Where Does Your Recovery From Emotional Abuse Start?

20 Oct 2015

signsWhere do you start your recovery from emotional abuse?  When you’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship for a while, there comes a time when you realize that something is profoundly wrong.  There’s a lot of unhappiness, and a lot of accusations and put downs; nothing ever seems to get resolved; in fact nothing seems to make sense.

It doesn’t make sense for someone who you love – who allegedly loves you – to treat you the way he does.  It doesn’t make sense to be walking on eggshells.  It doesn’t make sense that he seems perfectly comfortable taking a sledgehammer to your feelings, the relationship, and possibly your children’s feelings also, over and over again.

Inevitably, you start thinking about your worst case scenario, leaving the relationship, and getting your life back.

How do you walk away from the most powerful relationship in your life?  Always assuming that what you have been through is emotional abuse – and chances are, you don’t entirely believe that it is, because you know you weren’t perfect – how do you do your recovery from emotional abuse?

Let’s face it, recovery from emotional abuse looks absolutely overwhelming.  As overwhelming as if someone told you to get a PhD in Rocket Science, when you don’t even have a starter qualification.

Where do you even start, for Heaven’s sake? 

That’s just one of the problems that my clients are facing when they first come to me to learn how to make their recovery from emotional abuse as simple, pain-free, and fool-proof as it possibly can be.

Usually, they’ve already tried everything they know.  They’ve seen therapists and counselors, tried to talk to their emotionally abusive partner, thought, at length, about the nuts and bolts of walking away, worried about how their future will pan out, and tried to do all the things that friends and family have told them to do, including:

  • Give the relationship another try – or ten
  • Forgive their partner (for being an emotionally abusive jerk)
  • Think positive
  • Meditate, do affirmations, throw themselves back into the dating pool
  • Take responsibility for everything that happened (after all, there are no victims, only volunteers according to some (Insensitive Clever Clogs, IMHO)
  • Devour all the literature about emotionally abusive relationships
  • Pull themselves together

Certainly, this is some of the common received wisdom I hear from courageous, thoughtful women who are committed to their recovery from emotional abuse, but who are struggling badly. So badly that they end up consuming most of their energy fighting with themselves instead of channelling it into their recovery.

Tough, huh?

What do you do when you try something and fail?

If you’re like most women, you try to make sense of what happened. After all, human beings are sense-making machines.

That’s what sets us apart from other animals.

It can be our strength.  But it can also be our weakness.

The way it works with women who struggle to do their recovery from emotional abuse in isolation is this: they get understandably disheartened because the huge amount of effort they are employing doesn’t seem to get them anywhere.

Of course, they do their best to make sense of the fact that all that effort just seems to exhaust them.

Then what do they do?

They try to make sense of it all.

The sense they make normally goes like this: “I’m a failure.  I can’t do this.  I can’t manage on my own. This is too hard. He (my emotionally abusive partner) must be right about me.”

Here’s what they don’t ask themselves: “what part of what I’ve been doing was wrong?  And which part was spot on?”

Whenever I listen to clients – or look back at my own experience – here’s what stands out:  always trying to do too much, too soon, in an unfocused way.

It’s as if recovery from emotional abuse was some kind of magic bullet, or winning lottery ticket.

In reality, that is not how it works, at all.

My experience in the field shows that there is a right way to go about recovery from emotional abuse, as well as a whole constellation of wrong ways.  “Should-ing” is always not just wrong, but doomed to failure – whether it comes from you, a friend or family member, or a therapist.

There is a right way to go about recovery from emotional abuse but there is no one right place to start -except for precisely where you are now.  Clients have told me they’ve worked with therapists who dredged through the past so – let’s call it diligently – that they, the clients, ended up bored with their own story.  Older, poorer, wiser, but only marginally less stuck, frustrated, and desperate.

That’s not recovery from emotional abuse.  That’s simply moving to a slightly less deep circle of hell.

The best way to do your emotional abuse recovery has two sides to it: first, discovering joy and happiness in your life, and second – systematically – removing all that is hellish and deeply painful from your life, without ever feeling at fault for feeling the way you are feeling.

You’ve already experienced enough pain and misery for one lifetime. The reason for doing your recovery from emotional abuse is so that you can finally live the safe, joyful life you were born to live. If your happiness is something you’re ready to commit to, then drop me an email to claim your free breakthrough session with me.


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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