Written by: Lucie Hanzlickova, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
What is it like to get stuck in an abusive relationship? I would describe it as a hell prison with an open door. You are free to leave, but you struggle to do so. This feeling is caused by the Trauma bond. You are not able to break away and get out even when your partner treats you poorly. You live on a crazy emotional rollercoaster ride. Trauma bonding often happens in romantic relationships; however, it can also occur between colleagues, family members, and friends.
If you look to Wikipedia or Google, you will find a Trauma Bonding description written by experts and psychologists.
I want to describe what is happening in the head of an abused person and talk to you in a victim language.
"I am losing in life if I stay, but I can't win if I leave."
"You are killing my soul, but I will die if I leave."
"Every time I try to get away, I am drawn back to you!"
"I have to get away, but I don't know how to live without you!"
"I can't live without you, but when I am with you, I can't breathe!"
"I want you to let me go, but when I leave, I am lost!"
"I know you're no good for my health, but I need more of you!"
"You betrayed me so many times, but I still hope you will change!"
"You are toxic to me, but I can't resist you!"
"I hate you, but I love you!"
"I hate myself; please come back!"
How hopeless is this situation?!
I want you to look at Trauma Bonding as an addiction, the same addition you would have to hard drugs that lead to physical and psychological addiction.
With this being said, I want you to understand that you have to treat this addiction precisely the same as any other addiction.
I also want you to look at the fact that your narcissistic person has the same addiction for you as you have for them.
They don't love you. They are just addicted to you. You are their drug, and you keep them high. They are terrified to lose you!
Anything that creates conflict, arguments, drama will keep them going. They want to get high, and they will do anything in their power to get it from you. This has nothing to do with love. It's a NEED!
Addiction is not love!
When you are trying breakaway, it usually gets worse before it gets better. They will try anything and everything to keep you tide. They don't want to lose their drug.
They will love bomb, promise they will change, manipulate, and if none of the "nice" words work, they will get angry and maybe blackmail or even threaten you.
So question is how to break a toxic cycle? The same way as you would do with drugs.
You have to remove your addiction from your existence and make sure it stays that way out of your reach and temptation. One wrong move and you are back where you were.
It's the same as with drug users or alcoholics. One sip of alcohol, a taste of a drug, and you are straight back in the cycle of addiction.
I want to give you some practical steps that will help you detox your narcissist, but before I do that, one major factor needs to happen; otherwise, none of the following steps will work.
You have to look truth in the face!
You have to see the person behind the mask and understand that everything you know about this person is fake. Don't trust them; don't fall for nice words. Don't listen to their manipulative lies.
What can you do to see the differences between lie and reality? Start writing a journal and write YOUR truth.
Facts that are based on your inner voice, not what was inset to you by the abuser. Read what you write and compare it with what you have been told.
Truth is in action. Always look for their actions, not words. Only this way you can see the reality and stop living in a dream and hope. Action is what matters. Words mean nothing if action doesn't match.
If you can see the truth, feel free to take the following steps, and keep going. You are unstoppable.
1. No contact – Remove your person from your life entirely if possible (there are exceptions if you have ties like kids, for example. We will talk about this situation some another time). By no contact, I mean remove and block all possible ways back to this person. Delete all photos, get rid of gifts and anything that reminds you of this person. No spying on social media or any other way! Ideally, change your phone number and move to a place they don't know about.
2. Prepare yourself – It's going to be difficult. This will be one of the biggest challenges in your life, so get ready for it. Try to get through day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute if you have to. You will be detoxing your ex, and your body will want him/her back no matter how destructive they were to you. Take it step by step.
3. Ask for help – Have some friends to reach out to when you struggle, like a first aid call. Ideally, if you have multiple people to take your call in case others are busy when you need support. Talk to them instead of calling your ex. If you can afford professional help, get someone to help you through — Therapist, Consultant, or Coach. If you can't afford professional help, join free supportive groups, and contact the national domestic abuse helpline.
4. Get occupied – You have to change your daily routine and keep yourself and your thoughts busy. Start a new project, hobby, or business. Spend time outdoors in nature, exercise, meditate, get Yoga classes. Anything that excites you and makes you feel better.
5. Self educate – The best prevention and way to heal is understanding. Read and learn about narcissistic behavior. There are plenty of great books, Youtube channels, Podcasts, Blogs that will help you understand. More you know and understand better. Knowledge prevents you from getting involved with another, new abuser, which is happening way too often.
6. Let it out – Don't fight your emotions. Anything you feel is normal, and it's ok to feel the way you feel. Give yourself permission to cry, feel angry, sad, disappointed, or frustrated. You are allowed to feel anything you want. Feel it but don't feed it. If you have the urge and things to say, let yourself to get it out. You can write your ex letter and tell them all the feelings that eat you from inside. Tell them everything, anything you want them to know. When you done, don't send a letter, burn it.
7. Let it go – None of these steps are easy, but I know this one especially. Your ego wants justice. Your brain wants answers. Your heart desires closure. Your soul wants peace. You want to move forward. Try to understand that the healing process is a journey, and it takes time. Don't rush it. There are a few phases, and before you move to the next one, you have to finish the previous one. We are all different, and there is no magic bean. Give yourself time and be kind to yourself.
8. Focus on you – Understand that you are the most important person in the world. You are deserving and worthy of love, and it's probably not easy to see it right now. Your brain is spinning in a toxic cycle, and you have a lot of work to do.
Rebuilding Self-love and Self-worth are the first steps. Don't blame yourself for anything. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are perfect the way you are. See yourself through the eyes of God/Universe/Spirit/Source, or however, you want to call it. You are loved and never alone.
9. Focus on positive – I know this one is tough, but your thoughts and emotions are directly affecting your life. Be aware of Self-talk, Mindfulness, Positive mindset, and Gratitude. These are all tools that can help you feel better and attract better things in your life. Surround yourself with positive people and events that will help you see the light.
10. Don't give up – No matter how things get hard, keep going. You are doing the best you can, so if you flip over, get up again and keep going. Try to look at things as they happened for you, not to you. Your journey is a lesson and growth. You will not get out of this as the same person. You will get out much stronger and smarter. You are not a victim. You are a survivor. So keep going, everything will be ok. You got this! Follow Lucie on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and join her Facebook Group for more info!
Lucie Hanzlickova, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Lucie is an Accredited Coaching Master helping women healing from toxic relationships and taking back control of their life by guiding them through a proven formula, step by step. She is a survivor of multiple abusive relationships that has been affecting her life journey since her childhood and she was able to break the circle. Lucie believes that she went through her life challenges to be the light for those still lost in the dark, and she is on the mission to support women who self-sabotage their life, relationships, or work career/business. She believes that every single woman has power and enormous potential to awake their inner warrior and have the ability to create a life they always wanted regardless of their past Awareness/Support/Empowerment.