What do you need to know?

08 Oct 2013

whatyouneedtoknowsmall What do you need to know, in order to get over all hurt and the pain that you’ve been through in an emotionally abusive relationship?  

The trouble with being in agonizing pain is this: all you can think about is:  

How do I make the pain go away?”  

So, you do the best you possibly can to make the pain go away. But it doesn’t work. Actually, it CAN’T work because it doesn’t affect the beliefs, values, and strategies you have – and are not even aware ofthat keep reactivating the pain. These include:  

Anaesthetizing the pain  

Anaesthetizing the pain of an emotionally abusive relationship takes you straight back into thinking about how awful the pain is, and how you cannot bear it any longer, right? You simply want to anaesthetize the pain of emotional abuse – or yourself.  

As the one time queen of emotional numbness, I know that masking the pain is simply another kind of pain; a pain that constantly brings you face to face with your emotional dis-ease.  

The Narcissist Label  

Another thing emotionally abused women do is, try applying the Narcissist label to their (ex)partner. As I see it, that label does not diminish the problems the Narcissist/abuse survivor has to face. If anything it increases them.  

Why so?  

Because you end up saying, “His behavior was unacceptable because he was a Narcissist.”  

As I see it, the point is this: his behavior is unacceptable because he has been selfish heartless, callous, vicious, and nasty. (There’ll be a few more adjectives, as well, that apply. Feel free to add them to your list.)  

If you want to move on and have a rich and joyful life after your emotionally abusive partner, then you need to be very clear about what behaviors you will and will NOT tolerate.  

redherringsmallWhich means the focus on Narcissism becomes a red herring. It becomes an emotional dead-end.  

Not all emotionally abusive men are Narcissists. Most abusers choose their behaviors, and choose who to abuse, who not to abuse, as well as when – and how – to abuse.  


Emotionally abused women punish themselves in an effort to make the pain go away. It’s an emotional self-harm thing. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Most women aren’t even aware that they do it; as they see it, telling themselves they’re old, ugly, undesirable, uninteresting, stupid, and all the rest, is just telling it like it is. It feels so normal you assume it must be normal.  

It is NOT normal.  

Absolutely not.  

An emotionally abusive man specializes in crazy-making.  

Your own feelings come a pretty good second when it comes to crazy-making. They constantly chuck harsh judgements at you, and you accept them as G-0-S-P-E-L. They’re not. What they really are is toxic nonsense.  

Better the pain you know…  

Another way to try and keep the pain away is… to hang in there with the person causing you all the pain. Lest you let go before he finally undergoes the fabled transformation into a Disney Prince Because, after all, if you wer to let this Could-Be Prince go, the long-awaited transformation finally happened, and some other woman got to reap the rewards, you’d feel far, far sicker than the proverbial parrot.  



In short, these things that you do, that I did, and that every emotionally abused woman does, are all different ways of barking up the wrong tree. (Basil, my little dog-son, who is splendidly indiscriminate, does a lot of barking at wrong trees, cupboards, brushes, and Heaven knows what else. Earnest and committed though he is to barking his little heart out, it doesn’t affect the tree, the cupboards, the brushes, or the biscuit, at all.)  

The things we do to make the pain don’t go away simply don’t work, because the true source of your pain lies elsewhere.  

Sure, you’ve been hurt massively, by a -deliberately hurtful – partner.  

And there is a point when that pain transmutes into chronic suffering, without our even being aware of it.  

Suffering kicks in when we tell ourselves – and we believe:  

This is all I am. This agonizing half-life is all I can ever have.”  

If you believed that, in your future life, you could find joy, happiness, and loving relationships (whether or not that includes a Relationship with an intimate partner) what has happened, so far, would cease to be the tragic, defining relationship of your life.  

You’d choose happiness, and that bright future, instead, wouldn’t you?  

Ah but”, you might say – emotionally abused women are all fluent in the language of “Ah but” – “I can’t believe in my bright future until the pain goes away.”  

How long have you got?  

How long can you wait until The Pain Goes Away?  

Especially since that isn’t going to happen any time in the conceivable future,while you are still telling yourself the toxic nonsense about how unworthy you are.  

In reality, the process works the opposite way to the way you think: when you learn how to rebuild your belief in yourself and your bright future, the pain goes away, pretty fast, in 12 weeks, 10 weeks, 8 weeks, or even less. Not because it wasn’t real. But because you’ve suffered enough. You’re ready for better.  

Like C. who at the end of Week 1 of a training kept repeating: “I’m blown away. Just blown away.” At the start of the webinar, she was in that stuck place of having heard it all before, and being the difficult case nobody could help. By the end of it, what she’d learned had blown her old beliefs about herself, the relationship, and the future, clear away. Leaving her free from the chronic, toxic suffering that had been her constant companion.  

It’s that doable.  

How much longer can you wait for the pain to go away?


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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