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Long-Term Effects of Psychological Abuse on the Body & Subconscious Mind

We are ripped away from the ability to love freely, openly, and fully. Instead, we are programmed with ideas of betrayal and unworthiness.

  1. Peace
    I've been reading a wonderful book called True Refuge by Tara Brach, and wanted to share some of my takeaways with those of you here who are still struggling with the long-term effects of your experience:


    Note: Some of this stuff involves getting in touch with old feelings, and that's often best done with the help of a therapist.

    After emotional & psychological abuse, we start to subconsciously absorb a lot of messages. We may begin to believe that our emotions and feelings do not matter. That our pain is not real or valid. That our needs are not important. That we need to repress our sensitivity to make things work. Perhaps even that our sensitivity is the reason the relationship ended. We're identified as "needy", which is one of the most shameful human feelings.

    We are ripped away from the ability to love freely, openly, and fully. Instead, we are programmed with ideas of betrayal and unworthiness. That we are not good enough. That our version of love is bad or wrong.

    Until we come face to face with these underlying beliefs, we will continue to experience those things in our daily lives, future relationships, and anything else we attempt.

    For many of us, those feelings are not on the surface. We'll think we did all the therapy needed, unraveled the relationship, got our lives back on track, and found healthy self-respect. Years later, we may go about our days, never thinking about the abuse, and never thinking "I'm worthless".

    But our bodies have their own memories.

    Instead, there may be an underlying depression or anxiety you never used to have. Sore muscles, chronic fatigue, chest tightness, insomnia, sexual issues, bad dreams, blood pressure, digestion problems... A growing reliance on alcohol or other mind-altering substances. A feeling of living on auto-pilot, saying and expressing love & compassion, but not truly feeling it anymore. Slowly running out of energy, like a sputtering car, when you used to make infinite energy yourself. The doctor tells you there's nothing physically wrong with you, even though this problem never used to exist. (By the way, always go to the doctor first!)

    These messages of worthlessness were deeply programmed in our bodies, manifesting in ways we often resent and do not understand. Until we make the time to touch them with compassion and understanding, we will always be at war with ourselves.

    If there is a part of your body that keeps acting up, listen to it. Instead of trying to analyze it or fix it, just listen. Even if all you hear is numbness, nothingness, that's fine. Offer it love & understanding until it talks. Sob, cry with it, embrace it. It will open you up to your own pain, and to the pain of all people. It will reconnect you with the sense of belonging in this world, and the limitless energy that comes with it.

    "The feelings you are trying to ignore are like a screaming child who has been sent to her room. You can put in earplugs and barricade yourself in at the farthest end of the house, but the body and the unconscious mind don’t forget. Your very sense of who you are—your identity—is fused with the experience of pushing away a central part of your life or running from it.

    The mysterious field of aliveness we call the universe can only be experienced if we are in contact with the felt sense of that aliveness in our own being."

    Tara Brach

    I've written a new book about long-term healing. Whole Again is now published! If you would like to be notified about future books, you can enter your email address below. This is not a mailing list. Just a one-time notification:

Article Author: Peace