BY CEE MARTINEZ
There’s coming out of relationships, there’s getting your heart broken, and then there’s that rare and special time you crawl out of a relationship bleeding at your knees, heart shattered, brain smashed, gut-splattered and wondering what the point of reality is. The first two are called stages in life, the last one is called surviving a relationship with a psychopath.
There is no mistaking an escape from a psychopathic relationship. After the initial heartbreak and confusion of the breakup, a pain identical to 24/7 heart attack sets in, as well as nightmares, panic attacks, pathological shyness, and a complete and total fear of all happiness and humankind. This leads to self-imposed isolation and googling search terms like “heart break”, “broken heart”, “how to survive a broken heart”. That is when you will run into an article or two that will contain the key phrase, “emotionally raped”.
And those words will light up EVERYTHING for you and perhaps smash your heart to pieces all over again.
You will see things like:
The relationship started out as a love-bomb where they couldn’t function without constantly adoring you and worshiping you to the point where they mirrored every like and fantasy you ever had, as if you were soul-mates!
They kept you off-balance 24/7 once the relationship was in full swing, going between showering you with affection and making you jealous of exes they complain about, lied or exaggerated about every single detail of everything, blamed you for everything that ever went wrong, disappeared for days on you, and even began to take money and resources from you.
They suddenly discard you. They might just up and leave, coldly insult you to your face, or act like a relationship never even happened and promptly tell everyone you’re an obsessive stalker (just like all the exes they’ve described to you).
…and you think, “Shit! This is everything that’s happened to me!”
You find an exploding treasure chest of facts, and survival tips, anecdotes, scientific and psychological studies, and victim/survivor forums that become your new home online as you finally find yourself on the road to healing. Although finding scores of women and men online who have gone through the exact same trauma you have with a psychopathic relationship is quite scary and sad, it also brings you a sense of comfort and camaraderie. They survived it, AND SO CAN YOU!
But what if months turn into years, the psychopath in question is long gone from your life, and you’re still living on those forums and web pages, and you’re still wrecked with agony and heartbreak as strong as the first day you felt it?
You are probably stuck in a loop where you have forgotten who you were before all of this, and you only see yourself as one thing: a broken victim who needs revenge. You want them on their knees, in just as much pain as they’ve caused you, and begging your forgiveness.
You are hurting because you still think deep down inside that they’re human and that you can someday get a human reaction from them.
There is a harsh truth you need to face.
We’re talking about psychopaths here, which means we’re not even talking the same species of human as you and me! It’s impossible for them to even feel true guilt, or remorse. If you succeeded in exacting revenge they could very well “go down in flames” for one glorious moment, but then their impeccable survival skills would lead them to land on their feet, refashion themselves and continue their lives to their tastes somewhere else where you can’t annoy em. (See: That asshole in Wolf of Wall Street) Or they would even find amusement at your attempts at revenge as a parent would laugh at an angry toddler.
They might even RESPECT your attempts at revenge and feel a sense of smugness that they were the reason you’re not such a nice person anymore.
This is seriously what their brains look like. Think of this picture the next time you want to think of their face.
Psychopaths are gluttonous and can’t live without the constant affection, attention, material resources, and the intense emotional outbursts from their victims. When these start drying up for them, they will intensify their methods of trying to prod an emotional reaction before losing interest and leaving. You probably remember this from the during and after break-up stages in your relationship with the psychopath.
They can also be like a toddler who has lost his toys. A shark smashing itself against a cage or a bear tearing down your doors.
In fact, you’d have an easier time training genuine loyalty and emotion out of a dog rather than wasting another second of yourself over a psychopath.
It’s like you’ve survived a bear attack, or a shark attack. You are just as scarred and courageous as any of those survivors. And just like survivors of those sorts of attacks, you have to pick up and move FORWARD through your life. You can’t just go marching into the forest looking to arm-wrestle a bear, or swim around punching at a shark. Once the psychopath who harmed you is gone, they are very much like a wild animal that has disappeared into the woods or ocean, they won’t be interested in you anymore or wanting to come back. If you pursue them with ideas of revenge, however, you would only attract their interest all over again, and they will always be better at harming another human being than you are. They may very well “finish the job” on you the second time around without batting an eyelash.
You can’t make this your eventual ending. You must save yourself and run the other direction.
Try finding a few hours in the day when you do not think on the creature that harmed you, even if it means walking away from the survivor forums and websites that were once your lifeline. Once they helped you but if you’re still hurting and it’s been years, then those sites and forums may be just be a constant reminder of the wound you cannot heal.
Devote your time to doing every single thing you can to please yourself. Devote your time to helping others who TRULY appreciate your kindnesses. If you like meditation, then meditate, if you like to pray, then pray! If you have a talent in a certain field or hobby, let it blossom and bask in the joy of it. Let the anger slip away from you the moment you devote some goodness to another human being who rewards you with a warm and honest, “Thank you.”
The moment your kindness and optimism returns to you is the moment the psychopath is truly defeated.
The arrogance and recklessness of a psychopath and their inability to keep track of their web of lies will always eventually wreck them against the rocks in the end. It WILL happen, and you do not need to waste another precious moment of your time hurting and fighting to see it done because quite frankly, they are NOT worth another precious moment of your time.
For detailed reading on the stages of a psychopathic relationship go here: Psychopaths & Love or Psycopathy Awareness.
*Please see a community center, doctor’s office, YWCA, psychologist or a local domestic shelter if you’re in immediate need of help. Call 911 if you believe you’re in physical danger. Never be ashamed of reaching out. You are worth more than any of this pain.