If I had to pick the most powerful tool in a sociopath’s arsenal, it would be shame. I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions during my life with sociopathic parents: sadness, anger, confusion, jealousy (from observing “healthy” families), fear, loneliness, compassion, forgiveness. During the healing process, it is very normal to have waves of these emotions come and go. But for me, the one emotion that hasn’t come and gone, the one that has blanketed my entire life history, is shame.
Why shame? I didn’t ask to be abused as a child. As an adult, I certainly had the choice to sever ties with my parents, but I didn’t because I thought a good daughter wouldn’t do that. If I hang in there long enough, they will see I’m a good daughter and they will love me.