If a few years have passed since you were traumatized and you still feel fear, hatred, and vulnerability, and if you avoid new relationships, don’t accept it as just the way things are now.
Do you want to have relationships with healthy, normal people? Could your self-confidence use a boost? Press the Button!
At best, this man is a neurotic emotional vampire. At worse, he is a psychopathic or narcissistic emotional vampire. Either way, he’s an emotional vampire who will drain you dry and not care one bit, as long as his own needs are being met.
The idea that you have to forgive or you’re a bad person is untrue and detrimental. Instead of moving forward in your recovery, you expend energy trying to forgive and wondering what’s wrong with you since you can’t. There’s nothing wrong with you. You can’t forgive because the perpetrator does not deserve it and because what they did was unforgivable.
It’s normal to feel anger and even rage in reaction to being thoroughly violated by someone without a conscience and is a walking moral wasteland. Fierce anger and indignation — outrage — is an appropriate response. It means is that you know you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and that you recognize that you weren’t.
Fear is part of the aftermath of trauma. The fear expands beyond the traumatic event that caused it, and we wonder, “what else might happen?” We are between places of safety, out in the open, seemingly without protection or defense.
How can we prevent love from ‘getting in the way’ of seeing reality clearly, trusting our perceptions, and looking out for our best interests? It comes down to three things.
Ask yourself: Am I free from fear? Free from shame? Free from uncertainty? Free from feelings of inadequacy that I didn’t have before? Free to express my emotions? Free to share my thoughts and opinions? Am I free to be myself?
When dealing with covert manipulators, it won’t always be obvious that our boundaries are being tested, pushed, and violated. What better way is there, after all, to obliterate a boundary than to use subtle influence to make someone think it was their own decision?
The problem isn’t your beliefs or your cognitive biases or your vulnerabilities — the problem is that there are predators who are skilled manipulators.
While we do psychological cartwheels trying to keep it together or fix it or figure it out, they just sit back and enjoy the show, which is the result of their undercover handiwork.
Without a sense of our true worth, we see the skewed image of ourselves reflected in the eyes of those to whom we give our power, and we mistake it for the truth.