The book caught my eye at the airport. John-the-Narc's shrink introduced the sociopath word in his therapy, and he has been wondering whether he is one. At their core, sociopaths lack the capacity to empathise. They are unable to make sense of what other people are feeling. If John is one of those, then the question I need to ask myself is why on earth I chose a man who was so incapable of empathising with me.
Many Sociopaths can also be Narcissists. And I'm really not sure whether John would be a diagnosable one, or whether he just has some Sociopathic traits.
ME Thomas also has a blog that helps Sociopaths wrestle with their unique issues. Sociopathic World it's called, if you're interested. I had such a chuckle this morning, reading through the posts: these Sociopaths pull no punches when they talk to one another. It must be so freeing for them - they just say stuff as they think it, because they're all talking to each other and don't really create hurt feelings when they do this. I imagine it must be quite a relief for them, lambasting and abusing each other without the normal repercussions of damaged partners and floods of tears!
Here are some choice quotes:
"Get off of your soap box. No one cares.
How the hell am I suppose to know whether or not you're just a chimpanzee with a keyboard?
Shut up, please, while you still have some dignity."
"You are ignorant. Go read some of the other posts and comments on this website. How could you possibly believe that everything comes in the same cookie cutter shape.
Come back when you understand how the world works."
"Give a man a fire and he may be warm for the rest of the evening; set him on fire and he will be warm the rest of his life."
Of course the problem for me reading this book is that I start developing more and more compassion for John's 'condition'. Which could lead to me forgiving him much more than he ever deserves. And then letting him get away with the horrendous things he has already done, and might still do to me. But if I can really come to terms with the picture that I'm really just a plaything or object to him, and don't mean much to him emotionally at all, maybe I can brace myself better for the legal battle that lies ahead of me
Sociopaths play with their targets. They love getting inside their heads and understanding their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. While the 'Empath' (me) is falling in love and becoming deeply engaged in the Mask of the Sociopath, the Sociopath is trying to become the empath's ideal lover. Figuring their every need and pandering to it, in order to consummate the relationship and begin to take out of it anything they desire: money, sex, status, or a job. Once the Sociopath has what they want, they discard the empath. They actually take some pleasure in surveying the destruction they wreak in the empath's life: they see it as a measure of their power.
My Narc has now delivered his next blow, and told my lawyer he will be serving me notice on Monday. And made plenty threats about how he will divulge all sorts of personal disclosures about our relationship unless I pay him out the 500k he says I owe him. I am so incredibly angry that he will take it this far, and also so deeply hurt that I trusted him and that he is now betraying me so savagely. But if this is just his way of seeig how powerful he really is, and how much of me he can actually destroy before he leaves for good, then I guess I will just have to stand right up to him and not allow him the satisfaction one more time.
I guess I just have to walk this path. For some reason the Universe is wanting me to learn this lesson so soundly that I never go here again. And also, seeing him do this to me without a flinch of conscience makes it impossible to ever consider going back to him, no matter how much I miss how I felt with him, or how much I grieve his loss.
He is not who I thought he was. He is some other type of human being with no conscience. He will lie, cheat, steal and manipulate whoever he can to get what he wants, and I happen to be the person in front of him who he thinks he can still milk for something. He thinks hes cleverer than me. His Narcissism makes him think that. Which means, like other Narcissists before him, he will underestimate me. And that will be his biggest mistake.
I have taken a real beating over the past months. But I am not unprotected. I am surrounded by good strong people and agents of the Universe who will not let him harm me any more. They will not protect me from the lessons. But they will not let him harm me any more. He has wreaked enough havoc in my life. It's over. He will find that out soon.
And here, an anonymous poster on the Sociopath World site has some thoughts on how to recover after this sort of betrayal:
Ah, yes, how do you recover from having been used and lied to... do you start hating the perpetrator and wishing him hell or are you emotionally strong enough to continue liking him, smile at his antics, admire his continued energy and the energy and motivation he spreads around him (even though it is 'fake', at at least not what we call genuine). But what about art? Art is fake. Art is not real life. Art can lift you up, disgust you, scare you, make you forget about the drudgery of life for a while, and can be extremely controversial. Life without art would be dull. The following is a post of mine from a few days back:
Our society dwells on the bad sides of sociopathy: sociopaths wreak lives, break hearts and lie pretty much out of habit without a care in the world.
But more crucially, sociopaths know how to endear themselves and earn the trust of normal people. If they were not likeable, they would not be able to leave a trail of destruction. People would not really care about them lying.
It is because they are so endearing (before the mask falls off) that the empaths find it so difficult when they realize the feeling is not, was never reciprocated. They feel hurt, used and abused, stupid, ridiculed. And to make matters worse, they can see that people around them are still enthralled by the sociopath. They feel jealous of the relationship (as hollow or superficial as it is) that the sociopath is able to maintain with other people, after they themselves have been 'discarded'. This can certainly bring suicidal thoughts.
So it is easy to forget all the good sides that made it so easy for the empaths to like the sociopath in the first place. If the mask was off to start with, the feeling of deception that accompanies the revelation that the sociopath never followed the basic social contract (I like you as much as you like me) could potentially be avoided. Then perhaps empaths could find it in their heart to not despise the sociopath and appreciate him for who he truly is: the best personalized stand up actor they will ever meet. I have heard descriptions ranging from human hand grenade to private poet.
Enjoy the sociopath in your life as you would enjoy a movie, a song, a video game, a poem or any other form of art. They provide a departure, transient in most cases, from real/regular life.
Hmmm... I wonder if I'll ever be able to find that level of peaceful entertainment with my John....