4th January 2007
The next day (30th December) was horrible, my husband and I couldn’t discuss much because our little boy was there. Husband kept asking me if Steve had phoned, and I said no, because he hadn’t, he’d texted. So we are taking our marriage one day at a time, but I no longer wear my ring.
Steve wanted me to sneak out that evening, but there was no way, so I arranged to meet him the next day – the 31st.
I texted Keith and he was texting back as though I was bothersome, so I took it as a sign.
Sunday 31st morning I went to meet Steve when my husband took my little boy out. I was shaking, because it’s all very well snogging some woman in the dark, but this was daylight, and that highlights the wrinkles. He didn’t seem bothered. In fact the opposite, by the end of an hour he was really keen to see me again. All we’d done was wander around the streets with his dog, chatting.
I knew beyond any doubt that he is totally unsuitable. He is too young, has an addictive personality, has very little money, very little education. But there’s something about him that gives me butterflies and I still want to be with him.
I’m out with Sue and Heather for New Year, and he wishes he could be out too, but he can’t. Oh well.
31st December 2016
You might be wondering what the quote at the top of the page has to do with anything? But that’s a description of the person I used to be.
The way things would usually go, I could see a future with any man I met and liked. For instance, Keith, who was clearly so very uninterested in me, from the moment I met him I could see marriage and growing old in a nursing home together. Even before a first date with a man, I would have pictured how we would look in our wedding photos. It’s what codependent types (people with self-love deficit disorder) do. We are so lacking in love for ourselves that we seek it anywhere, and fall for people at first sight.
Of course, it isn’t really love. It’s love made out of scraps of what we know about a person combined with the image of how we believe love should be, all making the perfect partner for us to give ourselves to. But all of this is for later. For those who would already like to know more, I direct you to the excellent book by Natalie Lue, ‘The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship’.
The point here is that this isn’t how I felt about Steve. Later on, you will come across the mythos we created, that we fell in love at first sight. Here is proof that this isn’t what happened, not on my side (and he’s a sociopath, so – spoiler – not on his side either). Yet I didn’t do what I would routinely do when I didn’t ‘see a future’.
Normally, if I couldn’t see a future, I would bail, immediately. There were reasons why I didn’t do that this time. Firstly, I wasn’t looking for a relationship with him. He was a bit of fun in a life that had become empty of it. I know how bad that makes me sound. But I had lost myself in being a mother, and had been casting around since October of that year, trying to get myself back.
It also moved so fast – again, this is how sociopaths work – they move fast so you don’t really have time to think. These entries were written a few days after the fact, by which time things had already changed. I didn’t realise at the time that this was a tactic. I honestly just thought he was really into me. If I’d been acting from a healthy place, I would have found his importunity a bit much, a bit insincere, and a bit suspicious. But that is another one of the ‘other side of the coin’ aspects of sociopaths and their victims.
I don’t really like those pages where socios, narcs etc get slammed. It’s so pointless. It’s also turning your back on your shadow – projecting in exactly the same way that toxic people do. The socio really does hold up a mirror to you, for good and for bad. I’ll talk more about the sociopath as a mirror at another time, because for now I’m focussing on those beginning signs things were not right, but for more information, a nice article is ‘The Narcissist and Co-Dependent – Two Sides of the Same Coin’ by Melanie Tonia Evans.
The point I am making here is that for all our insecurities, victims of sociopaths, somewhere deep inside themselves, have a part which thinks ‘I’m great – and, FINALLY, here is someone who sees just how great I am!’ So it doesn’t strike us as odd, or bizarre that someone should fall for us so hard so quickly. After all, it’s what many of us have been doing with other people for most of our lives.
I cannot emphasise this enough. People unfold. You cannot love a person until you know them, and you don’t know a person in a couple of hours, days or weeks. Natalie Lue, on her excellent Baggage Reclaim site, is fond of talking about how we send our ‘best representatives’ on dates in the beginning. Our real selves emerge gradually. Both sociopaths and codependents don’t wait to allow that to happen. Both dive in, and that’s another reason they so often mesh together.
Finally – the physical reaction I had to him. He had me shaking before I met him. Despite knowing he wasn’t my type, despite not seeing a future, I had butterflies when I was with him. I thought it was excitement. I now think it was fear. My body knew I was a rabbit meeting a wolf.