A guide for healing and recovery
When the truth comes to light of the crazy life that you have been living with a sociopath, when the lying, cheating, betrayal, deception comes out, you are left feeling massively confused and so very hurt, it is the ultimate betrayal.
The person that you loved, that you shared everything with has used you, for what they could get. No doubt at the end, there will be endless:
- Strives for contact – abusive emails and abusive texts
- Attempts at personal contact
- Lies told about you and smear campaigns against you
- Hacks into your privacy like emails and social networking sites
Your head is already reeling from everything that you have been through. And now there is intense ‘punishment‘ for establishing no contact. For ignoring them, and trying to get on with your life.
This isn’t easy. This is no normal break up. This time you are breaking up with someone who has lied to you, betrayed you and used you. You may be in debt, you might have lost your job, or even lost your home. You have probably isolated yourself from people who were close to you, or maybe they gave up and walked away.
Picking up the pieces of your life when this has happened, can be so difficult. You would think, by the behaviour of the sociopath, that they would be glad to get rid of you? After all, they have treated you so badly. The point is, that they treat you this way because they can. Because they experience ‘dupers delight’ from conning you. So why will they now not go away?
When you have been controlled, manipulated, and abused in this way for a considerable time, when what you thought was real, actually isn’t real. Nothing you thought was true, actually was. When you were used as supply simply for someone else’s entertainment.You can be left coming out of the fog and feeling massively confused.
Because of this, you need a plan to recover. You would have been so used to being controlled, that spending time on you, and your recovery, is the best investment that you can do right now.
- Establish No Contact and stick to it
- Focus on you
- Try to catch up with old friends that you were isolated from
- Remove everything related to your ex, put them in a box, and put them away, photos, keepsakes, letters, cards. Anything at all. Put it away out of sight.
- Stay away from things that remind you of your ex, do not sit moping, listening to music that reminds you of him, or anything else, sat in memory of him. Get up, get out, and do something.
- Take one day at a time
- Read as much as you can, and reach out to others who have been/are going through same thing
- Try to do one thing every day that will make you smile. Put a post it note up to remind you
- Stick with the present, today, don’t let your mind wander back to what has happened, focus on right now, it is all that you have control over
- Do NOT contact your ex, or respond to empty promises from him – block him
- Write a list of EVERYTHING you have in your life that you are grateful for
- Write a list of all the reasons that you are better off without him
- Write a list of what you want to attract into your life – focus (it could be anything)
- Keep a diary so that you can track your recovery. Writing is therapeutic
- Make sure that you eat properly, and get enough sleep
- Treat yourself, and love yourself, like you would a best friend who is low, down and needs support
- Try not to focus on the past. Stay with the present. Do not focus on being a victim. Focus on being a survivor, and how you can use this experience to your benefit. Look FORWARDS not BACKWARDS
- Do NOT be afraid of being alone, learn to value your own company, for now. Focus on healing and loving yourself.
Take it one day at a time, and try not to panic (if you have lost your job, your home, friends, your finances, or all of this) DONT panic!
Find someone you can trust. If you cannot trust anyone because of what has happened. Then go easy on yourself and treat yourself like your own best friend!!! – even this is therapeutic
You WILL recover from this. It is important not to throw yourself into another relationship before you are healed, as you risk meeting another one. Focus on you. And most importantly, learn to love you. Focus all of your love on you, because you are special. You are worth it, and YOU deserve YOUR time!!
If you are reading this, and you have recovered, is there anything else that you can think of which is good for recovery? Please add your comments, anon comments are welcome!!
Words © datingasociopath.com
16 thoughts on “From victim to survivor”
During the recovery process, I was all alone. Keep in mind now that I did not know what happened (no closure), and I did not know that he was a sociopath. I couldn’t connect the dots because I did not know there were people like this! I prayed a lot… prayed to god to get him out of my heart and my mind (and I am not a religious person). Over time, he contacted me (of course), and because he was not violent and soft spoken, and he did not threaten my life in any way, I talked to him. And, of course, the I love yous and the I miss yous started all over again. (He must have been shut off from his source). Because I held my ground, his behavior became erratic, and the words sarcastic, biting, then always claiming he was joking with me (but he wasn’t!). But because contact was established, and it was so erratic and crazy, IT WAS ONLY THEN THAT I REALIZED WHO HE WAS! Then all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, and everything clicked together in an instant! I started reading everything I could, and it was only then that I finally learned everything I needed to know. I could finally let go, and then the grieving started all over again… this time realizing everything was a lie. So it was the contact from him that showed me what I needed to know to be able to move on. Now, my questions are answered, and even though I totally understand what happened now, I miss missing him, or moreover, I miss myself because he took on my persona. Yes, it will take time, but my head has cleared, and I have more moments without him now than I do with him, so there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for me.
Great post Cindy!! I have written posts about all of those points that you raise. I just wrote about learning to trust after a sociopath breakdown as they often leave us isolated and we feel that we have to start from scratch over again.
i think that it needs to be a step by step process of recovery. first of all, is to learn to LOVE YOU!!
Keep things small. Also ask yourself, what is it that you are missing? And is what you are missing reality? If it was how nice and kind he was – was he really kind, or were those just words?
Yes you are right, he took on YOUR persona!! He didn’t take it away, he can’t it is still there, within you.
You know the secret of true happiness comes from within. Nobody else can make you happy. Only you.
Sometimes you need to meet a liar, to learn to start trusting yourself. To start trusting you.
I think we sometimes need to go back a few times, and see the pattern repeated over and over, to realise that this is just the way that they are. They can’t change.
You can never change him – but you can change YOU!
Follow the things that make you happy and bring you joy, one thing one day at a time….. 🙂
I went and still am going thru this but my life is in great danger he’s threatened to kill me multiple times and I’m sure it will happen if I stick around but I have nobody nowhere to go warrants for my arrest because of his drug abuse and making. He’s made it that way of course to scare me he makes me believe I see things I do because they are real and the mental abuse is unbelievable! I truly believe his next step is my death.
My realization came exactly the same way…he reestablished contact while I was at work and it just clicked. The most wonderful/awful realization. It suddenly all made sense (and absolutely no sense) all at once. Thank you for your post.
Light has to come when the brokenness has run it’s course of healing. Find your outlet to advance your healing. Whether it be reading, writing, drawing, singing, or exercise or all. Talk to someone mutual. Preferably a Pro. If you suffer Depression, tell anyone that can listen or help. Understand Any Contact with this person will only prolong the inevitable. It’s OK to still love the person, grieve through, miss them, and pray for them daily. As your mind unwires so will your heart. Ask God above to shield and Speak in all of his mighty miracle ways that Will happen. God expects you to Not be associated with the person or their family. Why? Because what you Must go through it will Hurt your outcome to Heal. As days pass .. In my case it took 6 months nearly… I knew the person 3 years. Each one of those days were terribly hard. My mind an body kicked in an told me STOP THE ABUSE. STOP NOW! HEAL ON YOUR OWN., with outside counseling help. Of course, foremost, God had to do the work. I apologize from the sociopath To YOU. YOU May Never Get an Apology so needed…. Accept that. Moving on is different in us all. It’s up to you an the Father above to figure out your best Way to Recover. In his hands, ….. Stay Strong!!!
Beautiful comment. Thank you!!
Suddenly losing his great income and being on the pension again with kids to raise, it was a big financial decision to ‘invest’ in an X-box 360. So glad we did – it is fun for the girls and I, and the time taken to get a workout with it flies so fast I want to spend 3 times as long on my fitness. I’m sure this exercise and fun, plus my amazing friends, are helping me keep depression at bay. Several narcs in and 3 sociopaths in, I feel well armed and confident. Your site has been a great help. I smile several times daily, despite it being less than a week since I found the proof I had known would come.
After 24 years of marriage and 6 attorneys to get out, I am finally divorced. With many tied up assets and three children, It’s still far from over, but I am beginning to find a new peace. I have been struggling greatly with letting go and still holding onto hope, because I truly did love my ex. I came across this site and it has been life changing. Thank you!!!
I am going though the hurtful aftermath of being in a relationship with a sociopath for almost a year. I’m left feeling hurt, confused, angry (at times), hopeless and at times love for him still. As most have stated he was extremely charming, attentive, caring, funny, affectionate and sexy. I was head over heels within 2 weeks!!! He appeared to be everything that I wanted in a man. The lies started from the beginning… I believed them because of the nature of the lies. Who would lie like that? He mostly lied about having time to spend with me all the while telling me everyday that he cared about me and was trying to make time to spend with me. We worked together so he made sure to have lunch and office visits with me daily. There were mainly late night sleepovers at his place but he kept in contact by phone constantly. He knew I was madly in love with him so whenever I’d get tired and walk away he threw on the charm and amazing sex to keep me. I didn’t know that I was being manipulated but he was GOOD!! I was consumed with him!!! Then he started borrowing money..that became the new goal instead or along with sex. The extragant lies started as to why he needed my help financially. I loved him so of course I helped. It was all a lie!! Fortunately for me I’m not your typical victim, I got every dollar back and then some!! I was lied to, cheated on, deceived, tricked and manipulated. I’m a very strong and confident woman but I was taken in by someone that I thought cared about me ( he told me this daily). Thank God for me that my aggressive personality has made him move on. Although I’m hurt I got revenge and he’s suffered and have moved on to easier prey. It’s a struggle daily and I’m working on me and learning everything I can about these sociopaths to understand why this happened to me and to make sure it never happens again.
I need help. I just got discarded by my sociopath 4 days ago. I feel horrible. I found out that he was officially diagnosed as a sociopath and also is a sex addict. I felt gross because I had sex with him and I started thinking of all the inconsistencies and the lies when we met. it seems that his breakups were always the woman’s fault and he is just so nice and old fashioned. I see now that he was trying to get me to be exclusive with him too soon by saying he doesn’t think it’s ok to date more than one person at a time before being an official couple. Then I learned that he has women date him exclusively while he sleeps with an army of women (mostly threesomes and orgies) until he decides the next logical step is a relationship. Then, he stops the sex with other people and uses this person for sex. He would shower the person he is dating with attention, charm, love, etc, but would totally neglect the person as soon as there was an official relationship. He would neglect the person for days. he would demand too much and provide too little. He doesn’t say sorry even when he is told that his actions are hurting someone. He’s admitted he’s never fell in love with anyone (not even the mother of his child who he lived with for 6 years and she knew he didnt love her, but she didn’t leave).. However, I was special.. it was different with me. He didn’t want to have sex with anyone else and he didn’t want to be with anyone else but me. he’s promised every single woman he’s slept with that he will never leave and will always have their back. Most of his friends are female and he’s slept with all of them. his parent, friends and the mother of his child forced him into therapy and he’s been going for a year only to have the therapist want to drop him because he wouldn’t want to talk. we bought tickets for a trip the night before he discarded me. he bought his with his money and I with mine. even last night he was implying that he would go with me even after I told him not to contact me again right after he discarded me. I could see how he enjoyed watching me cry when he discarded me and all of a sudden he became this comforting man hugging me and kissing me and asking me to stay in his life. I told him again not to contact me after last night’s texts. I used the example provided here. He lashed out at me with personal attacks and I called him a sociopath and to leave me along. He went on to play hurt saying that he didn’t deserve that, that I mean a lot to him and that I am a great person. I told him that I know he doesn’t care about me and that he should actually use the therapist he goes to. I have been left confused, hurt, afraid, and I haven’t been able to go to work this week. Now I feel maybe he isn’t a sociopath because he didn’t steal anything from me, he didn’t move in with me although he spent the night over often. he just used me for companionship (we both played guitar together) and sex. I miss him and I’m angry at myself for feeling I miss him and for feeling I may still be in love with him. He made me feel protected, appreciated, cared for, and loved.. and now all that was a lie. I’m hurt and don’t even know where to find support.
For me self-focus really helped in the recovery. Meditation, mindfulness practice, gym and exercise. I can recommend also Louise Hay ‘s videos (YouTube). Reading about this disorder helped; Mask of Sanity and Without Conscience, these both made me understand this disorder better. Also blogs like this one. Speaking about it was helpful, releasing the shame and opening to people about what what was happening in my life, people showed me a lot of support i.e. After he disappeared bk to his fiancé of 4 years (and yes of course I did not know there was 1/2/3). In addition, releasing of the guilt is very very important, please don’t blame yourself, u really need to be kind to yourself be your own parent and your own best friend. It’s also important to avoid automatic compliance, always be a little sceptical and above everything trust yourself and know that your feelings are true and these are there to signal that something is wrong. I hope this helps and I’m sorry if all sounds a bit messy xx good luck everyone. I consider myself lucky once I got away xxx
Also positive affirmations helped me….I had to mention this one. Please don’t give up on some of those technics if the don’t work straight away. They will gradually. XxxX
I really pray God that these categories of people should erase from the earth.at least they should suffer in front of our eyes..I was such a successful and bold person…He made me nothing and enjoying his life with new replacement that too infront of my eyes ! By god’s grace I am recovering..
Still recovering and it hurts.
Coming across this site has given me the closure that I was seeking when it came to my unusual 16 year long partnership. Over the years when I tried ending it due to feeling emotionally neglected and isolated, we would eventually dance to the same song of luring me back through “I’m sorry, I know I can be a better partner and I will”, to him actually going into private therapy for a year until it was too painful for him, to I was the one that demanded too much.
Being that he was never verbally or physically abusive, a great provider, kind to strangers and friends, and respected professionally, I was led to believe that if I truly loved him, I should love him the way he was, emotionally closed. I am also a woman that is intelligent, committed and faithful.
That said, I compromised that we would live apart though he did not want me to work and would financially support me. I also compromised the ability to have children with him. In the first 10 years, he assured me that it would happen next year, and then we did not need a child as I would always have him, just the two of us. He did not believe in marriage either. It was only a paper that would not change how committed he was to me. I also was not allowed to form close relations with his family though our mothers were close throughout our time together.
Suddenly, 2 weeks ago, he called telling me he was coming to see me immediately (I moved to another city 2 years ago and we were long distance), to end everything!
I relocated because he had always used his business as a main reason why he was so closed due to being exhausted, and we frequently had getaways to where I moved to and I wanted to have a getaway home for him to unwind. The first year was surprisingly great even though we could not see each other daily. We still talked frequently throughout the day and saw each other weekends. As the year ended he started to only come twice a month claiming to be busy with work. During this time, I made new friendships and attempted to build the life I always wanted us to have and believed I was starting a new business for us.
Throughout the years we had fought about my working. He belittled the positions I considered saying they were beneath me. He then proposed that I prepare a business plan and when ready, he would finance my venture. Everytime I was ready, he would suddenly have a financial crisis and my hopes were dashed.
Then last year he told me he was seriously ill and could die. I, obviously, panicked. I began researching his condition to change our diets and lifestyle. I was healthy but was willing to support him by adopting his special diet too. Then due to his illness he could not finance my small business. Then he only started seeing me once a month and told me I could travel to him. When I did prepare to visit him, at the last moment something came up.
After he shocked me by telling me he never loved me, that we were never a domestic partnership and I demanded too much, I fell apart. When he showed up, after telling me we were over but still wanting to be friends, I asked for his keys. He looked surprised and said he forgot them. I asked for my “allowance” and left him to mow the lawn as he had promised to do. When I returned only half was done, he claimed a part broke and he would get a new part and finish when he came back. Fitting image of our life together.
I was so heartbroken and confused. I was also furious at being betrayed. During his breakup rant he was surprised when I asked if there was someone else. He admitted he was only interested. My betrayal does not stem from the other woman but rather from all the lies I believed.
Thankfully, I was also worried about his health. I wondered if that was related to his beakup with me. The previous month he visited his mother to tell her about his health. He told me he told her a little but not all as he did not want her to worry. He also said she told him he was too young to die. His sister is a nurse and I felt that at least she should know everything and called his mother for her number. I knew that he would be angry but I felt it was the right thing to do. When I called her she sensed I had been crying and got me to open up. I explained how he ended things and what he said. She was shocked. She told me that I was his “wife” and how close she was with my mom. She also told me that he has been closed since he was a child. He told me something traumatic happened when he was 20 and that changed him. His family never understood him but respected his boundaries. I then talked about his health being compromised thinking she knew something. She was shocked again. He only told her things were great, and I was well but he was busy with work.
This revelation got me to start looking online to find some clarity. I found a great article on loving toxic people and was surprised to learn just how toxic he was for me. Between crying, feeling lost and confused, and shock, I finally realized what had happened to me. When I found this site and read the articles and comments, I could not believe how I fell into this trap and that there was an explanation for all the oddities I lived through with him.
I tested what I learnt this morning. I called him because we still have matters to settle and when he finally picked up, told me he did not know I called since he has the flu and been in bed for a week. I asked why it took so long to answer my call today, who he was talking to (short ring to voicemail), he, of course, denied it claiming to be in the bathroom sick. We spoke briefly about money, I, wanting to know how much time I have to get a job, and he scoffed that he always provides for me and that I would have my money at the end of the month and could not understand why I would question it! When I told him I did not know who he was after our breakup, he was adament that I did, that he was always there for me. Then he said how everything was his fault. I told him it was my fault that I stayed with him and he was speechless. Then he got mad at me for talking with his mother. He said he understood I did it with love but she was so worried now. I told him that she deserved to know and that she told me I was his “wife”. He could not get off the phone fast enough.
I am sorry this is so long but I actually feel stronger writing this. I am so grateful to have discovered that instead of being demanding and not understanding, I was simply used. It does not stop all the tears and pain but at least I have peace in knowing that sociopaths are not all violent or abusive outwardly. I also found the tidbit about how CEOs have a tendency to be sociopathic, to be enlightening. Thank you for opening my eyes and giving my mind and heart, peace.