Patterns of toxicity can be beyond frustrating! It can be downright dangerous!
I'm not just talking physically, but let's face it.... that's a huge red flag isn't it?
I'm speaking more to the covert abuse that happens to your emotional and mental wellbeing.
I'm talking to those of you that pray and hope for a bruise because that would be more convincing when you try to tell your peers or family or friends what is going on behind closed doors.
If you have survived an emotionally abusive relationship you know exactly what I'm talking about. And after experiencing something like that, you're not able to trust anymore. This is across the board. You can't trust another dating experience, because you don't trust yourself to see the red flags. After all, you've been fooled before, right?
Well I have great news for you. The cycle can be broken. Your trust can be restored. And I have the perfect person to guide you through this process!
Meet my friend and Relationship Coach, Bre Wolta. Bre knows exactly what it's like to leave a relationship feeling crazy, feeling guilty, wondering what the hell happened, and even going so far as to missing that asshole! Why???
Well if you've been following my blogs you know about Trauma Bonding. That's why... but the reason for this blog post is to show you how to fix it! Break FREE from the cycle!
Bre tells us the magic formula for breaking the cycle and recovering from emotional and mental abuse and not only that but finally finding a true healthy relationship that you can be safe in.
Take a look back... What happened in your childhood that has you stuck here? Did you have a difficult family member that made sure you were always walking on eggshells? Someone who constantly was irritable, telling you what a failure you were, or letting you know that you were only good enough or useful to them when their needs were being met? This type of experience in childhood sets you up for the same people pleasing tendencies that breed co-dependency in your relationships. You will be so thrilled that someone is even interested in you that you will be sure to morph into their perfect woman so that they are satisfied and reduce their chances of leaving you. Once you are in that frame of mind, you'll completely lose yourself in that identity, which for a narcissistic person, will keep changing. Their expectations will always change based on the life they want to live, on their timeline, with their needs met!
"Yeah, sounds familiar, so........ what do I do, Brandi?"
You're going to revisit that childhood tendency. It's time to sit in your shit and spend some time with that little girl that needs healing. She only feels safe when she is calming the storm. Stuck on high alert... making sure that everyone has their needs met to prevent the explosion. This can be done with a licensed therapist, with a Brainspotting Practitioner, with Bre in her EFT Tapping and Coaching, or even with someone that has been trained in Inner-Child work and Somatic Experiencing. Find one that feels right for you! You can even have multiple sources of healing going on at once! The more the better in my opinion!
Just know this... until that wound is healing, you don't need to worry about dating. Take a step back and start focusing on finding yourself and healing her. I promise you, your prince charming is waiting for your healing. You will attract him when you finally discover and fall in love with your inner self again!
A great companion for this journey to take to your therapy sessions is the Reclaim Journal, available at reclaimjournal.com/shop. Each purchase comes with a digital video series guide (code inserts in the journal). Get yours now to start this healing journey!
"Ok so I've done the healing, Brandi, now how do I recognize a healthy relationship, because I don't trust anyone anymore!"
GREAT!!!! You don't NEED to trust anyone! That's a common misconception in co-dependent people, which you no longer are! If you are just now getting to know a new person, they don't need to be trusted. They haven't done anything to make you think they are trustworthy!
That's something you get to decide as you go along. That's why there is a courting period before you get serious with someone.
Here are some green flags from Relationship Coach, Bre Wolta that you'll notice as you re-enter the dating world:
Communication: Can you clearly communicate with the person you are dating, even the hard stuff? Are you finding that you have to hold back in order to not make them upset or avoid silent treatments, sarcasm, "just joking" but not really joking comments, etc. You should be able to calmly communicate with your partner about the things that bother you, and they should be able to do the same with you.
Taking Responsibility: Can your partner take responsibility when something happens that hurts you or someone you love? When you DO communicate with them, are they able to say "I'm sorry"? Or do they defend themselves and turn the conversation into what you did to make them behave that way? Remember, this doesn't mean that they didn't anything wrong... it just means that whatever happened didn't feel good to you. If they really care, they'll be upset that they upset you, even unintentionally, and the conversation should go towards understanding each other and preventing this feeling in the future.
Feeling Loved is Baseline: Most of the time you feel loved, cherished, appreciated. Valentine's Day should not be the only day you feel loved out of obligation. There will obviously be room for the occasional fight or disagreement, but it will feel very different than you are used to. I can tell you from experience, my fights with an emotionally abusive person made me feel worthless, like I was a crazy person, like I wasn't valued and it would be better if I just wasn't even alive because it was hopeless. My "fights" or more-so disagreements in my healthy relationship now, feels like this: I wonder what I could have done to make this more clear or better understood. I put myself in his shoes to see if he is really in the wrong or if there is any chance I could have misinterpreted his actions (this might happen a lot because you are used to being hurt for sport), and then I calmly let him know that I'm upset, and how I feel about it. He listens and even if he doesn't understand or agree, he says, "I'm sorry, that's not at all how I meant it. I see how that would hurt you." Woh... what a difference. I feel validated. I feel important enough to cause him to pause and listen without interrupting or defending. I feel loved enough that he would NOT want to yell, roll his eyes, scoff, or be sarcastic. He takes me seriously. He respects me. I'm not a burden to him. My peace and joy is his only interest in that moment.
Bre asked me if I would add anything... Yes! My fourth addition of a green flag is that you each have your own separate hobbies, friends and outings without each other. Without jealousy, and without guilt trips. You each have your tribe outside of each other, which gives you time to miss each other and fill your self-care cup in other ways. Your tribe is so important to your health and mental wellbeing and your partner is going to LOVE that you have that, because it will make you more YOU!
I hope this helped you! If you want a more in-depth explanation of this topic, listen to the podcast From Toxic To Fulfilling Relationships on the Shattered to Unbreakable podcast, with Guest Speaker, Relationship Coach, Bre Wolta! You can find her on Instagram at @lucid.living.with.bre
Get your Reclaim Journal here so you can start healing and finally find your prince!
I love you and as always,
Stay Sparkly Sweet Sisters!!!