I am writing a healing journal for those who are in a toxic relationship, in the process of escaping or trying their hardest not to return.
The first thing I did when I was trying to figure out if I was in a toxic relationship with my mother was to do some research on the internet. I found and purchased the eye-opening book by Dr. Karyl McBride titled, Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. As I read the book I had a difficult time realizing how bad my relationship was with my mother and that I needed to go no contact with her.
One of the exercises in the book that I will never forget asks you to list all the abusive things your mother has done to you. This is to help you maintain your boundaries with your mother so you can heal and live a healthier life. You have to keep your “why” in front of your face when you first begin to make changes with someone who will challenge your boundaries.
When I left my abusive husband and finally began to come out of denial I used the above exercise as a first step away from him forever. I didn’t want to be a statistic. I didn’t want to return to him an average of seven times before finally getting out of my abusive marriage.
Every time I started to look at the past with rose-colored glasses I would pull out the list of abuse and review it until the temptation to return to him passed. I struggled with returning to him for the first 18 months after I left even though I knew it would be a return to hell.
Make a list of how the toxic person in your life has treated you. Don’t make excuses for the person’s behavior or justify it in any way. You are just listing the facts.
It may be best to ease into this project with some of the milder things the toxic person has done. As you build up emotional strength you can tackle the bigger events.
Check-in with your emotions as you work and take breaks if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Take your time and never force yourself to do more than you can tolerate at once. I suggest you work on it when you can be alone and have some time to cry or work through any anger that comes up. You can plan to take a walk or exercise after working on your list to help let some of the negative energy work through your body and calm your mind.
It is best to take the time to feel your emotions instead of suppressing them. Some emotions may feel overwhelming but when you take the time to work through them you will feel better afterward. Over time your emotions will become less overwhelming as your mind and body heal.
Please be gentle with yourself as you begin this work. It may be best to reduce your responsibilities for a while and put your healing as the number one thing to accomplish for a season.
Many blessings as you open your heart to truth and acceptance and a new life free from abuse. ❤