At any given moment, you have the choice, who you want to be, you do not need to be a victim or a survivor of sociopath abuse forever – set yourself free!


I had a friend of mine who quite often would say ‘my god Nikki I don’t know how you are still standing’.

Be incredibly proud of yourself that you ARE still standing! You are here, you are alive and you are are still breathing. Best of all, you are not sat in a room, alone, (or you might be alone, but hopefully someone else’s words will help you to feel less alone), doing NOTHING. You are reading, you are healing. You are doing all that you can, to return to NORMAL

Victim/Survivor mentality

I don’t like to use the words victim or even survivor, as when you do, it keeps what has happened as part of you.

  • When you are IN the relationship. You are a victim
  • When you leave the relationship, for a while, it is normal feel like a victim, you feel devastated, heartbroken, surreal, paralysed, confused. Of course you feel like a victim. You have been victimised.  You need time to heal and recover. Feeling victimised and betrayed,  although painful, will help with self love, introspection, healing, learning and processing.
  • You might feel anger, as you move to from victim to survivor mode. Moving to the survivor mode, is a defence mechanism, you become soldier in your own castle, and build a fort with a moat around to stop any further pain. This is self preservation mode.
  • By working effectively though victim and survivor mode  hopefully you can  work towards become NORMAL again (whatever is normal for YOU).

Moving through the process of change

When in an abusive relationship , feeling abused you become the victim. Someone else is violating your rights either, sexually, emotionally, physically, financially, or whatever else that consitutes abuse to you. People don’t choose to be a victim. You didn’t sign up to a relationship to be victimised, this wasn’t a choice. If abuse was what was on offer, it is highly unlikely that you would have gone into the relationship in the first place.

It feels vulnerable to be a victim. It is also a sad desolate and heartbreaking space. You feel minimised, you feel small, you feel betrayed, you feel stabbed both in the heart and the back at the same time. You feel insignificant and unheard.  The longer that you are a victim, the worse it becomes. Slowly all sense of self, and normality disappears. Constantly in your mind you mull over and process what has happened to you, you wonder how to escape and how to get out.

You might adapt some strength, to get out, to fight for change and your freedom from the abuse that is happening to you. Or perhaps the abuser left you.

You become angry.  In a process to protect yourself you become the survivor. For many this is essential survival mechanism (sometimes literally).

When in an abusive relationship, you are controlled through fear. To combat this, you use survival skills and mechanisms, to survive.

Being in the victim mode, allows you the following

  • Time to learn
  • Time to love yourself
  • Time to cry
  • Time to process
  • Time to blame
  • Time to be sad
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks (see above)
  • Paralysed
  • Weak
  • Dispair
  • Physical and mental health issues

When you are in the victim mode, you are also in learning mode. You are taking in and registering what is happening to you (perhaps, sometime with disbelief).  It is the first process of change.

You need to feel a victim, before you can become a survivor. You have to realise that you are being victimised, before you can gain the STRENGTH to become a survivor.

If other people appear to be doing better than you, take heart, that they are probably further along the road of recovery than what you are right now.

You do not have to be a victim forever. Even if the most catastrophic things in the world have happened to you. You do not have to be a victim forever. Actually,  is better for you, if you weren’t. Staying too long in the victim mode, will hold you back in life.

Moving to survivor mode

Sometimes this mode comes while in the relationship (although not always with sociopathic abuse, as often you have no idea you are being abused until the horrible truth comes out). You can become a survivor while in the relationship (if you are aware) to cope the abuse that is happening to you.

When you are in survival mode you feel the following

  • Angry
  • Defensive
  • Protective
  • Blaming
  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Strong
  • Paranoid (that someone else ISN’T going to do to you what you have just gone through)
  • Highly sensitive
  • Inspired (through learning in the victim stage)
  • Enlightened
  • Hope
  • Time to see the bigger picture

Warning: It is common to move backwards and forwards from victim to survival. This is normal. Some days you might feel stronger than others. This doesn’t mean that you are not doing so well, or that you have regressed. It is a natural part of healing and recovery.

It isn’t that you are too much stronger in the survivor mode than you are in the victim mode. You just think you are, as you are preventing further abuse (as much as you can) from happening to you. Really, the difference between victim and survivor, is the protective wall, castle and moat, that has been built around you, and you acting as soldier, protector and warrior of you, yourself and your world.


Playing the role of survivor, really depends what you are surviving FROM. In the relationship you might feel that you need to adapt the survivor strategy to be able to cope. Being a survivor might be essential to fend off your abuser, to protect you, your world and your assets.

Survivor mode is a positive/negative stance. When you are in survivor mode. You build a wall around you. (aint no asshole going to hurt me like that again), to protect you, to keep you safe.

Learning to trust again – letting down your defences – returning to normal

Normal, what is normal? Well, Freud thought that it was a working balance between the ID the Ego and the Super Ego. I know that I always try to write in clear language on this site, but what this means, is for you to feel ‘balanced’ and ‘harmonious’ within yourself.

Returning to normal comes with acceptance. You don’t have to forget what has happened to you, and probably you shouldn’t either. But forgiveness, most of all, forgiving yourself, is essential, for a happy life.

Working through pain

An important part of healing and recovery is to work through the pain inside of your heart. Feel it, experience it. Dating a sociopath allow someone else to highlight your weaknesses and flaws, for this is what the sociopath preys on. Often, those weaknesses and flaws were there within you, for a long time. Look at what you can heal within yourself. If you are struggling to cope, seek professional help, a therapist or counsellor, to help you work through the pain that you feel.

Two primary emotions in life – love and fear (see this post)

  • When you are in victim mode you live in fear
  • When you are in survival mode you are establishing self love, but with a wall around you
  • When returning back to normal, you live in love, not just of yourself, but of trust to love other people.

The sociopath keeps you held back and controlled by using fear.  They also manipulate you, with charismatic charm, and telling you what you want to hear.

This can leave you with confused senses. Confused about who you are, who can trust and who is acting in your best interests.  It becomes normal to stand ON GUARD and waiting for the next assault.

Recovery is a journey that you go through, and unlike abuse – a place you hopefully go through – not to. 

You don’t have to be a victim for the rest of your life, neither do you have to be a survivor for the rest of your life.

Your abusers  issues are THEIR issues. Why keep this as part of you? Yes it was part of your life, and part of your life story, for a while. This doesn’t mean that it has to remain your life story. Forever. You can let it go.

Emotional abuse and the affect to the mind

You might have spent years in the relationship as a survivor. Simply coping with the needs and the demands on you. That doesn’t mean that you have to spend the rest of your life with either the survivor or the victim label.

Sometimes, its OK, to let go, to let down your guard, to trust, that maybe, just maybe that this will never happen to you again.

Instead of jumping into another relationship, focus your time and energy onto you. Look at your own life. What do you want to achieve? What brings you joy? Try to replace things that were taken away from you with the sociopath.

The sociopath moves into your world, and literally takes over every single area of your life. They even take over your thoughts using mind control. They isolate you, they take over your social networks. They control, stalk and hack. They drain you of everything. They basically live off of your life energy and everything that you have achieved. Yes its theft, yes its wrong, yes its psychologically damaging.

You know what the beauty is? The beauty is that now you have time to rebuild, without someone else standing sentry duty outside of your castle, keeping the doors barracked and blocked. No longer do you have to live in fear. It’s a big world. Full of opportunities. There are no opportunities, when you are in the relationship with the sociopath. The only opportunity that you have, is to keep them happy. Everything is always about them.

One day, pick up your shoes, dust yourself down. Let down your wall of survivor. No more moving back to victim. You are, at the essence of you, neither a victim or a survivor. You are YOU.


  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of the future
  • Fear of what will happen next

It will take a while to move through the process. Sociopath mind control, can take a while to undo. At first you might still feel controlled by them. It might feel strange to have your own thoughts back. You might have gotten used to not thinking for yourself. You might have PTSD see here for an online test if so, get treatment for this. Nothing is ever broken forever, and always you can heal, recover and move on with your life.

Signs that you are in each mode

If you are feeling sad, depressed, desperate for answers, you are likely still in the victim mode.

If you are feeling strong, overtly strong, almost to the point of aggressive ( I hate them or they are evil etc etc...) you are still in survivor mode.

If you feel at peace. You are going about your daily life, knowing that this happened to you, but that it happened, you cannot change it. You will never forget it, but you do not keep it as part of you, you feel a sense of peace within.  You are returning to normal. When you realise that you no longer need to relive it, it’s in the past, it is done. You are back to normal. Likely, a wiser, stronger normal than you were before.

If you feel that you are ‘stuck’ in victim/survivor mode, even years after the event. Seek some professional help to work through what has happened to you. You don’t need to become what has happened to you, to be attached to you forever. You can be you and celebrate the beautiful you, for who you are, not who the sociopath made you into.

Let it go, so that you can grow.

All rights reserved 2015


17 thoughts on “At any given moment, you have the choice, who you want to be, you do not need to be a victim or a survivor of sociopath abuse forever – set yourself free!”

  1. I genuinely believe the abused come out of these relationships stronger… That’s what’s keeping me going anyway. I keep saying to myself… I have to be strong.
    If the abuser wins,all is lost.
    I do wonder a lot of things… Does this sociopathic/psychopathic nature stem from their childhood.
    My ex seemed very jealous of his younger brother,as he had a very good job,and did well. My ex often said,his mother showed his younger sibling more attention.
    Although a psychologist friend says,they are born that way.
    I am more assertive with him now,via email,he doesn’t like it,but I’m not going to be trodden on anymore….. In fact the things I wish him,for what he’s done,aren’t repeatable😔
    They are in my view,the parasites that walk the earth.
    My friends who witnessed his behaviour towards me,often said,how do I put up with it. I really don’t know the answer….. Maybe it’s a catch 22 thing,you endure it,until one day you wake up,and think no more! Sorry,I write a lot on here,but it helps,and the people on here understand this,lots don’t,if they’ve not ever been through this. Friends help,as do family,but they really don’t understand what it does to your head😩

  2. Thank you positivagirl for your post …I have found your site one of the best on on who these people are and how they think…I had a female “friend” who I think fits this mold… she now had giving me silent treatment and went no contact with me for no reason. I have learned a lot from your experience. Keep up the good work…this has really opened my eyes to something I couldn’t explain or fully understand.


  4. “Silent treatment” and “hoovering”: dear Positivagirl, could you tell me if, at the end of a relationship, narcissists and sociopaths ALWAYS hoover? Or is it “discretionary”? Mine has been giving me the silence treatment for a year…. I am glad for this (I didn’t want to continue our affair anyway, it was too difficult for me, I don’t even know why I started this toxic relationship with him) but I don’t understand the meaning of all his indifference and contempt. After the “final discard” I have never called him nor looked for him. Why behaving with so much indifference? Thank you very much for your kind answer!

  5. Hi everyone, i’ve been gone for a while. I’m trying to be strong & going no contact again. I was weak & contacted him when my mother took ill, in hosptal interstate, then she passed away, he gave me moral support & took me to see her in hospital plus to the funeral, long trips. I paid for petrol & my air fare. He says i used him up & then dump him. but i cant take him arguing with me or stopping me from seeing my girl friends. I’ve already lost 4 people, but only 2 were genuine for my welfare. They insulted him he got angry back, i dreamt they spoke to me, i hope that comes true. I like your posts, very inspirational, healing. Victim & survivor. I was strong to tell him to go but hope i dont weaken or contact him again. its been 2 1/2 yr cycle & i’ve been on here during my strong times & weak times. I know i need to break the tie with him forever, as it harming me emotionally, he controllg who i see, watching me & he came home late past 3 nites, didnt want to eat together, says hes not unfaithful, like he claims i am unfaithful. He talks alot, confuses me, fogs mind. I will grow strong again & be a survivor & heal.I hope you all will be ok & No Contact is only way to beat them, remove them from our lives forever. He has his good points, was very intense, funny, good lover but no good living in his prison, bird in a gilded cage. love, light & god bless u all, Postiva & PR your posts are healing, helps me get thru life & reading other survivor’s posts. God bless U

    1. Hi Pigletta, this is quite strange, as I didn’t sleep too well last night, I fell asleep, and woke up. I had a really vivid dream about this blog. When I woke, I read your comment.

      Do you know, that I was you! Only a few weeks ago (3 to be exact). I can say the same, that he had his good points, same as you, funny, good lover, – I don’t know whether I saw the intense as good.

      Every other comment you make I can identify with. I returned, as I was going through a rough time, and needed support, and as you know they can be great, when your own life is genuinely in the victim stage anyway (like bereavement, or illness/sickness) as naturally you are the victim, and dependent on them. When your own life is currently at victim stage – actually it can function quite well.

      The same as you things began to change, he became more controlling, constantly observing me, accusing me of doing things I hadn’t done – (talking to other men), spying on me. I began to speak to less and less people….. until there was almost just him and me in our life.

      Like you, I was starting to feel confused. I had no energy, I felt low. The truth was that he was sucking my energy. Please read this post!! This was the first post that I read when I came out of the relationship – I thought WOW OMG… this is exactly what he had done to me – again!!

      The strangest thing was – that I then started to read through my posts, old posts, and you know what – word for word…… the same thing had been happening. Only this time, I couldn’t see it, I just felt the brain fog. It was only when I re-read the posts, that i could see exactly what he had been doing to me. I am now you, 3 weeks after leaving the relationship.

      As each day passes, I feel stronger within myself. Light comes back into my life. Joy comes back into my life. People that I couldn’t have in my life – I now can. Things had became so bad, that I constantly had to deactivate my facebook account, after use – if I didn’t he would find (I have laptop, tablet and phone) another gadget and read – and make up things, or twist the truth, so that I started to defend myself.

      I found him constantly picking fights…. and was starting to yell at me, my head vibrated, I couldnt think more. In the end, I was so far removed from the person that I once was. I was – effectively the clone that he made me into. BUT I couldn’t see this while I was in the relationship, as he still appeared to me, to be the person that was ‘helping’ me….. just his rages that felt bad and wrong.

      Do you know, what I now can see? And that is to be with him, I could ONLY be a victim (accepting) or a survivor (fighting) him….. that was it. There was NO room for NORMAL. I couldn’t be normal. Yet – I was desperate to just be ME. I was ready to just be ME. I had moved past grief, and trauma, I didn’t want to be his victim anymore. I just wanted to be me.

      Basically – we had outgrown each other. For he will always need someone who is either his victim, or his survivor…. he cannot cope with someone who is normal, healthy and well. He needs you in victim mode. That is why he was likely good, and helpful when your mother died.

      It was only later reading the old posts I had written on this site, that was a huge eye opener. It has kind of been like a road map back to me.

      I never thought that he would move out and on. In fact, he would say that he would be with me forever and that he would kill me – first (Just words I know)…… stupid words that they say.

      At a loss…. of what to do, and HOW to get out…. I prayed for him to please be moved on. You know what? he did…. this time he moved out and on… without fuss, without drama, without stealing anything…. just moved out and into a place of his own.

      You are right NO CONTACT really is the only way. As you keep to no contact, you will find that you start to grow, as his influence over you starts to weaken. At first, I found that my senses were off par. I found that my thinking was still confused. Have had to take a lot of rest, to recharge my energy back to me. You can do this…. the only other alternative, is to be his victim or his survivor for the rest of your life? The cost, will be you – your mind, your life, everything about you, your world, and your life…. just you and him, as his clone. If you do not get out, and stick to no contact.

      This comment to you, is straight from the heart – as I was you, such a short time ago.

      1. Shared 🙂

        I absolutely reiterate NO CONTACT as, even the sound of their voice will transport you back there & to their hold over you. The only way you can remain strong is to listen to your own thoughts & opinions etc…until it becomes the norm again & not influenced my mind bending control.

        Mine had a very calm soothing voice so, it was hard to hear but, I stayed strong & kept repeating in my head not to listen & use ‘white noise’ to drown out his words.
        Stay strong & good post 🙂

        Love & Light xoxo 😉 PR

      2. Ok, now I must “like” your comment today, Nikki! OMG- I am so having an “Eureka” moment over here with your above comment! My spathe and me, yeah I did same thing. I begrudgingly went for his latest tactic of him playing nice, soon reverts to a-hole. Nothing I could do to win arguments. He would change subject and directly sidestep ANY question he deemed unnecessary to answer! I called him out on it last time I was with- very disturbing. At the same time demanding I PAY for a V-day dinner HE suggested! LOL- the nerve of these pricks.
        But that is it- I was in the middle of enjoying my normal mode when he reared his ugly head back into my world last Fall ( yep- right before his BD)! I was like, “OK Universe, you know I am quite stronger and smarter this time, but what the hell…”
        Universe knows, WE know. Any good-ness from them is short lived and it puts you in this limbo of not wanting to deal with anymore. I am with you- I just want to be ME. I am a warm, funny, articulate smart person and have so much to offer. I am not depressed this time, just disappointed. But now I am super-pumped! I feel great satisfaction in knowing, thanks to you and this support group, that I am right on!
        THANKS & Peace,

      3. Haha that was me eldadude. Ha i thought the same ok i am wiser stronger i know who he is now. He CANT hurt me again. Yes you are right you are warm funny and smart and no you cant ever love too much .. just sometimes we give our heart to someone who really doesnt deserve it.

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