How to Start the Healing Process after a Traumatic Relationship
When people hear the word trauma, they might first think of war veterans or violent natural disasters. But an abusive relationship also causes significant trauma. If the traumatic feelings aren’t dealt with, lifelong emotional and social consequences might follow.
After trauma, the human body and mind often revert to a more simplistic form for a time. People refer to this phenomenon as shock, feeling numb, or even feeling dead inside. This is a nervous system safety feature, locking out extraneous material to protect you from overstimulation. For true healing to take place, however, the trauma victim must eventually move past this stage.
If you recently ended a traumatic relationship, read on for some tips to help you begin the journey from numbness and fear, to meaningful feelings and relationships.
Know That You’re Normal
You might feel ashamed of your feelings. A misguided friend or family member might ask why you can’t “just get over it”. You need to know that traumatic experiences are real, and moving past trauma is tough. When you allow fear and misinformation to take over, you won’t search for real, helpful steps toward healing.
Yes, everyday offenses like a rude coworker or an impatient store clerk go away quickly once you leave the situation. But the trauma after a truly terrible relationship won’t heal on its own. Most trauma happens unexpectedly, repeatedly, or from someone in a position of trust. An abusive relationship just so happens to involve all three of these elements.
You’re normal. Your pain is real, but with proper healing you can overcome it.
Interact With the World
Your first instinct after a traumatic relationship might be to isolate yourself and pull out of any interpersonal interactions. Having time to yourself isn’t inherently a bad thing, but too much seclusion from the world will ultimately prevent the healing process.
Reach out to a trusted family member or friend about the ordeal. Despite the pain and discomfort that comes with discussing your relationship, you will eventually find more peace and understanding after having a chance to talk about the issue. Try to respect your friends’ own boundaries as well, and if you notice they seem tired of the topic, change the conversation for a bit. You can always return to it later.
If your traumatic relationship involved physical or sexual abuse, a local support group can offer additional encouragement. They might also provide valuable opinions on legal options, like hiring a sex crimes defense attorney, and other information if necessary.
Get involved in the world. Stay busy. Talk to people. Develop safe, new relationships with others.
Continue Your Journey
The first couple steps toward recovery will get you on the right path. You might have setbacks and painful waves of emotions, but with time you will heal and feel normal again. Keep track of your emotional wellbeing, and always take care of your mind.
While on the journey to healing, remember to take care of your physical body as well. This will help you to continue and not get bogged down by the complications of poor physical health. Try to set up a regular sleep schedule, eat well, and exercise regularly. Avoid alcohol or drugs if you can, which act as band aid solutions and slow true recuperation.
Left foot. Right foot. One step at a time, you will heal and end up a stronger, more empathetic person.
*Our content is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis of individual problems or circumstances, nor should it be implied that we are a substitute for professional medical advice. Users / readers are always advised to consult their Healthcare Professional prior to starting any new remedy, therapy or treatment. Your Wellness Group accepts no liability in the event you, a user of n-gage and a reader of this article, suffers a loss as a result of reliance upon or inappropriate application of the information.