What benefits can you gain from toxic relationships?

Invaluable lessons

When you’ve been stuck in a toxic relationship, it’s so easy to stay caught up in the negative emotions, constantly feeling the pain, destruction and damage that  it has caused you.

Yes, the pain is huge. The on-going effects can seem far reaching.  There is a great sense of loss, anger, betrayal, who am I, how can I move on …. all of those and more.

But there is another perspective. There are some benefits! And please don’t think I’m talking utter twaddle, hear me out and read on….

What on earth would the benefits be of all the emotional turmoil  you have been through?  There’s nothing good that can come out of that.  I can hear you.

Every single experience we have is a learning.  

And the more you focus on the positive rather than the negatives, the easier things will become. What powerful teachings have you gained from your experience?

My biggest personal gain is that I learned to take notice of my intuition.  It was always there but on far too many occasions I chose to ignore it – and invariably to my cost.  Needless to say, I have now fine tuned mine and ALWAYS listen to it.

Your intuition is that gut feeling you get, when you instinctively know or get a sense of something but you’re not quite sure why you think or feel it.  And it’s really easy for your ‘rational’ brain or your ‘thinking head’ to over-rule it.

Intuition is like your inner sat nav, guiding you to the best possible route.  It might not always be what you want to hear or believe but it’s generally spot on. It is like a sixth sense and is a connection between your conscious and your unconscious mind.  (Did you know your unconscious mind is responsible for around 90% of your brain’s capabilities?).  I also like to think of intuition as guidance from my higher self.

Albert Einstein once said ‘The only really valuable thing is intuition… I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.’

How many times have you had those inner nudges and not listened because it didn’t make sense or it didn’t fit in with what you were doing at the time?  How often have you let your head over-rule your inner feelings?

Far too often?  That’s ok, that’s just part of learning.  So to smooth your way forward, start taking notice of your intuition.  You can do this by:
– Listening (meditation is great for quietening the mind)
– Feeling (what is your gut feeling)
– Trusting (begin to trust)

And the more you begin to take notice, the easier it will become.  To start with you may often pick up on things more after the event (you know those ‘oh if only I had listened to myself’ moments?) but by simply practising more awareness, you will find it much easier to tune-in and then respond from that point of intuition.

This quote from Kim Basinger sums it up perfectly for me:

‘I feel there are two people inside me – me and my intuition. If I go against her, she’ll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.’

Let me know how you get on.

With love,

Su x

ps. If you haven’t already, come and join us at Thunderstorms and Rainbows, a wonderful group of supportive women all going through experiences like you.


You’re not going mad, it’s gaslighting

You’re not going mad, it’s gaslighting!

It’s so easy to start to believe you are going completely mad when you are or have been involved in a toxic or narcissistic relationship.   In fact, I think this is one of the most damaging issues.

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse and it causes you to question yourself, your thoughts, your memory and your sanity.  You may think you are losing the plot completely.  So I just want to tell you right here and now that are completely sane and normal.  You really are!

My personal term for gaslighting is head fuckery as to me there is no better way of describing it. That’s what it does to your mind.  It normally happens so slowly and insiduously that you don’t realise what it is going on but before you know it, you feel confused, unsure of yourself, scared to speak out and you have no idea of what is real or imagined.

The way that gaslighting happens is often compared to the frog in a frying pan story.  If (for some weird and wonderful reason which I have yet to fathom) you wanted to cook a frog and you dropped it into a pan of boiling hot water, it would leap out as soon as it felt the heat. However, if you put the frog in a pan of cold water and then turned the heat on the lowest setting, it would stay there, not noticing the very gradual rise in temperature until it’s too late for it to do anything and it ends up getting boiled!

And that’s exactly what happens with gaslighting.  You just don’t notice it happening until it’s too late. So how do you know if you’ve been subjected to this?

The warning signs of gaslighting include:

  • Being told you are too sensitive, that you constantly over-react and take things the wrong way
  • Confusion – your memory of events is constantly brought into question so that you are  no longer sure of your own reality
  • Turning things around – you become responsible for any negative situation, the cause of an argument or you take the weight of ownership for something when actually none of it was your fault. The gaslighter always becomes the victim
  • You are constantly told that other people are liars, manipulative or can’t be trusted so that you don’t know who to believe or trust (this is quite often used to alienate people from family and friends)
  • Things that are near and dear to you are discredited – your beliefs, your children, your competence at work, your family, your capability as a mum/daughter/wife/friend etc
  • Blatant lies – often told with such conviction that you start to believe them
  • Intermittent praise and complements so that you think the perpetrator actually has your best interests at heart