Throughout our lives, romantic relationships may come and go. Unfortunately, ending a relationship usually ends in heartbreak. While this is completely normal, there could be more lingering underneath the surface.
It’s natural to feel safe after a relationship runs its course. Taking time to heal after the end of a relationship is normal–tears, sweatpants, and watching reruns of your favorite movies are all a part of the process. However, there’s a big difference between the breakup blues and dealing with relationship trauma.
What is relationship trauma?
Relationship trauma goes deeper than just being sad after a breakup. Relationship trauma is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder in that both result in feelings of sadness or fear that stick around long after the event is over.
This specific type of trauma usually results due to an abusive relationship, whether it be emotional or physical. It can be incredibly upsetting to hear negative things about yourself from your partner, someone you trust. It’s understandable how you could develop depression or feelings of mistrust toward future partners.
At the same time, I want to help you heal so that you can have healthy and happy relationships in the future.
It might be difficult to discover the differences between normal feelings after a breakup versus relationship trauma. These experiences are common indicators that you might be dealing with relationship trauma:
- Flashbacks: Replaying specific memories, especially ones of your partner putting you down, is common in trauma survivors. Rather than revisiting moments of abuse, we want to help you look toward the future.
- Intrusive thoughts: You might experience random feelings of shame or blame for how your relationship ended. It’s important to remember that you are not at fault for how your abusive partner treated you.
- Constant resentment: Feeling angry is one of the five stages of grief and a regular part of the healing process. However, if your resentment toward a past partner lingers, it might be due to trauma.
- Feeling lost: After an abusive relationship ends, you might feel completely lost without your partner. We will help you recognize your own worth so that you gain confidence in yourself.
The Road to Healing
The first step to healing your relationship trauma is acknowledging what you’ve been through. Unless you are ready to accept your relationship and move forward, it is incredibly easy to fall back into the cycle of abuse. Once you are safely out of your abusive relationship and ready to break the cycle, I will be here to help you through every step of the process.
Unfortunately, healing does not end here. From there, you have to keep yourself open to your loved ones. It’s easy to retreat inward and close yourself off from the people in your life, but that will not help you move on. Keeping your heart open to your family and friends will fulfill your soul and inspire confidence within you. This is also important to remember for potential romantic relationships down the line.
Sometimes it can be difficult to be honest and open with your friends and family when coming out of an abusive relationship. Again, feelings of shame and doubt might creep in. If this is your case, it might be time to seek professional help.
I utilize a type of therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR, to help my clients that are survivors of trauma. The physical responses surrounding trauma make it difficult or even impossible to discuss your situation. Using a combination of EMDR and emotional transformation therapy (ETT), we can learn and heal together. Reach out today to get in touch.