ARE YOU SABOTAGING YOUR RECOVERY FROM ABUSE? are you sabotaging your recovery from abuse?
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You’ve just left that toxic relationship, doing ‘No Contact’ and everything is going okay but deep inside you still feel that you’re not making any progress in your healing journey and you still feel so stuck. You may have thoughts that you were better off in that relationship and you even think that your abusive Ex is having the time of their lives and here you are struggling. You have all the knowledge about personality disorders and all those psychological terminologies, you even hold a ‘Doctorate in ‘narcology’ (study of narcissism & all those other personality disorders — not real definition just using it in this context). You might even be sharing content about toxic relationships and even giving great advice to other survivors on online forums and everyone thinks you’ve got it together but yet deep inside you feel so stuck and stressed. You’re constantly triggered and you keep asking yourself why things are not getting better for you. If you’ve struggled with this state for quite some time, I’d like to share with you four things that you don’t realize you’re doing that might be sabotaging your recovery from abuse.

Healing from abuse is not easy and it will push you to the deep corners within yourself which you’re afraid of exploring. Today, I’m going to shed some light on some things you might be doing that might be doing more harm than good in your healing journey.

1. Information Abuse

The first trap that keep people stuck is believing that understanding and learning about narcissism and all those terminologies is enough for them to heal. Knowledge has its place in your healing journey, it brings awareness and clarity on some of the things that were happening in the relationship. It can also offer you an insight on who you’re dealing with and their manipulative ways, but that’s more like it. Knowledge has been given the most importance in healing but taking action or applying that knowledge is where healing is. Overloading yourself with information is pointless when deep inside you feel empty and sad. It even makes it worse because it feeds you with an illusion that you’re doing well yet you find yourself still feeling so unhappy. It also becomes a barrier when it comes to seeking help because you already think you know everything (the ego loves this), so why bother to ask a psychologist, coach or a specialist on what you’re going through.

Analogy — When you’re hungry, no amount of reading about food will satisfy you. In fact, you might even starve to death as you spend most of your time reading about it till you even forget to eat. The ego is fed but the belly is empty.

The fact of the matter is you cannot address inner pain or trauma without going inwards and processing it. The rational part of the brain has no ability to release the inner trauma that has hurt you and is continuing to affect the way you live your life presently.

The other thing about knowledge is that it offers the path of least resistance when it comes to dealing with our painful hurts since going inwards is not an easy thing to do so we choose to accumulate knowledge as a relief or an escape from the doing the actual work. I’ve even interacted with people who’ve chose to pursue psychology as a major because of being in a toxic relationship. There’s no problem with that but the problem comes in when someone pursues it with the hope that they will heal after they finish their studies, and that’s where the trap is because it’s still the accumulation of psychological knowledge. It is a very good alibi when it comes to escaping from the actual pain inside us.

Solution — If you’re stuck in this trap, the best way is to immediately stop your pursuit of knowledge and go inwards. If you’re starting your journey and you want to learn, just pick 2–3 books and stop there (there are all the same anyway- you will not get anything different if you read 100 of them or watch 1000 YouTube videos).

Healing will only happen when you process your trauma and heal your inner wounds, you can even do this without spending tons of money or wasting your time consuming tons of information. So, if the advice you’ve been getting is to read about it or watch a YouTube video and you’ll be okay, then you’ll be stuck.

2. Victimhood

This is a hard one to chew and but the more we face it and explore it together, the more we’ll be free and understand what we need to do to heal. For today, I want you to drop that question of “I was not asked to be abused” so that together we can explore this issue of victimhood and how it keeps you stuck.

There are two paths one can take after leaving a toxic relationship, the path of taking full personal responsibility of your healing and the other of being stuck in the past with feelings of anger and resentment over what happened. Healing is about taking full responsibility and acknowledging that there are some parts of you that attracted or kept you in that toxic relationship. It can be your lack of boundaries, you unhealed trauma, your fear of abandonment, your people pleasing behavior, your low self-esteem, your conditioning and beliefs or just anything within you which consciously or unconsciously drew you to that abusive relationship. You may have of course spotted some red flags but you still felt powerless to leave or to address some of the relationship issues in a timely manner. Your weaknesses, strengths and insecurities were also exploited by the narcissist as they sought to satisfy their needs. Being stuck in victimhood is denying all those factors that may have led you or kept you in that toxic relationship and only sticking to the position that narcissists are miserable people. It’s more of firmly thinking that we’re ‘perfect’ and only those people who come into our lives are flawed. When you’re stuck in victimhood, you will not seek to explore the deep parts within yourself and you’ll be anchored in the past. You’ll even be focusing more on what they did to you instead of focusing on what you need to do to heal your wounds once and for all.

Analogy — When you’re hungry, no amount of scolding the chef or obsessively thinking why you’re hungry will satisfy your hunger.

Solution — Don’t worry so much on the narcissist or your ex being miserable, focus more on what you need to do to heal your wounds. Don’t focus on what they did to you, focus on addressing some parts within you that may have allowed the abuse to take place (exercise this with gentleness, compassion and care as if you’re handling an egg. Don’t be hard on yourself). Also, you should take full personal responsibility of healing to the point that you’re deeply secure within yourself and you reclaim that joyful life you deserve.

You can look at the past relationship as part of the journey which exposed some unhealed parts within you and now you need to do something about them so that you can permanently keep away toxic people in your life. You accept that you have the ability to find yourself, have boundaries and work on yourself to the point that no one can use your weaknesses and insecurities against you. Never delegate your happiness to another human being who’s also suffering with their deep insecurities and distorted world views.

3. Getting into a Situationship or a new relationship

You’ve just left that toxic relationship, you’re feeling lonely, unloved and abandoned. You were used to your abusive ex occupying most of your time as a toxic relationship is like a full-time job. The relationship kept you on toes and busy, so the end of the relationship has left a huge gap in your life and you find yourself having nothing to focus on. You may also want to jump into another relationship quickly so that you can show your ex or other people that you’re not single and you have options. That’s where many victims of abuse succumb and jump into another relationship because the pain is unbearable. This is actually a huge trap in very many ways. The first thing is you’re most vulnerable after leaving a toxic relationship because your reality is so distorted and you’re desperate for anything just to cover up the inner emptiness and loneliness. Toxic people can sniff your desperation from far away and you might end up in another toxic relationship. You’re like a wounded gazelle which makes the best prey for even older lions.

Apart from the relationship turning out to be toxic, you will also be running away from going inwards and healing. You could also make some very hasty decisions emotionally and sexually (like having a child) that may ruin your already fragile self. In fact, the relationship is ‘unhealthy’ in the first place as you’re just patching things up and taking your emotional baggage with you. A situationship will temporarily mask the pain but it will still be there and it will manifest through your emotional unavailability or countless relationship issues in that new relationship. A relationship built out of pain and is not a relationship at all, it’s just a crutch. A new relationship will also keep you stuck as you’ll not even bother going inwards because you’re in a relationship, so why bother?

Analogy — When your house (you included) is on fire, moving to another house will not put off the fire in your own house. You will even be so comfortable in that new temporary shelter to even bother to put off the fire in your own house or to rebuild your own house. You may also burn down the new house because you’re still on fire.

Solution- Do not jump into another relationship before healing your wounds, that’s how we break this generational cycle of abuse. This also includes a friend-with-benefits kind of arrangement as you’ll of course get attached so quickly because of your deep insecurities. If you’re already in another relationship, then go to therapy or seek help the following day and just work on addressing your deeper issues. You have to heal yourself before even getting into a relationship so that you can be fully present to your partner without your past having a grip on your present life.

4. Keeping Yourself Busy

The other common trap which is mostly given as advice by many people is keeping yourself busy. I’ve read this in countless Facebook groups or just a number of online forums where people advocate that the only way is to distract yourself by engaging in a time-consuming activity so as to mask the painful feelings. This time-consuming activity can be watching a movie, hitting the gym, burying yourself with work or just anything that keep you away from feeling and processing your emotions. All these distractions are geared towards avoidance of going inwards and resolving our wounds permanently. They just provide a band-aid for a wound that needs more for it to be healed. There’s no amount of band-aid that can heal a deep wound, they will just provide a temporary relief and that’s it. We choose distraction because it’s easy and we know that once we acknowledge the wound is there, we have to address it.

Analogy — When your house is burning, painting it or opening the windows will not put off the fire. In fact, the more you avoid taking the direct approach of extinguishing the fire, the more the house (with you inside) will be consumed by the flames.

Distracting ourselves from pain, heartache, abandonment or fear doesn’t make it go away, we just hide it behind the scenes and it will still be pulling the strings. It also feeds the ego which will be like, “Nah, I’m okay and I can handle this on my own. I don’t need any help” but deep inside you’re hurting. That’s why people confuse masking the negative feelings and being busy with true healing.

Solution — If you’re keeping yourself busy, it will do you more harm than good and the wound will keep growing while affecting the way you live your life presently. Find a safe space to release those emotions and address those inner wounds so that you can enjoy every single bit of life. Once you heal, you will enjoy those things you’re using as distractions more because you’ll be feeling more present and in touch with your authentic self.

Healing comes out of love and accepting yourself unconditionally while distraction comes out of fear of opening the pandora’s box. Distraction is more of like maintaining the status quo and it even offers a certain comfort but healing shakes things up so that it can open you up to an authentic and a joyful live. Addressing your wounds is like building a new stable foundation for your house while distraction is like painting a house with a leaking roof and rotten walls.

There are many traps when it comes to healing from narcissistic abuse but the main thing to note is a trap is something that prevents you from going inwards and addressing your core wounds. The pain may be unbearable but that doesn’t mean that you choose the easy path and run away from it. The easy path is not really that best (or not the easiest in some sense) as it keeps you stuck with the pain much longer. Let’s be honest, would you rather feel intense pain for just a day and release it or would you rather feel half of that intense pain daily for the rest of your life? I hope you now understand some of the things that are keeping you stuck in your healing journey and what to do about them. When you understand some of the things that are sabotaging your healing journey, it can save you years and years of searching for something which you think is outside there, yet all along it’s just deep within you. The only way is to go inwards and address those things once and for all. I know it’s not easy to unlearn or to drop some of our deeply-held beliefs about recovery and that’s why you need to challenge yourself and never settle for less. Don’t you think it’s better to drop the accumulation of knowledge, face your fears and reconnect with your authentic self so that you can pursue other enjoyable things in life?

Note from the Author

If you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from this cycle of abuse in 2 months or Less, you can book a call with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment!





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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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