Experiencing any kind of mental, emotional, or physical abuse in a relationship is devastating. Giving someone your trust and being vulnerable isn’t easy. When that trust is broken because of abuse, it can leave a lasting impact on your mental well-being.
Relationship trauma stems from that kind of abuse. It results from any kind of abusive behavior between romantic partners.
While there are several potential “causes” for relationship trauma, there’s never an excuse for one person to impart that kind of trauma on someone else.
Unfortunately, even after abusive relationships end, the trauma can linger. If you’re concerned you might be dealing with the effects of it, it’s never too late to get help and start healing.
Signs of Relationship Trauma
Far too many people who experience relationship trauma try to ignore the symptoms for too long. Others might be convinced that they aren’t victims, thanks to the abusive words of their partners.
Because of that, it’s essential to recognize and understand some of the common signs of relationship trauma. Even if you experienced an abusive relationship years ago, the issues can still impact you today.
With that in mind, some of the lingering symptoms often include:
- – Feelings of guilt or shame
- – Feeling like you don’t deserve a healthy relationship
- – Having a hard time trusting people
- – An unconscious draw to unhealthy relationship dynamics
You might also deal with a lot of fear, flashbacks, nightmares, and constant suspicion. People often associate conditions like PTSD with those who have gone through a life-changing traumatic event. But, if you’ve been in an abusive relationship, that can be more life-altering than you realize. That fear lives on, and can change the way you see the world and the people in it.
When Should You Get Help?
Again, it’s never too late to get the help and support you deserve if you’ve experienced relationship trauma.
However, if the symptoms above or any other lingering effects of trauma are impacting your quality of life, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek help. Therapy can help you work through issues of guilt, fear, shame, anger, and so much more. While therapy often requires getting to the root cause of your trauma, that’s often the first step toward healing.
Taking Steps Every Day
In addition to professional mental health help, there are things you can do to work through the healing process on your own.
Self-care is incredibly important for someone who has experienced relationship trauma. Regularly engage in activities that help you feel calm. Cultivate an environment that makes you feel safe and secure, no matter where it is. Surround yourself with people who also help you feel safe and will support you on your healing journey.
Finally, don’t be afraid to talk about your needs. It’s not always easy to open up after you’ve experienced trauma at the hands of another person. But, being able to effectively communicate your physical, mental, and emotional needs to someone you trust can make a big difference in how you move forward.
Daily self-care is important. Having a support system to surround you as you work through the effects of trauma is also essential. But, don’t feel like you have to go through the healing process on your own.
You don’t have to live with the chains of relationship trauma holding you back from a healthy, happy life forever. All of these tips can help you heal, but therapy is often the best first step. If you’ve been a victim of relationship trauma, either recently or years ago, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact Valued Living Therapy for more information or to set up an appointment soon.