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.