How to Heal From Relationship Trauma
Whether physical, psychological or emotional, the damage done is very real
He was attractive, smart, kind, and generous. He invited me to spend the day with him, no strings attached. He paid for everything, despite me offering to help out, and we had an amazing time. It wasn’t the first time we’d met, but it was the first time we’d gotten to spend real time together. Two single people enjoying each other’s company and having a wonderful time. It was refreshing, considering I hadn’t been on a real romantic date with someone who shared mutual interests in nearly a year.
When I got home, almost immediately I felt a familiar feeling take over me. My head began pounding with a severe headache and I started sweating as my chest began to tighten. I struggled to catch my breath and my stomach was churning. I ran to the bathroom and began to vomit; I was worried that maybe I had food poisoning from our lovely lunch.
As I sat on the floor of my bathroom and tried to calm down, I thought about it more and, deep down, I knew it wasn’t food poisoning. I was having a full-blown anxiety attack and it was triggered by going on a date with a seemingly great guy. I’ve experienced this a few times in recent years and each time, it was after spending time with someone who either had a sexual or romantic interest in me. In those panicked, terrifying moments, my relationship trauma came flooding back and I was overwhelmed by the heaviness of it all, so much so that I became physically ill.
I’ve been through hell in my most serious relationships. I try not to joke about it, but the absurdity of it sometimes leaves me with little else to do but shake my head. I tell people that if they think about some of the worst things a man can possibly do to a woman he claims to love, I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced most, if not all of them. These were the relationships that started out with attractive, smart, kind, and generous men for whom I willingly opened my heart and home. They were also the ones filled with betrayal, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse, plus soul-crushing pain that threatened to take me out of this world, and left me spiritually, emotionally, and physically broken.