Three years ago i went through a period i consider was “the worse of my life” and I say so pointing out that I am seven times Cancer survivor and I am not talking about that, not at all! – so yes, it was bad and until today I could not find myself talking really about it.
When I say i dated a “Sociopath” I really mean it. I spent the past 3 years of my life not just fighting against Breast Cancer but also evaluating through each state of my treatment and my memories, using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, just to make sure I wasn’t wrong and I can tell you – he actually fulfilled every single aspect of that list:
“glib and superficial charm, grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self, need for stimulation, pathological lying, cunning and manipulativeness, lack of remorse or guilt, shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness), callousness and lack of empathy, parasitic lifestyle, poor behavioral controls, sexual promiscuity, early behavior problems, lack of realistic long-term goals, impulsivity, irresponsibility, failure to accept responsibility for own actions, juvenile delinquency, revocation of conditional release, criminal versatility”
To this day what still bothers me the most is the fact that although I consider myself an intelligent, bad-ass, analytic, caring human being, it took me so long to realize I was dealing with a vivid example of Voldemort, so long to get over it, recover, and finally stop feeling embarrassed. Ironically i found myself many times thinking all the abuse in that relationship was just me be being to sick, or it was just him being immature and unprepared to deal with an older sick kinda of girlfriend (I say kinda of because for him was for sure never a relationship) but finally I could at least built a profile not just of him but also of the circumstances surrounding the nightmare he brought into my life. He knew I was sick, and that was his entry point to take advantage of me. I know now it “was never my fault”. To blame you and make you feel you are the problem is other remarkable ability of sociopaths.
But what is in fact a Sociopath?
It’s estimated that 4 percent of the population fall under any type Sociopathy level, so chances are really high you’ve met at least one. The problem, is the capacity they possess to blend, to fake, to sneak – which make Sociopathy one of the most difficult mental disorders to spot.
A Sociopath is someone without conscience and remorse. A Sociopath knows the difference between bad and good but don’t care, – while a Psychopath reaches the point of not being able to hide, – think as an example a “serial killer”, he falls at some point to disorganization, he knows as well the difference between good and bad but care, need for stimulation, wants to take credit, but at the same time fails to follow society rules which is eventually one of the reasons that get him caught. This is just one of the many differences between both of them.
Sociopaths see life as a game of manipulation. They will tell you whatever they believe you need to hear, in order to be ahead of you. They are copycats, charming, they mimic emotions and by doing so are capable of taking advantage of you in ways that you probably will never spot until like in my case is already too late.
Sociopaths are charming individuals, who will sympathize with your insecurities, your childhood traumas, will grieve with you the death of your Dog, and be there for you when you are more vulnerable giving you the feeling, they are just the only thing you need to survive whatever storm you are going through. The problem is, their totally lack of empathy. They don’t’ feel emotions or grieve, they are superficially sympathizing with whatever situation you are in and already have a plan to take advantage of it. Sounds scary isn’t? …and it is freaking scary.
I am not an expert or a professional psychologist. After a few semesters i dropped to pursue other interests but kept fascinated with understanding human behavior, surely never went around with a checklist trying to figure out if somebody who crossed my path was a sociopath or a serial killer. It’s really ironic for a person like me to be fascinated with this at all!, I am all love and care for people and grew up believing there is good in each and every human. But now I know better and IS NOT in each or every human, and although this believe hasn’t change much !oh boy! I am more careful, more analytic, more aware.
For a person who doesn’t really date, like me -love doesn’t come in an easy way. Simply because I don’t even think about it. All my relationships so far are the result of being in the right place and moment when this so I thought “nice guy” could get to me, or in this case being in the right place at the wrong moment and having the bad “luck” to met a “nice scumbag sociopath”, and although I don’t believe on fairy tails where I’ll end up with the right one, I can promise you I never thought about ending up with a Sociopath. This was a topic for my criminology books and my serial killer documentaries but never something I thought one day will be writing down.
Sociopaths don’t lose time
You are to a Sociopath first a target (they choose you for whatever reason. being special is not one of them!) then you are an asset. They move fast. so how everything started? let me take you there.
After a night of drinks with coworkers and jokes about my sexuality, they teased me to kiss somebody at the party cause “I may be Lesbian” so they said. Fact is I truly love to be single and if I were gay I would never hide it – I am sure without drinks I would not even pay attention to the tease but here I was tipsy and choosing somebody to kiss and sadly, that was him.
It was a simple joke. He was related to my work and just a “boy” to me, I never meant to open the door to anything but he already had a different idea. Longer before that evening.
After that fatal kiss he suddenly disappeared not before leaving his jacket with wallet and keys behind. We (my coworkers and I) kept partying and talking about his face and the surprise and me not being Lesbian etc etc … So many topics in one night, and the buzz was over and I made my way home early in the morning.
Not so long after I was home my phone start receiving not less than 10 messages per minute. It was him and the game was on!
He knew somehow I was the only sane person that would pick up his jacket and that was his excuse to start a conversation. It was everything a plan! and btw the kissing game I later knew was his own idea.
so yeah they move fast and minutes into the text bombing he was into “how magical the night was”, “how much he liked me”, how incredible was the “kiss” and the most catching part, how shocked and sad he felt cause my cancer diagnosis.
I was disarmed, he got that spot where I was screaming for help and after a ping-pong texting game I ended up saying yes to a dinner evening that very same week.
Let me tell you how much I suffer too (the pity game)
When I started to point out he was too young to have any relationship with me and I was not looking for anything different than focus in my own life and recovery, he began seeking my pity. Our conversations turned into confessions, his stories about the people who did him wrong, his bipolar mother who sexually abused him, his swinger father who kicked him out the house instead of helping him to deal with his drug abuse, which by the way was not his fault but the result of depression caused by his ex-girlfriend who also did him wrong and hurt him. So here I was suddenly, when I wanted to talk about us and re-direction my intention to a nice friendship I found myself consoling him about everything else.
This is called the pity play, and it’s a powerful tool in the sociopath’s toolbox. Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door, says, “If you find yourself often pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy, the chances are close to 100 percent that you are dealing with a sociopath.” and that is exactly what happens with me. I found myself pitying not just because of his family situation but also because everybody else around me would find him let’s say ” disgusting and annoying and too young to do what he was called to do and a lair”. Months into my “relationship” with him no matter how bad he was, every conversation or complain I had or any attempt to leave, he will turn all to him and how poor he was and how much he needed me to overcome all his difficulties.
This is the moment when one need to focus on self-survival but I cared for him and felt sometimes very close to his own struggles, I saw myself in that loneliness, so I stayed.
Shocking your friends family and coworkers
My best friend not just got almost a heart attack but also tried non-stop to get me out of that situation. I could not tell him or tell anybody my situation and how much I wanted this person out of my life, so I turned into denial mode and switch to justify it. He is nice, he likes me, he cares for me ” HE HAS NOBODY ELSE BUT ME” My son which was at that point very close to his age would not even look at him or stay in the same room never, took him months to say hello. I remember the day finally they met (after 4 months sleeping in the same flat and avoiding each others every time). We organized a dinner (his idea) to invite my son and finally break the awkwardness. A few minutes after dinner they were playing games and talking about stuff you talk when you are in your early 20’s. My son came to me to “apologize” because he never tough he was such nice guy and care so much for me. So now we were both under this sociopath’s control.
Please get me out of here! (discovering the pathological liar)
I woke up everyday feeling something wasn’t feeling right, I saw the way he would lie to my coworkers, how he would manipulate every situation to his own advantage. He was in charge of a very big project in our company and never showed up for work or deliver anything. All this was happening while he was lying on my bed with his computer, asking me to bring him coffee, sending me to the supermarket to buy groceries so he could cook every day a new experimental dinner. I was exhausted I wanted him out but I was scared to lose my job, scared to say the truth scared of him.. until I was not anymore and decide to take back the control of my life and my house so I ended up the craziness and asked him to leave my place. Surprisingly he did but what comes next it’s mind blowing.
He Was Super Nice… Until He Was just Evil
By the time I was already out of this relationship, my company kicked him out of the project and the war started between them. Sociopaths are not just pathological lairs amount others but in his case and due to his constant drug abuse also paranoid.
He developed a theory where I was guilty of him losing the project and the work in our company. He was done with me, and discarded me like garbage so it was time for him to punish me and to blame me for everything going wrong.
During his time living at my place (6 months in a row having his own place!) he collected pictures of me naked, showering, made backup copies of my internal company emails which btw are confidential.
He was tracking every move of my company using me as a spy without me even notice. Sounds crazy but it was so, suddenly I was being blackmailed and he again took control of my life. I have done nothing wrong but I could also not explain how on earth he would have access to that information. I had to do everything he wanted.
I lost my job, my best friend never talked to me again. My son blamed me for our financial situation and grew apart amount many other crazy consequences. I was finished, critically ill, and 100% under this Sociopath’s control.
During the next 6 months I would work longer hours for him, drained my entire bank account, hosting him all entire week at my place but weekends when he would for sure return to his place to “pick up stuff and make laundry”.
Later on I discovered i was always the third wheel, and his girlfriend was not just his neighbor but also will have access to his flat 24/7, the flat he paid with my own money.
Finally when there was nothing left of me, when my bank account was empty, my dog was dead, my ferret too( he killed him) when I was alone with no friends to rescue me, he was done and ready to leave.
He did leave thanks God, and there I was with multiple instances of Breast Cancer tumors, with 1 euro in my bank account, no job, and no way to fight back. It was Christmas time, my dinner was a coke with a package of cigarettes, one year after he came to my life he was gone taking everything from me.
I tried to fight back, to recover my money at least, but he already saw it coming, so as everything sociopaths do, there was already a plan for me. He collected all my messages, the ones I wrote when I was sick, disturbed, sad or we got a fight and/or I found out lies and treated him to say it.
He went to the police and got a restraining order against me for STALKING, that way I could never ask anything back or even contact him.
At some point, you realize you can’t win. There is no cure for a sociopath. The only way to truly beat it is to cut off all contact and remove them from your life. Surprisingly this will hurt you more than it will hurt them, and you will have to spend the next XXX time of your life getting over it and dealing with the shame the embarrassment plus in my case with the financial consequences and loneliness.
After 2 years I cannot deny still hurt me somehow, not because I loved him I NEVER DID but I thank God the bad period is over and I feel no shame anymore, instead I feel proud of myself. I did beat Cancer and I did cut off all ties to him.
There is a say ” what doesn’t kill you make you stronger” I don’t agree with this. What hurts you, take your peace away, make you sick, is trying to kill you and you have to get away as fast as possible and no matter what you’ve been led to believe during your time dealing with a sociopath, know this: you are worthy of love and respect, there is no justification for any type of abuse, you deserve so much more.
It is difficult to leave an abuser, it is scary to even think how you could start over but by leaving you’ve already taken the first step.
This is just my personal experience and research I hope it helps.