How To Recover From Emotional Abuse

01 Sep 2015


How to recover from emotional abuse is just one of the conundrums facing any woman who has ever been in an emotionally abusive relationship.  Sadly, there are a few others as well, like: “How could he treat me that way?”  “What’s wrong with me?” and “Will I ever get over this enough to live, love and trust again?”

In fact, one of the things that makes it so hard to recover from emotional abuse:  is that you’re constantly asking yourself several questions at the same time.  And, inasmuch as you’re listening at all, you’re listening to your worst fears, rather than your inner wisdom.  It’s hardly surprising that you end up getting no closer to any answers that will help you move forward.

Things that absolutely DON’T work when you are trying to recover from emotional abuse include trying to:

  1. Pull yourself together. Your emotional world is not held together by knicker (pantie) elastic.
  2. Just put it behind you. It’s not something you can just wrap up neatly in bubble wrap and park in storage somewhere.
  3. ‘Rebuild your confidence’ and/or show him by diving headlong into another relationship. Until you’ve done the work on rebuilding your sense of self you’ll be a Bad Man Magnet. Sad but true.
  4. Give up on men and relationships forever. That’s actually living your life on red alert. It’s exhausting, and it always reminds you of just how vulnerable you are – which isn’t fun.

Emotional abuse causes a very specific pattern of damage, and recovering from emotional abuse requires a very specific methodology.

My work with hundreds of women has shown that Luck, Chance, and Time really aren’t great therapists. In fact, they’re pretty lousy.

But that’s emotionally abused women for you. If you have a child who needs orthodontal work, you wouldn’t put it off indefinitely, or settle for any old dentist. You just wouldn’t do that.

But when it comes to your well-being, that’s another story entirely.

You put it onto the Totally Unimportant Pile – and then get discouraged and frustrated when nothing changes.

Nothing changes when you give yourself lousy messages.

How could it be otherwise? Your self is listening, intently, to everything you say.

So, let’s look now at what works if you are to recover from emotional abuse.

  1. Forget about despairing of yourself. Despair, and all of its assorted gloomy relations, will NOT do you any good, at all. You need to open up to hope. Other women have done it – and they didn’t believe they could. You can, too.  Even if you REALLY don’t believe you can, you can!  You’re human – and you’re NOT broken.  So, don’t give up on yourself, please!
  2. Don’t keep doing what doesn’t work. Actually, this is a Life Lesson.  If what you’ve been doing – so far- to recover from emotional abuse doesn’t work, you’ve got the wrong methodology.  That needs to change.
  3. Don’t try to do it alone. If you want to recover from emotional abuse, the way you think and feel needs to be transformed.  It’s not something you can work on slowly, over a long period of time.  Why not?  Because it doesn’t work. You don’t know what you don’t know; and you don’t see what you don’t see. You’ll end up frustrated, exhausted, and back where you started.  When you’re feeling terrible, your emotional resources are limited.  You need to work with someone who can teach you to replenish those resources, instead of running through them, without getting anywhere.
  4. Stop obsessing about him. It’s true that he richly deserves every bad thing you could ever say about him. His behaviour has been despicable. But you can’t focus on your own well-being when you’re still emotionally enmeshed in what happened. You have to find a way to break that chain before you can ever be free to be you. Your life is not about him, it’s about you.
  5. Put yourself at the heart of your own world. If you want to recover from emotional abuse, you can’t just stand on the side-lines of your own life. (Why would you do that anyway? It’s your life, after all.  Not an old sock.)  If you don’t want to live with a vacuum at the centre of your own world, then YOU need to fill it.
  6. Get to grips with happiness. Happy people have better lives. If you want to recover from emotional abuse, happiness is something  you need to get comfortable with.  (Besides, you deserve it.)  Happiness generates enjoyment, motivation, fulfilment, and all manner of good things. You can wait for happiness to descend on your shoulders – and it can be a LONG wait – or you can learn how to do it for yourself, systematically. Why wait around for something that you can always learn to master?

There is no point asking yourself how you can recover from emotional abuse – because you, clearly, don’t have the answer. If you did, you’d have done it long ago.

You really don’t deserve to keep on living the way you have been living.  It’s too painful.  Focus instead, in choosing the right methodology to recover from emotional abuse. It will save you untold pain and suffering.


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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