Christmas is supposed to be special. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, but at least that’s your goal.
So how do sociopaths view Christmas?
In my opinion, sociopaths view Christmas simply as another tool in their manipulation toolbox. They know that Christmas is important to their targets — that would be you — so they figure out how to use Christmas to advance their agendas.
So, if sociopaths are in the love bombing stage, they may shower you with gifts and create unbelievably magical moments.
If they’re in the exploitation stage, they may convince you to pay for gifts for them, the kids, or other people that they’re trying to take advantage of.
If they’re in the devalue and discard stage, they may ignore you at Christmas, or even let you know that they’re spending the holidays with someone else.
If they’re in the vindictive stage, they may intentionally think of ways to ruin Christmas for you, the kids, or other friends and family.
What to do
So how do you cope with the sociopath at Christmas, or your memories of the sociopath at Christmas?
I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to recognize the truth of what the sociopath is — a hollow, empty shell of a human being. This person is not capable of experiencing any kind of Christmas spirit. If you remember seeing behavior that seemed to express love and good cheer, know that it was an act.
If the sociopath is still in your life in any way, lower your expectations. Do not wish that maybe this Christmas he or she will be different. It will not happen, and you will be disappointed.
The gift of healing
The sociopath will never give you closure. The sociopath will never sincerely apologize. If you receive an apology, that, too, is manipulation.
Healing, therefore, will be a gift you give yourself.
You are a good, caring person who was deceived. The sociopath targeted you, and there is nothing you could have done to make him or her treat you any better.
So how do you recover? Here is the process, in three steps:
- Accept that what happened really did happen.
- Do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
- Let it go.
Of course, the description of these steps is oversimplified, and all steps require a lot of time, work and patience.
But if you can take the three steps, you’ll give yourself the best Christmas gift imaginable.