Healing from a relationship with a person who has a unhealthy process
If you've come to a place where you are questioning your relationship - realising your partner is or might deploy several of the unhealthy and unreasonable behaviours towards you. You may recognise that you use some of these behaviours and want to change. Or you've reached a crossroads in your relationship/s including the one we have with ourselves because of the behaviours being utilised it will be a stark realisation, you may be feeling very low, alone or lonely and frightened.
Take a deep breath "BREATH" Just don't forget to breath.
It is deeply understood we will have many feelings, thoughts, sensing's once we begin to question our reality and recognise we are or have been in a relationship which is not what we thought it was. The prospect of doing something about it can be daunting and overwhelming, you don't need to do anything unless you want to and you choose too. I would say take your time, collect your thoughts, talk to others you trust, friends, family and/or contact an agency who will advised what to do and/or a professional counsellor to talk through your feelings, clarify your thoughts because they may feel jumbled and confusing. I would also say unless your safety and that of any children involved is at risk to think carefully about your next move. If not in any danger then take your time to clarify what you actually want to do prepare or make a plan of action of how to create your goals with the minimal disruption to you and your children's lives. If you feel you want to stay with the relationship, and that's a possibility, your next move might be speaking with your partner and/or engaging in relationship counselling, or one-to-one counselling if you are concerned about any behaviours. You may choose to do nothing since the behaviour is tolerable for you, don't feel you need to do something, or need to do anything because someone else says it's for your best. YOU know what's best for you. If you are not in danger take your time over any decisions you make; clarify your thoughts and act in your own time at your own pace rather than spontaneously in the immediate.
You've accepted that something needs to change! The only person you can change is yourself. If you have discovered you are in a relationship that is detrimental to your over all well-being emotional or physical and you are in pain and distress please do not compromise your safety contact a professional to gain support as you heal.
Please note: the information contained on the healing pages are not a 'prescription', a 'to do list' or 'instructions'. If you feel ill mentally or physically in pain, please visit your GP for a check-up. This information is just that information about perhaps behaviours which might help support healing from unhealthy relationships including the one we have with ourselves. Other people, including myself have used some of them to aid healing and growth. It is the readers choice to either pick up or leave down, accept or reject, use some of them to see how they might help support healing. You are the expert on what you might or might not need, no one else knows you as well as you do!
Possibilities not probabilities!
What if … you've been OK all along? Behaviours describe here messes with your inner world, your emotional world will be more than likely fragmented and disconnected in need of reconnection, reshaping and rebuilding!
If you are in danger you will need to protect yourself and any children if they are involved. If your partner is physically violent towards you or your children then a phone call to the police in the immediate is your best option in the UK dial 999 - safety comes first!
If you are safe you have time to gather as much information and understanding to clarify your personal position, to clarify what you want to do if anything and how you want your future to be! Information informs, enlightens and aids understanding which all supports any decision making and offers more options to choose from before any action is even thought about.
Below and on this stream of pages is information from my understanding of insight into unreasonable behaviours, your experience may be similar or it may be widely different . Nothing is set in stone so please keep an open mind as you read and gain hopefully fresh understanding into your own particular experience and experiencing's. Think possibilities not probabilities, clarify and think and rethink enlist your friends and family discuss your situation with as many 'trusted' people as you can. Widen your support network if necessary and enlist professionals who will be able to support you.
Carl Rogers of the person-centred school of thought said
“Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person's ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming me”!
Always look to your own experiences to inform your options, decisions and the choices you may or may not make - no two people's experience will be the same therefore any solutions or actions taken will also be different as you fulfil your personal needs. Safety first all else is secondary and has time to be solved, rearranged or changed!
Someone using unhealthy and unreasonable behaviours wants what you have ….. S/he can't have it in any real form so I liken this behaviour to a cuckoo who take up residence in another's nest, lays their eggs in the others nest and steals the other birds nurturance, warmth and experience it vicariously. The 'host' i.e. the magpie, the crow or wherever the cuckoo has laid its eggs can never prevent the cuckoo from doing so, no matter how they try. In a similar way the unhealthy behaviour sucks our self-worth, self-esteem, confidence, self-efficacy and bring us down to their level because they can't come up to ours; no matter how they might try. In the moment to moment of interacting it seems an impossible task for them to do, however that is a perception it is not fact and anyone can change their behaviours if they so wish to a) recognize what they do is unhealthy to both others and self, b) choose to change.
What they do is called levelling the playing field and it is playing to them, make no mistake about it. Rather like a cat who plays with a mouse until the mouse stops moving, once it has then the cat loses interest in its pray since it is no longer any fun so the cat moves on to find its next target. Every now and again I'd observe my cat returning to where she left the dead mouse just in case it was going to play. Even when I'd removed it and the dead body was no longer there she will still go to that spot for a while. Searching, smelling, sensing what fun she once had; and she'd want it again and again. She couldn't have it with that one so she'd move onto another, the cycle starts all over again. Play with that one in exactly the say way and sometimes if I caught her she'd look at me 'as if' to say its not playing now. We look at her and scold her and then straight away stroke her, tickle her tummy, tell her what a bad cat and a clever cat she is almost in the same breath.
This is exactly what a person may do if they deploy unhealthy and unreasonable behaviours, plays with us until you are as dead inside as they are. They will lose interest in us and want 'new' once they have sucked us dry and are no longer of interest to him or her and discards us like we are nothing. This 'nothing' however is how they feel about themselves, its either them or us and so survival dictates it has to be them at the cost of us. We are all trying to survive, however life is much more than surviving or existing. The unhealthy are incapable of 'allowing' others to be happy, congruent, autonomous or our self, for long and only in the game of idolise and bonding stages and doses thereafter. We are like the cat's human condemning and praising in the same breath. what we experience after the idolise stage is totally the opposite to our 'felt sense' our 'assumptions' and our 'first impressions' of what we 'know' of how this person behaves, or our overall 'expectations' of what another human being is like, this is due to the dynamic of cognitive dissonance, this can be heard when we hear ourselves say "I'm in two minds" "I can't make my mind up" or we feel icky about some of the behaviour or we dismiss it as a one off or their having a bad day. Add up the bad days and what have you got? 1 or 2 or many many more!
Some people may have a long term sense of wanting to end there life and some may have completed suicide if they have been around this type of behaviour for a long time. So we do need to take the effects of unreasonable behaviour when directed towards us very seriously. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or thoughts of suicide I urge you to take immediate action.
BREATH, TELL, CONTACT
share, seek help from a medical person such as your GP or go to your nearest A & E department and gain the support you need in the here and now.
Below are several examples of ways which others have utilised to support healing, and are widely known to support healing from such relationship; even the relationship we have with our self if we want to become more healthy in our overall way of being and well-being. My hope is what is written here will support your healing; by practicing some of these methods and creating your own you will find happiness, fulfilment and peace in your life.
Please note: truly healing, healing the wounds from relationship/s from living with a person or self with unhealthy behaviours will need to be undertaken with a knowledgeable and experienced counselling therapist or within specialized agency who support emotional turmoil such as woman's aid or domestic violence agency. Look in your area for these specialized agencies most areas will have such an agency. The repetition of unreasonable behaviour will have taken from you what can only be healed through a non-judgmental, genuine, respectful relationship; a relationship which is compassionate and affirming and cares for you and your well-being. This goes to those who are recognising they deploy unhealthy behaviours to because they will also need healed through a non-judgmental, genuine, respectful relationship; a relationship which is compassionate and affirming and cares for you and your well-being.
The exact opposite of what the unhealthy and unreasonable behaviours created and exposed you too.
Make it easy for your Self! Find what works for you and your journey - don't use or do anything you don't want to do heal in your own time at your own pace!
Take responsibility feelings and thoughts belong to the feeler and the thinker so take responsibility for your feelings, thoughts and healing and decision making will come, by taking conscious responsibility you will also be taking back your authentic power and control of your living. Don't whatever you do let yourself just float along this will also come when you have walked further forward on the road of healing. For now, you need to take responsibility for your healing. Try creating small goals for yourself to achieve daily this will help boost your self-esteem try using the acronym SMART which means Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Start with one small goal make it a clear goal one you can track its progress and one which is achievable and relevant to your healing and make it happen in a specific time. For example, today I will do? and then forget to do it. Plan and prepare to minimise any negativity from the decisions you will need to make from this day forward, don't do anything rash, on a whim or spontaneously, think everything through and no spontaneity since this may do more harm than good!
Go no contact some believe the only way to heal is to cut all ties with the person this may be extremely difficult if you are married to them, live with them and have children together or they are a significant family member such as mum, dad or a sibling. Love is difficult to give up! (see trauma bonding to aid understanding) . Going no contact will bring a whole new set of fears, uncertainties and worries of its own. But if your sanity and life is at risk if your unhealthy person is violent then your domestic life will be very miserable; going no contact is perhaps the only way to really reclaim yourself. But take your time about this, think about leaving for some time, create a safely plan for yourself and your children if you have them to consider but above all remain safe. Find out what you can and can't do in reality and enlist help from friends, family or the authorities, contact CAB and if you are in danger phone the police on 999 if you are in immediate danger and seek support from a trained professional such as a specialized agency who understands this situation or counsellor or psychotherapist.
You can heal. it will take time and effort on your part. You've been hurt and created a victim. You don't have to stay hurt or a victim. Your healing journey can be looked upon like an explorer of a new landscape. The terrain may be rocky, slippery and the wind will blow, the tsunami may hit. You've survived this far and eventually Your ocean and skies will turn blue and peace will rein!
Grey rock If leaving or you have left and you have children with them then grey rock is the next best thing to going no contact. Grey rock means having the absolute minimum contact as you can. Time and space is needed for you to be able to take back your authentic power and control to regain your sanity and build your self-worth and self-esteem back up. This is made extremely difficult if you are in constant contact with them. Grey rock is becoming as stubborn as a great big rock which will not budge, grey rock is becoming the dead mouse, not literally of course but to the person who is unreasonable, you stop playing in their field, in any shape or form, whatever has gone before draw a line under it wish them well and start walking the path of your healing. By disconnecting you stop feeding their ego and if you are not feeding their ego they will soon lose interest and move on to their next target. Because they will soon become hungry and if they are not fed they will quickly become starving.
Grey rock - is being as boring as you can be, retrain yourself to not react to anything they do or say. Do not responded to any drama they will create and do not offer them any attention whatsoever they will soon lose interest in you even if you have been in a relationship with them for 10/20/30/40/50 years they are that fickle and won't even look back at you or think about the pain and hurt they have caused you; once their interest is on someone else. Grey rock means having the bare minimum contact only as necessary and limited conversations with them if they pick the children up just talk about the children nothing else keep it short, factual and to the point. Do not talk about anything interesting about the children such as their achievements at school let the children tell their parent themselves, don't discuss new boy/girlfriend, new hobbies or anything which has brought you pleasure or pain. Make the conversations as boring as you can and don't react when they try to push your buttons, because they will, remember they know you inside out or they like to think they do. Make it hard for them to know you as you are here and now on your healing path, and as such not be able to manipulate you any more, don't share anything with them about yourself.
Make an appointment with your Doctor and talk it through with them. Enlist as many people as you can before you even get to the leaving stage. Your safety and the safety of your children are paramount and it is not a wise move to act impulsively without a plan of action. This would be rather like jumping out of the frying pain into the chip pan! Going no contact is and will be very emotionally charged for you even when the person makes you suffer you are more than likely trauma bonded to them and this is the why you need professional help to clarify and gain personal support for yourself. During these relationships your self-worth and self-esteem will more than likely be at rock bottom, just like a grey rock stood stagnate and you may have learned to be 'helpless'. It is essential you find a therapist who understands the behaviours deployed by someone with unhealthy unreasonable behaviours. You will need to go through an adjustment phase and grieve the relationship loss, the loss of your expected future and the loss of yourself if these are a figure for you. Contact and access support from a professionally trained and experienced counsellor or psychotherapist and one who is experienced in recovery from living and loving a person who utilises an unhealthy process and unreasonable behaviours, in the beginning the support of others is vital for your safety and that of your children.
Please also see useful contacts
Please note: No one is to be blamed it is what it is if you are the victim of someone else's behaviours safety comes first.
IF you are the one who deploys unhealthy behaviours you can stop doing what you are doing and you can change - perhaps the first thing to recognise is you actually have a choice so choose to stop using such behaviours and choose to seek support to permanently change how you respond and react.
So you can be validated, affirmed, supported and able to see your true value and worth as a person in your own right.