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  • Sara

How to Break Ties with Those Who Have Caused you Trauma

There are some people in life who just drain you. They’re the ones who are always complaining, always negative, and always seem to bring you down. They’re toxic people, and it’s important to have boundaries with them.


It’s not always easy to cut ties with toxic people, especially if they’re family or friends. But it’s important to do what’s best for you and your mental health. Here are some tips for setting boundaries with toxic people:


1. Be assertive. You don’t have to be rude, but you do need to be firm. Let the toxic person know that you’re not going to tolerate their negativity.


2. Set limits. Make it clear what you will and will not tolerate. For example, you might say, “I’m not going to listen to you complain about your life for more than 15 minutes. After that, I’m leaving the room.”



3. Keep communication to a minimum. You don’t have to completely cut off communication, but you don’t need to engage in long conversations either. Keep things short and to the point.


4. Avoid triggering topics. There are certain topics that are bound to start an argument with a toxic person. Avoid them if possible.


5. Set boundaries with your time. Toxic people are often demanding of your time and energy. Let them know that you’re not going to be available 24/7.


One of the most difficult things about healing from trauma can be breaking ties with the person who caused your trauma. For some people, the person who caused their trauma was a parent, close friend or family member, or a person they were previously in a relationship with. Often people do not realize how toxic the situation they are in is until after they get out of it. However, some people start to realize they have had enough of the abuse and decide they want to break the bond they have with the person causing them trauma. This bond that is created between the abuser and the person receiving the abuse is called a trauma bond. Trauma bonds often occur over time. The abuser often gains the other person's trust, and then the abusive cycle will begin.


Often times, people who are experiencing abuse get abused and then the abuser will love-bomb them, which is when they manipulate them into thinking the abuse was their fault or that they won’t ever do it again. This bond can be incredibly difficult to break but is also extremely harmful to the person being abused, and it’s necessary to break this toxic cycle.


When someone constantly manipulates you to believe you deserve the abuse or the abuse will stop you normally will believe it. It can take a lot of self-love to get away from a trauma bond as your lives are often very intertwined with each other. Your situation can also make it difficult to leave the person who has caused you trauma, such as when you’re already living with them, have children with them, or don’t have the financial resources or support to leave.


If you are questioning if you should break ties with the person, try writing down when the abuse occurs to remind yourself that you’re still sane and this is not okay when you are feeling like you are overreacting due to gaslighting. You could also try looking at the relationship from someone else’s point of view. Would you want your child to go through what your parents are doing to you? Or would you want your friend to be in the relationship you are in? When you imagine if it was someone else experiencing the abuse, it is easier to realize how real the abuse is even though you have been convinced otherwise.


Another step is to talk to someone you trust, whether this be a teacher, friend, or family member. They may be able to help you leave the situation you are in. Before you decide to leave make sure you have a plan, especially if this includes moving to a new place and cutting contact altogether. There are many hotlines that can help you find a place to stay or provide you with other resources you need.


If you have evidence of the abuse, you could also try involving the police to get a restraining order. If you have a therapist or doctor who is aware of what you’re going through, you can turn to them for help and support. After leaving the situation, it is important to continue seeking professional help to avoid living with untreated trauma or going back to the person out of guilt.


While completely cutting contact with your abuser is difficult, it is so worth it for your physical and mental well-being. Do not hesitate to use your resources and reach out to those you know for help. No matter what you have been conditioned to believe, you did not deserve this treatment. You are worth fighting for!

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