From: Love Fraud
If I had to pick the most powerful tool in a sociopath’s arsenal, it would be shame. I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions during my life with sociopathic parents: sadness, anger, confusion, jealousy (from observing “healthy” families), fear, loneliness, compassion, forgiveness. During the healing process, it is very normal to have waves of these emotions come and go. But for me, the one emotion that hasn’t come and gone, the one that has blanketed my entire life history, is shame.
Why shame? I didn’t ask to be abused as a child. As an adult, I certainly had the choice to sever ties with my parents, but I didn’t because I thought a good daughter wouldn’t do that. If I hang in there long enough, they will see I’m a good daughter and they will love me.
What I didn’t know at the time is that sociopaths don’t change. They will never become compassionate people. They will never feel true remorse. By “hanging in there”, I was allowing them to tighten their grip on me, using guilt trips to keep me attached. I now know that it wasn’t sacrificial love that kept me going back, it was shame. Shame is sneaky that way – it disguises itself in many ways. MORE