Those of us that have been in an emotionally abusive relationship and then gone through ‘discard’ or ‘abandonment’ will recognize this – you were in a relationship which was chipping away (or even rapidly destroying) your self-esteem, confidence and sense of joy. Then you are discarded, and suddenly you find a whole new low. You’re alone, you feel totally abandoned, and you want to make him understand how it could all work.
But there’s no closure. Simply a void of communication – it’s like he flicked a communication switch and could forget you in an instant.
The lack of closure in this type of relationship ending is the crushing element. Because you’re a ‘normal’ human being with compassion, who cares for other people. Yes, you may have emotional empath traits (which made you ideal ‘supply’ for the toxic relationship you were in), but right now you can’t fall into the trap of thinking it was your fault. In fact, that’s number one on my list of things you should NOT do when you’ve been discarded.
- Think it’s your fault. Yes, I’m repeating myself, but I know that it’s the hardest one to believe, no matter how many times someone tells you. Being discarded taps into our deepest insecurities, thoughts of ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I don’t deserve it’ and feelings of self-blame. But it’s not your fault.
- Think or try to fix it. Trying to ‘fix’ someone and to get your relationship back onto track shouldn’t be your job. Yes, you might think that you have the effort, love and willingness to work really hard – but the sad fact is that that isn’t a normal, loving relationship – which you deserve (even if it doesn’t feel like it right now).
- Think you can ‘fix’ someone who is toxic. I’m going to go out on a limb here and share my experience – he didn’t think there was anything wrong with him and so wouldn’t acknowledge that ‘we’ or ‘he’ had a problem. I couldn’t fix him, and constantly walking on eggshells, trying to always be the one to make things go right, and accepting blame to keep the peace and to try to make him see another perspective is exhausting.
- Forget to realize that you can love someone yet accept that your relationship didn’t work. This was a big ‘aha’ moment for me as I could acknowledge that I loved him but I wasn’t fated to be with him, that I deserved to have a stable, loving and balanced relationship. It helped me to step away – and more importantly to stay away.
- Live in (or retreat to) a ‘should have’ ‘could have’ world of daydreams and make-believe. I had this ‘rose-tinted’ version of the relationship where I would remember happy moments, daydream about things that we might have done together. It was like a movie that I played in my mind, but it wasn’t real. If you’re going to think of amazing moments you want in your life, then start with amazing moments that are just for you (– and then go and start doing them)
The fact is the moment of being discarded is a blessing in disguise. The massive problem is that it doesn’t feel like any kind of blessing when it happens, it feels like a cruel and unnecessary punishment – like a massive open wound that won’t close.
If you’re struggling with lack of closure in your relationship and in ‘unhooking’ yourself, then consider joining us for our three-month program ‘Get Unhooked,’ designed for women who are struggling with the ‘sudden end’ of a relationship and unable to move on. The next intake starts in June.