How to Heal from Emotional Abuse

Today we have another post from our contributor, Sam on emotional abuse. Love should never hurt. But for too many, “love” seems almost inevitably linked to pain. For too many of us, our past relationships have taught us to expect to be hurt by our partners. Our histories have made us believe that we’re only lovable, we’re only worth sticking around for, if we’re sacrificing ourselves and our needs.  If we don’t suck it up and take it, we think we’re going to end up alone. And being alone, when you’ve been emotionally abused, is maybe the most terrifying prospect of all.  But life should not be pain. And love should most certainly never hurt. But you’ll never move on to the life you deserve until you finally stop blaming and start loving yourself at last. Recognizing the Abuse One of the most debilitating aspects of emotional abuse. We often…

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Let’s Talk About Trauma Bonding

I have a lot of experience with trauma bonding and unfortunately, it’s firsthand. I talked about it in my workbook Self-Care For Break-Ups: Healing from Toxic, Abusive, and Codependent Relationships. But I am still in shock sometimes about how much I accepted in my last relationship. It was over two years ago but at the time I was deep into self-love. I knew my mental health was important – and I still stayed in a toxic relationship. My ex cheated on me multiple times (once with my friend), lied to me, stole money from me, manipulated me, and gaslighted me, all while deep into first alcohol, and then drug addiction. We broke up an average of three times a week. She told me that I was disgusting and gross. While my mom was dying of cancer my ex told me that she was in love with someone else, but it…

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Healthy Love vs. Unhealthy Love

As Valentine’s Day approaches it gives everyone a chance to re-evaluate their relationships. I wanted to showcase what healthy relationships look like and also what unhealthy ones look like. No one’s perfect and you might fall into unhealthy behaviors at times but it’s so important that your relationship be more healthy than unhealthy. I’m very aware of what unhealthy relationships look like. In my first relationship, we both did and said completely loathsome things to one another. It was 100% toxic and full of lies and manipulation. (On both sides) My second relationship was controlling and very off and on (on both sides). In my third relationship, I was the problem. I was jealous, controlling, manipulative, extremely up and down, and verbally abusive while they were patient, kind, non-reactive, and understanding – at least until the point that they couldn’t take my verbal abuse any longer and they created a…

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8 Signs of Narcissistic Abuse

I have a workbook called Self-Care for Breakups: Healing from Toxic, Abusive, and Codependent Relationships that was inspired by my last relationship of narcissistic abuse and codependency. Narcissistic abuse has become a hot button topic in the last few years. It also plays a part in many relationships, especially complicated and emotionally abusive ones. I want to touch on this subject because it’s so important to be able to recognize these signs so that your personal healing isn’t compromised. Narcissism is the excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement. Someone can be narcissistic due to a personality disorder, life circumstances, upbringing, addiction, or personal trauma. And to be honest – after getting out of my toxic relationship, I had a few narcissistic traits myself. My last ex had many narcissistic traits. She struggled with alcohol abuse and at the…

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