You can’t stop loving him.
You broke off with your abusive, emotionally detached partner. You're in disbelief that the man who claimed to love you more than life itself, could mistreat you so horribly. You’re overwhelmed by a roller-coaster of intense emotions; denial, fear, anger, guilt and sorrow.
Your mental state is worse than what you think because you have been emotionally traumatized.
Every day it takes monumental effort for you to get out of bed. You go to work and you go through the motions of a being a breathing, functional human being. You avoid phone calls and you turn down invitations from your friends. You try to care for your young children but you have no love to give because you're numb inside. You turn to a bottle of wine, meds or food to momentarily sedate your insufferable emotional pain.
At the end of the day, you crawl under the covers into a place of dark despair.
You know in your core his deceit, infidelity and battering were destroying you and you’re trying to move on with your life. Nevertheless, weeks, months or even a year pass, and despite his horrific abuse, you long and ache to be him.
Your misplaced feelings of love, loyalty and commitment compound your traumatic experience.
12 Signs you have been traumatized by a hurtful relationship:
- You have emotional outbursts. You succumb to frequent meltdowns and you cry at the drop of a pin. You direct your unwarranted anger onto your family and friends. It’s a sign of distress and pent-up anger.
- You’re lethargic. You can barely stay awake in the daytime. You sleep around the clock or you have insomnia and you need medication to fall asleep at night. You have reoccurring nightmares about him and the events of his abuse.
- You have flashbacks. Sights, sounds and smells, e.g.: a telephone ring, the scent of his cologne or seeing the model of his car drive down the road, abruptly trigger your fear of him and intensify your separation grief.
- You isolate yourself. You’re fatigued; you mope around the house in your pajamas and you let your appearance go. Except for going to work, you hole up in your home and you avoid interaction with your family and friends.
- You’re in shock. You have panic attacks, racing heartbeat and severe anxiety. Your appetite is decimated, your weight may drop drastically, your hair may fall out and you may even contract shingles. You may have thoughts of suicide.
- You can't concentrate. Depression overtakes you and your mind shuts down. You’re unable to focus on your work, small tasks or your daily life in general. Your mind is protecting you by going somewhere else in your head.
- You feel rage. You’re enraged at the unjust and cruel way he treated you. One minute you’re so mad at him you want to beat his head in with your high heel—and next minute a sickening, tidal-wave of grief and tears engulf you.
- You unjustly blame yourself. You intensify your trauma by blaming yourself for the failure of your dysfunctional relationship. You’re thinking is irrational; he berates and abuses you, you wrongly believe that you did something to trigger his hurtful behavior and you’re consumed by guilt, regret and sorrow.
- You’re fearful. The thought of being alone paralyzes you. You’re afraid of what is going to happen to you without him in your life. You’re afraid you won’t be able to take care of yourself.
- You’re in denial. You can't believe that your relationship is over. You keep hoping, praying and dreaming that he will call you, he will ask for your forgiveness, you will reconcile with him and things will go back to the way they were in the beginning when he was loving, affectionate and caring.
- You relive hurtful memories. You rehash the hurtful conversations and the abusive events of your relationship. It's a neverending horror movie that plays over and over in your head. You can’t begin the healing process because you're stuck in the past.
- You sedate your emotional pain. You drink, smoke pot or you take recreational drugs excessively. The more you drink and dope up, the more depressed you become. You're on a path of self-destruction.
Acceptance is the hardest part of grieving.
Giving up the hope of reconciliation with your loved one feels like death. Accepting the brutal fact that you will never again see him, talk to him or touch him feels incomprehensible.
But the man you grieve for is an illusion.
You fell in love with a wonderful man. In the beginning, he was loving and lovable, charming, supportive and attentive, but soon his true nature reared its ugly head. He lied to you. He cheated on you. He mentally battered you and he physically assaulted you.
Realizing that you were in an abusive relationship is the first step to healing.
The sooner your trauma is addressed, the better chance you have of fully recovering.
You have experienced a serious harmful event that has damaged your self-esteem, personal security and core spirit. Don't try to white knuckle your recovery. Your need professional help to restore your mental, spiritual and physical well-being. You may be suffering from situational depression and need antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. You need psychological guidance to address the post-traumatic effects of an abusive relationship and start the grieving process.
Your recovery won't happen overnight, but hopefully a year from now, when you are enjoying happy hour margaritas with your friends, you will ask, who in the hell was that ugly, horrid man?
Here are articles that can help you start the difficult process of recovery after a hurtful breakup:
Are you struggling to move past the trauma of a toxic relationship? God, Please Fix Me! will open your eyes and put you on a path of recovery.
God, Please Fix Me!
A Breakthrough in Self-Esteem, Relationship Understanding and Personal Healing for Women
by Nancy Nichols
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