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Gain disguised as loss; healing after the storm

Few, if any, walk away from their experiences with psychopaths completely unscathed.  They may leave us bankrupt, homeless, or destitute.  They may feign victimization, as they continue to wage their assaults, further insulting what we actually endured at their hands.  Their thirst for destruction may be almost insatiable when it comes to us.

Those are just the tangible losses.  Let us give equal time to the emotional confusion and trauma.  Many of us suffer from PTSD, depression, or serious physical medical concerns, as a result.  Living through experiences with psychopaths, or those with such features, is an incredible feat.

While we tend to focus on the negative consequences, we should also take time to examine the positive ones.  It’s important!  Here’s why….

Defeated?  Don’t answer yet

Human nature and our culture tend to leave us concentrating on what we do not have.  If a psychopath enters our world and then exits, leaving us in turmoil, we think this is a bad thing.  We mourn our losses, feel bad, and wish things were different.

This is normal.  Typically, we don’t enter relationships to leave them.  However, when these folks touch  our worlds, no good can come of the connections.  As a result, as we progress through our journeys, we can come to learn that we have actually been given second chances by their departures.

The little things that are not so little 

For example, from the day the person I learned my life lessons from entered my world, I spent a lot of time sick.  I am not talking about major issues.  Mainly, I experienced lingering colds, strep throat, unexplained fevers, bronchitis, pneumonia, and the like.

It seemed that I visited my doctor frequently for minor, but legitimate, concerns that needed some level of attention. Almost a year and a half ago now, I saw my doctor for a regular check up.  She told me that she was surprised to see me.  She assumed I had left and gone elsewhere.

I must have looked at her strangely, because she backtracked, explaining that she only mentioned that because she had neither seen nor heard from me in that time.  I thought for a moment.  It was true.  I had not been sick at all.

Similarly, several years ago, my dentist advised that I should sleep with a mouth guard.  Apparently, I was grinding my teeth fairly seriously.  I recall waking many mornings with my teeth clenched shut.  I remember trying to convince myself, while half awake, to unclench my jaw, but could not.  I had to fully awaken first and consciously force myself to separate my teeth.  The result, serious headaches that sometimes last lasted for days.

Last year, even at the height of two separate court battles, the same dentist indicated to me that he could tell the grinding had stopped.  So, what does this indicate?  These individuals bring undue harm.  Their departures, even if only partial, can change us for the better.

One day at a time

I am not saying that all of the bad magically disappears one day.  We may carry many of the scars for years or even for life.  However, we can re-emerge with the help of our attitudes and awareness.  Even if they persist and seem truly unable to move on, we can work toward freeing ourselves from the burdens.    They no longer have to matter to us.  It takes time and can be very difficult, but know that it is possible.  Once, we invested in relationships that were destined to fail.  Now, we can concentrate on rebuilding ourselves successfully.  It truly is an example of gain, diguised as loss.



115 Comments on "Gain disguised as loss; healing after the storm"

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  1. Louise says:

    This is kind of what I was talking about in my rant about sleeping with guys too fast. The world sees it as “normal,” but I don’t. It does nothing but cause heartache and problems. So I will be “different” and “special” because I will not be doing this.



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  2. darwinsmom says:

    Sunflower,

    Specialness/Weirdness/Normalness has become a total non-issue to me. That’s being truly free … I just am.

    I regard re-asserting oneself into some category whether it’s weird or special as still in a reactive stage to one’s past, and therefore not free from it and indeed vulnerable to flattery. It’s as if we are being triggered: responding to our present environment as if it was the spath/abusive environment of our past.

    Mind you, I do believe we cannot escape the see-saw without going through the see-saw. I had to shout out I was special in order to gain enough self-confidence to escape the maze. It’s a healthy first step to liberating yourself from being dependent on what others think of you. Because you start to take over the power of perception: it’s not the others who define the perception of yourself anymore, but you will define how others will perceive you. But it’s not true freedom yet: it’s just choosing your own prison with the clothing, car, friends, music, interior design that make it easy for yourself as well as your surroundings to put you in the box you want to be seen.

    What you notice is that once you’re free from the self-chosen prison is that you vary the stuff without any true care of how it’s perceived, but reflective of yourself at that moment. I do what is right to me.



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  3. Sunflower says:

    Yeah that is what I mean. When I look around, I see people lying, cheating, stealing, putting work infront of their kids, neglecting etc and no one reacts because it’s common. I don’t get how that can be normal! If that is normal, I don’t want to be normal. No way!

    I recognize my self in everything you’re saying. I had it and still have the same way, but after I started working with my self, I’m embracing my “specialness”. I really don’t need to fit in anymore. I’ve tried so hard many,many times, but in the end of the day, it makes me unhappy. I am who I am. I like to be my own thinker ;D

    Perhaps it’s our uniqueness that makes the spaths target us. My “friend” with very spathic tendencies always says there”s just this something about me that makes me attractive.

    And thank you for your kind words, I find you normal too! LOL 😀



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  4. Sunflower says:

    Darwinsmom:

    “Because you start to take over the power of perception: it’s not the others who define the perception of yourself anymore, but you will define how others will perceive you. But it’s not true freedom yet: it’s just choosing your own prison with the clothing, car, friends, music, interior design that make it easy for yourself as well as your surroundings to put you in the box you want to be seen.”

    No you’re right, it’s not true freedom because then you actually control other people’s perception of you. That can become a trap and backfire. Trick is to not re-assert in any category.



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  5. Ox Drover says:

    When we are kids we want to emulate every other kid. We want them to like us. If they don’t like us or treat us mean we get the idea that there is something wrong with US, rather than there is something wrong with THEM.

    Humans are like “herd or pack animals” (cattle, some deer, horses etc) and we crave the attention and kindness of our own kind. That is natural and normal.

    In herds and packs the animal who is different sticks out, the albino or the antelope who strays too far from the protection of the herd is “picked on” by the predators. Or if an animal doesn’t fit in with the pack, the pack may send them out from the pack or even kill them.

    Back when humanity lived in caves and tribes and hunted and gathered and our very survival depended on conformity it may have been a positive thing, but now we can in our culture and in our society “be different” from the all consuming conformity of the rest of our “tribe.”

    If we lived in the middle east where our culture and society dictated how and who we married on pain of death, being “different” might result in an “honor killing” if we objected to what our father wanted. WE, in our society, would consider a father killing a daughter for even LOOKING at a man as a horrible act, murder even, yet, in some societies and cultures, it is the “honorable” thing for a father to do.

    Sociology says that all cultures are “okay” and that we have no right to “judge” another culture. But I guess that is another discussion for another day. LOL

    I do know, though, that for me, being ME and being a bit different from the “norm” is okay.



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  6. darwinsmom says:

    Oxy,

    I’m not sure whether sociology says every culture is ok, but in order to study it in the most honest descriptive way, the sociologist must investigate without judgement. Research findings are closest to reality when bias is left out of it: whether that is research regarding biology, anthropology, physics, etc.



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  7. darwinsmom says:

    Sunflower,

    Yes it can backfire: you miss out on progress and growth from people who can be a true inspiration or have a highly needed wisdom for you; and you become vulnerable to people who stroke that recognition of specialness with flattery, like spaths



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