So you’ve finally ended the unhealthy relationship you’ve been in and gone through all the ups and downs. You’re broken up or divorced and ready to move on with your life and be happy again.
Congratulations! The hard work is over! Or wait, is it?
You might be finding that you’re ready to move forward, but you’re struggling with letting someone in.
Or you’ve found a great person, but can’t get too close because what if he/she hurts you again.
Will you just be used again?
Will this person actually LOVE me? for ME? Why would anyone do that?
What if this doesn’t work out. Can I handle this ALL over again?
Why can’t I allow myself to just be happy?
OK, I think you get the point. If any of this resonates, keep reading!
Break-ups and divorces are traumatic. Deep hurts have occurred and it likely wasn’t a single event trauma, but ongoing trauma that happens over MONTHS and YEARS. As the relationship resolved you may have been cheated on, lied to, felt not good enough over and over and over again and you come out of the experience like you’ve been hit by a truck, run down, deflated, and defeated. It’s a lot to pick yourself back up again.
So the fact that you’ve entered the dating world again or are considering and ready to do so, first give yourself some credit!
OK now that you’ve given yourself some credit here are two useful tools that you an put in your tool kit so you can being your journey toward love and healthy relationships!
First of all, validate the protector within you.
There is a damn good reason why you aren’t accepting compliments, aren’t feeling good enough, feeling emotionally cut off, distant and fearful. Part of you is saying “We aren’t gonna let this SHIT happen again! NO WAY!” That part of you is feeling a bit sick of feeling like crap so it’s doing its job.
Lets pull out that compassion piece and instead of beating yourself up for feeling like this or behaving a certain way, lets say….
OH hey, I see you protector, you’re just doing your job!!! Thanks for doing you’re job, you have gotten me through so much, but you know what, I got this, I can handle this shit. I don’t want to get hurt again either, but guess what if I do get hurt again I can handle it!
Protector: But can you handle it??? SHE/HE can’t handle it ::points to small child balled up in the corner::
OH Look! who is hurting? Another part of myself…. a younger part of myself… what’s going on with him or her!?
At this point generalizing in a blog post gets a little difficult, so try and stick with me here, but the child is hurting, and if you’re reading it you may know why, you may not, therapy can help – either way we can still move forward.
We have a deeper reason as to why you have a protector… there is a part of yourself that needs love, support and guidance. Respond internally as you would a small child. Offer empathy, support and love. This is why we can’t beat ourselves up, because there is a part of ourselves that is suffering and needs love, no judgement.
OK number 2 – Practice calming skills!
This might sound lame or annoying but after the trauma of a break up that usually goes on for months or even years, you’re body and mind have been on high alert. Imagine being on the verge of getting in a car crash 24/7. Sounds horrible right? That moment of “OMG that guy almost hit me” but you’re feeling that ALL the time? Well, my friends, that’s a comparison to what you’ve just gone though and you need to get your body to learn how to let go and relax again and stop gripping the wheel!
I have an awesome relaxation video you can watch here. And hopefully there will be more of those to come, but you tube is a wonderful place.
Take a walk outside and BE with nature, relax in nature.
Take a bath and sink into the water.
Do whatever you need to do to actually CALM
Note: TV/scrolling FB/etc. doesn’t count. Take a minute to write down the difference between CALM and SHUT DOWN if you’re struggling with understanding what is calming and what counts. This should help you to make determinations.
Hopefully that is helpful in getting your healing journey started. Often support is needed through these difficult times, both by friends and professionally by a therapist. I urge you to find a therapist that understands the dynamics of trauma rooted in these issues so that you don’t spend the rest of your life longing for connecting, but your brain and body never allowing for it.
Best of luck to you!! Questions? Comment below and I will respond or possibly write another blog on it!