Editor’s note: A Lovefraud reader sent the following entry from her journal. “About 2 1/2 months since the sociopath revealed himself for what he was, I’m now assessing how I made myself so vulnerable in the first place,” she wrote. “Shockingly I realize I likely still am… still am as vulnerable… until I do my next needed self-work: truly healing my relationship with myself. Deeply.” The following piece represents a step in her healing.
I was thinking about whether I’d ever be able to reclaim my memories, once sweet, once preciously loving, of the past two years… ever since the sociopath revealed himself for the liar and deceiver that he is via his cruel departure.
I am grateful for his departure, don’t get me wrong. But I am still in the midst of my ongoing process to try to make Meaning and sense. (I have kind of surrendered to the hopelessness of “making sense” of it all. But I will ever strive to find, make, imagine Meaning!!)
I have found a volume of meaning so far. No doubt.
However…. A few days ago I was thinking about what made me vulnerable in the first place. What was the “hook” that hooked me so completely, so effectively, so surely from the earliest of moments?
(I have found some journal entries from those very early moments. If I ever thought I didn’t inquire, didn’t challenge my experience, didn’t wonder about the rightness of my next steps… Well I found the proof. I DID do all the questioning I’ve come to expect of myself. I DID do all the challenging of the validity of the experience – not presuming it was True just because it was Good.)
The question: What made me vulnerable? What was the hook that got me (so) hooked?
It was those aspects about me that I could not / would not accept (and note to self: still have not accepted) as “acceptable.” The things about me that I KNEW eliminated me from the hope of being truly loved, the things that were wholly unacceptable… these were the juiciest of bait. (Shit. Who was catching whom?? Is the metaphor wrong, or Freudianly perfect?)
- I was becoming quite and utterly convinced that I may not have the ability, the capacity to let someone love me, to trust someone when they claimed to love me, to be able to love someone wholeheartedly. Convinced that I may be so unacceptable that there is no one who could love me.
- I knew that I was inherently unlovable … and the outward picture of that was: my (then) smoking; my housekeeping; my weight. But these were the reasons my logical mind needed as proof in order to say “see, not loveable.” Truth is … this belief exists first. Not the other way around. Note to Self: Come back to this point…
- When he loved me IN SPITE OF… amazingly UNDIMISHED BY… these very things that I hated about myself; when he consistently stated, and effectively convinced me that these things had nothing to do with what he loved about me, that these things did NOT DIMINISH his love for me…
- I suddenly see that it was this that allowed the walls of resistance, of fear and of negation to fall from around my heart. This acceptance allowed me to allow Love IN! I could suddenly for the first time let someone all the way in to Who I AM!! I let him in to the most intimate places in me because he proved to me that I WAS worthy!! To self: Who did I need convincing about!?? Who do I need convincing about today?
- I let him in because he jumped over the hurdles of what I hated about myself. No need to mention that all of this “undiminished love” turned out to be merely the tool, not the truth.
MY JOB NOW:
To remove the currently, unfortunately still potent possibility of being hooked by another sociopath.
To remove these hurdles to ME LOVING MYSELF.
To accept every last ornery cranky nasty grimy part of myself as the whole loving loveable being that I am.
To finally learn what it is to LOVE MYSELF UNCONDITIONALLY. Because it is only this act, this change, that will remove the BAIT from the public square. To remove the possibility of being hooked again. To be able to BELIEVE the next person that offers me love, but not have to hand over my soul in the process!
I don’t know intellectually how I will accomplish this… the resistances in me can even now be heard along the fringes of my thoughts. But my desire for my life, my safety, and my desire to know love again, and truly this time, is strong enough that I think THIS will make it possible. THIS will motivate me to do the work I need to do.