You Can Get PTSD By Staying In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

This journey starts when we become aware of what’s really going on in our body and mind. Instead of living in our protective mechanisms, we start to notice them. At first you may be inclined to judge or dislike these parts of yourself, but that’s not the purpose of this work. Instead, we begin to develop a kind and curious awareness of what’s going on. So if we become judgmental or angry with ourselves in this process, we include that in our kind awareness.


When we work through trauma, it’s important to pay attention to our bodies (heart, muscles, gut), which have a lot of their own wisdom. It’s frustrating to communicate with body sensations like “numbness” or “tension”, but we can start with the knowledge that our bodies put up those defenses to protect us from some really overwhelming stuff. By acknowledging this noble effort, we can begin to offer a lot of care and kindness to these sensations.


Given that psychological abusers minimize and dismiss your emotions, it’s quite common in this process to think “This is stupid” or “I’m making this all up” or “I’m actually to blame”. In fact, you might notice a lot of your healing has been done from the mindset of “What’s wrong with me?”. Again, just include these in your kind awareness. It won’t be easy at first, because these anxieties and doubts have been etched deeply in your thinking. But as you embrace these thoughts every day, the awareness will grow stronger.

As it grows stronger, your body will begin to unravel the old wound, piece by piece. These feelings are likely to be overwhelming and intolerable at first. They may wake you up in the middle of the night, feeling stronger and “more real” than the kind awareness. But the more intense these feelings become, the stronger your own awareness will become. Because it recognizes the truth: that no human being, yourself included, deserves to feel this way. And it will keep fighting for you.

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