“Boundaries help us to learn where we start and the other person begins.” Dr. Tiffany
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What is trauma?
Trauma is defined as an emotional response to a deeply distressing event. Once one experiences trauma, they are never the same. Trauma alters identity, beliefs and how one views themselves and the world.
What is relationship trauma?
Relationship trauma happens is when a person experiences prolonged emotional or physical distress at the hand of someone that they love or have been connected to.
Signs of emotionally traumatic relationships
When a person is involved in an emotionally traumatic relationship, they may not notice the signs from the beginning. The person may appear charming and can often start off the relationship love-bombing to “win” over their partner’s affection and trust.
Unaware of it, their actions may be mistaken for love and affection. However, their actions may very well be rooted in manipulation, power and control. Over time, their true motives and intentions rise to the surface. By that time, a great deal of emotional drama or abuse.
How Trauma and Boundaries are Interconnected
Setting boundaries can be a struggle. You may not have ever had it modeled for you and therefore, may not know how to go about doing so. Life circumstances and experiences play have a big impact on your ability to set boundaries. For instance, poverty, abuse, divorce, addiction or growing up in a home where addiction is present, all impact boundaries.
How trauma shows up in relationships
When a person experiences trauma, their view of themselves, life and people become foggy as they are shaded by the pain of their experiences. When trauma is left unprocessed and unhealed, their relationships may be unhealthy.
It is my belief that when wounds are unhealed, people tend to attract partners that confirm their pain and their view of themselves. This leads to them struggling to set clear boundaries and realistic expectations, often putting a strain on their relationships.
This is why it is important to take time to do your own inner work BEFORE dating or marriage. This is also why it is important to ask the right questions during the dating phase, which some people healing with trauma struggle to do.
How To Set Healthy Boundaries
There are things that you can implement to begin healing and setting healthier boundaries in relationships. Many people do not get this far because they simply do not know what to do. The healing process is not an easy one but I assure you, it is worth it.
Commit To Your Healing Journey
Committing to your healing journey requires faith that a better version of you is waiting on the other side. Remember that the road ahead will be a process and will look different from another person’s process. It may get hard but make up in your mind right now to stick it out.
Find A Mental Health Professional
The next step is to hire a mental health professional. Searching for a therapist can be equated to a nice pair of comfortable shoes and Winter Coat. You have to feel comfortable and safe with them. They will handle delicate experiences and therefore, must be a good fit.
Hire A Life Coach
Life Coaches can be helpful during this time, particularly with accountability, support, and encouragement. They may also help reinforce tools learned from therapy.
Get In A Supportive Accountability Community
Having a positive and supportive community is vital for support and accountability. We believe that we are made to be connected to others. Isolation can be detrimental to the healing process. When times get rough, the natural response will be to isolate out of fear, guilt or shame of past experiences. Being in a supportive community will help surround you with others that can validate your experiences, non-judgmentally.
Journaling is an excellent way to share feelings and emotions without restraint. Journaling can also serve as a tool processing hurt and pain from the past. You will also be able recognize patterns and see your growth over time.
Healing is a process that will be continual. Expect that things will seem to feel worse before they get better. This is the time when people are tempted to give up because they are not seeing the results they envisioned. Hang on anyhow! With time, improvements will happen and you will begin to feel some relief. If you are in need of some support, consider joining our 12 week coaching program called Relationship Voice Academy.
It is design for women that are motivated to transform how they do relationships with others. In the program, we focus on 4 core areas of past traumatic relationships : Awareness of toxic patterns, Limiting Mindsets, Disrupting the cycle, and rebuilding a new way of connecting. Schedule a time to meet with a member of our staff to learn more about the program or to sign up for individual coaching.
To learn more about how to set boundaries, check out our training on Rockin’ Relationships With Sexy Boundaries from last year’s April Virtual HEAL Retreat.
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