Guidelines On Beginning Healthy Relationships After Prior Traumatic Experiences

*Originally written and posted to Facebook on January 22, 2016.

When people are subject to abuse and trauma in a relationship, they tend to build walls around themselves to prevent further hurt in similar future situations.  We as humans survive due to the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms.  We have learned to be cautious of certain behaviors and activities because we have been hurt in the past and don’t want to experience that pain again.  That’s a natural and normal reaction to being abused.  

Sometimes, however, those walls become so high that the walls themselves prohibit our growth and healing.  Instead of seeing the walls as appropriate cautionary reminders, we see them as inflexible guidelines by which to live the rest of our lives.  No matter the circumstances, we can fall into the trap of repeating old patterns and behaviors, even if they no longer serve us because at one time they did serve us very well.

So how do we begin to trust again and truly heal from old patterns of abuse and trauma once we find a person who is worthy of a healthy relationship?  These tips are in no particular order and I feel that we as survivors revisit each of these aspects over and over again as we heal and grow in our newfound positive relationships.


We first need to be worthy of a healthy relationship ourselves.  Now, let me explain.  We’re ALL deserving of healthy and stable relationships but until we’re able to begin to participate in a healthy relationship with another person, we should refrain from embarking upon them.  We need to take the time to deal with our own emotional trauma, to be able to examine our own baggage of guilt and shame and to begin to forgive ourselves for our mistakes so we can start to value ourselves once again.  

Change the tape in your head.  

Sometimes we need to learn how to respond to people without letting our past cloud our view.  It can be difficult to evaluate each relationship for what it is instead of what we fear them to be.  Fear can be healthy…but it can also become crippling if we allow it to be.  Think of all the good things in life you would have missed out on if you had been too afraid to try.

Readjust your radar.  

We need to realize that the fear that once served us is no longer applicable in every situation.  If we’re honestly trying to change our behaviors, we need to realize that other areas of our lives will be influenced by the changes we’re making.  Benefitting from those changes include understanding that the signals we give off to others are changing and as a result, the caliper of people that are attracted to our lives will begin to change as well.

Stop taking everything so personally.  

When we experience hurt, the trauma carries over into every other aspect of our lives.  Our perceptions are clouded by our experiences.  In order to truly begin to heal, we need to realize that just as our reality is tainted by our experiences, so the reality of others is tainted by their experiences as well.  Not everything someone else does or says is always about us…and truthfully, even when it is about us, it’s not our issue to overcome.

Take responsibility for yourself and your actions.  

We are only responsible for what we say and how we say it.  We aren’t responsible for what another person hears or how they relate to the information we pass along to them.  In turn, we are responsible for accepting the truth in our relationships and that includes hearing unpleasant aspects of ourselves and adapting our behavior to more appropriate behavior if those aspects are actually rooted in truth.

Give yourself a break.  

In the quest to become the best person we can be after surviving trauma and abuse, we are going to make mistakes.  Probably several mistakes.  Own up to your mistakes when you make them.  Apologize for them.  Try your damnedest not to repeat them.  That’s literally all we can do.

Realize that change, and the happiness that will follow, is possible.  

The only sure thing about human nature is that we are capable of change if we want it bad enough.  We are all deserving of safety, peace and happiness.  Attaining this state takes hard work.  It means analyzing past behavior and making adjustments when necessary.  It means doing the self examination to work through difficult, unpleasant and sometimes even painful emotions.  It means knowing that their IS light at the end of the tunnel and knowing that you’re worthy of happiness.

These are just my personal thoughts and feelings about how to proceed in healthy relationships after experiencing abusive relationships.  These words are what I’ve found to be true along my own personal journey.  

What tips on beginning healthy relationships after prior traumatic experiences would you add to this list and why would you add them?  I’d REALLY like input from both Dominants and submissives (and switches!!) on this post because as much as we discuss all the ways that Dominants help their submissives heal, we’d be remiss to assume that submissives don’t help their Dominants heal as well.  If this topic applies to you…and i think it applies to most…i’d love to hear your opinions and personal experiences.  There’s no right or wrong in healing, after all…

~Beautifully Broken~

Break The Cycle


I love this.  

I completely agree that an abuser will tell you every sordid detail of their traumatic past to get their victims to understand their motives and prove that it wasn’t their fault they are abusive, they just can’t help it…and that’s absolute bullshit.  

It’s a choice to perpetuate the cycle of abuse and violence.

It’s a choice to raise your hands in anger against your partner.

It’s a choice to spit insults at your partner.

It’s a choice to slam things and punch walls to intimidate your partner.

These tactics listed above are all abuse…not triggers to abuse, not predispositions/preludes to abuse…they are abuse.  Straight up, 100%.

I was choked out by a live in partner in my early 20’s.  He could have killed me for all he knew, right there on the living room rug. When I woke up, he was in the shower, sitting in the corner of the tub, crying.  Ain’t that just too precious??  Jerk.  He wanted me to understand that he hit because his dad used to hit him and that’s all he knew.  Be that as it may…and it was the god’s honest truth…but it wasn’t my fault he made that choice.  He was angry at me for telling him to move out.  Like I owed him something, salvation or enough love to “fix” him or whatever.  No.  I owed myself the dignity of leaving the relationship. Four years completely wasted, save for that final lesson.

I was abused and survived plenty of trauma in my life.  I did not choose to continue that cycle.  I chose to break the cycle with my own children and in my current relationships.  I don’t hold people emotionally hostage or act out so they are physically threatened.  I made the choice to be better to others than what was done to me.

THAT is where my power lays.


This used to be me too.

For a long time, I was caught in a cycle of abandonment and intense attachments. I was either bigger than God or smaller than a speck. The mania and depression swinging back and forth like a pendulum. I was convinced that there was nothing I could do about it because I had bipolar depression and my brain was misfiring on the neurological level, causing all sorts of issues with my mood and personality, which was only exacerbated by my addiction and self harm issues. I thought it was all hopeless. I was almost resigned to a life of manic highs and depressive lows, usually cycling to the beat of my romantic and sexual life. But I had an imbalance of chemicals…it wasn’t my fault.

Then one day I watched a documentary about the mental health system of care in America. I watched as they discussed the true nature of psychology…as a pseudo-science rather than a branch of true medical science, reinforced by scientific evidence of any real merit. There are no blood tests to diagnose depression, let alone bipolar depression. There is no oral swab to check for borderline personality disorder. The only type of true scientific research that shows reactions for mental health issues are things like seizure disorders and schizophrenia. Most of the other major mood and anxiety disorders are presenting on scans just like addiction. The brain IS rewiring itself but that’s in response to external stimulation, not some internal brain chemistry already in affect. We are programming ourselves to be depressed and anxious and addicted.

We program ourselves, slowly over time. Avoidance of this issue and exhibiting addictive behaviors because of that issue make us retreat into depression and the cycle continues on, ad nauseum. It’s up to US to break that cycle. We can reprogram ourselves to become more self aware and to start taking personal responsibility for our actions and choices. Once you begin to LIVE your life, to actually feel and experience your emotions without pills, booze and whatever other distractions you’ve personally come to enjoy. It fucking hurts to feel sometimes. Other times, it’s scary and uncomfortable. But sometimes it’s wonderful. The payoff to happiness is slow going. One little accomplishment leads to the next and your character builds upon that success. So many people are asleep nowadays. They are intentionally ignorant to the state of the world, the state of the country, the state of their state and the state of their own bodies. Apathy is easier than proactivity…it’s easier to keep repeating the same old cycles and patterns than it is to break free of all those old paradigms and start something new.

They say the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. The unknown scares the fuck out of almost every one of us and that’s what manifests itself into depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders as we desperately try to control things we cannot possibly control.

All we can do is control our thoughts…and by doing that, we control ourselves, no matter the situation.  We can reclaim the power and rights to our own spirits, minds and bodies, to once again become free and unburdened by the weight of society’s cycles of depression, anxiety, fear, trauma and all types abuse.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

~Beautifully Broken~