What I Learned From My Relationship With a Sociopath

I was a naive 18 year-old. I know now that she wanted me gone. Her protests didn’t work, so she swooped in: captivating, mysterious, eccentric, smart, creative, easygoing and relaxed. She said thought-provoking things like “What’s so great about being ‘nice?’ Nice isn’t great. It’s just ‘nice.’ “I’ll be more than that,” I declared. She showered me with attention and gifts and laughed really hard at my jokes and my quirks. I felt like I finally belonged. Ahhh, Security. When she listened to me she shined all the attention of the universe on me.

She was so real. How could anyone be that real? Where did this intriguing woman come from? I wanted to be like that. I wanted to be interesting and shower people with love and gifts and attention. And she rubbed off on me.

She would do things like stay up really late with me and tell me funny stories. I worshiped her. She was my idol, my role model, my dearest friend. I talked to her about everything. I would spend hours and hours and hours on the phone with her. Our conversations were deeper than I ever had with anyone.

She gave me her old books like “Walden” and “The Celestine Prophecies” all with her fascinating notes written in them, a window into her mystifying mind.

in awe

She did incredibly generous well-thought-out things for people. We marveled at her loving generosity. I started to see that many of these gifts came at a cost.

There were some red flags here and there. Mysteries and secrets. She would ask me to keep secrets. When they weighed heavily on me and I told, she would try to out me on something. But she never got anything out of me. I was good and clean and honest. I didn’t lie or cheat. I might have been naive, but I was clear and incorruptible. She had a team of people around her and she was the lead. What a great thing I would be for her to have and use, she must have thought. There were many advantages of being on that team, and if you did something against her plan, there would be consequences. People’s vulnerabilities and secrets were her tool. She never got any out of me, because I lead a pure and honest life.

I moved back, and she demanded that I dedicate my life to her. I was very young, and I had my own life. She confided in me that she was exhausted from holding it all together, all the responsibility she had for others. Was that one of the only true things she ever shared with me? I can’t imagine how living a life of lies and inauthenticity and manipulation would be.

Plotting, scheming. Grandiose lies. She started spiraling out of control, and it felt like payback for not dedicating our lives to her. The burden of the lies became too much for her, and the only way she could escape it was hard drugs. I moved in with her and tried to help her. She became the devil incarnate. Nasty, despicable, evil, mocking, conniving and every word for deplorable that you can think of. She hissed and slithered and schemed. No one can ever be the same after watching something like that. This wasn’t something I merely watched. It was happening in my home, the place I slept at night. Being around that kind of darkness changes you. I felt pure hatred for her that was literally eating away at me. I imagined bad things happening to her. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt in my life. How could I be rid of this crippling hatred?

dark creature

It became clear that there was no helping her and that I was losing my safety and sanity. So I moved to an island, universes away from her. We didn’t talk. I moved again, this time across the country. The dark feeling of hate subsided. I was able to come back to light and hope.

Cancer. She experienced an excruciating, agonizing death. She was scared to die and resisted it to the end.

It was a very complicated and confusing time for me. What was I supposed to do with the death of a woman I hated? I started processing this relationship and this woman’s life. What was it? Had she always hated me? Was all of it fake? Did she ever love me?

This was also my first real experience with death. What was the point of life if there’s so much suffering? We’re all born to die. What a cruel world we lived in, I thought. A world with suffering at its core. I was petrified and swimming in darkness. What could I do with this darkness? How was a twenty-something year-old to handle something so heavy? The people around me had never experienced such darkness, so how could they help me? What I saw and experienced was so far outside of the experience and reality of anyone I ever knew. The people around me who did know it were too paralyzed by it themselves.

I moved on with time. I rarely think of her, but when I do I see very deep scars. I mourn for the scared, naive, innocent girl who had to experience pain and darkness deeper than I even knew existed. There are many stories and beliefs I have that I probably don’t even recognize that can be traced to my relationship with a sociopath.

I’ve spent years healing this trauma and other aspects of my life and the pain we all experience of just being a human on planet earth today. Unfortunately, many of the others this sociopath left in her wake are left jaded, confused, and miserable.

I’m in awe at the hugeness and the impact of one person’s life. She has been my greatest teacher, even after death. She showed me darkness and I went further into the light. From her I learned how to be a really great and mighty version of myself: strong, real, intelligent, resilient. She taught me about darkness and death, goodness, love, and life. So much about life. Knowing her deepened my life.

Everyone around her thinks that they had their own special relationship with her; that they know her in a different way than everyone else does; that their relationship with her is deeper than her relationship with anyone else; that she showed them a side of herself that she just didn’t show to others. And I feel a soul level connection with her. She’s such an integral part of my soul’s journey that I know we had a soul agreement for this lifetime. Only a very big soul can experience a life that big. A life of so many of the facets of human existence and then ultimately, darkness. Then again, she was a sociopath, and can sociopaths truly love and feel? That is the mystery that is this sociopath.

soul contract

4 responses to “What I Learned From My Relationship With a Sociopath

  1. You loved her. You gave what you had and she took it but got nothing out of it because she was empty inside, like a black hole. It seems appropriate that she died of cancer. Perhaps she learned something from you, from her life and mistakes and will be able to change in her upcoming life. We all have darkness in us, just some of us do not succumb to it. My heart goes out to you, her and everyone who was hurt in the process. (((hugs)))


  2. I take it that this is a non-fiction piece? I have also had run-ins with sociopaths, although I am not sure I was able to reflect and introspect on that experience as you have with this one. I am glad you were able to come to terms with everything and discover something in yourself as a result.

    This was an extremely well written piece. Keep up the good work.


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