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Rachel further says, “The goal of recovery is to reconnect with your genuine, authentic self so that you can go out into the world and just be yourself, live your life to the fullest, and no longer be impacted by the abuse on a daily basis.” See Rachel’s articles below.
It is, then, a story - it happened but it is not now - you don't have to identify with it any longer. Instead, take back your rights and realize your own ability to make powerful choices about who you are and how you live.
No one toxic will offer you apologies, explanations or closure. The toxic person does not recognize their own issues. In any case, you have the power to heal without their participation. And as Mandy Hale says, "A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams or your dignity."
There are many forms of abuse, such as sexual, threats and humiliation, emotional suppression, violence, insults, bullying, stealing, manipulation, not to mention oppressive religious or cult indoctrination. But in each case, when someone puts you down, leaves you feeling like you can't do anything right, or makes you feel worthless and bad about yourself in general - know you did nothing to deserve that treatment and that this is abuse. It is not you, in any way or form.
Feelings will continue to come up, even ones you thought you had overcome. Let them come, experience them fully, and then let them go as you no longer need them.
The thought occurred to me, “I don’t want to just survive my life, I want to live it!” I also had the realization that I now saw my abuse as an experience; that I had successfully made connections between being abused and how it affected my current behavior. I could understand why I didn’t trust others, for example. However, the most critical question remained unanswered by any of the books, therapists, or friends I'd come across: “So, what do I do about it?!” So I started asking this question, and I was shocked by the answers I got. Continues...
You respond to your significant other in the moment with fear and anger thinking that what he is doing is the problem, when, instead, a neuronal pathway has been triggered and the implicit memory of your abuser restraining you is activated. This is what you are responding to in reality. The same thing occurs in response to stressors. If our experience starts to make us feel trapped or scared, we may respond in the same way we did when needing to survive the abuse rather than in a way that actually addresses the present day stressor. Continues...
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