Toxic and abusive relationships can be very hard to get out of. They are physically, financially and mentally draining. Relationships of this kind can have severe consequences for your mental health, and can even be fatal in some circumstances. Not only are they damaging for you, but they can have lasting effects on your children. If you are dealing with controlling behaviour, infidelity, constant put downs and are losing your sense of self and confidence – you are in a toxic relationship. In this article I don’t only come from the place of therapist, but of someone who has been through this before in a huge way. So how do you get out of a toxic relationship?
1. Make A Plan
Start telling friends and family what you are planning. Start putting away money where you can, in an account he doesn’t know about. Get all of your important documents together like birth certificates and passports etc and keep them at someone’s house that you trust. Slowly start moving your stuff out in a way that they won’t notice, because in my case my ex threw out EVERYTHING I owned including all the kids clothes and toys, and you want to make sure you have some kind of backup clothing etc. Start asking about what financial assistance you can receive from the government and also what protection you can get if things go sour (which with dickheads like this – they probably will).
2. Seek Professional Help
Coming out of a toxic relationship can be incredibly hard. You may feel like you have no idea who you are, where you’re going or what you should do next. It’s always a good idea to get professional help from somebody who is unbiased and trained, that can see your life from the outside and give you some perspective and tools to deal with it all. Don’t try and do it alone.
3. Love Yourself
Take care of yourself. Read/Listen to as many self-help and confidence books as you can get your hands and ears on. Dedicate time to pamper yourself, do things you love, eat some cake. Buy a new vibrator (for the best ones look here!) YOU GOT THIS.
4. STOP TALKING TO YOUR ABUSER
When I left my narcissistic ex, he used to call/email/message me 24/7. Literally gave me no break from the constant tirade of abuse and threats. When I blocked one number, he would get another one and start abusing me with that. What I learned very quickly, was that he thrived on my responses. Without my responses – he would self destruct. The best way to conserve your energy is to keep your discussions to an absolute minimum and only if you have to make arrangements with the children etc. Do NOT go down the rabbit hole of accusations and defense – because you simply wont win.
Here below is an episode of a podcast I did with a woman called Stacey who works with women leaving toxic, abusive relationships. I have had a lot of great feedback about this episode and it has helped a lot of women. Please share with anyone you know who may find it useful.
It may seem super daunting and scary, but you can do this. I did it alone with 3 young kids and no job, and yes it was hard, but I am SO glad I did it sooner rather than later and I am so happy now in my life. I still have my down days and I’m still dealing with him in court 7 years later, but it’s all worth it for my mental health and freedom.
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