Walking on eggshells is something you learn to do
Walking on eggshells is one of the things you learn to do early on in an emotionally abusive relationship. An emotionally abusive partner soon teaches you that the journey with him will always be generously strewn with eggshells. Although it may take you a while to understand the message that he is giving you.
Theoretically, once you leave the abuser behind, you stop walking on eggshells. You should start to live an eggshell-free life.
The problem is that “Shoulds” just don’t work. A good “Should” will always tell you how Life would be like – if only Life it were totally different to the way it is.
The fact is, when you leave an emotional abuser, you don’t suddenly stop walking on eggshells. “Things” improve – but only so much.
Certainly, my life improved when I finally dispatched the wasband to his new, temporary home (above a fried fish and chip shop. Quite why, with his income, he would settle for living above a fried fish shop, I do not know. Possibly, he hoped that I would feel sorry for him.)
Without the wasband, I could do something I had not done for a very, VERY long time. I could go to bed at night and wake up in the morning knowing that I was safe from verbal attacks. I discovered that my little Shih Tzu, Sharon, made a far more endearing bed-companion than the wasband ever did.
My bedroom went from being a conflict zone to a place where I could rest. I was the happiest I had been in a very long time. However, I soon realized that most of the time I was not very happy for very long. Nor was I at peace.
The wasband wasn’t there anymore. However, all the negative “stuff” he had ever said about me – and Life – still was. I still felt horribly bad about myself.
A trousseau of negative beliefs
In fact, my parents, my in-laws, and the wasband, himself, had all contributed generously to this “trousseau” (to use an old-fashioned word) of painful beliefs. Instead of providing the naïve young bride that I once was with the linens, household equipment and clothes necessary for my new married role, they had all provided me with a full kit bag of negative judgements.
Worse still, those negative judgements – about myself – felt not like the negative judgements that they were but rather plain, unvarnished “home truths”.
With that heavy kit bag of “home truths” on my back – even without my Mr Nasty in residence – I staggered through my days, exhausted, pessimistic and fearful of what lay ahead.
It took me a while to discover that “home truths” is a hideous misnomer.
Home truths really do have a home somewhere. However, their only legitimate home is in the maw of the Nasty who utters them. As regards their “truth”, they may feel “truthy” to the person who utters them – but that person is a shameless liar.
When you walk away from an emotionally abusive relationship the level of anguish you feel goes down.
On a scale of 0 – 10 assuming that 10 is the highest and 0 the lowest, by the time you finally leave, your level of anguish would have to be somewhere between 8- & 10 (unless you are minimizing furiously). With his departure, of course your level of anguish drops. How could it not?
Most probably, without your abusive partner constantly in evidence, your level of anguish will drop to somewhere between a 7 & a 4. That is, undoubtedly, an improvement.
However, it still leaves you walking on eggshells. Fewer eggshells than before, but still eggshells.
How do you know that you are still walking on eggshells?
The abused woman’s rough guide to walking on eggshells?
You are walking on eggshells if,
- You feel frightened a lot of the time.
- You keep seeing a miserable future in front of you.
- You feel guilty about having made the only life-affirming – actually life-saving – choice you could make.
- You believe that Other People can enjoy all kinds of happiness, but you cannot.
- You see yourself as undeserving, or unworthy.
- You believe that you are unlovable, weird, or broken.
- You give yourself constant tongue-lashings, using the words “should”, “stupid”, “pathetic”, “weak”, “a failure” and other similar epithets that would sit – and did sit – better in your abusive partner’s mouth.
- You don’t trust yourself.
- You never feel safe.. Rather, you see yourself as being adrift in a dangerous world.
- You expect bad things to happen to you.
You will tell yourself that all of this is “fact”. I will tell you that all of this is “home truths”, verbal crap visited on you by a nasty, abusive mind. The mind of an abusive partner – and whatever abusive influences came before him.
Abusive people have quite literally dumped their verbal and emotional crap on you – and you have been wearing it ever since. No wonder you end up still walking on eggshells, still feeling horribly bad about yourself when you do deserve to feel wonderfully good.
My clients are bright women with a high I.Q. and E.Q. By the time they come to me, they have done a LOT of work on themselves, read a lot, thought a lot, and usually worked (a lot) with therapists and counsellors who have helped them move forward – but only so much. However, most of the work of enabling these recovering women to stop walking on eggshells still remains to be done! That drives me crazy! That work is fundamental.
You cannot be free to be your amazing self until you STOP walking on eggshells. That is a huge part of the transformational work that I do with my private clients. But I really wanted to make that information as widely available as I possibly can. My new, live “NOT My Stuff” program will give you all the tools you need to stop walking on eggshells, at an incredibly affordable price.
You deserve so much better than to have Other People’s Verbal Cr*p reverberating in your head and sapping your energy.
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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