One of the reasons it’s so hard to break away from your abuser is a lack of inner safety.
Insecure attachment is not the same as love. Love is selfless; emotional attachments are selfish. Ironically, you became attached to your abuser from a need for safety.
Your abuser exploited your insecurities, primarily your need to feel safe. They may have started grooming you with tiny little gestures, doing little things to win your trust. Then came the more significant gestures; there to soothe your hurt feelings with grand claims and statements to never hurt you. You believed their statements and became dependent on them to meet that need.
Your abuser groomed you to believe they were the only one you can trust.
It’s no wonder it’s difficult to break free of this emotional attachment and not stop the tears after breaking free.
You’re experiencing high levels of anxiety — a constant fear of the future and often the past. Anxiety sets our nervous system into overdrive, activating our survival responses, then dumping cortisol into the body at high rates.
Anxiety also affects our ability to control our thoughts. It isn’t easy to feel a sense of inner safety with racing thoughts. Rumination and a powerful possibility of returning to your abuser to stop or calm the chaos are at their highest a short time after we have made the break.
Growing beyond this attachment takes patience, time, a lot of support, and inner strength. Most traumatized people will not trust anyone or anything, including themselves — even when they know going back to their abuser is not in their best interest.
Inner safety must be established for recovery to take place.
You can create your inner sense of safety without having to go back to the chaos you just escaped beginning with consistent breathwork practices (and a few others). Breathwork can alleviate fear while creating a safe container within ourselves.
Breathing studies show how breathwork affects the mind and body by “increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor and alertness, reduced symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.” — ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Andrea Zaccaro, Andrea Piarulli, […], and Angelo Gemignani
When we are less anxious, we can process our thoughts better, which means many of us who are challenged with a lack of inner safety can focus on sorting out fact from fiction and create a much-needed safe container within ourselves.
Moving from an insecure attachment to a more secure one will be much easier when you have consistent practices that will help you take ownership of your life.
When you hold yourself accountable, you can begin to trust yourself again, which means a sense of inner safety is created, and self-worth increases.
As a bonus, when you hold a sense of safety, your thoughts are more precise, and you can process the lessons from this relationship, preventing you from repeating the same patterns.
If you need support during deciding to leave or after you have left, please develop a support system. You can also reach out to me by DM or the link in my bio.
Be Well and Grow with Love.