Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Grieving Process 2: Realizing the loss

Right after the fog, comes the process of denial, this is often the most painful for loved ones to watch us go through. We know in our minds that it is over but on some level in our subconscious we still think it isn't or what if this or what if that....we are trying to rationalize it out, and can't do this on our own. This is the point where some will seek counseling if they haven’t already. Or they will at least start to reach out to others for help.

We have to realize that first the abuse is over and we are safe, then we must realize that the relationship that we had is over. Some anger will usually show up at this point; anger that it happened or anger that we let it happen. Just remember that you aren’t out of your fog completely and still are not thinking objectively about the situation.

This is different for each person leaving an abusive relationship. Some realize before they get away that the loving relationship they thought they had is over, and actually it ended the day the abuse started. Others continue to believe their abuser loved them through the abuse and are just as angry as anyone else who lost a loved one (to any means) would be.

It is very normal to still have feelings of love for your abuser. You were programmed to feel this way and this feeling is also part of what makes it so hard to leave and once you’ve left so hard to stay gone. This is exactly the way your abuser wants you to feel, like you have lost something. The more you feel you lost something of value to you the greater the chance of you returning to the abuser.

So it is very important that in this stage of the grieving cycle that you not only realize that the loss of love and secure relationship happened when the abuse started but also to realize that you do not need that type of relationship in your life. Some people will get caught in a vicious cycle at this stage; of denial then realization, then anger which fuels more denial.

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