griefOften associated with losing someone due to death or a debilitating disease/condition like Alzheimer’s, ambiguous loss is, well, ambiguous.

It’s not clear when the feelings of ambiguous loss begin to creep into our psyche in relation to our toxic relationship with the sociopath. These feelings more than likely begin while still in the relationship as we slowly, over time, witness the slipping and transformation of the sociopath from a person we once loved into a person we no longer recognize.

Once outside of the relationship, these feelings become even stronger. We realize that although we accept the sociopath for what he/she is, we fail to quickly release ourselves from and let go of the false person we once believed the sociopath to be.

Although we no longer love, honor or respect the sociopath, we still grieve the loss of the person we thought the sociopath was. We fell in love with a fantasy person, someone who we allowed to affect us deeply. And the pain and overwhelming feelings of desperation of losing this fantasy person may cause us to get stuck in our healing and recovery, paralyzing us from moving forward.

So what can we do about it? How can we overcome this loss? I’ll leave that to the experts at The Wendt Center for Loss and Healing to provide possible solutions. The following is taken from their site:

1. Seek out support from others. Surrounding yourself with people who care about you and who understand what you are going through can help validate your feelings.

2. Look for support groups that address the type of loss you are experiencing.

3. Allow yourself to take time to feel and express whatever emotions come up for you. Ignoring your feelings can prolong your feeling of being stuck.

4. Try to create a structure in aspects of your life that you can control, such as dinner and bedtime at the same time they usually occur, regular exercise, and family meetings as necessary.

5. Continue to strive to find meaning in your life that includes and acknowledges the loss you are experiencing.

6. Seek professional help if you find that the loss controlling your thoughts and behaviors and/or causing marked distress for an extended period of time.


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abuse, Emotional Abuse, Forgiveness, Lessons, Love, mindfulness, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality, Yoga
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Join the conversation! 18 Comments

  1. Funny how sexist this blog is, like all sociopaths are men. There are PLENTY of female sociopaths out there, and protected by govt. & local law enforcement as well.


  2. I just saw this sorry *** Kimberly and Paula your right – when I married him I thought I was going to be with him forever. It’s very difficult to choke down what you loved was an illusion and your whole life was a fake and your were lied to the whole time. Then suddenly your the lying whore cunt bitch. Must of took him a while to get THAT masterpiece together, huh! I am sorry! I am standing up – (all 5ft of me) and putting my foot down to this nonsense. Not because I am angry, vindictive, spiteful or seeking revenge, I am way past any of that business. I am concerned of the safety of my children. Not about money either. Don’t care. Only about the neglect and careless way he treats my children. Now he’s going to be “Dad of the Year” please mediations a week a away, my son said I am asking Daddy for new cleats, daughter I am asking Daddy for new shoes. I said why? “Well he hasn’t seen us in 2 weeks and he knows we have to talk to the mediator. So he will be extra nice. They have him pegged or what? 😔


    • 😦 I feel for your children, but at least they can see what is happening. They aren’t making “other” excuses for him. They know and see right through him.


  3. I read this post this am, no time to share my thoughts, then as I re-read just now. I realized it took me several years to actually get over the hurt and humiliation. Just when I thought I was “okay” I found out he cheated with several of my co-workers. (Very incestuous environment, yuk), They all knew, their husbands too. Except me, I felt like the idiot. Three years after we separated I found this out, I was MORTIFIED. Why? I have no idea? I didn’t do anything wrong? I just have to look back and chuckle at myself. My boyfriend, for whatever reason he “got it”. Maybe because he worked out of the same office as the husbands who knows? But healing is a bitch. And no I haven’t read either of those books, but I want to get “How to Spot a Dangerous Man” but I have to read ” New ways for families” by Bill Eddy – “for high conflict clients”. It’s supposed to be for judges attorneys and therapists. But I don’t see why I can’t read it? 😎, court will never end.


  4. Great post, Paula. I’ve been trying to put my finger on this issue for a while. This time last year my marriage of 5 years had just ended. Enter the sociopath. A short but intense affair ensues which I terminate cause its all too crazy. But now, 6 months later, I’m still in PTSD land or something, after the sociopath, while my husband was grieved within just a few months… Go figger!


    • Katalina4, I think the reason you have grived more for the ex-narc than your husband is because these types of men not only get into our hearts but into our very souls and thus the bond with these men is stronger and deeper, although the connections are based on lies and deceptions we as empaths feel the deep connection which is real on our end of it.


    • Yes, I think you’ve nailed it. There is the identifying of what a woman’s dream is, then playing to that dream, mirroring it, and then withdrawing the illusion. Excruciating experience.


  5. Thank you once again Paula 😉
    The hardest part is realising the person you cared/ loved is a figment of your imagination & created by you. Mirroring/mimicking etc…
    I have done all of the advice & it does wonders 🙂
    I only hope that everyone has the support they need to overcome the Soc trauma, because it is unimaginable unless you have the misfortune to know one 😦 at least you have opened the forum to this type of personality otherwise we would all be lost & wondering what the hell happened! Hell it is!!!


  6. My healing has been hampered so much because we live in the same small area and I sometimes run into him or his family in the store, etc. Or I see him drive by in his work truck or car.

    Also, his new girlfriend (an ex-friend of mine) lives in the same building as my best friend, so I have to avoid going to her house.

    Every time I start feeling on track, up he pops. And my ex-friend’s betrayal of me just adds to the pain I seem to always be in, even though he and I officially ended more than a year ago.


    • Is it because you think they are living the fantasy life once promised to you, Abbri? You know it doesn’t exist, right? You know that he is the same person he was with you and will inevitably hurt and harm her as you were hurt and harmed. He just looks different on the outside because he is no longer mirroring your best qualities and habits; he’s mirroring hers. I have sympathy for my ex’s new GFs. We change and grow and learn. The sociopath does not. He just latches onto a new victim to suck dry. ❤


  7. I like the point by point suggestions. And you are right- we grieve for who we THOUGHT the sociopath was


  8. Wow Paula!

    What a great post. There was a point in time, after learning of my Ex’s lies and deceit that I actually grieved as though someone in my life had died. Despite his lies, his deceit, is cheating, his obsession/addiction to porn, dating websites etc… I still GRIEVED the loss of my relationship/friendship with him. In fact, it disturbed me. I remember you telling me at one point at the beginning, that I would have doubts and I did! I had doubts about not having my Ex in my life.

    Now I am at the acceptance stage. He is out of my life for good. It is highly unlikely our paths will ever cross so I don’t have to worry about that, because we do not travel in the same circles. And…well… I am ok with that.

    I never realized how unhealthy and toxic my Ex was until he and I severed ties. Now, when I think back and chronicle the history of our relationship I can see clearly where, when and how he manipulated me. I also recognized all the red flags I had ignored.

    I have to say, the book: How to Spot a Dangerous Man was much more helpful to me than: Women Who Love Psychopaths. I didn’t realize there is a workbook that accompanies the How to Spot A Dangerous Man so I have ordered it via Amazon. I am doing the work because I don’t ever want to attract another man like my Ex ever again.



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