Reactive Abuse: When They Call You Abusive for Reacting To Their Abuse

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Reactive Abuse: When They Call You Abusive for Reacting To Their Abuse

Imagine this. Someone is getting abused by their partner, be it physically, emotionally, mentally, or even, financially, and this goes on for a long time. And then something snaps in the person who is getting abused, and they retaliate against their abuser. The moment they do this, the abuser claims that the victim is being abusive towards THEM, and not the other way around.

They have completely flipped the table and reversed the situation and so now, the victim becomes the abuser, and the abuser becomes the victim. And that my folks, is reactive abuse, in a nutshell.

Shocking, enraging and so unfair, isn’t it? Makes your blood boil, right? But unfortunately, this is what happens to so many people out there, who are still in the clutches of their abusers and are tormented by their abusive actions.

Signs Of Reactive Abuse

If you suspect that you are being subjected to reactive abuse, then you need to look out for these reactive abuse symptoms:

  • Shifting the blame on you
  • Deliberately trying to confuse you
  • Gaslighting
  • Emotionally tormenting you and pushing you till your snap
  • Refusing to acknowledge their faults and instead always focusing on yours
  • Launching a smear campaign against you
  • Emotional, psychological, and mental abuse
  • Using your sensitivity against you

What Is Reactive Abuse?

Reactive abuse is a major part of the manipulation, and psychological abuse by the abuser, when they claim that their victim is being abusive towards them, whenever the latter tries to protect themselves and take a stand against them. For the abuser, this is the perfect plan to undermine and abuse their victims more.

When you are constantly abused by someone, there’s only so much you can endure and go through. In the past, you might have tried to tell them that how much they were hurting you, and how their toxic actions were gradually taking a toll on your mental health, but all they do is dismiss you off by calling you over-sensitive and weak. Well, reactive abuse and gaslighting does go hand in hand.

Listening to this over and over again breaks you down more and after a point, and you find yourself scared and brainwashed to even acknowledge that what’s happening to you is horrible.

Related: What Is Reactive Abuse

You go through this day in and day out, and then finally, one day you snap and let go. You scream. You shout. You insult them back. You even give them a punch back, if they are being physically abusive towards you. You finally take a stand for yourself and hold them accountable for all their toxic mind games and vicious actions.

Now before you think that you have finally changed the power dynamics and have taken control of the situation, your abuser takes advantage of your reaction, and claim themselves to be the poor, hapless victim of your “abuse”.

They use the situation and your emotions as “proof” that you are crazy and unstable, and that they were the victims of your abuse for all this time, not you. They hold all of this against you and go on to brainwash you more about how you are abusive towards them.

You are still reeling from everything that is happening, and before you can stop yourself, you find yourself trying to talk to them about what went wrong, and try to make things right. But the abuser knows exactly how to play you, and by this point, they are having a lot of fun emotionally tormenting you. They don’t care about making things right, nor do they care about the reasons behind your outburst.

Reactive abuse makes them hold the “proof” in front of you, and with the help of it, they keep on tormenting you, just because you found the courage to stand up to their abuse.

They keep on saying things like “you don’t understand me at all!”, “you only care about your own feelings. What about my feelings?”, “I will have to walk on eggshells around you from now on”, “you are like a ticking time bomb”, and the best yet, “I didn’t scare you. YOU scared ME!”.

While they do all this, you start questioning yourself, whether they are indeed right, and you are wrong. Whether you are the problem, not them. Whether it’s you who has got it all wrong and you were just misunderstanding them and their intentions.

You fail to realize that your abuser is really the ticking time bomb, not you. You are the one who has to walk on eggshells, not them. You are so deep in the throes of their reactive abuse, that you start to hold yourself responsible for all the things that are going wrong.

And just like that, your abuser has reversed the roles and has painted you as the “abuser”, and themselves as the “abused”.

Reactive Abuse: When They Call You Abusive for Reacting To Their Abuse
What causes reactive abuse

You start believing that you are actually emotionally unstable, toxic, and violent, you beat yourself up over it, and torment yourself further by thinking that you are a horrible person. You might even seek help to deal with how you “abused” your partner.

On the other hand, if you try to break all ties with your abuser, they will launch a smear campaign against you, and even get their flying monkeys to make matters worse for you, in front of other people. They stoop down to this level, because deep down inside they know that you have finally seen their truth, and the only way to keep you “in check” is by manipulating other people and their opinions about you.

The reactive abuse can sometimes be unfair to the victim, because it never does any kind of harm to the abuser, as such. Rather, it gives them an excuse to hold their victims responsible for something they did not do; it gives them more power over their victims, along with a humongous amount of self-righteousness.

Related: Projection: The Lethal Weapon Narcissists and Abusers Use To Manipulate Others

Examples Of Reactive Abuse

Example #1

Brian and Eve are in a relationship for the past year. Brian suspects that Eve manipulates him whenever they get into an argument, and then very cunningly puts the entire blame on him. Even if chooses to stay quiet so that the situation doesn’t escalate, she constantly pushes him and goads him into fighting with her.

Then finally, when he explodes and screams at her and insults her, she behaves like a victim. She puts the whole blame on him by saying that he is the one who screamed at her and insulted her. At this point, since Brian has completely lost his temper, he finds it hard to come back from his anger and calm down.

And all this while, Eve keeps on blaming him for everything – how he always ‘mistreats’ her, how he is always losing his temper with her, how ‘cruel’ he is to her, and how he is always yelling at her.

Example #2

Jack and Ursula are attending a party thrown by one of their close friends. Both of them are mingling with their friends and having a good time with everyone. Now Jack has had a few drinks in his system and he is clearly quite drunk.

He is sitting with Ursula and all their friends chatting when suddenly he starts to make fun of Ursula. Initially, it starts off with a bit of leg-pulling and harmless jokes, but everyone can sense that the jokes are increasingly getting personal, insensitive, and hurtful. Ursula is feeling embarrassed and humiliated and she requests Brian to stop, but he doesn’t.

So she bears it with a stiff smile on her face and thinks about when they will leave. Once they reach home, she confronts him and asks him why he had to ridicule and humiliate her in front of all her friends. He keeps on ignoring her and when he ultimately cannot, he gets into her face and shouts at her.

He accuses her of being oversensitive, a pain in the a**, uptight and problematic. He says that if she cannot take a joke, she is the problem, not him. He keeps on degrading her and when she has had enough, she screams at him to stop.

The moment she does this, he pins the whole blame on her about how she is unnecessarily she is fighting with him and making a mountain out of a molehill. He refuses to acknowledge that he is the one who started the whole thing, and is now blaming her for reacting in a way, anybody would have reacted.

How Would You Know Who Is The Real Abuser, And Who Is The Victim?

Reactive abuse can sometimes be a hard terrain to navigate, but one of the best ways to know the truth is by studying both the victim and abuser properly. Noticing and understanding their attitudes and behaviors towards their own actions can say everything about who is actually the abuser, and who the victim is.

Victims will never shy away from admitting their faults if any. If they make any mistakes, they will always know what they did, and will try to make things right; they are good people with pure hearts who never want to hurt anyone intentionally. Unfortunately, this is that one quality their abusers always use against them to play their vicious games.

The only way to heal is by acknowledging the toxic actions of the abuser, and at the same time, understanding what you did wrong, and working towards making it right.

On the other hand, abusers will never own up to their mistakes and will keep on pretending that they did nothing wrong at all. It’s the victims who should be held accountable for everything that went wrong. They will nitpick, and blame them for every little thing, even the ones which were out of their control. Not just this, they will mock their background, ethnicity, mental illness, family, and personality, and use social bigotries against them.

Abusers will stoop down to any level to protect themselves and their malicious interests, and will never admit what they made their victims go through.

How To Stop Reactive Abuse

These are a few steps you can take in order to deal with reactive abuse and put a stop to it:

  • Understand and acknowledge that you are not the problem here and that you’re being abused.
  • Don’t take their abuse lying down, and take a stand for yourself.
  • If needed, walk away from the toxic situation in order to maintain your sanity and dignity.
  • If possible, try to look for positive ways of interacting with your abuser.
  • Rely on your friends and family for emotional support, and talk to them about what’s going on and how you are feeling.
  • Opt for therapy.
  • Practice self-compassion and self-acceptance.
  • Know that whatever you are going through, it’s not your fault. So don’t hold yourself responsible for it.
  • Stop undermining your feelings and accept that the way you feel is completely natural.
  • Use humor to defuse toxic situations and also distract yourself.
  • Be more confident and assertive while dealing with situations like this, so that your abuser knows that they can’t mess with you.

Takeaway

When you are being abused, it is very natural to want to fight back against your abuser, and to put a stop to all the horrible things they do to you. However, try to be careful as to how you are fighting back against them.

If you give them a dose of their own medicine, they will exploit it and make you out to be the abuser, instead of them. They may try to gaslight and manipulate you into believing their version of what happened, instead of what REALLY happened.

Related: How To Shut Down Narcissist Manipulation For Good

Reactive abuse can be handled correctly and even prevented if you know how to react to your abuser’s actions; it might be tough, but it will help you protect yourself in the long run.

So think consciously about your responses to the situation in front of you, and then act accordingly. Know who you are, and what you stand for, and never let them drag you down to their level.

And most importantly, never believe all the horrible things they say to you and about you. Cultivate self-love and self-compassion in yourself, because those are the only things that can heal you from the trauma of abuse.

The next time you think about how to heal from reactive abuse, come back here; hopefully, this article will be able to help you even a little bit.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is reactive abuse still an abuse?

When you are constantly being abused, it’s normal to react and snap after a point. That is a very normal reaction, and cannot really be defined as abuse.

What kind of abuse may lead to reactive abuse?

Some of the most common causes of reactive abuse are gaslighting, emotional abuse, mental abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, smear campaigns, blame-shifting and manipulation.

What is the difference between reactive abuse and mutual abuse?

Mutual abuse is when both partners abuse each other in a bid to control and dominate the other into doing what they want. Reactive abuse occurs when a victim after being repeatedly abused, snaps and strikes back at their abuser in a bid to stop the abuse.

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Reactive Abuse: When They Call You Abusive for Reacting To Their Abuse
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Reactive Abuse: When They Call You Abusive for Reacting To Their Abuse

42 responses to “Reactive Abuse: When They Call You Abusive for Reacting To Their Abuse”

  1. Foxyfoo Avatar

    One short thing, because I could write a huge story on this.

    My intake of foul language from him apart from criticism, making me look unstable and everything you can th I k what emotional abuse is about took a toll on me, until the pressure cooker boiled to a limit, where I wanted to leave and he told me ” to go and fucking sit down in one place and I physically assaulted him and he got me done with the law.

    I handled abuse since I was 7 years old, so now this article has put things in more perspective.

    All I need is some help and strength to remove my self from further consequences.

  2. Pat Avatar

    I’m sitting here on the verge of tears to finally be able to put a face on what I’ve been dealing with.

    For years, my (ex) boyfriend has been micro-cheating, lying, gaslighting, all-out cheating, calling me a psycho-bitch, crazy, bimbo,scum…… during his smear campaigns conducted with other women. He’s gotten them to jump on his band wagon and take up his mantra as well. He’s dragged my name through the mud and convinced everyone that I’m a crazy, unbalanced loon and that I treat him like shit.

    For the record, I have treated him very well and taken the best care of him. He is physically challenged and I’ve always been there to support him and try to make his life a little more bearable. It was a delicate balance to help him with his daily struggles while taking care not to emasculate him in the process.

    Yes, I’ve lashed out at him and reacted to his abusive behavior. I’ve always felt guilty and responsible and also wondered if I truly was, in fact, the abuser…

    As of this writing, he is conducting yet another smear campaign against me. I received a text from one of his female “friends” that is threatening in nature. She is misguided enough to believe that she must protect him from ME. I could go on and on.

    Thank you for giving me clarify.

  3. JabberwockyGirl Avatar

    Abusers DESERVE the reactions that victims give them in reaction to provocation. How dare this person say that it’s wrong of victims to react to abuse and that they should repent for it?

  4. skysurfer Avatar

    As a man, I was in a 3 year relationship with a psychology professor and she has the traits of a High Functioning Sociopath. She gaslighted badly and did it well. During “disagreements” – she would always twist things around and paint it like it was my fault. In return, I would scream at the top of my lungs yelling “You can do no wrong! You never admit to anything. It’s all my fault!!!” – I never got any apologies. One time, during on gaslighting incident over my posting on FB to a female friend, she got terribly jealous over this. Told me we were laughing at her using ‘LOL’ etc.. Anyways, she went inside (it was dark outside) – I approached the kitchen and she had closed the glass sliding door. I slammed in to and almost went thru it. I opened the door and screamed at her why she did that and didn’t tell me. She then told me had I broken it I would’ve had to pay for it. So, yea I know all to well what reactive abuse is. Never again.

  5. Lydia M. N. Crabtree Avatar

    Bravo. Bravo. Bravo! Thank you.

  6. Chad Clark Avatar

    As a person currently dealing with this and having been charged with abuse. Is there a way to demonstrate in a court room that the so called “victim” is actually the abuser?

    1. Gracie Arce Avatar

      Did you ever get a response?

    2. Ellen Heyer Avatar

      @Chad Clark

      I was able to successfully do so, however I had to hire an attorney, and it took time and $$. Later, in counseling, I learned it is not uncommon for the abuser to actually use the legal system against their target (victim – I’m trying not to be one any more 🙂 ). I had a very sadistic abuser who I would say actually engaged the “system” to terrorize me & attempt to destroy my life. He did not succeed completely, however; he has caused damage despite my ability to exonerate myself and the court admitting he was manipulating them to attack me (I’ll explain).

      In my case, the ex-narc (not married), in retrospect, had been on a mission to paint me as the “crazy” on, as described here. He filed a restrained order against me, (I was told they “hand them out like candy) – apparently all a person has to do is go to the office, plunk down some money, make up some stuff – “she calls all the time, bothering me, etc”, and they are good to go. I couldn’t believe someone could just do this, so when I first went to court for the hearing, I just went myself and told the truth..lol. Well, it was just his word against mine, and he is a good con man. I was living with him, so could not go get any of my things, or go to what was my home (obviously this would be traumatic for me). I didn’t care so much at this point about not seeing him or calling him, however, I was horrified b/c I had this legal document labeling me as a “harasser”. That bothered me the most, especially after how much I endured, and also knowing he would get endless narcissistic supply from telling everyone this story of how he “had to go to this extreme”.. blah blah.

      After a short time, he began calling me, first met me out (he wasn’t supposed to do this either, however I wasn’t supposed to respond either.. but I was stupid, and he was a manipulative malignant narcissist (you know the score, I’m sure). Things progress to us seeing each other and me staying over at his (my former place) again. I asked him about the order, saying aren’t you going to remove that? He said, yeah, he’d get to it, make excuses, blah blah. He had no intention of doing so..it was a weapon he had to use, which he did. When he was ready to be done with me for the time being, one day while I was there; he called the police. And I was in violation of the restraining order. To the police, it didn’t matter whether he invited me (he of course denied). I was arrested and paraded in handcuffs to the police car, in front of all the neighbors watching, and I swear he was smiling. Then, jail, another new and wonderful experience. I know maybe for some people this might not sound bad, but I never had any trouble with the law, am a professional, etc; so it was very traumatic.

      Anyway.. sorry, long story short. After that I was so angry.. he set me up. That is when I got the lawyer, and with my story (which he believed), corroborated by phone records, social media, etc. (he was choosing to have a relationship with me!), the order was overturned and I wasn’t charged with anything (violating a restraining order is a criminal charge – I mean not like a speeding ticket – it would have ruined me). Both the attorney and the judge were disgusting by his using the system and said they wished they could charge HIM with a crime, but unfortunately there wasn’t anything that fit.

      So, it was possible. I don’t know your circumstance, but try to drum up whatever kind of “evidence” you can, or start doing it now, to support your cause. Fight this! Do not allow these @$#rs to get away with this. I think some, not all I’m sure, in the legal system becoming more familiar with this form of abuse.. ‘legal abuse”. The Narc did not even show up for any of the court proceedings (he was given notice).

      Unfortunately, because in my state everything is available to the public, the fact that he applied for, and did received a restraining order for harassment is still on the record – for all to see. I am upset about this. If you click on the item, it will expand and say it was made null and void and that he has misused the system, however, when people are “checking” on you, I think they tend to just look at that, they don’t open it up and see the details. So, it will forever haunt me. I think I will never get a date, because everyone checks up on everyone nowadays, and even with the court’s decision, on paper I still look like I was some harasser. I’ve been asked about it when trying to rent an apt. I’m afraid to apply to do anything b/c I fear people seeing that and am embarrassed. So, yes, legally I was cleared, but it has affected my life, and he experienced no repercussions.

      It is frightening that these monsters can damage your life, for no reason other than their own pleasure, I guess.

      Maybe if you talk to some domestic violence programs, they can help you find an attorney who is familiar with this nonsense. I was lucky, I had a very good attorney and he really hated the guy by the end of it, lol. He was expensive, though.

      I probably could have just left it, however I wanted to clear my name. Good luck. My heart aches for you.

      1. Emily Goss Avatar

        @ellen-heyer That sounds exactly what just happened to me. …good Lord, we weren’t dating the same guy were we?!

  7. Rinkratt61 Avatar

    I recently dated a woman for 6 months that claimed she was 8 years removed from a Narcissistic spouse, however she herself portrayed many symptoms of a cluster B personality disorder I have since read about. She continually said very strange things to me along the way. “I don’t want this to be the beginning of the end” I’m fucked up, I come from a long line of broken relationships” “I don’t want you to get tired of me” “I don’t want you to get sick of me” “I don’t want you to get hurt” well at the same time claimed she really liked me and “wanted this to work” She quite often gave me the silent treatment after a small disagreement, sometimes for days on end. She had a very short fuse and anger issues. When she would argue, she had a sharp tongue, her comments were full of hurtful cutting sarcasm. She also stood me up at least a dozen time last minute during our 6 months together. The last time she did this, I voiced my displeasure as to the continual lack of respect with the way she spoke to me and for my time. She broke the relationship off and immediately went into silent mode and would not answer any of the questions via email or text as to why?
    I was pissed ….. enough was enough I finally reacted! I had felt that she pushed me and pushed me until this final silent treatment resulted in me writing her a blatantly honest email (I’m not all that proud of but had to be said) about what I thought of her verbal and mental games and abuse.
    Her ego was pretty wounded as I could tell from the comments and projection of the exact behaviours she had always been displaying herself below in her response to me.

    * You are pouty, moody, childish and very very needy
    * You have ALOT of anger inside of you! Maybe from the divorce, idk….but you should probably deal with it before it eats you up.
    * You are channeling some of this anger at me
    * You have shown me zero respect in this past month.
    * It’s been all about you and your needs. But then I was starting to see a lot of that.
    * You know how to communicate, as you have shown me in the past, but somehow it started leaning into manipulation. I do NOT like to be manipulated by anyone!!!
    * To say you fucked me over is more like it
    * You think you walk on water-well let me tell you, you don’t!
    * You are SO serious all the time-you don’t know how to have fun!
    * Maybe you should get on some meds…
    * Part of me thinks you were trying to buy me.
    * I DO NOT TRUST YOU!
    * Well, all I can say to this is you are Fucking delusional!!
    * You just chose to try and change my life. YOUR CHOICE, not mine.
    * You might want to address your anger.
    * Nice to see your true colours come out before this went any further. I should have ended things at Thanksgiving.
    * You are just as slimy as the rest of the narcissists out there.
    * We will NEVER be friends-I don’t trust you at all.
    * I hope you are proud of yourself.
    * I still think ALOT of that unhappiness is still inside you-you need to deal with that
    * I hope you find your happiness someday instead of becoming a miserable, negative old man.

  8. LiZa Kane Avatar

    I know this scenario well. What has always been puzzling to me is HIS reaction to my reaction…..the two times he LOUDLY pushed so hard he finally got me to shout back (I’m just not a shouter…one of the things he pretended to love about me) he actually instantly smiled. He stopped shouting and moving around, stood looking at me in the eye (rare for him) and smiled. Not just any smile. Both times he looked as if he’d just had an orgasm. Not kidding. ???

  9. Gina Brown Avatar

    Thank you for this article. From what I’ve seen, MOST will stand by and watch the victim be abused, especially in job situations, for fear of loss of employment. MOST will not believe you and reduce the problem to YOUR character flaw (I.e. weak mindedness). ANYTHING rather than admit wrong behavior.

  10. Tyson F Nuss Avatar

    This can also form part of the Karpman Drama Triangle dynamic, where the roles of Abuser, Victim, and Rescuer can all switch around at different stages of the drama cycle or depending on circumstances.

  11. Maya Wołoszyn Avatar

    Get out. Now.

  12. Jennifer Mendoza Avatar

    Yes, run. I was in a narcissistic relationship with a psychopath that had ADHD. Went through gaslighting, manipulation, blaming me for everything. No use in explaining yourself, they will never admit to wrongdoing and if they do it’s fake. Be strong.

  13. Jakkqui Smolarek Avatar

    People may want to check out, and even join, the Narcissistic Support Group (on Facebook). That group offers much information, and more importantly, a lot of empathy, understanding and encouragement.

  14. Jakkqui Smolarek Avatar

    If you join the Narcissistic Support Group (on Facebook), you will receive much information and a lot of support. Good luck to you.

  15. Tony Sacre Avatar

    Oh get a fuckin’ life…or a support group!…It’s always somebody else’s fault and we need emotional help or a crutch, get a therapist they need your money…

  16. Mary Ellen Sikes Avatar

    Bernie and Trump. Really hate hearing and seeing them.

  17. Merla Nava Avatar

    men and women are need a psychological help especially those persons with manipulative attitude – the narcissistic traits or psychopathic traits. #empath

  18. Joyce Hahn Avatar

    I’ve been there…..

  19. Royal Lord Crystals Avatar

    THIS WHAT FEMINIST AND EVIL WOMEN ARE GOOD AT…AND WHEN THEY GET A TASTE OF THEIR OWN POISON THEY SCREAM ABUSE

  20. Lubi Lykan Avatar

    Ehm, sounds like Lea, again…

  21. Gretchen Mayerhofer Avatar

    Kelly Cassens. Yup…i was the bully. Lol

    1. Kelly Cassens Avatar

      Well you are kind of intimidating…NOT!! What an Asshat!!

  22. Donna-Michelle Magann Avatar

    Get out. I know that is easy to say and so damn hard to do but trust me when I tell you that once you do you will look back and say why did I stay so long? Hugs and strength to you.

  23. Lee Horrocks Avatar

    Yeah, been there.

  24. Lindsey Taylor Avatar

    I’m not falling for this crap again. After years of lies.

  25. Joe Cord Ero Avatar

    This is Israel exactly.

  26. Cindy Hendrix Avatar

    I pay my therapist to tell me what’s in this article. Her reply was “wasn’t it to much energy to extend when I told them all off”. Yes, I’m shaking my head. It’s like going to a tea party talking to her.

  27. Cindy Hendrix Avatar

    This is how I feel going up against by late husbands siblings. They abandon our son and I during and after my husbands death using years of BS against me and can’t understand why I finally exploded. I’m wondering why I even tried. Maybe, b/c recently it was my sons birthday they didn’t acknowledge either.

  28. Katey Myers Avatar

    Abuse is subjective. Just know your out.

  29. Rannie C. Agustin Avatar

    to stop anyone from being abused, abusive reaction is necessary. abuse is a mental disease that requires equal or wxceeding force to be healed.

    1. Rannie C. Agustin Avatar

      Valerie Drake. want a discussion?

    2. Valerie Drake Avatar

      Yes…please

    3. Valerie Drake Avatar

      I tend to agree..that to stop abuse…sometimes an abusive reaction is necessary…..i understand that totally and have been there…but on the other hand …of letting go…and just walking away…taking the higher road…that sort of stuff…i also believe in it….so I’m torn…i suppose… it mainly depends on the circumstances involved….your thoughts …

    4. Rannie C. Agustin Avatar

      Abused persons or victims must not show any respect or fear to predators. The abusers must be confronted and if the situation warrants engagement, engage. Sick people, if tolerated, avoided or fear, are mostly reinforced and find satisfaction. They must be countered with abusive reaction at the first offense for them to contained in reversed and defensive situation. They will refrain from doing their stupidity. A lot of studies are concluded with same findings. They call it operant conditioning. Abusers with normal sensitivity are commonly respond to the reactions with withdrawal but extremely sick or psychotic samples are usually not responsive which require elimination or termination.

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When you’re healing from emotional abuse, it can be a little bit difficult to know where you stand. You can have good days, and then suddenly you’re rocked with a terrible day where you can’t stop thinking about the abusive person in your life. This is because recovery is never a straight line. And there’s also something called the trauma bond that’s a natural reaction to the abuse you’ve endured.

You may have heard of the trauma bond before. But we’re going to do a quick recap of what it is exactly (just in case you haven’t). And then we’re going to get into the six signs that you may still be in the trauma bond.

And then at the end, naturally, we’re going to talk about what to do if you are still in the trauma bond.


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Recovering from a toxic relationship is not as easy as most people consider it to be. You might have left your abusive partner and finally escaped from the hellhole you were in, but healing from the trauma and pain left by toxic relationships can be hard to accept and deal with.

In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described the 5 stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, paving the way for a deeper understanding of grief in the field of mental health. More than 50 years have passed since then, but these 5 stages are still used as a framework to describe many of the experiences of grief and grieving from traumatic events.

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When you are raised by a BPD mother, more often than not your childhood is characterized by fear, anguish, anxiety, and trauma. From a very young age, you learn to tread on eggshells because you never know what might trigger her or set her off. You never knew how she would react, which is why you were in a constant


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