The final stage of bereavement is acceptance! Let go with love!

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It can be tough when you have come out of a relationship with a sociopath. I wrote earlier about the five stages of bereavement, that you know that you are truly the other side of the bereavement, when you hit stage 5 Acceptance. If you haven’t read that article these are the 5 stages again.

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

I wrote in that article how you do not always go through those feelings in any particular order. But the final stage is always acceptance.

How do you know you are at the final stage of recovery?

You know that you are at the final stage of acceptance, when you can not only let go, you feel no bitterness. You don’t hold onto bitterness, or negative emotions about what has happened to you. Often you can see things in a spiritual context (although not always).

Most importantly, despite what this person has done to you. You let go with love. By the time that you reach acceptance, you should feel free. You should feel relieved that you no longer have someone who is controlling your life, and causing damage behind the scenes.

You would have, hopefully, read enough, and understood enough about sociopaths to be able to see it for what it is. That the sociopath follows a pattern of behaviour, which is the same pattern that all sociopaths followed.

There is no need to feel anger towards the sociopath. It wasn’t personal against you. It is just the way that they are. They would have done this before in the past, and they will do this again in the future. There is nothing that you could have done or said, to have made things better. The outcome would have always been the same.

I strongly believe that people come into  our lives for a reason. Although sometimes, I do still struggle with why I met the person that I did in 2010.  Maybe I was meant to understand about psychopaths and sociopaths, so that I could write about it. Maybe  I will change my work, and move from working with homeless people, to working with women fleeing these relationships, focusing on healing and recovery. Whatever the reason, it has happened, because of the last relationship, I now understand and I can let it go with peace.

To  get to the point of acceptance, you often have to go through the previous four stages, and feel those emotions, to be able to let go.

Those who continue to  say how much they hate their ex, and how angry they still are about what happened, are still in the process of recovery. Acceptance means peace. Peace within yourself. It means that you have been through the recovery process, and are now at peace.

Hatred will only keep the sociopath as part of you. It is negative. Only when you let it go, with love, when you wish them well, and you wish them happiness, and you know in your heart, that it is a disorder, that you cannot change. That it is NOT a part of you. Will you find inner peace and happiness again.

It is when you reach acceptance, that you are ready to be with somebody new. To start your life again. To begin to trust. Moving into another relationship before you are at the acceptance stage, would likely be starting a relationship with unstable foundations. It is likely to be a rebound relationship, and therefore also unlikely to not workout, bringing further pain.

To get to acceptance, you need to love yourself. To forgive yourself. To also let go with love the sociopath. Wishing them well on their journey.

This might seem a difficult thing to achieve. Particularly if the sociopath, is harassing or stalking you. How can you let go? Again, this is back to No contact, and allowing yourself to go through the motions of bereavement.

Also be realistic. The longer that you were with the person, the longer it will take to heal. The sociopath not only morphs into you, but by their consistent control they force you to morph into them. Which is why you feel such a sense of loss, when there is discard and the relationship is over. It is because you feel like you have lost a part of yourself.

This is just an illusion, you cannot lose part of yourself. Not for any length of time, it is always there. It is just finding you again. How to find the beauty within you.

Nobody else can make you happy. Nobody else will complete you. For you, are already, on your own fully complete and whole. Go through the bereavement journey. Learn as much as you can, understand as much as you can. When you read page like my website, and you recognise the person that you were dating too, know that this was not your fault. Really neither is it the sociopaths, it is just the way that they are.

You cannot change them, they struggle to change themselves. Most do not want to either. You cannot give someone a conscience when they do not have one. You cannot make someone else who they are not. You cannot change the sociopath – but you can change you.

Words © datingasociopath.com 2013

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22 thoughts on “The final stage of bereavement is acceptance! Let go with love!”

  1. It was quite easy to accept the sociopath for what he was and to say adios to the relationship. The part that isn’t easy is accepting his abuses against my son. Many women and men who are no longer in their marriages or relationships with sociopaths and who have children with sociopaths grieve the loss of the relationship much easier than the loss of their children’s innocence and continued abuse inflicted upon them by their sociopathic parent.

    I have a lot of bitterness toward the man for his abuses against an innocent 5-year-old. That will never be forgiven or forgotten until he apologizes and admits to what he did. I am not angry about what he did to me. I’m beyond those abuses. I’m angry about what he did to my son and what he could potentially do to another woman’s child or even one of his own. That’s why I write and can’t stop writing. Evil doesn’t get a free pass in my book.

    1. The thing is though Paula, is that it has happened. That you hating him, wont change what has happened. You know as well as what I do, he won’t apologise (and if he did it would be because he wanted something). The only person you should get even with is those who have treated you well.

      By still holding hatred towards him, you keep him as a part of you (whether you realise this or not), when you are really over it, you let go with love. Wish them well. What they have is an illness. It clearly is, because if it wasn’t the repeated patterns of their behaviour wouldn’t be so well documented.

      I know that the one before the charismatic one was heavily narcissistic. I know that i thought i would hate him forever, particularly for using my dead daughter to abuse me. But…., by feeling that way i just kept him in my psyche. See it as an ill person. A sick person. With an illness. That cannot be changed. What they do is a reflex reaction, not even aware of what they are doing, its not personal towards you or your son, although it feels that way.

      Sometimes to be able to forgive someone else, you have to forgive yourself!!! x

      1. I have forgiven myself and I don’t feel stuck in my psyche because I choose never to forgive him. My mother told me that forgiveness for him is in God’s hands. Besides, I reserve forgiveness for those I love and who entered my heart with good intentions. The sociopath never entered my heart with love. I don’t expect you to agree.

  2. These were some of the most helpful and uplifting words i have read in a while, “This is just an illusion, you cannot lose part of yourself. Not for any length of time, it is always there. It is just finding you again. How to find the beauty within you.” Wow. Yes! It’s terrifying to go through this experience and your words have served as a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
    I’ve been struggling to figure out where I lost myself. (how do I get back to the “strong” woman i *thought* i always was? how did i allow someone to take me for this ride? what have i become?) Thank you for this clarity and reassurance!
    Your website has proven extremely helpful (and at times both frightening and reassuring) to me. I’ve been trying to begin to heal from the demise what i thought was not only a passionate, intense romance, but also a deep friendship AND a professional relationship. i had everything tied up with him, and to the naked eye, have lost everything with him. Reading through your website is like reading an autobiography. This comment sounds SO naive, but i never knew it was possible to be duped so intensely & completely – so seamlessly! The shock of it all is staggering and has me caught in a loop of sadness, denial and bewilderment. It warrants a standing ovation.
    My intuition would spike, but i would listen to his words and look less at his actions, and end up admonishing myself. After all, i was the *lucky* one – how could i land such an amazingly talented, beloved, sexy, intelligent, hilarious and creative man?!!? After taking inventory of all his supposed wonderful and amazing qualities, i would smooth over any problems with confidence that he was making an effort – we were making a joint effort – to be our best selves, do good work, celebrate life and raise our awareness. Thinking you have to take some good with the bad, I accepted his tearful apologies and confessions about cheating on me. He wanted only me now. We were responsibly & honestly working through it all.
    We went from amazing honeymoon stages of bliss and what i thought was (and he said was) true love, to him being totally cold and distant. Then it started vacillating extremely(daily) – from acute emotional abuse & carelessness with me to wild proclamations of love, fidelity and future plans. It all culminated in him suddenly & tearfully dropping me like a ton of bricks with vague and bizarre reasons – for example, according to him, we were “standing on the precipice of oblivion.” I’m still not sure where that gem came from. Our chemistry was amazing and it is hard to deal with the rejection and loss of what i thought was love, but the hardest part is to accept i was systematically manipulated, reduced and destroyed. Still, I’ve no idea how to let him go (mentally, that is. physically, i have closed off all contact with him) as my friend, confidant, mentor and business partner. It’s as if he was a cypher. I’m left caring and concerned about this person who may not have actually ever existed. Letting go and learning to love oneself is quite daunting. This comment was a lot longer than I meant to write, but it was all to say, I agree with and appreciate your work on this site. THANK YOU for helping to illuminate the pathway out of these toxic relationships. One moment at a time…

  3. This is all so surreal. Very difficult to express all that I feel and have gone through for 8 years with a sociopath. I am struggling to get a life of my own back, to be empowered,,but I stayed, and allowed myself to become completely destroyed..Now I am disabled from it, living on 900 a month..had a car, he destroyed as well, so can’t be mobile..(to be in the norm) either. While he laughs, and feels sorry for me..in a brand new house, nice car..and says “He loves me”

    1. Aw Judy, I read your comment and wanted to send you a hug!!

      I am so sorry for what you have been through. You focusing on him, and his life (what he has and you don’t), is not helping you.

      You really need to establish no contact for your own peace of mind. It is so hard, and so difficult the silence can be deafening and so very painful, but it does provide you with space to heal and to recover. And time for you to no longer be abused.

      I am sorry to read all that you have been through. Please try to establish no contact and focus on you, and not him.

      1. I so appreciate your understanding and being here. Glad I found you. Not too many people understand and are so critical. That I deserve what I get for loving a sick person. I loved him anyway..and past tense is wrong..I love him still. I sometimes feel what is worse living with him or without..I feel I was able to feel and see the God self of him, that which I fell in love with..wasn’t often but none the less enough our hearts became one. But I just can’t live with him. It’s very painful situation to be in..I feel I am living in hell with or without him? He wants me to need him and I think that’s why he laughs..that I am choosing this instead of him. He doesn’t get I am living this way because of him..he doesn’t see the hurt, the pain the he’s given…but says he wants to change to have me back..Thank you for the hug..i needed it~

      2. You are not alone. Sociopaths can have their good sides too, and if you are the partner you can see their vulnerability (which they play up to by playing victim). They also very charming and charismatic, and take your own persona to create their own. So without him, you might feel like a part of you is missing. I wrote a post how to re-claim the person in the mirror. I am sorry that you are hurting x

  4. I gotta say it is very alarming how many similarities some of us have experienced amongst our individual relationships. It makes me really sad and very confused.
    It is reassuring, Judy, to have someone see themselves in mine or another’s story, but I find it all so heartbreaking all over again to know how many people are suffering at the hand of one they love. It is such a vulnerable position…and in a normal situation it would be good to be vulnerable and open and giving…
    My ex has recently sent me a couple emails with links about women’s rights speeches at the UN or eccentric cultural blogs…things he thinks i would be interested in – just as if we are causal acquaintances and he can just pop in & out of my life at will.
    There was no apology for how he treated me or any concern that he expressed about where i was finding studio space to work in now, where i was showing my art, etc… no niceties. The first contact he tried to make with me included more words like these:

    “…This remarkable address marks a singularly transcendent moment for all human kind, particularly women. Malala’s display of power, courage, and leadership here is overwhelming.
    A true clarion call. Not to be missed.”

    I got your “clarion call” right here, buddy. AS IF he could even know what power and courage looks like! And then he has the audacity to advise me on how to feel as woman…ugh. Maybe i am reading too much into this, but an email coming from a man who has never known how to apologize for himself, be responsible, stand up for me when i needed it most, nor express concern for how/where I am living my life seems still very cold and emotionless. He is very dramatic, but there is no real concern for me in anything he communicated.
    I have adhered to the no contact policy – although I am at times wondering where that person I KNEW(thought) he was went to.
    It is the hardest concept to accept – the notion that none of it was real. And filling the hole in my life and reclaiming who I know I can be is much harder than I imagined. I consider myself a hopeful, happy, creative and strong person. I can’t access her lately. Something seems so “off” – my concepts of reality are shaky at best and this odd, unfamiliar sense of paranoia has settled in. I keep thinking I should be checking on him or finding out what is “really” going on. I am not going to, but i just wonder where the person I know he can be went to.

    Does anyone have additional tips on how to build up tools to maintain no contact – or is it just best to try to ignore despite the memories and curiosity and concern?
    How do you get over significantly caring about this person who may not have ever cared for you?
    Is closure truly basically impossible? and we just have to figure out how to move on?
    It feels like i am missing a step or something.
    I am not planning on contacting him – i have no idea what i would say. I’m just realize I am really lacking in the tools to get through this loss. This was never a contest for me – there was nothing I was trying to win, but I feel like he gets to go on with his life, whether he is aware of what he has done to me or not and I have to sit back and take it. Can it be that I am the only one who mourns the death of this relationship?
    Why is this such a difficult hill to climb? My heart goes out to everyone struggling through these experiences. If I had any strength or clarity to share, I really truly would. This pain is not worth our time or tears. I hope we can all find resilience and the harmony we deserve.

    1. Bless you..I feel you so much..Sounds like your ex feels so threatened by you because you aren’t laying in wait..that he wants to demean your character of strength at least!! After all that is part of how they keep us at bay is to down play us, take away any self esteem they can and or play on it for their gratification. Sounds as though you have a strong hold on yourself, apart from him now..he’s becoming a remember when… reluctantly. I feel somewhat hopeful in reading your message that I will be there one day soon. I know I loved him, more than I loved myself. I know loving him has stirred my spiritual side to be more prominent of God & thru all this hellish adversary I am developing awareness beyond belief to even a witness to my own miracles and truths. So this is keeping my head above water so to speak. What greatness we are to love a monster as these..Shouldn’t we give way to our own selves of such magnitude, love & gratitude and give of the same to ourselves and other women? In hopes we might be able to help validate the hearts of women who feel less than deserving to themselves who aren’t fortunate to rise above it all, who see not the trees for the forest. Maybe that’s our calling in life and of being therapeutic to us. At least I can strive for this..it makes more sense.

      1. Ya know, I am able to articulate my strength in not going back..and believe me he tries all the time with “words” so in depth with definition! Am not blinded by the unreal of them for the real. You would think after 20 times or more, there would be no more words..but he uses them like he’s never said them before and with far more sincerity mind you, then each of the last 20.. I started focusing on what those words show me…what I had “not” instead of what I “could” have.The “Had” not was a proven the catastrophe of the 8 years with him! So you keep what is so “surreal” in the for front of your mind and heart and that produces strength in your conviction to stay away! The “real “of it..and man “No trust!!”factor..A Big one!! I can’t trust his words anymore..When they say they soo love you but don’t mind seeing you without a home or food or transportation..where’s the love? All of these things I put on line to be with him and end up not having and he doesn’t mind that. But he sooo loves me. Take the blinders off see what you really have had and have not with them..Not trusting him keeps me away, living with having given it all and having nothing and he doesn’t mind..keeps me away! Focus on reality!! Which I am starting from ground zero now with myself(reality), because I aloud this crap to go on for 8years and now the reality for me is the psychological aspect of it, and emotional abuse has left me in shambles.., disabled. and Thanks Be to God, I have a roof and food on the table. That’s for real, Lady’s!(Who it’s from) Wake up Lady’s don’t wait…

    2. midnight maypop
      I read this comment of yours and the one before this one .
      I understand what you are saying and am feeling your pain, disorientation, and confusion on your very intense relationship you went through.
      You write so remarkably well and clearly for having been through what you have.
      Discard on me was more than two years ago. I think even less straight than I did even after the first few months after it.
      I feel all what you are saying, how they get on so happily and supposedly gung go and not having second care about their targets.
      I wish I had words of help and encouragement, but I am still suffering.
      I just haven’t let go.
      They think so much differently.
      I don’t how they can wall off passionate relationships on a whim whenever they please.
      My heart is saddened for you and all going through this, like you said, how can all their crap be quite worth all the pain put upon us

  5. Judy and Maypop, reading your comments makes me sad but also helps me see that I am not completely insane. It is frightening, how after reading this blog for the past 2 days, almost all the comments on all the pages seem to describe, with just small variations, the exact same man! Don’t you find that incredible? Our experiences throughout the ordeal of a pretend love affair and now our desperate confusion and desire to figure out how we let this happen is so bizarrely similar! I have been on a rollarcoaster ride from hell with mine for the past 7 years. He finally left for the second time in July and what a great blessing, he went back to his original home which is 2500 miles away from me. When he left the first time (I kicked him out with great difficulty both times) he stayed in the area and made my life insane because he would pop in and out of my life and I never had the strength to deny him entry. When we were together my intuition would scream that everything was false. He always had the “perfect words” but the actions never matched and the lies, and the cheating and the taking of anything and everything he could take was devestating. Here are a few ways that I am coping:

    Your soul reached out to this person for a reason. It is too painful to grasp right now but you evolved in some way from this experience. A wise person once told me every human being has “Soul Mates” even serial killers have soul mates. You did nothing “wrong”. I know you feel duped and broken but in time you will heal yourself. The fact that you are reaching out tells me eventually you will recover and you will be stronger.

    Remember the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference, think of some of the people you have loved in the past but now they are just a memory that doesn’t elicit much emotion. This is indifference. Try to channel that feeling everytime he enters your mind and eventually he will be in that category.

    Loving a Sociopath becomes a powerful addiction and even though we know how horrible these people are for us we still seem to crave them when they are gone. I think the universe must have endowed these people with some kind of special psychic powers to hook you into this addiction. What they lack in healthy human emotion they seem to have in this evil quality of hooking people deeply. Replace his name in your phone or anywhere it may come up with the word “Heroin”. Extreme I know, but you need to be reminded of the damage this man continues to inflict on you.

    Most importantly, FORGIVE YOURSELF! Stop the negative dialog in your mind, everytime the negative thoughts enter to beat you up again and again, will it to stop. Replace it with something positive even if it is making 1 other person smile today.

    I hope I helped a little and take some comfort in knowing you are not alone in this pain and grief. There are lots and lots of us out here and we will lift you up when you can’t do it yourself, all you have to do is talk.

    1. Angelface, your comment came at just the right time. Ran into old friends inquiring how I’m doing (not good) & started feeling like I might be wrong or mistaken about my ex. (Apparently he is doing peachy.) After all that! I still doubt my feelings & actions.
      Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words – also you alerted me to Judy’s helpful words that I had previously missed. Our similarities do scare the crap out of me, but it really helps to hear from others – ideas, experiences, advice & support. Thank you for sending out the beacon of hope. With company & community of voices like yours it does start to feel healing is possible. Hugs to you.

      1. MM, sorry you are not doing good, keep your chin up. As far as your ex doing “peachy”, are you forgetting who he really is? He is a Liar, a manipulator and a person whose image is everything. He is smoke and mirrors, an illusion. Do you really think he is “peachy”? You want him to feel hurt and wallow in the grief of missing you but he doesn’t. He never will, he doesn’t get it, he isn’t human in the same way you are, he never will be, no matter how much you wish he was. Stop wasting your precious energy on a ghost. Make yourself stronger so when he does come sniffing around again, and he will, you will be strong enough to banish him to a place of indifference. We are out here for you, all the survivors. Hugs to you too!

    2. God Bless you all and this site…Sweet angel of mine..you are so right and I am sorry you too have been caught in this web. I have found out about myself going through this, that well maybe I wouldnt have had I not..which was I didn’t “Love Myself” for starters. It as well has led me closer to God..My journey to Spiritual Awakening through adversary. I have realize the significance of my lack in both these area’s with such difference while just in pursuit of them.
      I have been involved with these kind of monster’s for 30 years..3 x relationship to which, I was always focused on “them” and their needs, wants and “fixing them”. This last relationship was the cream of the crop, to where I lost everything, including myself. lol My ex says to me, when I express that I now have to buy 200 dollar pair of shoes because of an ankle fusion and wondering how I am going to afford, living on low income, he says, “Ya poor kid!” and in breathe’s before and after vowing to how much he loved me! Mind you he is in no way hurting financially, in fact just bought a 500 dollar bird. My point is- is recognizing these things to which I am no longer “blind” or in “denial” because, I know I am worth more to myself and God..This is what keeps be at arms length. Yes, they do come back..it’s been a year since I saw him, but he’s managed to get ahold me, and just recently found where I live and showed up at my door! But.. He no longer has the same ability to control me or manipulate me, and I am able to see the trees of the forest now. It’s amazing the difference now that I am whole.
      * I truly gotta to plead with you all, to plunge in to what is best for “YOU”.. Mind, Body & Spirit…because that’s where the problem is…then you won’t be drawing anything unto you but good, and will have so much to be grateful for. Our Heavenly Father, Will come thru for you have Faith Trust & Love of this man…cause he will provide you with all you need. He has me..I got my shoes..A roof over my head and food in my body.. God Bless you , Sisters I am here to help, I am here and not there anymore. ❤

  6. I have been reading your site for over 2 weeks and now I finally have the courage to write my story and it began 12 years ago with a man 14 yrs younger ( this should have been a sign).I was married for 20 years and have 2 beautiful daughters . I meet my sociopath at work during a time when I was going thru a bad marriage and my ex sociopath knew this and used it to get me .
    He said all the right things a women going thru a difficult time wants to hear and I felt he meant every word, from how much he loved me to how he would die without me.
    I felt for all his lies, his infidelities his emotional roller coaster and when I would ask why he was the way he is, he would just tell me he was bipolar and I thought he was ,until one day, when I was having a conversation with my sister and she was describing a friend of hers as a sociopath and read me the definition of what a sociopath was from the web.
    I tell you that the hairs in back of my neck stood up and a chill ran down my spine,after that day in have been reading this web site.

    I been free from this sociopath I call parasite on and off for 9 month , when I decided enough was enough,but just like a parasite ,this sociopath kept coming back and just like a true sociopath one lie after another -he would hunt me like a hunter hunts for his pray and he is relentless at wearing me down when he wants his way . I would finally break down and repeat the mental abuse on and off now for 9 month .
    The last time was 2 weeks ago when the parasite reappeared on what it was suppose to be our 12 yr anniversary -he told me how he miss our life ,how I was the best thing that ever happen to him-that he was blind for not seeing what a good thing he had and on and on,when I asked him about his new prey he denied it and told me how I be live the lies i heard at work.I finally agreed to see him he told me to pick him up because he did not have a car, when I asked him how he was getting to work he said his brother would drive him .,I thought this was odd but like a fool I did not go with my instinct . After we spend the evening together -it didn’t feel right ,he felt like a stranger ,it felt wrong but good at the same time . I just didn’t see myself going back to the same routine from the past-good for awhile and then when he was bore he would disappeared for weeks sometimes 2 month with the excuse that he was confuse -confuse my as… it was always some new pray he was trying to concord. When he left he told me how he wanted to stay how he loved me. But I didn’t ask him to stay , I felt good about next day he text me how happy he was, how good we were together(i guess he thought had sucker me in again),but I had this feeling that he was lying about something or everything,I just didn’t know story about his brother driving him kept dangling in my head (always go with ur gut feeling when dealing with a sociopath-aka parasite).I decided to see for myself if the story of the brother driving him to work was true-so i waited after work and there in front of my eyes I saw him get in a car (he wasn’t lying about not having a car) he was driving her car-he drove to the front door of his work and his new pray got in. I could believe how a person could do this two human beings-how he can lie and cheat to two good people that the only thing we (me and his new prey) have in common is falling for this parasite.
    I can only tell you that i felt bad and good at the same time-good for not letting the parasite stay that night and bad because i felt for his lies once more.
    I text him and told him that he hadn’t changed and why the lies .He kept on texting me and asking me what was I talking about and what had he done -and when I didn’t answer he said he was going to kill himself.
    Needless to say he still alive
    Is been two weeks and of course the parasite has try contact but I have not responded or have no in tensions of doing so,thanks to all of you and this web site ,you have save my life. And now that I know the disease parasite called sociopath I know how to get cure it, “NO CONTACT”. I feel all the emotions that everyone that writes in feels and if I can get rid of this disease parasite called Sociopath after 12 yr so can you.

    Thank you and God Bless us all

    1. God Bless you, I am so proud of you! We don’t need these type of men in our lives! When we love our self more…better comes! Peace Love & Light ;)ude

  7. PS Angelface..you do have a handle on it..and your words are most helpful, indeed! Just wanted to make sure you know how much you are appreciate here for your words and encouragement..as to others as well..even if just reflecting it serves purpose that we aren’t losing our minds, that this isn’t a nightmare and that someone cares. Let alone just the fact that we aren’t crazy is a Blessing. We all are Sisters here..God Bless everyone..and lets focus betterment for ourselves. Much Love Judy

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