A quick guide – what to expect healing and recovery!

I have already written how at the end of the relationship with the sociopath you go through

  • Five stages of grief and the healing process
  • Grieving the person that you thought you were with

(See healing and recovery section for these posts)

It can be difficult when you are in initial stages of break up. The pain can feel overwhelming. A question that is often asked, is how long is this going to last for? Is this going to get worse? You feel awful, empty, bereft and the pain can feel overwhelming. You might be wondering how long is this pain going to last? Is this feeling forever? Will I ever recover from this? Is my life always going to be this way? You might struggle to escape, to break the cycle of addiction to the sociopath and the cycle of abuse.


A quick walk through guide to healing and recovery

Stage One – Disbelief

As you read information, and you see virtually your ex waving back at you on the pages that you read. You struggle to come to terms with the truth. Many of you would not have heard the term ‘sociopath’ or ‘psychopath’ except, perhaps thinking of mass murderers, you look back with reflection, your ex could be so ‘ nice’ ‘charming’ ‘caring’. They often seemed like the victim. Maybe you have it wrong? You struggle to believe that your ex was a sociopath. You still focus on the good times and the happy times. You constantly question is he/she a sociopath?

Stage two – The fog of confusion

In this stage, you are so confused. You don’t WANT it to be true. You want the mask of illusion the ‘nice guy/gal’ to be the real person. Accepting reality is very difficult. During this stage of healing, you constantly read information. You reach out to others. It is at this time that you are the most susceptible to being lured back in by the sociopath. Having been constantly lied to, constantly let down, you no longer know what is real, and what is fake. You struggle to adjust to your life, and to understand what is real? It can be difficult talking to others who do not understand psychopathic/sociopathic behaviour. In their mind, they think ‘what is there to miss’ what has happened to you feels so difficult to explain. You continue to read, almost hoping that you will find something which will prove that your ex isn’t a sociopath. That there is hope, and that you will and can return to the glory days.

Stage Four – Heartache, depression and sadness

As the harsh reality and the truth sinks in, you sink into a depth of depression and sadness. You realise that this is something that cannot be fixed. It cannot be changed. Your heart hurting. You feel stupid and embarassed that this has happened to you. Your focus right now is on the sociopath. You are desperate for answers. You need to understand, why? Why has this happened? Why did you deserve this? Did your ex ever love you you constantly ask yourself? What was real? Was everything a lie? You struggle to come to terms with the harsh reality. The truth hurts. It hurts bad. You are now coming out of the fog of confusion and walking into the glaring truth of reality. Your heart aches so badly for the way that you have been treated, that you could take it out and put it away in a box in a cupboard – until you feel better. You almost think that life with the sociopath was better than feeling this hurt.

Stage Five – Isolation and emptiness

The harsh reality of your life and the effects of the relationship, is now hitting you hard. Perhaps you have lost a job, lost friends, family, finances, even your home and other losses. It is hard to believe that the person that you loved with all of your heart has betrayed you. You feel empty, isolated and alone. What has happened is so crazy, it is difficult for you to explain to others. At this time you might also be in the midst of ruining and smear campaigns by the sociopath. Right now you feel an empty shell of the person that you once were. Some of you feel so bad, so empty, so alone, that you might think of ending your life (DON’T!!) ….

Stage Six – Psychological Detective

In this stage you learn enough about psychopaths, sociopaths, and behaviour disorders, to gain a qualification. You become obsessed with understanding why? You read all that you can.  Understanding about psychological behaviour becomes your latest obsession. The more that you read, the more you learn, the easier you find things. Understanding how bad and messed up your ex is, in some way – helps you to feel better. If you could you would read about it 24/7. For some reason understanding is healing. Your focus in this stage is still on the sociopath, not on you. You are still hurt, and angry. You might feel a need for justice and to expose the sociopath.

Stage Seven – Acceptance, healing, recovery and focus back to you

Acceptance is always the final stage of recovery. In this stage, you start to  focus on you, and your needs. You might even be able to raise a smile, or at best a laugh. You have done well. You realise that your ex had a psychological disorder. That was not your fault. What happened and the behaviour belongs to them – not you!

In this final stage, you let go of the bad. You start to focus on the good. You accept that there is nothing that you could have done to change a thing. You realise that it was nothing to do with you,it was not your fault.  You are not stupid. In the final stage, you start to make plans for you. To rebuild your life. You are finding that the good times are outweighing the bad.

You realise the damage that has been done to you. Perhaps you are struggling to trust others. You are looking at what you have learned, and perhaps things within yourself that you want to fix. You start to make plans for your future. Slowly you begin to allow others back into your life.

In the final stage, you are not focusing on what happened, or why? You are no longer trying to understand. Your focus is back to you. You are letting go, realising that the person that you were with has a disordered mind – and feeling a sense of relief that whatever he/she is doing now – at least they are no longer doing it to YOUR life.

The final stage can feel slightly liberating. You have learned a lot and have grown. You realise that you want to not make the same mistakes in the future – or at least not date the same mistakes. You realise that you really do deserve better. For the first time, possibly in all of your life you are protecting you. Looking after you, realising that you really do deserve better.

Always focus on changing what you can – not what you can’t!!

You might be reading this, recently coming out of the relationship and are still in the early stages. The pain might feel overwhelming. The sadness, the emptiness, and the humiliation might leave you feeling absolutely devastated. You wonder how you can go on – will you ever recover?

The answer is – yes you will!!!

Remember  the following

  • Confusion is only a temporary phase – nobody stays confused forever
  • The truth no matter how painful it is to learn – the truth really will set you free (truth hurts huh)
  • EVERYBODY in the beginning goes through the fog of confusion. This is normal. You might drive people close to you, mad with your constant chopping and changing of mind about the sociopath. This is also normal too.
  • If something is hurting you – this means that you are learning and growing. Remember when you were a child, you fell over and cut your knee??… when your knee was healing it itched and itched -you wanted to scratch but if you scratched it – it would bleed and re-open the wound. This is like No contact – you might get the urge to contact, just like the urge to scratch…. but realistically all that you will do is to re-open the wound, and you will need to allow it to heal again. Don’t scratch the wound – don’t fall back on no contact. If you are struggling – if you have that itch – stop…. take some time out – read the articles on No contact…. stop bleeding. Its time for healing and recovery.
  • Take one day at a time. Realise that the longer you were in the relationship – the longer it will take to fully heal and recover.
  • That the sociopath creates an addiction to him/or her, you might get the urge to contact – don’t this will delay your healing and recovery

Focus on you, it is not wrong to be selfish. In fact after an abusive relationship, it is essential (you will be so drained you will need all of your energy for you). You can never fix somebody else, but you can fix you!

Words © datingasociopath.com

14 thoughts on “A quick guide – what to expect healing and recovery!”

  1. Hi, if you are reading this and still in the early phases, take heart. Read, read read. this is the only place you will get real answers as your s-path partner will tell you lie after lie.. even as you sob with despair and heartache. They can not feel empathy for you, don’t be disappointed. I have been married to a man like this for nearly 9 years, and he ended the relationship two months ago – firstly by telling me he wanted a divorce (then backing down on that) then sneaking a weekend away with his girlfriend (whom he had lied about repeatedly). This whole process has been swift for me – having been able to see him for what he is, and have my ideas validated by his FIRST ex wife who had the same experience. point to make here, we are both smart, funny, attractive professional women, not needy headcases… you must NOT EVER blame yourself. These people are masters of deciet. understand their disorder, and you will get answers, and free yourself to move on and love again. Kia kaha (go with strength)

  2. My first romantic relationship was with a sociopath a couple months ago. I am 15 and he is 18 1/2. I ended it after finding this site and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done! It is hard to accept it though because I still see him going after other girls that I know and care about. Even a girl that just turned 14. I’d rather hurt than see other people hurt so I constantly stalk him to make sure other people are safe. I have saved 2 girls from becoming his victim in the past few weeks and I am so glad I did but it is so tiring trying to rescue everyone. He had at least 5 other victims in my school at the same time as me. Is it healthy to try to protect everyone from him? If not, how do I move past that? Also it is difficult because I see him in school every day and see his locker that says semper fi because he’s gonna be a “marine hero” and all the teachers always talk about what a gentleman he is and he finds excuses to come into my classes to talk to the teacher about something and stares at me the whole time. And every other time I see him around school and at sporting events he stares at me. Also he drugged and molested me but made me believe he didn’t and that I consented to it but I found out the truth way late so there’s no proof and he finds that so funny. Anyway I keep having to tell the story to detectives over and over and I hate it.

  3. @PR – PGirl

    Well shoot it took me a few days, but I finally found the blog, (yeah yeah, yuk it up about how tech challenged I am, I going to go to Apple with my big computer this week, so just hush all you, I admit it, will be taking classes, happy), about the girl who told her mother she is her own best friend. I don’t recall where I was supposed to stick the blog, so I figured here was a good spot! Pray this works!


  4. I’m so glad to have found this site. It has helped me to realize that there is life after a relationship with a socio. Thank you.

  5. thanks a lot for this site. It’s helping me a lot. Ive been reading a lot about psychopath and this is my first posting. Im still hurting a lot but I know what I’m finally dealing w/. The pain Im feeling right now is unbearable but I need to be strong.

  6. I have been in a 6 year relationship with a sociopath and have finally found the strength to move on. Thank you so much for all this info and stories. My question now is how do we help our children not become sociopaths due to exposure to these toxic relationships?

    1. I think that Sociopathy can either be inherited, but more likely it is about upbringing, and experiences that they live through in childhood. A lot of sociopaths are made that way by feeling unsafe and out of control when they were children. So they learned ‘not to care’. By taking care of your children, keeping them safe, and within safe boundaries, this is the best way to safeguard them.

  7. Hi. What a relief to fid this sight. Thankyou.
    3 months ago i finally moved out into a rental with my 12 year old son. Id been with a sociopathic, narsacistic man for 16 years. However i cant get him out of my life beacause i have a child with him nd cant survive without the child maintenance off him. He is always wanting sex or a touch or a kiss…something…because i need the maintenance to survive i feel obligated to be nice and friendly. (Its also alot easier when they are playing nice and not being cruel). I have got him to stop saying he loves me. my feelings of being obligated and the fact that he pushes and pushes not taking no for answer ends up with me having sex with him. I dont want him to even touch me. I know how unsafe he is sexually with so many differnt woman. I wish he didnt even kiss hello. I also kow he kept me bacause he loves the sex and isnt willimg to give it easily i have been usef for years for sezual pleasure and still i feel bad if i say no when hes given me my child maintenance for the month. It iß also so much easier when we play nice to each other and its alot better for our son if we are able to be polite and stable with each other. What do i do? Why do i do this. It is still not healthy behaviour and it means he feels he still has a form of control over me. Please anyway got anything they can add?…

    1. Hi Nriony, if you are being manipulated into having sex, and into doing things that you do not want to do, for money for maintenance that he has a legal duty to pay. This is abuse. It is sexual abuse, financial abuse. He does this because he can. As a way to have power and control over you. I expect he resents having to pay maintenance and uses this as his disordered way to regain control. You should NOT feel bad to say no. He has not given you a child. you carried that child, gave birth and take care of your child. You do not deserve to be sexually abused. I understand that you want a peaceful environment for your child. I also understand that you might be frightened what will happen if you set firm boundaries and assert your rights. I am wondering what support you have available in your area, and in your personal life? Is there anybody that you can talk to about this? I would imagine that once he has used you that this feels bad too?

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