Morning, sunshines! I was reminded of something so wonderfully absurd yesterday. As I’ve explained, the sociopath’s MO makes them remarkably predictable : Idealize>Devalue>Discard. These three things happen throughout a relationship (survivorship, disastership, shirtstormship) with a sociopath. It’s a cycle that is intertwined with the cycle of abuse you experience concurrently with these disordered individuals.
James’ future fakery/idealization often consisted of him telling me he wanted to marry me and have one great big, happy family of our combined five children, my two dogs and his psychotic cat.
Disclaimer: I like cats. I love dogs but I genuinely do like cats. If I’m having a bad day I often envision a basket of fluffy kittens or the encouraging “Hang in There” cat holding onto a tree branch poster from my youth. This cat, however, was feral. It really was. It hated any human contact save that of James. That cat drew blood on me many times and his children were so scared of her that the oldest child would guide his younger siblings out of harm’s way if the cat was nearby. She needed to be the kind of cat that lived out a life in a barn chasing mice or with a lonely and malignantly narcissistic hobit in The Shire.
Anyway, there was a day in the winter of 2016 when James, in a concerned and hushed tone revealed, “Jenny, I’m worried that the honeymoon is over.” This in response to him being upset that our combined five children were not meshing well one particular weekend day.
I mean, c’mon. They were 4, 6, 8, 14 and 16 respectively. They are allowed not to get along and have moments where they are upset or that they all would prefer to be doing their own thing. It’s normal, way okay and something that we as adults help navigate when necessary and let go of when it’s appropriate for them to be fussy.
What I didn’t realize fully at that time (but was oh-so-close, within a month or two of finally figuring out) that the ONLY person who was allowed to have a bad day was James. Not me, not my children, not his children, not my (his words) “unsanitary” dogs and not even his crazy as fuck cat. The golden crown of losing one’s shit was only bestowed upon James. And if I can be a bit complimentary, he wore it beautifully.
Beyond being the only one to wear the crown, having a bad day for a sociopath also serves as a calculated move. It (1) means all attention goes to them (2) your needs are discounted fully (3) he retains control of the relationship. It’s so fucked up. And it must be a brilliant way to live if only it didn’t happen to destroy everyone within striking distance.
I think, though, that James assertion that the honeymoon was over was highly accurate. His crown had slipped badly and the light was starting to shine into the cracks created by his sociopathy. He knew I was no longer a novice at tolerating, and even more importantly, understanding his behavior. The light generated by those fractures was a beacon of sorts that allowed me to fully see his true nature.
I wish I could go back in time and reply, “Oh you silly, sad man. YOUR honeymoon is over. Mine is just about to begin.”