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Writing out the sociopathic experience heals my life today

I don’t spend a lot of time writing about ‘what happened’ while I was with the sociopath. What happened cannot be changed. What can change is how I treat myself today. What I do today to create the beautiful life I deserve. In that process, I write about the triggers from the past that sometimes erupt and their impact on my life today. I find too much ruminating over what happened in the there and then affects my here and now. It holds me back from living each moment of my day with joyful abandon.

Recently, however, a producer approached me about taking my book, The Dandelion Spirit, and turning it into a movie.

Wow. Cool. Weird.

Love it, even though part of me is scared it’s just a joke. It isn’t true – vestiges of the sociopathic encounter that would have me believe the world is not a safe and loving place.

In acknowledging I deserve my success, I have to participate in the process of making my dreams come true. The producer has asked for more details about some of the things that happened. He’s asked me to write them out. Not that the story needs more drama – I mean really, what could be more dramatic than an encounter with a sociopath? Every moment is filled with the angst and drama of the shifting sands of reality stirring up terror and fear in every gasping breath. Every day is replete with the drama he created to keep the veil of confusion sealed around me. The drama was part of what I became addicted to. It was part of what kept me ensnared in his unholy embrace, gasping for air as I drowned beneath the trauma of loving him.

It isn’t that the story needs more drama, but it does need specific moments that reveal the subtle manipulative mechanisms he employed to keep his Prince Charming mask in place.

And so, I’ve begun the process of writing out some of the events that I did not write about in The Dandelion Spirit. These are the events that were so painful, so numbing, so humbling that I have avoided looking at them – until now.

It’s been an interesting, not to mention surprising, process. Surprising because, some events still remain sensitive to light. Touching them hurts. And yet, in the process of writing them out, I let them out, I let them go. I cast light upon the shadows and release them to the past. In writing them out, the pain eases and I breathe more deeply the fresh clear air of gratitude and appreciation in which I live my life today.

The momentary pain of re-living the event eases as I face the sadness of having once been ‘that woman’ back then who was so abused. Writing them out is good for me.

As I write, it is imperative that I remind myself – that was then, this is now. I cannot heal what I do not acknowledge. I cannot change what happened, nor the past. I can change its hold on me today.

I was hurt in that relationship. Deeply wounded. I fell hard. I fell fast. I fell.

Today, I am not that same woman who pleaded endlessly with ‘her man’ to please forgive her for….. Fill in the blanks. I asked him to forgive me for breathing in the end, for taking up room, for being part of his life. I spent most of my time begging for his forgiveness, all the while never acknowledging, forgiving him was not necessary – stopping his abuse in my life was.

In healing, I have let go of forgiving him – he doesn’t matter in my life today and forgiving him is for me, not him. In healing, I focus my attention on me and forgive myself. I forgive myself for holding myself in that place where he had permission and the latitude to abuse me. For lying to myself, for continually lying to the world as I tried desperately to pretend I was okay, that everything in my world was alright – that was a lie. I knew it then. I acknowledge it today and forgive myself with a loving heart.

In writing out the events I’ve never been able to speak of, I give myself permission to heal those areas of my heart that remain pocked with the pits of that time when I gave up on me and gave into a man who I believed had the right to abuse my love, faith, hope and trust.

It’s hard work writing out some of these events – but it’s good work. Healing. Soothing. It makes me joyful. For, in the writing out, I let it out and when I let it out it no longer hides uneasily in darkness within me.

In writing it out, I give myself permission to step into the beautiful light of my life today, freely, lovingly, completely. In writing it out, I acknowledge, what he did back then is nothing compared to what I am capable of doing today when I stand without fear and look into the mirror of my eyes and say, I love myself exactly the way I am. I am free.


Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

43 Comments on "Writing out the sociopathic experience heals my life today"

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  1. apt/mgr says:

    To enlightened,
    I too, believe a day of reckoning is coming. God says we will reap what we sow. He says His words will not return to Him void, meaning that He means what He says. But the best part is that He is merciful to those undeserving of mercy. All of us. I just wish the ones in my life who caused me the most pain, would realize that in God’s eyes we all fall short. Not just me, as they would believe. We extend mercy because we want mercy. I thank God that He has given me the ability to love and not hate. A friend asked me if I hated my husband for all that happened, and I said, I don’t know how to hate. I’ve felt I’ve been hated, but I love God and God says whoever says they love Him but hates his fellowman is a liar. I don’t go around making enemies. I want friends but I become so paranoid that I begin to wonder what they see that they want to hurt me so. I’ve grown a much tougher exterior and don’t take the barbs personally anymore. I consider the source and pray that God would be able to shine His light on them. I think they walk in darkness. They don’t like the light because it will expose them and they seem too proud to admit to any failings. What a sad state to have to live in a mind that is constantly trying to deceive and disengage people and catch them unawares. I want to trust someone again and enjoy the fruits of a real relationship. I just know if I let down my guard again, I’ll constantly be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Trying to find a real man who follows God’s precepts is very difficult. Even the Christian community is being taken in by men who proclaim God, but in secret they are doing their dirty deeds. How could a shepherd of the flock stand in the pulpit and preach morality to his people, knowing he’s out there soliciting sex from gays or prostitutes?

    In my walk through life, I find men who have a little bit of God and they think they are God. Like that gives them the right to do what they do. I have a friend, who when I first met him and questioned something he did, held up his hands and said, “See the nail prints?” That stopped me in my tracks and made me wonder how he really saw himself. Did he think he was so pure that he was Christ? I’ve been so confused by the men who had been in my life, that I doubt whether I’d recognize a real one. They wear a facade and I keep waiting for it to slip. They even appear to be real Christians. Then it’s such a disappointment to find out just what their character speaks of them.

    But I digress. For your recovery, I think it will take time. I don’t think there is any instant formula and viola, you’re whole again. The whole episode of the relationship has to be processed. The mind and heart have to heal. I know for me, I keep searching for answers and I don’t think there is just one right answer. They all apply, but I wanted to fix what seemed so messed up with the man, but I have to take care of me and he can do the same. I just finally know through this site and some others, that I’m okay and you’re okay. We just happened to be in their line of vision. But for me, I think everything happens for a purpose. I believe there are forces of good and evil at work in our world. All one has to do is watch the news and read what is happening to people the world over. That’s evil. Ones definition of love is definitely different from another’s. Especially if his love takes the form of control. Then it isn’t love. There should be freedom in love. I didn’t have that freedom. I do now, but I’m not “in love”. And don’t think it will happen. I have high standards and don’t want to lower them to the point I did before and got lost in a man. I can’t risk losing that part of me ever again. I no longer want surprises like that in my life. I wait before God for Him to make all things possible and He does. He has healed my mind and broken heart. Christ said He came to bind up the broken hearted and I was one and He did and He will continue to do so.



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  2. Hello Enlightened, Welcome to this place of healing hearts and soaring spirits.

    As apt/mgr says, it takes time. And energy and a belief that you deserve to live a life of beauty, free of abuse, free of lies, free of being less than, other than, the most awesome human being you are meant to be.

    When I first started my healing journey I decided that what was most important for me was to focus on me — to love myself, exactly the way I am, and to acknowledge my beauty — and my beast. The beast is for me, that wounded, terrified, frightened woman who doesn’t stand in her light because she is afraid of being 100% accountable for herself.

    Four+ years after that debacle with the sociopath, my beast still occassionaly rises up and tries to over-power my belief in me. When he does, I embrace him, love him and soothe him. And then I focus once again on standing in my light, on standing, in love.

    Standing in love has been a gift for me. In love doesn’t mean being in love with another (though that is also true for me today), it means standing in my truth, my beauty, my joy, my spirit.

    You have come to a good place to heal Enlightened. Keep reading, keep sharing, and keep turning up for you. You deserve your rapt attention.

    ML



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  3. apt/mgr says:

    I’ve learned that I don’t have to own the problems of other people. I came with this idea of taking responsibility for other people and that I should be able to get them to see what they are doing, then if nothing happens, I blame myself. It took me a long time of self analysis to realize they were here in life before me, so whatever problems they have were there before me. They just used me as a convenient target. I became their scape goat and took the mantle willingly. That was the beginning of the demise of the person I was to begin with, before I allowed someone to determine my boundaries.

    We are all created separately and we are individuals. There’s nothing written that we have to take ownership for someone’s failures and misery. If we are strong in our own right, we can help someone become the best they can be, but they have to ask. The ones in question in my life thought they weren’t flawed in any way and wanted to keep pointing out my failings. I had such an inferiority complex by that time, I believed I had no worth. But the tide changed in my favor, and I finally realized they are the ones with the flaws. No wonder no one wanted to stay married to them. You never know which man is going to show up, so you wait in trepidation, not knowing what to say for fear it will be all wrong. What a dismal way to live.

    Being on this side, I can see where I went wrong, but I’m much stronger now and know that what I was feeling inside, was just my gut instinct telling me to watch out. I’ve learned to follow that and I’m most always right. I’m right to hesitate and just wait and see. Truth will prevail. My instincts don’t let me down.



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  4. Apt/mgr — Yes! Yes! Yes! You wrote: I came with this idea of taking responsibility for other people and that I should be able to get them to see what they are doing, then if nothing happens, I blame myself. It took me a long time of self analysis to realize they were here in life before me, so whatever problems they have were there before me.

    What great insight. Thank you for sharing. I’m in awe. ML



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  5. apt/mgr says:

    Thank you. I know my plan on doing life is much different than most, but I’ve been able to prove my theories through my children. I consider them my fruit and I, with God’s help, was able to impart truth to them. But I’ve lived in such a way that I can give an honest account of my life. No surprises. As I read all these accounts I’m finding that I really wasn’t alone in my assessment of what I was told I just imagined. I kind of wish I could have had my day in court, but I’m finding as I live and breath, the truth keeps opening to me, and what I thought was, really is. Isn’t truth grand? It took me getting hurt very badly, and having my trust exploited, but I’m so much stronger and wiser. So what if I don’t have someone to share life with, I have me and that counts more than having a man who only wants to use me and my resources and give me nothing in return. I’m responsible for me and they are responsible for them. Equality. Finally.



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  6. enlightened says:

    I feel the need to clarify something. I in no way meant that ‘he’ would not be worthy of God’s grace – yes, even the unworthy can receive God’s grace. I suppose that all I was trying to say was that I manage to find a little comfort in the fact that, one day, he will have to stand before God and face up to his lies. One day, the smirk WILL be wiped off his face. He will meet God face to face, and he will know what he did to me. I have to know that, because the hardest thing for me to deal with has been the fact that he will finish out his existence on this earth without being remorseful, or even GETTING what he did to me. This man was my best friend for two years. I thought. I shared every intimate aspect of my life with him – at his request! – we worked together, laughed together, and fell in love. I thought. The day that being with me was going to cost him, he threw me to the wolves. He took every confidence I had shared with him and he used it against me. He told horrible lies about me. He went into complete reptilian-like self preservation mode. The pain that he heaped on me was not even a consideration. It was about him. I’m too tired right now to say the rest. Another day, perhaps. Apt/mgr., in spite of the pain, or anger, you may hear from me – I don’t hate either. Don’t have it in me. Don’t even have a vengeful bone in my body. Have petty thoughts here and there, :-), but that’s the extent of it. One day,maybe I’ll share my story – until then, I am thankful for what I have gained from this website. Happy Holidays.



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  7. apt/mgr says:

    Enlightened
    You obviously believe God’s words. I find comfort in them and they have been the main part of my healing. I prayed for truth and I got it. More than I ever imagined. When things were really rough, the put downs, the belittling, being devalued, on and on, I would think of Christ’s words on the cross when He prayed for God to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing. I have to wonder just how much these kind do know. Do they walk in darkness and that’s why they can’t feel what we feel or even have remorse for their doings? I don’t know, because God says who can know a man’s heart or any humans heart. We are known by our actions, and people have been acting for centuries.

    I’ve learned to keep leaving it at the cross for God to take care of it. I’ve become cynical, yes, but I still have compassion. I went through the resentment stage, but the only one who was miserable was me. I read a quote that said, unforgiveness is like drinking poison everyday hoping the other person will die. I know in my heart I didn’t cause the turmoil. I processed my part of the whole relationship and I’m ready to push forward. We are all creatures who want to share life with someone. God said it’s not good for man to be alone. But I would say that God didn’t intend for man to treat woman like he does or vice versa. We should be able to trust the one we give our love and bodies to, but their heart is blocked off. I know in my case, the weird started after sex kicked in. Once we started having sex, as in my husband, and the lack there of with a male friend, that’s when the awful started. Everything was fine up to that point. Lots of talking, comradery, real communication, etc. After the sex drive was in force, something drastic happened. My husband was nice to everyone but me. Lots of double standards that weren’t there to begin with. Frankly I just don’t have it in me to care anymore. If any of them have demons inside, they have to figure it out. If they don’t ask for help, then they just have to live with themselves and function however. I’m just glad that God brought freedom to me, to finally function without them. My life is much more peaceful.



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