My Story of Healing and Recovery…
It has been 2 years almost since we split. Hard to believe that it was 20 months ago, when I knew what he was up to, he was again following the pattern of the sociopath exit strategy almost word for word. He thought he was smart and that his departure would ‘surprise me’. I know how much sociopaths love to win and be in control, so i thought i would take this away from him. That night i would write the ‘dear sociopath’ post. It was a dear john letter of goodbye….
Truth was that he had already secured alternative accommodation. Had freeloaded from me until there was nothing left, his face was a picture when he woke the next day, no doubt planning to create a scene and a drama to storm out of the door. I already knew… and had already said goodbye. Publically, on this site.
2015 would be a challenging year. You would think that life would be better once he had gone. But it wasn’t. Sociopaths can do significant psychological damage. I recall for the first few weeks not even able to speak. I was shut down. My brain remained in the locked cage he left me in. I was still living in fear.
In 2015 he had moved to a flat not too far from me. Sociopaths condition you to make you ‘theirs’ and that you belong to them and only them. I cannot express what damage this can cause and how long lasting this damage is.
The good news is you CAN heal and FULLY recover from them. Throughout 2015 he told me how he saw what was my old friends. How he went to places I did.
I had never felt more isolated. I needed to escape from the prison of my mind that he had created for me. I almost didn’t know how.
Towards the end of 2015, i started to focus on gratitude daily. Gratitude for my home, focusing ONLY on what I was grateful for. I prayed that he would be moved away from my city. Daily i had lived in fear that he would show up at my door, hammering, yelling and threatening me. With anger that I had never experienced before and a forked tongue, but also a silver one of deception.
I was convinced, partially by him, that i was crazy, or that there was something significantly wrong with me. I contacted mental health services, convinced that I had bipolar or something similar.
Just before this, some old friends came back into my life. I had known them over 20 years, yet, like all losses with a sociopath, had stopped seeing them during his reign of psychological warfare.
I was an empty shell. Scared even of my friends. I will never forget them looking at me, both of them earnestly, and saying “you don’t have to be scared of us Nik, stick with us, we will help get you well”. I shook, and would never stay too long before I scurried back to the safety of my home.
My friends were a breakthrough. Since that time they have stood constantly by my side. They reflected back an ACCURATE reflection towards me. Since this point, true to their words, they stood by my side, helping me to remember who I am.
The mental health team never gave me a diagnosis, other than I had experienced a lot of trauma. They helped me to talk, communicate. I was shut down, locked like a coiled spring locked tight.
2016 the sociopath moved out of my city. A year after we had split formally. 2016 would be an emotional year. From a person that was so shut down, i was numb, to a person who talked and talked. I cried a lot in 2016 as i began to process in safety, without abuse.
My mental health service has a 24 hour phone line. I must have had 1000 hours of therapy. I would call sometimes two to three times a day. They encouraged me to talk. Refused to give me a diagnosis, would only say that I had experienced a lot of trauma. I did this alongside support of my friends and some family members. I detached from anything or anyone that did not believe in me, or was toxic towards me.
I even thought mental health services were wrong there must be something really wrong with me. They simply said i needed to heal and i would heal.
As i write this it is the end of September 2016. Twenty months after leaving the sociopath. I am at a point where I am considering moving home.
I took the plunge and went back to a social scene he had taken over and spoke to people. I was surprised to hear that other than what he had told me, what they really thought of him was that he was a
I had kept myself in my own prison. I am still unsure today whether before he left he made sure that they knew who he really was. Whether he had once again deliberately burned his bridges. He never told me.
Other people contacted me, said they were sorry to hear I had been through such a rough time and was I ok?
Slowly with the help of people who genuinely cared about me and professional services, i began to trust again. My anger subsided and most importantly, i began to love me.
I hadn’t heard from him for a very long time. Then i heard from him. He told me how he was “proud of himself, he was living a life, not for his own manipulative gain”.
I of course knew the truth. He had burned his bridges here. And that sentence I had heard before. Everything he did was always for his own manipulative gain.
Wherever you are in your journey, please know that you CAN heal and recover. If you have people that you trust that can help you this can speed up recovery. I was lucky to have a mental health team i could call 24 hours a day. To talk and process. Old friends who loved me for me.
Finally I am ready to give back. I couldnt help anyone else while I was so broken myself.
HOW TO HEAL
1. Remove anyone who is toxic in your life (even family members, distance yourself this is about healing you).
2. Be around those who love the real imperfect you. I was never perfect, i was me. I had people who loved me for me.
3. Choose people who knew you BEFORE meeting your abuser. If you had someone you were close to for decades before them, reach out to them
4. Reach out to professional services who are experienced at helping someone in trauma. What is most important is to feel safe and not judged
5. Ar first you might find talking difficult. Or you might talk and talk and talk. Remember that you are healing. You will have so much to process. Sociopaths are controlling and do their best to train you not to think for yourself
6. Be brave and keep going. Do not look back. Stay in the present only
7. Expect confusion. This is normal. Sociopaths have a duality of personality. They feign best friend persona while at the same time doing behind your back,all that they can to ruin and destroy you
8. Healing takes time. Stay with the present focus on gratitude, keep your world smaĺl – for now.
9. Don’t make big plans. This time is about you.
10. Don’t compare your life today to how it was. You are going through a process of healing and recovery.
11. Know that if the sociopath is still hanging out with your friends they are not done with you yet. Let them have it. Once the sociopath is done they move on. When they have return to the scene if it meant a lot to you. Only do this when you feel brave enough, and if it really meant a lot to you. You might be surprised to hear the story is not what was sold to you. Only do this once they have moved on from that scene (they will), sociopaths almost always burn bridges before they move on.
12. Remember that healing takes time. It has taken me a year. With a specialist team who were available 24 hours a day
13. Know that you can heal and recover. Fully! If someone says that you will always be damaged they are not yet healed.
So, what is it like on the other side?
Honestly, i look back and am amazed how much i went through. Aside from a short time with the magician guy, i never dated again. At least not yet. I have calm within. Dramas i avoid. I value and love true friends and family.
The more i spoke to someone professional, the more i gained in confidence. For the first time I lost my pride and fear and opened up to some good friends who I knew loved me anyway. I was surprised how supportive they were. They had no idea how bad things were for me. I was open and honest. Said i feared going out. Talked about suicidal thoughts. They supported me. Walked the journey with me.
No longer was i a person so isolated that i only had a blog to write. I looked back and was surprised at what I had done and what I had acheived.
My next step is to move home. My healing has been one of seven years. I am stronger today than I ever was. The sociopath turned my life into theirs. For a while i walked his pathway. Broken damaged, destruction. This wasn’t me.
Today, i have love in my heart. Maybe I did go through the journey of the dark night of the soul (google it) i thought it would never end. I allowed him to break everything (including this blog) until there was nothing left to take or break. Then I froze.
We are all whole as human beings. Nothing is broken that cannot be fixed. Thank you to those who believed in me and walked my journey with me.
Once back in 2010/11/12 i was alone in my journey. I was scared. I vowed to write a website that would be a resource to help others. I did this. Then healed me.
Welcome to datingasociopath.com many of the words on this site was written (2013) by a woman in trauma. Many of the words were written while it happened. Details which could not be written historically. Writing helped me. I plan to write again. First I need to move house.
I will be back -soon.
If you are left with only your story, write it. If you get ideas from this site please acknowledge me as the author. My name is Nikki Gillett. Once upon a time… all i had left, was my story.