This could be called the “Am I crazy?” stage. It means realising that something doesn’t make sense, but not knowing how, what, or why. This stage can sometimes happen during the relationship, or it can happen during the breakup when you start to realise something doesn’t feel right. While few endings are pleasant or pain-free, ending a toxic relationship has the added distortion of feeling freeing, yet confusing and disorienting. Sometimes victims wonder if leaving is the right choice, or if they are imagining or exaggerating all of the bizarre events that don’t make sense. Many victims struggle during the stage, asking, “Was it my fault? Did I deserve this?”
This is the stage when you research everything…… Google becomes your best friend and there’s nothing you haven’t read about narcissism, emotional abuse, and toxic relationships. You know something is strange with the person’s behaviour, but researching everything and anything about it gives you the terminology to understand your experiences. research. When something doesn’t feel right, our human instinct is to try to make sense of it to try understand. This behaviour serves to gain clarity and understanding but can also have added benefit of being self-soothing. Sometimes victims find that they become obsessive about researching and understanding as a way to heal.
This is when the research starts to slow down, and the victim starts to make sense of their experiences — even if there is still residual pain, grief, and resentment. This initial surge of understanding can be freeing and calming, as it feels empowering to bring clarity to a situation that feels muddled and confusing. The key element of this stage is the clarity that there was something beyond your control, you were powerless to stop or change it, and it is not your fault.
This is when you take steps to distance yourself from them, physically and emotionally. For some, this stage comes at the beginning, sometimes before they even realise the type of person you were dealing with, especially if you were discarded. For others, breaking free happens after they realise that they need to leave in order to stay safe and healthy.
Usually, this stage takes the form of developing more of an understanding of who you are because you realise that this is the only way to fully heal. This is usually the stage when people reach back out to family and friends who had been pushed away during the relationship, and otherwise try to piece together the broken pieces from the chaos that has taken place over the past few months or even years. During this stage, it is important to understand and acknowledge that it is okay to admit that you were human and imperfect during a relationship, that you inevitably made mistakes, but you are not to blame for any malicious cruelty that unfolded.
Many well known psychological abuse experts report that finding the meaning from your experience is an essential part of the healing process, as it helps you understand how to avoid these people in the future. Many people who have had a toxic and abusive relationships repeat these patterns again and again. They come to therapy hopeless and exasperated, saying ‘I don’t know what i’m ding wrong to attract these people’ It is usually during this time we discover that they did not take the time needed to fully heal – not only from experience but also to develop understanding and meaning of their experience to recognise red flags in the future and attract people who they want to be with.
As an ex-athlete I’ve always advocated the benefits of keeping in shape physically, but it’s just as important to look after your mental wellbeing. Book a session with Wendy, she’s the person to help you look after your brain just as you would your body.
5 x Olympic Skier and presenter of BBC Ski Sunday.
Dare to dream big and Wendy’s THE person to help get you there.
X Factor winner with a long list of sell out tour successes under her belt.
The most exciting thing in the world is getting a chance to tear it all up and start again. Keep all the things you want and throw out everything you don’t. Wendy will help you do just that!
Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)
It’s great to have a leading psychotherapist such as Wendy in the Cheshire area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.
Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.