Betrayal. Victimization. Devastation. Confusion.
A profound loss of faith in God, in Humanity, in Justice.
How can we ever recover?
I hear from many people who tell me they were destroyed by their experience with a psychopath. If you believe you were, please reconsider. You don’t have to go through the rest of your life crippled by this experience. It is possible to recover from this adversity and go on to live a healthy, fulfilling life.
What does it take?
I love that word. It shines like a glint of light reflected from strong, smooth steel. From great adversity comes great strength. Just as the hardest steel is forged in the hottest fires, we too are forged and strengthened by our own struggles and triumphs.
Resilience is that indefinable quality that allows us to be knocked down and then come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting devastation defeat us, we find a way to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Resiliency is your capacity for psychological and spiritual renewal and recovery in the face of trauma and even disaster.
“Your soul has a resiliency and a capacity to endure suffering that is beyond anything you can imagine.”
~ Bryant McGill
Resilience doesn’t mean having immutable, fortress-like protection in the face of human experience. We are deeply affected by our experiences, and even forever transformed…sometimes for the better.
Resilience is not a trait you either have or don’t have. It can be learned and developed by anyone. How? Going through a serious trauma will usually do the job. That’s how I found my capacity for resilience. It was one of my greatest discoveries in the wake of the psychopath in my life.
“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work though difficult problems.”
~ Gever Tulley
At first, we endure. We get through the day simply because somehow we keep breathing.
One day, we respond — our survival instinct kicks in and we take action. The act of engaging in some type of response is integral to healing from trauma. You’re here reading this, and that is a significant act of self-affirmation.
We reflect. Periods of stillness revive and strengthen us. Reflection allows us to give meaning and significance to our experience. When we give something meaning, we can consider not only the challenge we’re experiencing —we can also consider our intentions, our higher purpose, and the principles of living we hold dear.
Resilience can be envisioned in many ways. We can be inspired to create our own version of resilience that tolerates and responds to adversity in a way that honors what we believe are the most precious gifts of being alive.
Resilience helps you find meaning in times of trouble and even gain confidence from overcoming adversity. In this way, resilience contributes to a deeply satisfying life.
Keep going, even when the going is uncertain and slow. Consider embracing authenticity instead of perfection.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
For more on resilience and growth after trauma, please read the article ‘Post-Traumatic Growth.’
♥ You are forged by fire
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12 thoughts on “Resilience — You’ve Got It”
I was 13 years old, and my ex he was 15 years old, when we meet everything was sweet and nice by age of 16 I was pragent and that when all hell happen, I was 4 months when he tried to kick me in the stomach and his friend jump in the way to stop him I left and did not see him to my son was born. Then he wanted to be in my life not his son but I had another plan and it was without him I needed to protect my son you can see the hatred, Then one day out of the blue my son scream and I jump to see was going on that when I notice his father with a knife going at me I move in time my son save me that day but the pain I felt seeing my son fear break my heart and that when decide no more I left never talk to him or allowed my son near him. But it was not over for him on my 21 birthday him and his new wife took me to court to tried to take my son but he got big surprise. He told judge alot lies about me being on drugs and welfare and that I would leave my son with anybody, and I listen until was my time when the judge ask me about his complaint I told the judge that I was a NYC police officer and that he can check the dept for any use of drugs because I got drugs tested by the dept. And I got sole custody of my son and we have contect with him. Even though he stalk me by proxy and move 4 blocks from me and hang around corner from me. and also adopted a son so life is good, my ex is a diagnosed maligent narcissist who was kick out of the army for drugs and very dangrous. And still made out live happy with my 2 sons
Good for you, I am so glad you won! A NYC police officer! *salutes* All the best to you and your sons, Diane!
I mean to say we have no contect with his father at all. When I have to think about I forgot my thoughts about my life with him because it was a hell sorry.
Thank you for you generosity in sharing your journey to healing with us all. I have found that after the spiritual death and total change in world view that you speak of, no one understands or BELIEVES what I have been through, (my psychopath is incredibly charming in public), so having this regular contact with people who have been through such an unbelievable experience is life saving.
It sure is life saving. I went through the same thing — no one understood or believed. I’m happy you’ve found some validation here, Nicola. Best wishes to you!
Another great article and pictures Admin. I feel as I’m ‘rising from the ashes.’ And much stronger for it. Although I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, and pray I never have another experience like it, I finally feel like the insanity in my mind is almost over. Hallaluhah!!
It’s so important to learn the ‘signs’, and learn how to protect yourself. Your blog and books have been so meaningful in my recovery. Thank you!
Thank you so much.
I feel the same way — I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but it was mine to deal with and I’m happy with the way it turned out. I took those bitter, rotten lemons and made lemonade, and it is quite delicious. I raise my glass and make a toast to everyone that they may do the same! Glad you did, Hope. *clink*
Another great one Admin, thank you, and we can share our stories here and see how women ( and real men ) are able to overcome massive adversity and come out the other side, stronger and shinier, and not disabled and destroyed as the psychos intended. I know there are many still suffering, but with the proper support and YOUR website, we can heal, when we know what it was that was in our hearts, our heads, and our beds, they consume our very being.
Information is powerful, and each article you pen gives us so much. xx
I was in court last week, to enforce payment of arrears, adjourned for 6 weeks, he walked out of court with stern words from the judge, but still with our money in his pocket, no sanctions….. yet. My patience may have contributed to our 20 years of hell but I shall continue to use when necessary :)There seems to be a certain shift in how he is spoken to, I’m in court past 2 years, I’m not sure if it’s my change and how I perceive things or if system has changed. Probably a bit of both.
I would like to post something I sent to his brother and sister, I can’t cut and paste so will send via website, I think it is relevant to this subject, and so relevant for us, resilience, our very core of what we are about, it’s there like a Heros superpower, we just have to trust ourselves and access it. xxx
Hi Nearlybel. Thanks once again for your kind words.
Yes, many are still suffering. But that’s where resilience is born. There’s no way to skip the emotional pain, unfortunately. A while back, I wrote an article titled Post Traumatic Growth. Significant distress is necessary for post-traumatic growth to occur. Research shows the disruption caused by the trauma must be significant enough to create psychiatric symptoms and shattering to your world view in order to generate growth. That means that just when people think they’re too traumatized to ever experience resilience, it’s actually exactly what’s needed.
Patience is a strength, and you’ve got it. When we’re with a psychopath, our strengths can work against us (in their topsy turvy world), but once we’re out of that situation, they go back to being positive attributes again.
I’m looking forward to the letter. xxx
*POSTED AS REQUESTED BY NEARLYBEL:
This was part of a letter I sent to his siblings, they have not spoken to me since I stopped tolerating his perverse behaviour and learning about what he is. Just over 2.5 years.
‘I was sitting in court waiting for case to be heard, all these people breaking the laws, stealing, hurting people, avoiding paying tax etc. And I was sooo sad and sick at the degradation your brother continues to inflict on me. That I have been associated with someone who refused to contribute to his own children, that I continue to have to bring this person to court in order for him, the father, to pay for his own children. It is sick, But it serves to confirm exactly what he is, what he causes.
He used my love as a facade, he used my kindness, tolerance, understanding nature as a facade in order to abuse, to abuse and exploit me, but even worse, to abuse and violate the children.
Without my love, he is exposed for exactly what he is.
It is devastating what he has inflicted on us, if you could only feel a tiny percentage of the hurt he caused, you would understand, only that tiny bit would leave you devastated as well but I would wish that feeling on nobody, not even my worse enemy. How the children cope is amazing to me, they are all beautiful and unique, all so different but so alike too, wonderful.
A long time ago he called me a parasite, I now understand he was telling me exactly what he was. The only time he felt alive was when he was abusing, he’d get a double kick when I confronted him and he was able to convince me otherwise.
Ask him questions, see his reactions, you will see the things he says don’t add up, don’t make sense, he will lie to make you believe and his delivery will be haughty and knowing and you will understand. But only when you know what he is, but do you really want to?
Good luck xxx’
I thought this was a very good article about resilience. We must never let our guard down and become complacent. My relationship with a seriously dysfunctional psychopath concluded over 5 years ago after 7 years of trying to extract myself from his ceaseless switching from charm personified to utter evil contempt and abject cruelty. I finally got away, emotionally battered, bruised and psychologically fragile. Two years of intense counseling has led me to a better place and I am fortified by the posts and comments on this site. I thought he was gone for good as the last text I had from him was in March 2013 (still 3 years after the final split). And yet I was still shocked and shaken to receive another “try on” text this December 2015. I have found it best to ignore him and refuse to engage in any communication whatsoever but it takes resilience. We must always be on our guard for they will not give up easily. I was so vulnerable all those years ago but thanks to Cousnelling, this site and a good support network I am in an entirely different space now. His text was the usual charm personified with a “poor me – you can help” attitude. I am a giving person so resilience is of all importance.
I’m so glad you’ve made such progress, and happy to hear this site is part of what’s helped you. You’re right, we must be on our guard. I haven’t seen the psychopath since it ended, but I sometimes wonder who I would see if I ran into him — the angel or the devil? My therapist encouraged me to plan for an unexpected run-in, and having that plan in place has helped me to feel confident about what my actions/reaction would be. It’s good you’re ignoring him, but have you considered blocking his number and email address?
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