Sociopaths brainwash their targets, and as such, upon severing a relationship with one leaves a person drained. That individual can feel disorientated and at a lost to discover ways to heal. There is bewilderment about how one found themselves entwined with the sociopath, as well as how they crafted and manipulated your view of the world. How does one begin to grieve and ultimately begin their next chapter in a healthy manner?
Begin, by understanding that the image of the person you were in love with, is out of alignment with the reality of their actions. The character they created for you was the ultimate illusion. They meticulously crafted a persona while keeping their true essence from you secret. All the while, they observe you and subtly adjusted your thoughts and actions to best serve their needs.
How Did the Sociopath Do This?
They started by dominating conversations to prevent you from asking any question. If you doubted them, they would tell you that you were paranoid and misdirected you from any attempt to address a key concern. Their goal is to keep you in a victim role and prevent you from uncovering any difficult truths. Sociopaths use approaches to mirror your patterns and appeal to your ego, which causes you to experience a high, similar to a drug. In time, you became dependent on this feeling and being around such an amazing person that recognizes your value. You saw them as offering an oasis from the drama in your life and you eager awaited the opportunity to take the steps with them to realize this incredible future. Unfortunately, your hope and enthusiasm prevented you from seeing the sociopath’s broken promises or outright lies.
Why the Confusion?
When the sociopath finally exits your life, you are left with the feeling of waking up from a fantastic dream and dissociating what is fact and what is an illusion. During this healing process you will feel like you are in a fog. In this liminal space you must begin a search for the truth. You will discover deep understandings of yourself, your place in society and both internal and external expectations. It will be normal for you to replay events to comprehend how the rouse took such root. You will have to process your feelings of shame and bafflement. You may become preoccupied with how other perceive your situations and wishing you could live the story the sociopath painted for you. Most of all, you desire answers that you might feel only the sociopath can provide you, but worry if even that thought is shrouded by the fog of your confusion.
The best way to find clarity is to cease all contact and communication with the sociopath. This will prevent them from further manipulating you. When the sociopath finally exits your life, you are left with the feeling of waking up from a fantastic dream and dissociating what is fact and what is an illusion. As you go on your journey of understanding the fog should slowly lift. Be prepared to confront the difficult emotions you must process to gain healing from this toxic relationship.
You might feel a sense of shock that someone who claimed to love you and promise you the world could putting you through this level of pain. The shock prevents you from being able to fully experience the emotions surrounding your ordeal. Although the numbing might feel good at first, you must move beyond it to be ready for your next stage of life.
Focus on aspects that made you, you, before you began the relationship with the sociopath. Reconnect with family and friends to help you rewrite the narrative in your mind. Research sociopaths and support groups for survivors. This will teach you that you aren’t alone in falling prey to someone like your ex’s charms, and their lies do not reflect poorly on your sense of character. Maintain your lack of contact to ensure you are best equipped to process your thoughts and emotions with a healthy support system. Lean on your support system and if possible, seek professional assistance. Give yourself time alone and with your support system before entering the dating pool, let alone beginning a new romance. With time, you will learn that you can heal as well as that only you can make yourself happy and healthy.