What Causes You to Second-Guess Yourself After Leaving an Abusive Relationship?

What Causes You to Second-Guess Yourself After Leaving an Abusive Relationship? Second-guess yourself
Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

When you’ve been in a toxic environment for some period of time, you find yourself in a state of uncertainty, second-guessing even the simplest aspects of life. You may struggle with decisions like what to wear to work or what to cook for dinner — things that even a young child or which your past self wouldn’t hesitate over. It feels as though your ability to make confident and swift decisions has been taken from you. You may also find yourself seeking advice frequently, even on personal matters, because you lack confidence in your own judgment.

So, why does this happen?

Actually, the core of emotional abuse is crushing your inner confidence or the ability for you to stand up for yourself, to be autonomous. In that relationship, you were yelled at for simple mistakes like adding too much salt to your food or for your choice of hobbies.

Everything you did was criticized by the abuser to the point where you adopted deep negative beliefs such as ‘nothing good will come from you’ or ‘you’re not good at making decisions’. When you’ve internalized those constant verbal attacks, those inner voices will continue to limit you even after you leave the relationship.

Inner Voices -Leading to Indecision

You may leave but those inner voices will still be with you and will even form your core belief system. You may also be afraid of just deciding because you got accustomed to asking for permission to do small things or to do even those things you want, as when you acted without informing them, it was constant chaos.

They got angry and intimidated you or ridiculed the wrongness of your decisions instead of offering some sort of constructive criticism. They would always say things like, ‘You always ruin things’ or ‘You always make the wrong decisions’. When you’re constantly told you’re this or that, you end up believing it, especially if it’s coming from someone whom you hold in high regard, like your parents or your partner. You’re somehow emotionally entangled with them, so what they say means a lot to you.

On top of that, they’ve been saying those things or they always focus more on correcting you or making you feel bad about your life choices, so those beliefs become solidified. You may ask yourself why they do it? The answer is simple: if you’re empowered to make your own decisions or to think for yourself, of course you will not entertain them and you will not be under their control.

So, the best way they control or soothe their egos is by undermining your capacity to develop the mettle or mental strength to stand up for yourself. You learn to be dependent on them. Therefore, when you leave those environments, the effects of those relationships are never over, as you’ll be living with that narrative you’ve become accustomed to through years of hardwiring and conditioning.

But the great thing is, it’s not your permanent state. As long as you learned those behaviours, it also means that you can unlearn them. You can lessen your constant indecisiveness by making those small decisions in life and facing the discomfort which arises from it.

It may be so uncomfortable to make those decisions because it challenges what you’re used to, but as you make one decision after the next, you grow to be better and more autonomous. Your second-guessing is not you but a byproduct of those people who constantly doubted you. The more you peel away those layers of beliefs, false identities, and inner voices, the closer you get to the core of yourself who will always believe in you.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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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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