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Target of a Sociopathic Personal Trainer
I signed up for a personal trainer at the gym. He was very charming, but in some way he made me nervous and I didn't trust him. He began saying nice things I wanted to hear.
Then one day after he had somewhat gained my trust, he changed and the manipulation began. He would be nice, but not. He would say rude things to me, but yet come over and talk to me.
My brain didn't know what to make of it. I caught him staring at me, eavesdropping on my conversations. I didn't want anything from this guy - I'm married - but somehow he was really manipulating my mind making me think he was interested in me, but yet he was also rude and disinterested at the same time.
I was going through a rough time at work and he made it worse by slowly destroying my self-esteem. This is all clear in retrospect, but at the time I was utterly confused as to what he was doing and why. It was horrible and I can't forgive myself for not realizing it sooner and getting a new trainer.
At the end of our sessions an ad was posted on Facebook that was about him, but talking about a girl client that was interested in him. I continued to come to the gym to workout by myself, but he began harassing me every time I came.
After 2 months of weird behavior, it occurred to me it must have been related to the ad. I still don't know how. Part of me believes he wrote it himself as some ploy to manipulate me and see what I would do.
I realize now the guy is likely a sociopath. I tried to report the harassment, but it's clear he used his charm to convince others that I'm the one with the problem.
I go to a different gym now for training, but my friends go to the other gym so I still go sometimes to workout with them. I still think about wanting to get back at him.
Part of me wants to tell him he's a sociopath (either directly to his face or by more subtle means), put a nail in the tire of his big fancy truck or send a note to management. It's upsetting. I just want all the feelings to go away so I can stop thinking about this and move on.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. I know this type of situation can be very frustrating.
The page you submitted your story from is called "Healthy Alternatives To Getting Revenge." On that page you will find this list of recommendations that you can follow to get past these feelings. These tools are not necessarily easy, but if you use them, they will work.
I would also suggest that in future relationships, trust your gut feeling at the beginning. You said you didn't trust him from the start of your relationship. Next time, trust that feeling and move on.
Let the lesson you learn from this be that you are brilliant and intuitive, and that if you trust your own perception you will be able to keep yourself in safe relationships and out of unsafe ones.
My very best to you,
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