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How A Relationship With A Sociopath Destroyed My Identity

Sociopaths have the power to destroy your identity. I didn’t realize I had encountered one until it was way too late.

The damage our relationship caused was powerful enough that it made me question everything I once stood for. When you are unlucky enough to encounter a sociopath for whatever reason, the relationship can eat away at your self-esteem, and it can cause you to forget everything you once believed in or knew to be true. It can destroy your humanity. It left me in a state of confusion and crisis that caused me to lose sight of the stable place I’d once seen the world to be.

I entered into a connection with one when I was at a particularly low place in my life. I had just been dumped by my boyfriend of three years and I was somewhat isolated in my life due to past trauma and mental health struggles. I’m naturally kind of a hermit with an open mind and loving heart, so perhaps I was an easy target.

When I connected with him, it felt intoxicating and special. It felt like we were in our own little fantasy world, a love bubble that took control of my entire life. It left me dissociated and isolated from reality and from the rest of the world. It caused me to lose friends, and it put strain on significant relationships in my life that had once been meaningful to me.

While it was happening, it felt good. Perhaps my brain was numbing the pain and disconnection I felt inside.

I wasn’t even aware of how powerful the relationship was and the negative effects it had on me until it was too late and I’d lost everything. I lost jobs, friends, living situations, money, my reputation — everything I’d built up to at that point in my life.

I can’t diagnose this person officially as a sociopath because I’m not a mental health professional, but when I looked up the definition of narcissist, that didn’t seem to fit. He was extremely logical and calculating with his every move, whereas narcissists are more grandiose, emotional, and reactive. This person was in complete control of his emotions. He had a way with words that kept me hanging onto the relationship, thinking there was a possibility of a future together, when there likely never was in his mind. He certainly used me for his own entertainment, as a distraction to alleviate boredom.

I had never been so easily influenced by another person before, but for whatever reason, he really had a hold over me. I couldn’t let go of the connection for a long time because it was so addictive.

He treated me essentially like an object, never showing me any true love or affection, keeping me at a distance, only to return to use me for sexual purposes when he felt like it. He showed no empathy or remorse for his actions. He actually entered into a relationship with another woman while we were connected and continued talking to me regularly, frequently bringing up sexual topics.

Before meeting him, I dated men who treated me fairly well. But after him, it was as if I lost myself and everything I knew to be right in the world. I began to question everyone’s intentions I encountered, wondering what they were really thinking behind closed doors. You really never know, and I was opened up to the understanding of a darker side of humanity.

It’s hard for me to admit what a hold he had over me, because I always considered myself to be a strong person. But ultimately, he left me feeling like I didn’t deserve love from him or from anyone.

I would fake it on the outside, pretend that I was doing well. I almost became like him during that time. I respected him, and he used that against me. It was almost as if I had been brainwashed. Unfortunately, I was so out of touch with reality during the time of our encounter that I thought I was doing well. But upon reflection, I can see that I was not. I was high on his torture. I didn’t realize how someone could so easily just come into my life and take advantage of me. Was he totally aware of what he was doing? I’ll never know.

Before I met him, I assumed that all people had good intentions, because I had good intentions. I would never have wanted to hurt anyone intentionally. I suppose I wanted to understand him, and maybe try to change him, try to make him mine. He would never fully commit to me, and that was part of the addictive nature of the relationship. I felt like he was a conquest, and I had to have him.

He was never overtly mean. He actually complimented me often. He simply didn’t respect my humanity. When I told him I needed to leave the connection, which I did several times, he was always very calm about it and would even wish me well. And yet, he would come back and send me messages over and over again, and I naively thought that maybe he finally realized what he was missing.

When you’re in the midst of one of these connections, you don’t realize how crazy and reckless you are being with your own mind, body, and spirit. You have to fully let go of it until you become fully aware of the insanity you were living in. You’ll have to rebuild your life on more solid foundations as a result. You’ll always be a bit more cautious and tender with your heart and recognize the red flags of someone who has no desire to do the same with yours.

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About the author
Emily is a blogger and a poet. Find her on Instagram @emilyrheron. Follow Emily on Instagram or read more articles from Emily on Thought Catalog.

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