Well, imagine there’s a vending machine in front of you with one big red button that says, ‘FREE COOKIES’. At first, the cookies are so delicious.. so euphoric. But afterward, every time you press the button, you receive a painful electric shock.
But you keep pressing the button, hoping.. becoming frantic. After about the 99th time of getting shocked, you get a broken chip of a cookie.
You actually feel sad, yet you are thankful for at least having this broken piece of cookie.
When you finish the broken cookie, you realize you would gladly get shocked another 99 times to get another broken piece of cookie. Desperation is now a daily occurrence.
So you continue, accepting the malfunction and the biting pain of each shock. You now live on your knees in front of the cookie vending machine.
Then one day, the cookies stop coming.
That’s ‘love’ with a sociopath. It’s not real love–this is trauma bonding.
Only you can stop it.
This is the behavior of addiction.
And…that machine is deriving power from harming you. Power that it will use to continue harming you as long as you stay.
Do you want a better life? Then do the work of recovery.
Empathy is tremendously valuable, and should be treated like Krugerrands—pure gold coins. It should be given only where it will be honored, appropriately valued, and treasured. You wouldn’t take a pocketful of Krugerrands and throw them into a cesspool, would you?
To give empathy to a person who trounces it repeatedly by word and action is the same as the Krugerrand illustration.
Think of the basic scenario of the “stranger attacker” for a moment…
You’re walking down the street when suddenly a stranger approaches you and violently attacks you. Not much pre-planning or strategy involved. Completely random. No association with you; you were in the wrong place at the wrong time…once and then gone.
We call this criminality.
Now consider the attack by intimate betrayal abuse. This person worked their way in with insidious intent under a mask of trustworthiness….into your home, your inner circle, your finances, your mind, your choices, your conception of yourself and of people you’ve known for even decades. This person methodically twists and maligns your very psyche, brutalizing you under the guise of “love” and “partnership”–and repeatedly does so on purpose over long expanses of time.
Which attacker is worse—the one who chooses violence with no forethought, or the one who plots and plans cruelty and hides it behind a veneer of I love you??
↪️And is the next victim “better” than you? Would you “miss” the attacker in the street?? Would you long for the attacker to return?
Think this through.. the betrayal attacker is the far more vicious perpetrator.
…like sharks, once they smell blood in the water, they “want” the injured, struggling fish.
Our self-devaluation is the signal to the sociopath that we are the desperate, grasping-for-anything-that-looks-like-love victim tailor-made to their needs to
Yes, it’s done purposefully. Everything they do or plan is for one goal: Power. To manipulate others and swing their emotions from joy to sorrow is their high.
And no, his disorder is not curable by any means. This is permanent. You, however, can heal …but not so long as you continue to cleave to him. To do so is to try to have your home in a nuclear reactor. Not everyone we lose is truly a loss. This person does not merit the high value you thought. The person who truly has value is you, but you’ve never acknowledged it in yourself.
The truths here are concrete:
You are a lovable, valid human being…him not seeing it deeply devalues HIM, not you. Stop measuring yourself by a profoundly flawed barometer/gauge.
Self-love will literally save your life. It forms the foundation of every decision and choice…how you eat, the job you choose to work, your long-term health, and what sorts of people are given permission to be in your life.
We are sold this unhealthy and false concept of “Be coupled or you’re nothing” from every crevice of our society. It’s on the radio, it’s in movies, it’s in advertising … we’re pummeled with this idea which feeds fear. Meanwhile the nourishing, stabilizing concept of self-love and acceptance are woefully under-taught, and even shamed as egomania or being stuck-up. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is where your work MUST start. Today.
Abuse WILL find you again if you don’t ally with yourself. Guaranteed. To disregard yourself is to abuse yourself…think about that. And yes, some other abuser will pry his way into your life, too, if you were to elect not to address this in yourself.
You cannot have any further contact with abusers and their toxicity. You can’t heal from a poisoning by continuing to take gulps off the bottle of strychnine.
Ok, let’s look at this in terms of progressive strength training.
Your goal is to achieve a level of strength (wisdom/knowledge about the disorder coupled with self-love and understanding that the abuse wasn’t your fault). A goal that makes you able to move something away from you that is currently immovable; holding you down whenever it appears. You, therefore, have to train up, gaining the power to manipulate that weight away from you, rather than it manipulating you into any kind of submission.
Your progressive training is done by daily procuring more and more knowledge about this disorder, progressively increasing your knowledge. Then taking that knowledge and practicing its uses against the ways the manipulative “weight” is going to try to dominate you.
Specific example: Deltoid Training (major muscle group comprising the shoulders)
We train delts by both pushing (overhead press) and pulling (delt flyes). We prepare those tissues to be strong and capable no matter what direction the workload may be coming from, yes?
It’s the same with oppression/manipulation from an abuser. Abusers both “pull” (manipulation, hoovering, false compliments, etc.), and “push” (sudden accusation, projection, cruel comments, etc.).
Train yourself to recognize the faked, syrupy “pull” attempt (…that they’re attempting to trick you into vulnerability for an upcoming attack so they get their power high), and recognize in this that there’s no sudden change in them, no new love of you (or anyone ever—they are incapable of human devotional bonds), and you thereby become the improved muscle group capable of deflecting the weight rather than the weight manipulating you. Train yourself in recognizing/properly deflecting the manipulation.
And for recognizing the “push” moments when they’re suddenly cruel, train to see that this is the baseless attack where you’ve done nothing to deserve it, but they seek to push all others down so they can feed their power high…you’re just the target of the moment. Recognize this, and you become the improved muscle group capable of deflecting the weight rather than the weight pushing you down. Train yourself in recognizing/properly deflecting the oppression instead of thinking you “did something wrong”.
So, what are you studying on the disorder to increase and practice your strength (wisdom)? C’mon…let’s go train.🌟