It is often that only when we are out of it, do we realise how toxic or unhealthy a particular relationship was. Perhaps we were too busy rationalising their behaviour, or making excuses for them, or sadly – trying to fix them.
When you’ve known the exhaustion of a toxic relationship, it can be quite difficult to “switch off” after it ends. You may have become so used to the hamster-wheel of thoughts that is your mind, that anything else seems foreign.
It is not unlike riding a roller coaster, with highs and lows and flat bits which lull us into a false sense of security; the calm before the storm.
So it can be strange to switch off this hyper vigilant mode when it is not required, and you may find that you doubt yourself.
If you take up with a new partner, you might find yourself:
- distrusting them, and yourself
- taking the blame for most disagreements
- feeling horribly vulnerable
- starting arguments
- unsure of what a healthy relationship looks like
These feelings can be tricky to manage, as they can be difficult to explain to others.
Not everyone understands the dynamics involved in unhealthy relationships, for example that there may have been love and that being treated badly does not necessarily make it easier to leave.
I have worked with many people recovering from such relationships, and some of the things we focus on in therapy include:
“Did I miss some red flags in the early days, when I allowed this person into my life?”
“What is hurting inside of me that I chose to stay with this person for as long as I did?”
“How can I avoid this becoming a pattern in my life?”
“Is there a way I can grown from this, and take away some positives?”
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if any of this resonates with you 🙂