EP 357: Stop Romanticizing Toxic Relationships with Sara

This episode is about taking the action steps to get out of a toxic relationship. Today’s caller, Sara, grew up in a traumatic home and recently broke up from a severely toxic relationship. She has such a high tolerance for trauma and toxicity, she hesitates to take the logistical action steps needed to remove herself and her daughter from the toxic environment. It may be difficult to listen to but you will also hear her strength, heart, and resilience.

It can be hard to see how unhealthy a relationship is when we have a high tolerance for abusive behavior. When we are in situations that trigger trauma, it is tricky because oftentimes, there are action steps we need to take to change the real-world reality of things. We have to put our deeper healing aside for the moment and take immediate action.

It is hard to make rational decisions when we are emotionally triggered.

Allowing other people to tell us we are damaged or to tell us what our issues are is toxic behavior. We don’t need someone else to tell us that we are not healed or are broken. Whatever someone projects onto us is a reflection of their issues. This behavior is abusive and gaslighting. It is a massive red flag! Don’t let them take your power away. No one has the authority to evaluate your wholeness or issues. If there is someone in your life who is doing that to you, RUN!

Coaches — When someone is in a breakup situation that involves legal stuff and needs protection, it is not the time to do deep somatic trauma work on their childhood. When someone doesn’t feel safe in their immediate situation their nervous system isn’t regulated, there is a fine line between guiding people towards their own answers and getting a strong feeling to give direct feedback. A coach’s job is to do a little bit of both.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Are you shoulda/coulda/woulding all over yourself? Is there something that happened in your past you wish could be different now? Are you beating yourself up with “What Ifs”?
  • Did you have a traumatic childhood and are you repeating it in your adult life?
  • Do you think you may be in a toxic or unhealthy relationship?
  • Do you see yourself as broken or allow yourself to be told who you are?

Sara’s Question:

Sara is going through a brutal breakup after three years together with an unhealthy, controlling person. She would like guidance on how to move forward in her life.

Sara’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • This is her first serious relationship.
  • She believed her ex to be her forever relationship.
  • They have a child together.
  • She feels she brought toxicity into the relationship based on her past.
  • Her ex is 20 years older than she is.
  • Her ex is very controlling and expects perfection.
  • She had mental breakdowns during the relationship.
  • She doesn’t have much support because maintains distance from her family.
  • She doesn’t have a history of mental breakdowns.
  • She had postpartum depression.
  • There is gaslighting and narcissism in the relationship.
  • She has lost herself in this relationship.
  • She feels stuck and doesn’t have many resources at her disposal.
  • She has wounds that create low-self worth.
  • She allows other people to degrade her.
  • She had spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical abuse in her childhood.
  • She has PTSD when it comes to transitions.
  • She feels like a hopeless prisoner in her relationship.
  • She has an opportunity to live with a friend.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Change the way she sees the breakup to consider it a relief that she is getting out of a toxic relationship.
  • Acknowledge her strength and know she is not broken.
  • Realize there is nothing she could have done to change the situation.
  • Stop wasting time ruminating over what could be and start thinking about what she will do for herself and her baby.
  • Reach out to her friend for logistical support.
  • Play offensively, take charge, and have her boundaries up.
  • Continue to work with a therapist and advocates who can help her make sound decisions when she is emotionally triggered.


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When we have a lot of trauma in our lives we have a high tolerance for abusive behavior because we are used to it. Click To Tweet To break a cycle of trauma we need to get out of toxic relationships. Click To Tweet Sometimes there is nothing we can do to change a situation. We need to break away from it. Click To Tweet

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