About Your Journey

20 Jun 2007

Women who have been through emotional abuse and domestic
violence are, understandably, very tired, very worn emotionally. So it is that they often say things like, “I
want to finish my journey” or, in moments of hope, “I’ve finished my

For me, those phrases ring alarm bells. I want to ask:

“Are you planning on

Clearly, my standpoint is not theirs. I believe that the journey goes on as long
as life does and I believe that it can, and should be, a positive enriching experience.  These days I forget,
sometimes, that on the journey through abuse you feel as though you have died
hundreds, maybe thousands of times.

What these women are actually saying is something quite
different. They want the pain to be
over. They want to emerge into a place
of peace, love and acceptance, free from all future struggle. Yet the struggles they have just don’t seem
to go away.

(Abusive men tend not to have the grace to vanish when you
decide you don’t want them in your life anymore. Because they can’t bear not to be wanted, they will use every behaviour
they know to get back into centre stage in your life.) 

Many women, including me at one time, carry a map of their
journey that goes something like this: there was – or should have been a time –
of peace and joy, a kind of earthly paradise. You were cast out of it by a bad relationship, or a whole series of
them. The journey is actually time
spent wandering directionless through the wilderness.

In a sense it is a reworking of the story of Adam and
Eve. Admittedly there is no serpent in
this version, but there is a very strong sense of punishment. The agent of the punishment may be your
partner or parent(s), yourself, or all of the above.

If that is your understanding of your journey, no wonder
you want to finish it asap.

Of course, it begs the question: what lies at the end of
that journey? For me it was rest,
respite from the constant, unsupported struggle to be and do enough to make a
bad relationship good. It was at least
as much about the absence of all that was bad and painful as the experience of
anything good. In fact the journey was
simply a continuation of the struggle.

There is nothing pleasant about wandering directionless
through a wilderness. There is nothing
reassuring about being buffeted rudderless on high seas. And the journey doesn’t have to be like

You don’t have to ‘do’ recovery alone. You don’t have to discover how to do it all
by yourself. You don’t even have to
make it all work. One of the key
reasons why so many women struggle with their healing is that they focus on
trying to change the things outside themselves that they cannot change.

learning curve is always drastically reduced when you learn from the people who
already have the knowledge that you need, when you use techniques that have been
shown to work. Then you can achieve
maximum results for minimum effort. Many women say that my ebook, “The Woman You Want To Be” is one of the
best tools for healing that they have found. 


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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