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July 29, 2019 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

I would like to preface that I’m no psychology expert

CW: Emotional Abuse, Physical Violence


The fact that he had an Huawei phone should have tipped me off, but he had such a presence about him. He oozed with this kind of charm that I had never encountered before. The intensity of Edward Cullen and the sarcasm of Chandler Bing. He shook everyone’s hand, he called people mate, drank beer and smoked with great affectation—holding the cigarette with his index finger and thumb while combing his hair with his other hand. He was also a sociopath.


Apparently he fell in love with me the second he saw me—it was my smile, he said. He would always talk about my smile, and how it could light up every room. When he told me this, I couldn’t wipe that stupid smile off my face. Little did I know, this line had been preached to half of Wellington’s female population. 


He didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought of him, breezing through the world on his own terms. It was so magnetic, never dull. In hindsight, so fucking fake. He was undeniably quick, picking up on even the most veiled sarcasm. He would say things like relationships are for muppets, but I was “different”. If I wanted him, he would drop everything and be mine. He never skipped a beat, challenging my intellect like no other boy had before. I was completely hooked. 


In the context of a relationship, sociopaths are typically described as being exceedingly charismatic. They will tell you black is white, and you’ll believe it. Everything is urgent, everything needs to be done quickly—there is no taking it slow in a sociopath’s vocabulary. A sociopath is in total control of the relationship, before you’ve even begun it.They will woo you and sweep you off your feet and make you believe it was your idea; not theirs.


This is a tactic called ‘bait and switch’, where sociopaths are on their best behaviour until you are submissive in the relationship, and then they start acting completely different. Sociopaths purposefully choose people who will serve their needs. They have a need to be stimulated constantly—you’ve always got to be exciting, adventurous, and impulsive. You are this perfect specimen to them, almost like they created you; you have no flaws until you really fucking do. 


On our first date, he punched a guy in the face for whistling at me. We then went skinny dipping at the beach and drove around all night until sunrise, when he dropped me home and kissed me on the cheek (like I told you—Twilight vibes). On our second date, he told me he loved me. Apparently he had never said that to anyone before. 


Sociopaths create a world that, of course, you’ll believe. Why wouldn’t you believe that he saved a woman from being raped by her ex-boyfriend? Or that he saved a young boy from being stabbed by his stepfather? There was always some kind of courageous fight that would end in him being the hero. 


But sociopaths have a tendency to lie, especially during the start of a relationship. Usually to impress, these lies start to build up, something that goes hand in hand with these theatrical stories. Of course he hadn’t only had sex with “a couple of special girls”, it turns out he was a serial dater with figures reaching the late 60’s. Wish I had known that before we started doing butt stuff.


He moved in with me within a month of our first date. Although this was not my idea, he explained it was the right move for us. We spent every day together—always touching somehow, always sneaking away to have sex no matter where we were, always laughing. We were obnoxiously smug. My friends and family were super cautious about the pace at which we were moving at. Thank god I didn’t tell them he was even talking about marriage and kids. 


Everything was perfect in our little bubble, until I started to notice things I never had before. It started with him asking if I “had a fucking eye problem” whenever any waiter would take our order. He would ask me if I wanted to fuck the waiter and that he should leave because I am disgusting for behaving like that in front of him. So many nights with our friends ended in terrible fights, because I apparently looked at someone for too long, or hadn’t checked up on him frequently enough. One minute he was so tender with me, the next he was pinning me against a wall out of anger. He was love-bombing me, injecting me with a high dose of serotonin and then snatching it away, leaving me begging for more. This is how sociopaths control people. 


He confided in me once that he would often tell people things that he didn’t mean, just so he could get what he wanted at the time. He had this way of deceiving people, always plotting how to get back at people—not often with violence, but with mind control, which he knew he was skilled at. Nearing the end of our romance, I essentially became an object to him. If he wanted his ego stroked, I would be there to do it. When I began to resist, he would lure me back in, always making sure he was the victim and I was the one pushing him away. The manipulation and the way he could make me feel so guilty and anxious honestly impresses me to this day. The more submissive I became to him, the more distant we grew from each other and the more distant I became from myself. 


He started to drive a wedge between me, my family and friends. One night, he sat me down and told me he was afraid of my sanity, that I was delusional. According to him, I had made up the whole relationship we built together. The next day, he came back and said he was being crazy—that he needed me, that he wasn’t complete without me. This rigmarole happened nine times.


Eventually, I wasn’t worthy of him at all. I was always so boring to him; I was never enough. I found myself becoming this manic pixie dream girl, always up for getting fucked up and having wild sex. I was essentially a rag doll to him. He made sure I knew that wasn’t good enough, either. 


At last, we officially broke up. Not to my own knowledge, but to everyone else’s. I was receiving messages asking if I was okay. This confused me, because he had left my house two hours prior, and I was meant to be picking him up from work later. I guess not. I was discarded into the garbage along with the rest of his exes, who I’m sure had great smiles, just like me. 


I think (or maybe I’d just like to think?) that he had valued our companionship and time together to a point; though strictly on his terms. I was a plant to him: He liked to water me, he liked looking at me, but ultimately he wanted me to leave him the fuck alone.  


For a while there, I really was Bella Swan. My childhood dream? Not how I imagined it. 

I know that you’re probably thinking I was an idiot for sticking around and all that other cliché bullshit. I agree with you; that’s one of the hardest parts about accepting this situation. I have had to digest my ego and reconcile that I became the weak girl that I had always felt sorry for. I’ve had many hours to over-analyse the fuck out of this situation. It has led me to all sorts of conclusions: Maybe I had Stockholm syndrome, maybe it’s my prevalent daddy issues, or maybe I’m the sociopath—I’m sure a few of my exes would have something to say on that matter.

There had to have been something wrong with me, right? I was the girl in the horror film who willingly runs up the stairs instead of out the front fucking door. As much as you scream at her, she still runs up those stairs anyway. 


It took a while, maybe longer than it should have, but I am over it now. I have finally accepted that I was nothing more than a character in his one-man show. What was real for me, wasn’t real for him. I’ve had to accept that when he used to hold me, he was never actually touching me. He wasn’t the person I thought I fell in love with, he was a character that I wanted him so badly to be—almost like a figment of my imagination. Sometimes I wonder that maybe he, too, wanted to be the guy he so badly tried to be.


At the core of his charming shell, I know he is a sad person, and for that I really do wish him the best. It’s true—my stomach still drops when I think I see him in my rearview mirror when I’m driving, and the places we used to frequent still make me feel queasy. But at long last, what I can say is that I am so much stronger than before. Even better, I’m no longer the friend who is considered mentally unstable, and for that, I am grateful.


I let him go with love and wish him the best in his endeavours. He might need it. 



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