happening. The person that was feeding your comfort zone is long gone. This is the ring where the sociopath is unmasked. This is ring of destruction in this ring:
- Direct ruining and smear campaigns
- Lies about you, attempts to ruin your reputation
- Legal battles in court
- Trying to take away your children
- Turning family and friends against you
- Theft and stealing (although not always) and threats that there is nothing that you can do about it
- Stalking, hacking, harassment
- Physical assault
It is in the zone of panic, that you feel that things are really out of control. The sociopath is now out of control. It is now that the sociopath is on a one way mission to destroy you, and your life.
Not all sociopaths move through all of the rings. Some can choose to leave, and give up the need to control you when they realise that they are not going to get from you what they want. When this happens, you just experience sudden discard. A sociopath that is determined to keep you and not let you go will go through all of the stages.
When you get to the zone of panic it is common to feel:
This is exactly the sociopath’s intention. This is happening for one of two reasons either
- They do not want to let you go – and want to force you to become back under their control
- They literally want to destroy you, as if you never existed
Why do sociopaths do this?
Sociopaths do this, as they feel angry about the time that they have spent grooming you. They would have spent a considerable amount of time and effort feeding your comfort zone. In their eyes they have put a lot of work in to groom you, to own you, to possess you. They cannot see that it is right that you now have the opportunity to leave them. They cannot see that what was in your comfort zone was there already before they met you. Before you met the sociopath, you clearly had your own likes and dislikes, and things in your life that made you happy. Perhaps you didn’t even know what those things were. You just knew when you felt happy and content.
The sociopath is expert at reading people, and reading their needs and wants. They would have assessed you in the very beginning, asked lots of questions in the interview stage. The sociopath sees it as their right to now destroy everything that makes you feel safe and secure. This is why you can feel like a tornado has ripped through your heart, your life, and your mind. And it can feel scary what is going to happen next.
How can this affect your perception of the relationship, and your ability to move on?
Remember that the sociopath deliberately creates dependency and addiction to them (by focusing on your comfort zone). When someone first quits something that is bad for them, they know all of the reasons why they are quitting. You might be frightened. You might feel that you are not prepared to tolerate being treated in that way. You might feel that you are suffering huge financial losses. You will probably feel hurt and betrayed. Alternatively, you might have no choice, the sociopath might have left and moved onto someone else.
Missing the bad guy/gal
After the resolve has gone, when No Contact has been successful for a while, the strength and resolve to stick to the quit, starts to wain. Because you might not be hurting as bad anymore, or perhaps you have felt forgiveness, maybe your own mind is now looking back with rose coloured glasses. You don’t feel frightened anymore. You have probably gained a lot of wisdom, and think that you are stronger.
You then look back – and this is where you miss the sociopath. You miss the sociopath because you miss how content you felt whilst your comfort zone was being fed. You will think, of the ‘happy’ times. You will think how it made you feel. You might even reason and ration with yourself, that it wasn’t that bad after all. With anxiety, fear and panic removed, you now focus back to the good part. How the good part made you feel.
You are now focusing on how the sociopath deliberately fed your comfort zone. What was good and happy, was merely a sociopathic trick to manipulate and control you. They do this to own you and possess you. Ownership and possession are probably as close an experience as they come to love.
You need to see the truth. To see how it really is. What exactly are you missing? Realistically what you are missing is this –
- Feeling at one in your comfort zone
- Feeling happy and content
- The ability to trust
- Feeling that you were with someone who was just like you
- Feeling that you were with your soul mate and your best friend
This is what can cause so much confusion for victims of sociopaths when you leave the relationship. It is confusing, even trying to explain it to other people can be confusing. After all, there are mixed messages. The sociopath – was both wonderful – and awful at the same time? How can that be? You felt frightened of the sociopath – yet at the same time, when you were with him/her you were reporting how you felt happier than you had felt in your life.
The truth is that both sides are true. It isn’t that you have become a person with a split personality. It is that your mind has been manipulated and controlled. It was done for the purposes of ownership, control and possession.
The next time that you are looking back with rose coloured glasses, ask yourself, exactly ‘what’ are you missing? Be honest with yourself. Be really honest. If you find that you are missing – feeling happy and content. Ask yourself why you felt this way?
To overcome this, write a list. What makes YOU feel happy and content? It is there, it was within you from the beginning, before you met the sociopath. Many of these things that made you feel content, were there from childhood. Just because the sociopath hijacked you, it doesn’t mean that there has to be constantly a hijacker’s image in your head for the rest of your life. You can be happy and be free!!!
See the truth – undo the mind control and set yourself free!!
Copyright datingasociopath.com 2013