(Read time: 2 mins.)
It’s not easy. Breaking a trauma bond is a very difficult process; but it can be done with consistent effort. In my own experience, and coaching, I have found that following these 7 steps can help you succeed:
1. Commit to staying in reality: You were in an abusive, toxic relationship. Don’t allow yourself to fixate on the “if only’s” and “what could have been” – if’s, and could haves, are not reality. Reality if you were in an abusive, toxic relationship that was harming you.
2. Honor the feelings you had in the relationship: Acknowledge that your feelings of love and commitment and excitement were genuine, and real for you, but they were not accurate based on the person you were with.
3. Absolutely and unequivocally cut off all contact with your ex: Block all social media access, block your ex’s number, stop going to places, restaurants, etc., where you spent time together. Take time away from mutual friends, explaining that you need some time for yourself for awhile. *Although it is difficult, it is often helpful to take a break from the mutual friends you and your ex had. Being around them can keep you in state of emotional turmoil because of the link to your ex.
4. Make a list of triggers: Determine what places, songs, movies, even mutual friends, anything that will trigger you to romanticize your relationship and cling to the “what-could-have been” thinking. Develop a list of healthy activities you can do to help you stay focused forward until the trigger has subsided.
5. Focus on you and your healing: Be kind and nurturing to yourself, pray, meditate, volunteer, spend time with your friends who are not connected to your ex, take up exercise – yoga is very therapeutic, journal, develop a new hobby or pursue one you’ve always wanted to do, anything that helps you refocus, and reconnect with yourself.
6. Surround yourself with support: Know that there are many victims of narcissistic abuse who truly understand what you went through, what you are going through, and how it feels. There are resources online, including safe, closed groups, that offer empathy, support, and validation.
7. Validate yourself: Accept that you are still in the process of breaking free and moving on, it takes time, and that’s absolutely, positively A-OK.
Healing from narcissistic abuse, and breaking the trauma bond to the narcissist is an ongoing process that takes patience, self-forgiveness, and active, consistent, focused effort.
Individualized narcissist abuse recovery coaching, combined with therapeutic aromatherapy, is an extremely helpful part of a recovery program. It facilitates your healing process, and helps you break free – permanently. Click Thrive After Abuse for more information. Take the first step in your growth and healing today!