“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow.”
~ Leo Tolstoy
This morning a reader named Joanna said “I hate myself for missing him. Now I’m grieving badly and I so want to get rid of this heartache and heal.”
No matter if you end the relationship or the psychopath discards you, there will be some rough times ahead. That’s not surprising since you are going through a serious trauma. Part of that trauma — and one that takes some victims by surprise — are feelings of profound loss and deep grief. This may not happen right away. But as things start to resolve and it becomes more quiet inside, grief is often what’s left standing, waiting for your attention.
This aspect of the trauma seems perplexing. These uncomfortable feelings of loss are often denied, neglected or diminished by the victim, her friends and family, and even her counselor if she has one. After all, you just went through months or years of victimization by a man (or woman) who never loved you in the first place. How could you be grieving over such an unhealthy relationship with someone who was so terrible? Feelings of guilt and shame set in. But the grief is still there, waiting.
Remember, the psychopath established an intense bond with you during the idealization phase; without that, the manipulation and abuse could never have happened. You may have believed this person was your soul mate, the love of your life. Trying to hold on to that, and seeming to recapture it from time to time, is what made it all possible. Now, the part of you that believed and hoped and dreamed has finally realized there is nothing to try to hold on to anymore, and your feelings of loss can be profound.
Even if it’s true that the person you loved wasn’t who you thought he was and the relationship wasn’t what you believed it to be, your love was real and so is your loss. Your love and loss deserve and need your acknowledgement, acceptance, compassion, and grief. Grieving is necessary for healing.
Unresolved grief can leave emotional scars and depression behind. An understanding therapist can be very helpful in this situation if family and friends aren’t able to be there for you in an accepting and non-judgmental way (or if you’re not able to be there for yourself in an accepting and non-judgmental way).
I hope these words will help Joanna and anyone else who is feeling the same way.
Your loss and your grief deserve and need your acknowledgement, acceptance, and compassion.
“I loved the author’s ability to simply and compassionately describe why, and how, I feel victim to a monster. For me, she eloquently describes the most complex, confusing, horrific experience of my life.. To the author, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“Her writing was like discovering a mentor, a friend, a sponsor, a confident who understood, who explained in detail what happened to me in my relationship with this man. I felt like something in the universe directed me to her. Her books will help you understand the hows and whys of what you went through. Your healing can begin with her writings.”
“Invaluable. Having been in a relationship with a psychopath for many years, I desperately needed some insight into what had happened and why. I have gained a tremendous amount of strength and knowledge toward healing from years of abuse by reading this book. One of the best.”
“Spot on! Everything I needed to know to gain closure! Absolutely 100% what I was searching for! I highlighted SO much of this book. It validated my feelings, spoke to my heart, opened my eyes and set me on a path to closure! So glad I read it!!”