Are you worried that your recovery process is taking too long? Please stop worrying. You’ve been through hell and back – there is no quick fix for that. And what’s more, when all is said and done, these few years will be some of the most important years of your life.
Relationships with narcissist, psychopaths and sociopaths take an unusually long time to recover from. Survivors often find themselves frustrated because they haven’t healed as fast as they’d like. Psychological abuse requires professional help from a psychiatrist and therapist. Embarking from a psychopathic relationship is very different to embarking from a relationship with a healthy individual. Many victims from such relationships manifest symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that requires professional help and support to recovery. I could not have survived without that support mechanism. You owe it to your self to seek out professional support to guide you through the recovery process. As my psychiatrist said to me “You need to bunker down and take the time to recover.” That was vital to my recovery and quite frankly that’s all I was able to do any way.
No matter whether the relationship lasted for few months or years the recovery process will be the same when it comes psychological abuse. It takes at least 12-24 months to get your mind back in a good place, and even after that, you might have tough days. The important thing here is to stop blaming yourself. Stop wishing you could recover faster. Stop thinking that the psycopath somehow “wins” if you’re still hurting. They are out of the picture now. This journey is about you. Settle in and get cozy with this whole recovery thing. Your recovery will come. Trust me, I have been in that space, I know.
So why is it taking so long?
You were in desperate love.
Here’s where we branch off from regular breakups. Psychopaths, narcissists and sociopaths manufacture desperation & desire.
You began to pick up on all sorts of hints that you might be replaced at any time. This encouraged your racing thoughts, ensuring that this person was on your mind every second of the day. This unhinged, unpredictable lifestyle is what psychopaths create with their lies and gas-lighting.
By keeping them on your mind at all times, you fall into a state of desperate love. Your mind convinces you that if you feel so powerfully, so deeply, then they must be the only person who will ever make you feel that way. And when you lose that person, your world completely falls apart. You enter a state of panic & devastation.
Psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths have an intense emotional & sexual bond over their victims. This is due to their sexual magnetism, and the way they train your mind to become reliant upon their approval.
By first adoring you in every way, you let down your guard and began to place your self worth in this person. Your happiness started to rely on this person’s opinion on you. Happiness is a chemical reaction going off in your brain – dopamine and receptors firing off to make you feel good.
Like a drug, the psychopath offers you this feeling in full force to begin with. But once you become addicted to it they begin to pull back. Slowly, you need more and more to feel that same high. You do everything you can to hang onto the high while they are doing everything in their power to keep you hanging from a thread.
Everything you once understood about people did not apply to this person. During the relationship, you tried to be compassionate, easy-going, and forgiving. You never could have known that the person you loved was actively using these things against you. It just doesn’t make any sense. No typical person is ready to expect that, and so we spend our time projecting a normal human conscience onto him or her, trying to explain away their inexplicable behavior.
But once we discover psychopath, sociopath, or narcissist abuse, that’s when everything starts to change. We begin to feel horrified that we let this darkness into our lives. Everything clicks and falls into place. All of the “accidental” or “insensitive” behavior finally makes sense.
It takes a great deal of time to come to terms with this personality disorder and that the relationship was a lie. It’s hard to comprehend that the person you believed to be your soul mate was just an abuser. You end up having to let go of your past understanding of human nature, and building it back up from scratch. You feel terrified that someone that you were so intimate with is not a good person. I believe that is most difficult ideation to recover from and it lingers for a long time. You feel paranoid, hyper-vigilant, and anxious. The healing process allows you to balance this new state of awareness with your once trusting spirit.
After the eventual abandonment, most survivors end up feeling a kind of emptiness that cannot even be described as depression. In my case I suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s like your spirit has completely gone away. You feel numb to everything and everyone around you. The things that once made you happy now make you feel absolutely nothing at all. You worry that your encounter with this monster has destroyed your ability to empathize, feel and care.
It feels hopeless at first, but your spirit is always with you. Damaged, for sure, but never gone. As you begin to discover self-respect & boundaries, it slowly starts to find its voice again.
Ultimately, you will leave this experience with an unexpected wisdom about the people around you. Your spirit will return stronger than ever before. Your new found strength is the greatest gift of the psychopathic experience. And it is worth every second of the recovery process, because it will serve you for the rest of your life.
Breaking Your Silence.
Finally it’s important that you are not afraid to share your story.
Most adult survivors keep their abusers secrets. Telling another human being about what happened to you is a powerful healing force that can dispel the shame of being a victim. Remember, the action belongs to the perpetrator and so does the shame. You were targeted.
Adapted from Psychopathfree.