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Escaping a Sociopath

Updated on October 23, 2015
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Jennifer Smith is author & social media maven for a blog about recognizing & surviving a "relationship" with a sociopath.

Escape From a Sociopath is Within Our Own Hands

Escaping a sociopath lies in our own hands and hearts. Breaking free from a relationship of any kind of abuse is scary and dangerous; escaping safely from a sociopath is infused with bone-deep terror.

Sociopaths woo, manipulate and twist our world. Knowing what the circumstances truly are casts it all in a new light; the early loving days together become the background for the ongoing nightmare of extricating our lives from his or hers; a gruesome surreal ride that can last longer than the manufactured relationship.

Romance Scams as Entertainment

Romance cons and sociopaths for many are nothing more than “entertainment” on T.V. and in films; dramas of bad men hijacking women's hearts. Beating, stalking, worse. In movie after film breaking free from abusers, malignant narcissists, sociopaths, and psychos doesn’t come easily, Julia Roberts in Sleeping with the Enemy; had to outsmart her tormentor and risk all, even her own life, in order to have any chance of freedom. Sometimes the big-bad-meany is s a woman, like in Fatal Attraction. And, counterintuitively, sometimes the stories are funny, like Steve Martin and Michael Caine in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

These robber-barons of the heart are in fairy tales, featured in Sleeping Beauty with that wicked step-mother, Cinderella had one too. Robin Wright played the commoner who is taken in marriage by a heartless Prince in The Princess Bride, then a bit of a questionable character herself in House of Cards. The T.V. show Scandal is torturing psycho on top of manipulating narcissist out done by sociopathic lunatic. The list of con artists in popular culture goes on and on: White Collar, Bow Finger, Catch Me if You Can, The Talented Mr. Ripley. They are in books, The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan, and classics like East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

As enthralling and page turning and eye-popping as these stories are the actual experience is much more frightening in real life. Thankfully, it is we ourselves who are our own saving grace.

Love at First Sight with Mr. Right - Oh, so Wrong

Romance with a narcissist or sociopath starts out as a shining dream-come-true. It comes immediately and intensely. They set us up to experience compatibility beyond imagination; a match in interests, intellect and humor. A complimentary balance in skill, knowledge and ideas. A sense of taking one another beyond ourselves. Mesmerized. Hypnotized. A wild ride that seems blissful and then off kilter and then profoundly sad and confusing – and then the light comes on. Then a roller coaster ride in hell.

When their true intentions and behind the scenes malevolent and criminal behavior come to light we want a way out, but often instead had given them more time. They create sleight of hand tricks to keep us “in” as well as imbue our hearts with fear. During these past-due infestations in our lives they ruin us further. They are clever, they create chaos from the moment they meet a target. From the split millisecond they have us in their pocket as a juicy morsel of prey the ride beings --- before we can buckle up.

Chaos in these fake, defrauding entanglements first comes in the form of excitement we feel it as the spinning thrill of new romance. The most amazing romance ever on the planet. Then, the second mind-bending distraction from their real purpose comes in things to face and overcome “together”, maybe a plot against him (or her) from a former business partner. A snafu with an old lease on a previous apartment. A glitch in processing paper work for a license. We, loyal and magnanimous, step up with the solution in dollars, time, resources, innovation and super human energy. They present this on a silver platter as if it’s all for our glorious future; for our fantastic dream life that holds promises of fulfillment, peace and comfort. Con men are full of promises. Everything is a lie.

Sociopaths Have an Abnormal Brain - They Cannot Love

Sociopaths have an abnormal brain. They have no capacity for caring about anything other than their own animalistic survival. They have no positive emotions towards others. They’re pathological liars, narcissistic, and have no compassion and do not love or like anyone or anywhere in particular. They crave money, fame and respectability. They operate several parasitic relationships at one time. These are short lived and always end badly whether the duration is 5 days or 50 years. In longer romances they are gone a great deal, very often not at home on a daily or weekly basis and also frequently make long trips. --- This is framed by them as all for benefit of the couple. For business or something extraordinary or unavoidable --- often valiant. When the game is over they try to tear us to shreds. They want to look good. They smear us declaring we are bad online, in court rooms, to friends and family.

Sociopaths Target Prey for Admirable Traits

We were chosen because we are strong, have concrete values and beliefs, invest in relationships, value human connection, are hyper-empathetic, loyal, giving and make incredibly wonderful partners in real relationships, creating harmony and nurturing homes. The sociopath wants strong victims in order to prop up and propel his or her, otherwise non-existent, life forward towards their deluded goals. They use our skills, thinking, knowledge and bank accounts anchored in our values and beliefs to their own advantage and to keep us there. These same highly praised qualities are our saving grace inside the mind control, manipulation and lies. These traits are what let us see through the deception.

And indeed we’re not fools; we’re beautiful and good – even Shakespeare rhapsodized the unbending heart of a lover so eloquently in Sonnet #116:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

It’s human nature to trust. And trust we do in the beginning. We’re loyal, giving, empathetic and work as a team. When the first oddities show up they’re out of alignment with our concept of relationships. This misalignment is uncomfortable. This discomfort is called cognitive dissonance. We shift in our minds wither our concept of relationships to make an exception in this instance or we side with our initial concept and call him out. This mental and emotional process continues; we’re more and more living away from our actual beliefs and preferences in how relationships are in order to stay. Eventually this can’t continue. Something snaps. This is when “our real selves” come back to rescue us so to speak. We bring ourselves from the labyrinth of lies and wind our way out of the hall of mirrors using the very same traits we were chosen for.

Break Free from the Sociopaths Grip

Breaking free cleanly and safely from a sociopath takes facing fear in pulling our true selves back from the rubble and ruin. It takes an understanding of the circumstances. This wasn't a romance. There is no room for emotionalism or sentimentality if we wish to heal.

Comprehending and accepting these are the golden rope to pull ourselves from the hell:

  1. We are not his only “relationship”; we are one of many.
  2. We are replaceable and interchangeable.
  3. It isn’t personal; we are a source of goods, shelter, connections, opportunity.
  4. There is no love, it’s a lie.
  5. We can survive and thrive; our good hearts trump their malevolent mind.

As hard as these are to face, it’s more destructive to stay.

The best we can do is realize it wasn’t personal. We could have been anyone. We were a source. We can break all contact; heal and recover. This best is a beautiful opportunity to demand more from life. Coming so close to ruin lends wisdom, courage and renewed strength to those who use the fires of suffering to forge new beginnings. We can make it a gift to ourselves. There is no closure. There is no revenge. Because there was no relationship. No one was there.

Let the truth work its magic. Their fabricated world, and they, will disappear; sociopaths have no existence unless we believe their lies.

Open our hearts to ourselves. Embrace our own lives with compassion, loyalty and nurturing care.

We are our own Angels. Time to thrive.

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    • profile image

      gotfree 

      2 years ago

      It is not possible to use a mediator with a sociopath because theys conn everyone and lie and manipulate and everyone, even psychologists and psychiatrists, counsellors, and judges believe their lies and think they are these nice, charming men! (most are men). Ironically, the person affected by them, their prey or victim, looks like the unstable one and all the lies support this. Really stupid on part of professionals, but happens all the time. It is really not possible to get free of these people when there are children because the sociopath knows and is jealous of the love and relationship between the children and their loving mother so he tries to destroy it, steals all her money, ruins her things, deprives her of things, destroys her character, and lies, lies, lies all the time looking like a loving, charming man!! Funny how everyone who should know better given their training in personality disorders believes the sociopath!

    • truelovescam profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Smith 

      2 years ago

      .... And yes it is a hinacking, isn't it. Certainly not love. Defrauding, criminal hijacking.

    • truelovescam profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Smith 

      2 years ago

      Oh, yes, with a child it is trickier. Is it possible to use a mediator, or third party?

    • profile image

      kristine Crooks 

      2 years ago

      I love this post. Thank you. You mention cutting off all contact but my ex still tries to make my life miserable as we have a child. He has moved on to another woman. I have to maintain contact. It's a nightmare. Hate the guy. What made me resonate with this blog so closely was a post I read and you said about a "sociopath highjacking" our life. Exactly my words. Highjack.

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