I think many of us are familiar with the typical 5 stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance that all people go through after experiencing a loss of someone dear.
However, breaking up with a psychopath is not like breaking up with a normal person. The pain can seem surreal and even thoughts of suicide are likely to occur. You’ll feel devastated, empty, depressed, and overwhelmed. You might start thinking that the pain will never go away. You’ll begin to wonder whether you’ll be able to recover again.
Here are 6 stages that usually happen when you break up with a psychopath so that you can have a clear perception of what to expect.
Stage 1 – DISBELIEF
You can’t accept the truth. You can’t come to terms with the fact that the love that you thought you had with them was only in your head. You can’t believe how someone who seemed like they couldn’t live with you, suddenly turned out to be someone else. You just can’t understand how someone who was so “charming” and “caring” can hurt you like that. You start questioning yourself and justifying them, maybe it was all your fault?
Stage 2 – CONFUSION
Then, comes the confusion. The stage when you want your “charming” person to continue to be charming and loving towards you. This is a stage when you want it all to be just a dream so that you can wake up and be with them again.
During your confusion, you are vulnerable to always seek on to find information about your situation: you talk to friends and ask them whether they think you will get back together, you read horoscopes, magazines and articles desperately hoping to find something that will tell you that your sociopathic ex will come back to you.
Stage 3 – SADNESS, HEARTACHE, DEPRESSION
After you finally accepted the harsh reality, you feel an immense amount of pain. You understand that you cannot change the situation, you cannot change your psychopathic partner no matter how much you love to. Your whole heart is aching. You start sinking into a depth of sadness and depression. You start asking questions like, “Did they even love me?” “Was it real?”
Stage 4 – HOLLOWNESS AND ISOLATION
During this stage, you start to feel the consequences of your relationship with the psychopath. Maybe you have lost friends, maybe you lost your job, finances, or you have estranged yourself from your family. You begin to feel empty inside. You feel so alone and lonely that you just can’t believe what happened to you. How can someone who was your whole world betray you like that?
Stage 5 – PSYCHOLOGICAL DETECTIVE
At this stage, you have probably read everything about sociopaths, psychopaths, and all mental disorders. You are obsessed to find answers. Why do they behave the way they do? Where does their need for manipulation come from?
The more you read about it, the more obsessed you become, and the more assured you become that your ex, was indeed a psychopath. So, you start to search for signs of psychopathy whenever you meet someone new because you fear to make the same mistake again.
Stage 6 – ACCEPTING, RECOVERY, AND HEALING
This is the final stage of surviving the relationship with the psychopath. Acceptance is the first indicator of the beginning of the healing process. You realize that it wasn’t your fault. You start smiling again. You start to realize that there are other fish in the sea that will love you the way you deserve to be loved.
And a psychopath is not one of them.