Recovering from Toxic Relationships
Toxic relationship recovery is always challenging and often complicated. Sometimes, the process takes years. And sadly, some folks never fully recover. There are many reasons for this. So, it’s worth exploring some of the more common and important ones.
The aftermath of a toxic relationship can be just as challenging as the relationship itself. Many survivors experience significant losses. Some lose their sense of identity. Others, lose money or a clear means of self-support. Still others lose their sense of trust and faith in people, including themselves! Such things can devastate one’s self-esteem and lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. That’s why finding proper help and support is so important.
Getting the Right Help
Toxic relationship recovery is a difficult enough process when the survivor has little help or support. But survivors can experience even further trauma if they’re unfortunate enough to receive the wrong help. Most survivors want support from a counselor who truly understands what they’ve been through. That means a counselor properly versed in the nature of character disturbance and trauma disturbed characters inflict. And while survivors often understand that they probably have some things to learn to better protect themselves in the future, they certainly don’t need to feel unduly guilty or self-critical as a result of their counseling. Some therapists don’t understand this well enough.
Finding Adequate Support
Picking up the pieces and moving can require a heroic effort. And virtually no one can undertake this endeavor well in the absence of proper support. Of course, there’s no substitute for an understanding and loving family. But not every survivor has that luxury. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, there’s simply no one to turn to. And other times there’s no one who really understands, empathizes, and has the proper support resources to offer. But perhaps the most disheartening situation is one in which potential supporters, whether they be family, friends, children, etc., have been poisoned and/or manipulated by the toxic relationship partner. That’s when survivors escaping abuse can feel abused all over again. And that’s just one more thing that makes toxic relationship recovery so challenging.
Some big announcements are coming regarding Character Matters podcasts. And I’ll have an announcement in a week or two about an upcoming live program, where I can take questions in real time.