Over the years, hearing many victim stories, I often felt the pain and loss of “stolen lives.” Note that having one’s life stolen is not the same process as giving one’s life away. There are some who spend 30 or more years in a relationship with a sociopath/psychopath and it is important people understand that there is always coercion involved in the process of making and maintaining these relationships.
Consider that the coercive behavior that begins and maintains relationships occurs on a continuum from persuasion, to lying/manipulation to taking someone physically by force. The point is that there was never informed, freely given consent. If the victim had known the truth of what they were dealing with, they never would have been in the relationship. The person they thought they were with and the life they thought they had, did not exist. As this website points out, the perpetrator was a fraud.
This kind of fraud should be a crime, especially when it results in pregnancy, but that is a discussion for another day.
As you are recovering and living what is left of your stolen life, you might gain inspiration from someone who experienced extreme relationship coercion, Jaycee Dugard, a woman who was kidnapped at age 11 and held 18 years. I highly recommend her book, A Stolen Life.
In the book, Jaycee tells the story of her: abduction, the birth of her two daughters when she was 14 and 16, her daily life and eventual rescue. The book is so well written, I felt close to her as I read it and so grateful she had the bravery to tell her story. This is one of the best descriptions of life with a psychopath that has ever been written. If you lived with a psychopath you will relate to the twisted reality she endured. Also consider that she presses on, making the best of the life she has left and so can you!
This quote gives you a taste of the twisted reality, you may relate to:
“I gave my power to my abductor. I was the one to comfort him when he was the one in the wrong. Where was my comfort? Where was my freedom? Why did I feel the need to comfort my tormentor? Violating my body was not enough? He had to violate my mind as well? He had the ability to turn every situation to suit his needs.”
If you like Jaycee, were coerced into giving up your power, you can also decide today to take it back.
For more on this story, watch Jaycee Dugard interview: Diane Sawyer speaks candidly with survivor.