The hurt and the damage an Emotional Abuser is unique and they walk away completely oblivious of the damage they cause.
...or are they?
They know exactly what they are doing and they also get enjoyment out of knowing what pain they have caused for them just thinking about you and how you are reacting gives them supply.
You were their project, you thought it was the other way round, they had convinced you during the relationship that they needed you and they needed your help. You were the only one who understood them, they had never met anyone like you before. You were unique.
Emotional Abusers might make up a small percentage of the population but they cause untold damage.
They might be at work or they might be a family member and you find it difficult not to stay away from them.
You might be exhausted after spending just a few moments in their company.
I have written this for people out of the relationship trying to understand but the techniques will work in many different situations to regain your power.
So here are 10 things you can do to regain your power.
No. 1 is Grounding.
Being grounded to the earth or in your body helps you rationalise situations and control your emotions and your monkey brain.
If you don't read any further and stop here that is fine because Grounding is going to help you so much.
There is a reason that manufacturers ground appliances and that is to protect you from getting a shock. You are able to do this yourself. You have already had a shock. You now need to recover from the surge of power coursing through your veins. It isn't actually electricity powering you up it is stress hormones, your fight-flight, fawn-freeze triggers that want to protect you.
Hopefully, the trigger is now out of your life and you are implementing No 2. no contact.
Grounding will enable you to calm your body down and think clearly.
It helps you get out of your head when you are ruminating about the relationship or about a conversation or situation. It allows you to become present in your body and from your body you can listen to how you feel. You can calm your mind which is triggering off the stress hormones, believing you are under attack, and you can quieten the monkey chatter.
Breathe in a long deep breath, follow it through your body, feel it travel through your lungs down through your torso and stop just between the hip bones - just below your navel. This is the Tanden, in martial arts they use this energy center before a fight or competition. They take their breath down to this point filling it up. In Reiki, we use the same point.
And by focusing on your breath you calm the mind down, you can think clearer, you can look at the trigger or the flashback differently. You calm the thoughts berating you. Telling you this was all your fault. Telling you what you did wrong, telling you that if you had only said this to them, you wouldn't be in this situation and reminding you that it was your behaviour and if you had only done that for them you would still be together.
2. Going No Contact.
This is greatly underestimated in the healing process. It is so important to not be contactable. They have damaged you, why would you want them in contact with you? This is the trauma bond that was created, that was used to make you dependant on them for everything. They maneuvered themselves into your life and gradually took over your thoughts and actions and you believed you were not able to function without them. Their thoughts became yours and you believe they need you and you respond. They play the victim, create fictitious reasons to still be in contact with you and it works for them but it doesn't work for you. They keep you trapped. They reach out to you. They need you, or that is what they lead you to believe. The only thing they need you for is for attention, a bit of supply. You are a lower grade now but they still get something from you so they happily keep you on a bit of string reeling you in when they are bored.
Going no contact helps your mind and your body relax and start to release the hormones from your body.
They are Pavlov and you are one of Pavlov's dogs, they taught you how to respond to them and their needs, the bell is your phone and soon as you hear it you respond to them.
Give the Trauma Bond a name, or see it as your inner child and ask it what it needs. You feel an emotion, what does that child need? Is it needing some attention? Then give it the attention it needs, don't be reliant on the Emotional Abuser, break those chains that are keeping you trapped.
If you aren't able to go no contact then 'grey rock' will help you break from your need for their attention. Learn the art of answering with a yes or no, don't be drawn into a conversation with them, and only rely on yourself for your emotional needs to be met.
I know this isn't easy, but once you start noticing the patterns of their behaviour it will feel so empowering.
3. Allow yourself the time and space to grieve.
Don't put a time limit on your healing. You were tricked and manipulated, as part of that you were creating a future with this person, this was part of their game, they told you everything they thought you wanted to hear and they did this to hook you in. And it keeps you trapped, trying to understand what happened, what you did wrong, and how you can get back to that place of being the center of their world, the place you feel is rightfully yours. You invested so much of yourself and you supported them in so many ways, you did everything they required of you. You are grieving the loss of the relationship and the loss of the future you had planned together.
And don't underestimate the time it takes, you might still be struggling with the false persona they presented, believing they would never do that to you. You need to untangle from them on every level.
And this process might be a difficult time marrying up what happened with the person you believed them to be.
4. Establish healthy boundaries.
There was nothing wrong with the boundaries you had, they could perhaps have been a little stronger. But over time the emotional abuser systematically broke them down. Pushed them a little and you forgave them or believed it was only a small one. They do this to test you at the beginning of the relationship, to see what you are willing to do, what they will get away with. And to see if you were worth investing their time in.
They will move on very quickly if they are pulled up on their behaviour or they overstep a boundary and they can see that this person isn't going to move.
Your Self-esteem is on the floor at the moment, you can't decide which way is left or right, up or down.
Everything isn't as it should be, and just like Alice who tumbled down the rabbit hole and found herself sat at the bottom not sure what to do, too big to get through the door, then too small to reach the keyhole, you are possibly wandering around in the dark.
As you begin to claim your life back you can repair the damage to your boundaries and you can start to enforce them.
5. Climb out of the Rabbit Hole.
If you are watching videos trying to understand what happened you need to switch the search from what is a narcissist? or Traits of a narcissist? or Was I married to a narcissist? to more helpful ones like 10 ways to claim back your power pr Healing from Emotional Abuse.
They are helpful for understanding the traits and understand what you went through and realising you are not the only person who has been through this, you are not alone.
But there is a point when you need to take the focus off them and back to you. Your relationship was about them, they dressed it up to make it look like it was about you or equal, but it wasn't.
Start chaining your searches or if you can turn YouTube off and go for a walk. Nature is an amazing place to heal, if you have some form of water near you with sitting or walking near it or if it is possible swimming in it is so cleansing (please note if you can't win please ignore the last comment). Taking gentle exercise is so calming and helps you release the stress hormones you have been holding in your body.
6. Practice forgiveness.
But you can only do this by healing yourself first. Finding and healing the wounds, and looking deeper than this relationship and healing the Original Wounds. These wounds were created in childhood and they were the ones that allowed them to breakdown your boundaries. Once you are in a place where you are not triggered by them or by hearing their name, forgive them and thank them (not personally) for the lessons they have put in front of you, for showing you what needed to be healed. From this place you can forgive them fully because you can heal and move on, they can't, in their world, they are the victim and they are not responsible, so they are always going to be trapped.
7. Start retraining your brain.
Changing the voice in your head, when you catch yourself listen to the voice, who's is it? Where have you heard this before? Then reword it to something positive.
Find affirmations or create some yourself that help lift you.
8. Change your energy.
When things are going well, you feel good inside, when they aren't you don't.
Have you ever felt really good, you feeling and look amazing and you walk into a room and everyone is really low and you walk out feeling the same? Or have you ever walking into a room and you have had a bad day and you are sad and the people inside lift you up? You walk out feeling amazing. You don't have to rely on others to do this for you. By thinking about a time in your life when you felt amazing you can literally change the chemicals in your body. Not let life's dramas drag you down. Breathe through it and raise your vibration.
In writing this I remember a situation where I was told I was bipolar. When one of my relationships was not in a good place, I was experiencing discard after discard, I would do this. I have worked in the spiritual field for over 20 years and I would lift myself out of the low energy. I had no idea at the time and it has only just occurred to me now, the emotional abuser would hate this, they are looking to hurt you, they like to see you in pain, so if you are still in the place of wanting to hurt them in the same way they hurt you, this would be a great one to implement and it' a win-win one. However, if you are in this place, have a little chat with your trauma bond and ask it why it wants to hurt them, what is really going on and what healing you need to do.
There is a great video by Amy Cuddy, she talks about power poses and body language.
9. Understanding your purpose.
Who are you? Why has this happened to you? What lessons can you gain from this relationship?
It is never too late to heal from these relationships, to discover who you really are, not the person you have been told you are or who you should be.
What is your Souls Purpose?
The first 7-8 years of our lives are the most important, as children we were sponges taking on everyone else's beliefs. I believe we enter this world knowing what it is we are here for, but during that time we forget. The family unit or tribe we are in, through no fault of their own, imparts the family dynamics, traditions, beliefs, and fears.
You might come from a long line of doctors or accountants and you are expected to follow that career path. You receive information about the family, their beliefs around money, around people, politics, and their fears are passed along as well. I believe this can also come through the DNA and there is research being done at the moment regarding trauma and fear being passed down the generations.
As you start to heal from this you might start to question a lot of things, and this is your time not only to heal but get back in touch with your true essence.
10. Get help if you need it!
These relationships are so complicated, the trauma from abuse is held on so many different levels. You have been trauma bonded and they have walked away without a backward glance, you are left wondering what happened. It is very unlikely you will ever get closure form them. Healthy people are able to acknowledge what isn't working in a relationship, and they are able to give the other person closure, to help them understand and help them move on. This wasn't a healthy relationship and they are not healthy people, this was all your fault, someone shinier came along with more money a better car, better attention, better contacts, a younger model, just like people change energy suppliers looking for a better deal, the emotional abuser changes partners. In the same way, you may take out a lease on a car, when that is up you are given the chance to upgrade, they do.
You are left wondering what you did wrong, believing this was all your fault and the Trauma Bonds keep you trapped, trying to get back to the part of the relationship where you felt secure and they were showering you with love.
If you need help to get closure or break from the trauma bonds seek it, if you need help understanding who they were or what happened to you please find someone who can help you do this.
If you can find someone who has been through this themselves, who understands the emotions you are experiencing, a textbook does not help people understand the level this pain goes to.
Sending you loads and loads of love ♥️