Recovery from a sociopath
Give yourself time and distance
After the sociopath, you’re left holding the bag. What’s in the bag? Emotional devastation—everything you believed was a lie. Anger—at the sociopath and at yourself for being duped. Financial ruin—you have no money and staggering debts. Children—which the sociopath has either abandoned or demands. Health problems—from sexually transmitted diseases to post traumatic stress disorder.
The sociopath, in the meantime, has moved on, and couldn’t care less. It’s called “devalue and discard,” and it crushes your sense of self.
Overcoming the trauma
So how do you recover?
First of all, understand that you are not a fool, you were targeted. Sociopaths are expert manipulators. They spend their whole lives perfecting their acts. There are millions of sociopaths on the planet, and each has conned hundreds of people. You are certainly not alone.
Secondly, get help—the right help. Do not expect your family and friends to understand. No one really understands unless they, too, have been targeted. If you see a therapist, make sure he or she knows what it’s like to be involved with a sociopath. Some therapists are excellent, but others really do not understand the trauma suffered by victims of sociopaths.
Finally, give yourself time and distance. The fastest way to heal is to have No Contact with the sociopath. Away from the predator’s influence, the reality of the deceptions will become clear. Even so, you will have to do a lot of emotional processing and grieving. Be patient with yourself. For more information, the articles in the Recovery from a sociopath section of Lovefraud.
Yes, sociopaths exist
For any normal, warm-hearted person, it’s difficult to believe that sociopaths actually exist. How can a person be so cruel? So empty? So evil?
Furthermore, the predator appears to be normal. He or she is living in your community, working at your company, or going to your church. It’s enough to make you lose your faith in humanity. In fact, many victims say they will never trust again.
Yes, they exist—at 1% to 4% of the population, there are millions of sociopaths out there. But remember, that still leaves more than 90% of the population who aren’t sociopaths.
There is still good in the world. It is possible to recover, love and trust, if you give yourself permission and time to heal.
Support from people who understand sociopaths
If you would like to share your story with people who truly understand, or get advice from people who have been where you are, join the Lovefraud Community. The members are not professional therapists, but have all been targeted by sociopaths, so they know what you’re going through. Registration, which is free, is required to post comments. Read How to comment.
You may also want to read Love Fraud — How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan. Not only does the book explain how the deception happens, but why. It can help you make sense of your experience.