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.
(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/228839224786475459/)