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My past haunts me

My past haunts me

My ex-partner was toxic and manipulative. His behaviors blurred the line between love and control, and despite differences in religion, I defended him against my family. However, things became extreme and he started scaring me. His actions, including repeated cheating, became aggressive and frightening. He emotionally tortured me and even resorted to physical force. Eventually, I found the courage to end it. 

I’m 24. Today, I’m in a relationship with a man who treats me well. However, the lingering trust issues from my past haunt me, causing anxiety. I acknowledge that it’s unfair not to trust my current partner, but the scars of my past continue to affect my present relationship. How do I overcome the trauma?

Answered by Kapil Sharma, counseling psychologist, Nepal Institute of Mental Health 

Overcoming such a toxic relationship requires both time and intentional effort. I’m sorry to hear about the challenges you experienced, and I acknowledge the courage it took for you to share your experience.

The first step is to acknowledge your feelings. Recognize that having trust issues is normal, and allow yourself to experience these emotions without judgment. Would you consider journaling your thoughts and feelings? Doing so can provide emotional awareness regarding your stressors or triggers. Journaling serves as a therapeutic method to process your emotions and track your progress throughout the journey. It may help you gain a different perspective and think outside the box.

Secondly, engaging in open communication opens the door for understanding. Talk to someone trustworthy, it doesn’t necessarily have to be your current partner, but choose someone you feel is reliable. It’s crucial to share and vent your feelings, fostering a sense of release and connection during the healing process. Expressing yourself can be a vital step towards gaining support and navigating through the emotional complexities of recovery.

Also, engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself. Reflect on your growth and resilience, acknowledging the progress you’ve made. As you transition, it’s essential to recognize and appreciate your journey. Reflecting on your growth and resilience can serve as a source of strength and motivation as you continue moving forward. Acknowledge the strength it took to live through a toxic relationship and appreciate the progress you have made. Recognizing that you’ve moved beyond the confines of that relationship to be here today is a significant achievement. Celebrate the fact that you’ve chosen a path towards healing and growth, and embrace the positive changes you’ve implemented in your life. 

About the present, understanding patterns can empower you to recognize similar situations and navigate them more effectively. It’s crucial to comprehend that trust is built over time, and having realistic expectations for both yourself and your partner is essential. Recognize that not everything can be erased from your mind instantly. Building trust is a journey, not an instantaneous destination. Focus on building self-confidence and self-worth, recognizing that you are going through a challenging time. Engage in self-care, surround yourself with positive influences, and seek out uplifting experiences. Practice self-compassion and avoid self-blame.

Healing is a unique journey for each individual, so it’s perfectly okay to seek professional support. Professional assistance in self-care paves the way for a brighter and healthier future. It’s important to understand that the healing process takes time. By reaching out to professionals, you equip yourself with valuable tools and guidance, creating a supportive environment that facilitates personal growth and recovery. Remember, investing in your mental well-being is a worthwhile endeavor on the path to a more fulfilling and resilient life.


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