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    Bella Ireland

    If you’ve had an experience, relationship or just contact with a sociopath that impacted your life in any way, please share your story here!



    So I dated a sociopath…

    I didn’t know what the word really meant 2 weeks ago, but I knew what he was all along. He would tell me what he was from time to time throughout the two years I allowed him to torture me. The impact of this reality is staggering. It is soul-wrenching. It is all consuming.

    I can replay the moment he walked into my life a million times and I still do not see the demon that has plagued me. Sam(not his real name, if I even know that) took my heart the moment he spoke. And I willingly handed it to him, just as I handed him everything else. His smile, it took my breath away. His demeanor was so attractive to me. From the moment we met I knew that this man was going to make an impact on my life.

    In the summer of 2012 my internet went down. I was living with my then boyfriend Ricky (not his real name) who worked out of town 4 days a week. I was lonely, and my current relationship was rocky at best. I had to call the cable company for a repair, no internet meant no computer. My knight in shining armor appeared in a cable van on a Wednesday afternoon. “You could light up the world with that smile.” Was the first thing he said to me…and shot me a smile that blinded me long enough to worm his way in.

    I can remember feeling something then. In those first few minutes. I didn’t know what it was, repulsion. A natural response to an unnatural being. It was brief and in a matter of minutes I was practically licking his feet. Something was irreparable with the cable, so of course he would have to come back. A few times.

    The last time he left his personal phone number, just in case I had any other problems. He mentioned that he could use a good reference for work, and I said I would fill out the survey on the company website.

    It was several weeks later before I called him. I had given up on the man I was living with, the relationship itself was over. I just didn’t make enough money to support myself. So I quit my job and for a while leisurely looked for something that would get me out of there. I had a breakdown one afternoon. I felt like life was falling apart, goodness I had no idea what that really felt like. That was the summer I had decided to loose the weight. I have always had some weight on my body. It has become an unhealthy obsession, the weight, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

    My hero came when I called. We quickly became friends. Friends that spent lunches together chatting and laughing, smiling until my face hurt. Friends that sent each other text messages all day long. Never at night, he had children, and never on the weekend, Ricky was home Fri-Sun. I couldn’t wait for Mondays. I knew I would see him, his smiling bright eyes…I knew I would feel alive come Monday. The sun had never shown brighter. I was taken by everything I was shown. In my research of this illness in him I have read that what I saw was his reflection of me…if that is true (which lately I have not been able to accept anything as truth) then the light in me should still be bright enough to lead me out of this dark world. By autumn we began sleeping together. Months went by in this way. Both of us being gamers (probably another lie…) we took advantage of social gaming and used that as a way to communicate when it was otherwise impossible. By Christmas I had been completely brainwashed. I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough and long periods of time through the holidays made me physically hurt.

    It was two weeks into the new year when we were caught together (lunch break and kids stopping in from school ran into each other). My living arrangement had to change, and quickly. Ricky was in demand and it just so happened he wouldn’t be home that weekend.

    I think that was when I sold my soul.
    Sam left me that afternoon with the strangest look on his face. I didn’t know how to read it. I was taken aback, and he wouldn’t speak to me for days. I called him out then. When I realized that although he was willing to sleep with another man’s woman, seduce her in every way, he was willing to deal with the fall-out. I sent him a message after 3 days of silence that said something to the effect that I didn’t appreciate being his little conquest and when the shit hit the fan it was nice to know how easy it would be for him to disappear. If only. If only he had disappeared then. Instead I got rage from him. He was so angry that I thought that way about him. This was the first time everything was my fault. I was berated. I was ripped into pieces and he left me standing there holding not only the pieces he had broken but the broken pieces of the life I had given up on to submerge myself in him.

    Then he came back. Just hours after causing me what I thought at the time was the worst pain I had ever felt. He gave me his version of comfort…I laid beside him with my head on his chest close to his heart, he didn’t hold me, just laid there and let me cry on his chest. Looking back, he had no emotion then. No empathy, none, not at all. Somehow this turned into sex, I think I was grabbing hold frantically to any string he would let me get close to. He did not help me go through the next few weeks. I moved on my own. I dealt with all of it by myself. He offered no help.

    I was broke, jobless, and back at my mom’s. Within the first week there Sam started coming by the house. The first time Mom met him she knew what he was…she told me “that man is full of shit. Don’t believe him. He’s a liar.” She didn’t even know him! She had no idea that this wonderful man, who was the sole care taker of two children (5yrs & 7yrs) who’s mother had abandoned them with him, who worked hard for a living to support his little family and still made time for me.

    Mom and I fought for months over him. Every lie he would tell, mom would point out the inconsistencies in his story telling. We never went anywhere together, it was always at my house, I still didn’t know where he lived and he didn’t offer to tell me. I explained his vagueness away. I was so deluded I swept away everyone’s doubts from my consciousness. I believed every thing he told me no matter how far fetched.

    This went on and on for months. I started waiting tables again, and the money was Great. He started tapping me for cash, “to feed my kids, I over drew my account by accident”…hotel room so we could have sex, pay for a night/ stay for 2 hours…gas…just because he asked for it. Then he started inquiring about what kind of drugs I could find at the restaurant. Restaurants are playgrounds for drug users. I found him a connection in his drug of choice and started doing it with him. More money. More lies. More stress. More of everything but what I thought I was getting.

    By this time I was working two jobs and steadily saving money to pay for an apartment(while paying for hotels, drugs, food, gas, etc)…goodness did I have delusions with that…a love nest for two…disgusting when I think about how blind I was. One afternoon he showed up at my part-time job in such a panic I thought he was having a fit. He’d been in an accident in the company van (what are you doing here?) they had immediately sent him in for a drug test- it’s standard practice! Sam was in a bind.

    Well, obviously he lost the job (I don’t even know if this is true or not, it’s just what I was led to believe probably). Many disappearing acts followed and when he returned, stories of these amazing job offers he was getting from all over the world. By the end of year one, Sam had accepted an offer from a company 9,000 miles away on an island in Hawaii. He said that he loved me. He said he didn’t expect me to wait for him, but if I would it would make him the happiest he’d ever been. Of course I was going to wait…until forever if necessary. He promised in 3 months time he would be sending for me to join him there.

    So, I had saved enough money by then to pay for the apartment I had been approved for. I let it go. I told mom that it would be silly for me to pay a lease on an apartment for 3 months. I would be leaving in October. The next few weeks were hell. He was unreachable most times. Mom would not leave it alone, constantly questioning everything I said about him, questioning my belief in him…I was so wrong and she was so right. His lies came in waves, each more absurd than the last and I accepted every one for truth. I was allowed to see him once throughout those weeks leading up to his departure. Once, for two hours…another meal I paid for…and he left me standing on my mother’s front porch with tears pouring down my face. My world broken but hopeful. 2 days later I left mom’s to rent a room. I couldn’t take her anymore and I couldn’t focus on him if she was demanding my attention.

    For the next two weeks I ran back and forth to western union to send him everything I could make to get him through “training”…

    I could not have been more in love. He was my hero, my rock, my best friend. Here’s a very funny analogy that is pure irony…he described it as Lil Red and the Big Bad Wolf…that’s the realest thing I think he ever said in front of me. It really was a scared little girl being preyed on by a calculating cunning wolf. But I didn’t see Lil Red as scared, I saw her as strong and sexy.

    I spent the next three months working and staying completely absorbed in him. Video chats until 3am, sometimes all night long, constant text messages, constant contact. Until he found a new one and the disappearing acts started again. Always had an excuse that would rub me wrong but I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t like upsetting him. I hated it actually.

    I was being molded this whole time. I was so willing to change whatever needed changing. I lost more and more weight. I shaved every single day (I still do). I made sure I always looked my best and brushed off any advance from any other male.I knew where my heart lived.

    Keep in mind there are still unanswered questions everywhere. I wasn’t permitted to meet anyone related to him. The children were supposedly being taken care of by the same woman who abandoned them. Who just came out of no where right around the time he was getting ready to leave, but very little was given about any of that, instead he deflected it on me, avoided answering things, lied and lied and lied some more.

    He was so controlling that I could not function as myself anymore. Myself did not exist any way. He had drained me. I did not find pleasure in anything anymore. I was fussed at for everything I did, never getting it right…never meeting expectations…never fulfilling enough for him. More lies and outlandish stories, accidents, illnesses, lies lies lies in the months that led up to October. I couldn’t see any of it, even when people in my world asked me questions I had no response for or heard the bullshit as it came out of my mouth…I still held him up high. My goal had been reached. I had sized my life down to two pieces of luggage and a backpack. I bought a ticket to paradise and boarded a plane.

    I had fantasized about the first time we would see each other again. I had this vision in my head that I had replayed a million times since he had left me standing on that porch with my heart in my hands. Guess I don’t have to tell you that the moment I had held my breath for never came. His demeanor from the moment he stepped from the car was all wrong. He was putting off a vibe that I couldn’t get close to. He was not mine anymore. He was out of practice being my mirror and was borrowing his latest victim’s instead.

    This is where it gets really sad.

    I was forbade to speak to anyone.

    I was not allowed to leave the house out the front door.

    I was not allowed to have a key to the apartment.

    I was not allowed to go any further than the gates of the housing community we lived in.

    I was empty. Drained. A shell of myself. And he had nothing to mirror because he had already tapped me dry, he just hadn’t cut his ties. So he became disgusted with me more and more with every day. And I just fell deeper into my depression. I was alone. So alone. I was lost. I had suspicions that he was sleeping with the neighbor (she would smile lovingly at him from her front door right in front of me). He started disappearing more and more. We would argue about everything he found irritating. Nothing about me was good enough and I couldn’t fix it fast enough to satisfy him. The apartment he had moved me into remained barren and unfurnished. Mattress on the floor and used dirty couch in the living room. No answer for that when I questioned it either. He found it much easier to leave me in silence than even bother lying at that point. He would not sleep with me, claimed that I tossed and turned too much and made him uncomfortable. I felt so pathetic. I knew it was me. I couldn’t get it together and I couldn’t find the man that I was in love with. Weeks passed this way…the holidays were quickly approaching.

    Sam never took phone calls in front of me. He would leave the house to talk to his family. His phone stayed in his hand even when he was asleep…and it would go off all night long…every night…

    He had to keep me somewhat attached, and I got a glimmer here and there of the world I thought I had given up my life for. A very slight glimmer. Thanksgiving came, he worked late the night before, half the day of, and the whole next weekend. Like a fool I patiently waited at the apartment for him to return. Only to be pushed away.

    In the beginning of December, my college applications had come in and I had been accepted. I was starting school in January. Something positive, finally. But, no, not even that could be a positive thing. He downed the school, the program I had chosen, anything to make me question my choices until I was so unsure and nervous over it, I didn’t have any good feelings about it.

    December was draining…my being stuck in this apartment, with it’s bare walls and empty rooms…as empty as my soul had become…I was in such a state of denial it was like I had vacated my body and was going through the motions. There were no more conversations. He would sit and stare at a tv the whole time he was home, never speaking much and fussing because I wouldn’t watch tv with him. I don’t like tv. The noise drives me insane. He had started to do this thing, instead of being gentle he would give me “love taps”, and claim that he was being playful and trying to lighten my mood. My skin started to bruise, and I had started putting the weight back on.

    The monster of all lies came just before Christmas. He came in one afternoon and claimed he’d been offered an advancement in the company and they wanted him as a supervisor on another island. That meant a decision about me and the children would have to be made. He claimed it would be until June and that the other island was too dangerous for me, being a haole and all. On Christmas day I spoke to my parents, Dad had lost his job, his heart was giving him problems, they told me to stay where I was. That I had followed my happiness and I needed to stick with it. I told Sam I had to go home. They needed my help and I couldn’t sit in Hawaii and let them lose their home.

    So he carried the advancement right into this situation. We actually started talking again, relating to one another again, for the first time since I had landed on that god forsaken island I was seeing my man again. Briefly. He was still disappearing, still spinning lies, taking his calls down the street, hiding from me everything that was real. New Years came, he worked late that day, by the time the fireworks were to be set off, he was asleep on the couch. I walked to the beach by myself that night and watched the fireworks through tears.

    The next morning, at 430am, he woke me up asking me how to spell my name. He needed to get it right for my plane ticket. My soul screamed in pain as I listened to the sound of relief in his voice as he set up my departure. He was so relieved that he didn’t have to be responsible for the fallout. It was surely coming.

    The days that followed I cried. All day. Every day. I was so broken. He assured me that it was going to be ok. Just a few months and we’d be back together and all would be fine. I needed to be strong for my dad, he really needed that from me. The morning of my flight I thought I was going to lose my mind. I was so confused and had been left alone for so long that it had started to poison me. He stood in the kitchen that morning, took me by the hands, stared deep in my tear streaked eyes, and said “this is not the end. You are not leaving me. This is just a bump in the road and we will be together soon. I love you.”

    He took me to the airport, got my tickets, checked my bags, handed me $20, told me to be safe and walked away from me.

    I sobbed. I almost hit the floor. I cried from Honolulu to Pensacola Florida. The whole trip. I was obsessed. Shaky. Sick. Sad. Alone.

    One week later, he picked up my replacement at the airport and moved her into the apartment while claiming he was jumping to the other island for his new career. He disappeared. Said there was no service on this new island, and he would contact me as he could. I was just sick. I spent weeks in a dark cold room, alone. Crying. Staring at pictures and watching videos of him I had managed to catch while on the island.

    Two weeks after that he got sick, again. He had pneumonia. Days passed with no contact…then he said he had lost his voice and couldn’t talk…could only text…3 months past like that. One specialist (never named) after another couldn’t find what was happening to his vocal chords. His job status had changed although he was still on this primitive island. Messages became more spaced out, less information was given than ever before, and he was phasing himself out.

    Then out of no where his voice came back, but he didn’t. Still spinning the whole other island story we only spoke when he was at work. I couldn’t take anymore. While he was phasing himself out, I sat in a room, in front of a phone that didn’t ring. Alone. Wishing. Dreaming. Remembering the fantasy. Torturing myself between mind numbing shifts at work. One day I just had enough. I couldn’t take one more lie.

    Things really unraveled quickly after that. I was determined to find answers to what had happened to my life. He called me one afternoon, told me that it was all a lie. Everything. Said that I didn’t know anything about him at all but that he wanted me to let him be there for me if I needed him. He deleted me from his phone and he was done. Gone. So I started digging.

    I found a picture online taken two weeks (the day after my birthday actually) after I had left Honolulu of him, some woman, and his children. I lost it.

    I wanted answers. I didn’t care how I got them. I left him a message, told him I was digging up his past and I didn’t care what I found, but that I was going to find something. In a matter of hours I had written 3 emails to women I found who had some type of connection to him, in the hopes that at least one was not still under his control. No such luck.

    So I found her, the one in the picture. I set my social network profile to publicly display every moment, photo, meme, reference of him for the last two years and I paid to send a private message to her inbox. It simply said “I have a story to tell, are you willing to listen?” Within 20 minutes of that message he was calling me.

    He blamed me for everything. The fall of the relationship, the way he had to lie to me, for him feeling like he needed someone else, for ruining his life, for everything. It was all my fault. My doing. Mine mine mine.

    She did not take me up on my offer. I’m sure that he buried her in fables and glamour and will find out in her own time. I wish her and the children safety.

    This is not easy. Telling my story was not easy. Accepting that most of this was avoidable if I had shut my eyes and Listened is not easy. I fight to get through every day. I have suicidal thoughts, bouts of hysterical crying, I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, my job is suffering and I haven’t had any real personal relationships in over two years. He has left me wrapped in my biggest fear, being alone.

    I can’t even look myself in the mirror very long. I don’t know her, this empty shell that is staring at me from the glass. I don’t recognize her when I see her reflection. She is thin, much too thin for her frame. She is fragile, she was never fragile before. She is vacant…and she only speaks of him. I do not know her, but I really wish she would go away. If I can find the person I lost and make her better I will make it out of this ok.

    I use to have convictions, beliefs, standards. I have none now. I am faithless in the world as a whole. Nothing anyone says to me sticks, it’s all smoke and mirrors as far as I am concerned. No one is real. Nothing is real. The only real thing is pain…and there is an abundance of that.

    And he does not care, never cared, wasn’t real. Was all in my head. It was my own imagination that has driven me mad.

    One day at a time, right? No contact, and take each day at it’s own pace.
    I will survive, this too shall pass, life will go on. It does get easier the more that you accept for truth over the lies. Writing this all down has helped tremendously. It gives me a chance to analyze what has happened to me. I won’t ever be the same. I will not ever wholly trust another soul. I will do background checks and falsities will probably invoke anger in me. It’s a long dirty hard road to crawl.

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