There are three stages of abuse and each one is carried out with perfect timing for the best impact.

IDEALISATION – Also known as LOVE BOMBING • Gifts • Days out • Weekends away • Meals • Your Soul Mate • Future faking • Constant text messages • Long phone calls • Constant attention. They are letting you know their expectations of you.

DEVALUATION – Put-downs • Comparing to others • Words don’t match actions • Eroding your personality • Destroying your confidence • Smashing any boundaries you have.

DISCARD – The discard can happen many times in this type of relationship • The withdrawal • They disappear • Silent • Secretive • Cognitive Dissonance • Mind Fuckery


If you are in the deep throws of confusion; either at the end or nearly at the end, of a relationship, you might be experiencing a need to know or understand. Possibly this may have happened many years ago but you still haven’t quite got over it…

Why are these types of relationships so hard to heal from?

The damage caused, puts you into a state of confusion, you have no idea the abuse is taking place; and like Chinese water torture, it happens very very slowly and it turns you insane! During the relationship you tell everyone how amazing they are; so when it ends they don’t understand what happened either. They may ask you ‘what happened, you were so happy’ and you don’t know.

You were targeted

In the IDEALISATION STAGE, everything you said and did was watched and noted. You were swept off your feet with the Love Bombing. Then they move on to the DEVALUATION STAGE, they start by testing the water, just to check they have the programming at the correct setting and, if they got it right, during the Idolisation you will be more interested in protecting the relationship than you are in protecting yourself. At this point you were addicted, your intuition was turned off and you will do anything for your fix. The attention you received at the start of the relationship disappears and you start to accept any little crumb they throw your way.

At the DISCARD STAGE, you might experience them withdrawing from you. They may not be as available as they were and this pattern can continue for while; each time they phone, text, become more present in the relationship, they are hooking you back up to your drug of choice and reconfirming you are the love of their life and you are their Soul Mate.

When they have had enough – perhaps they have drained you of your money – you can no longer support them in the way you did, or you have no energy left for them let alone yourself. They might have found a new source of supply and attention (because in the truth, this is what you have been to them). You are no longer fit for purpose!

They might suggest you are bipolar, and you might wonder if that is true, but think back to the time before you met this person and I would bet you were a normally functioning person in society. In fact, look back at the person you were before you met them. If you feel you do have a mental health condition please go and seek help!

Like you, they have poisoned and brainwash everyone else in their lives; the stories they made up about the other people they are possibly now telling the same ones about you.

This is about Power and Control

At the end of the relationship, one of two things happens; you woke up and realised you had to get out of this situation or they discarded you.

I believe the second one is the more damaging and I have been through both.

When you realise you need to get away, you have woken up to the fact that something is really wrong. You have taken a step back and you are looking at the bigger picture. You realise you can’t live like this anymore, this was my experience.

When you are discarded you go crazy, just like the other crazy exes they told you about. In this situation, you need to be really careful. You are going to prove them right.

They are going to play the victim. They are going to paint you in a negative light. They may have been talking to you in a secret language, using a third party to tell you what is going on.

The best thing you can do is hide.

It might be too late; you may have already taken to social media and told the world. You may have sent a barrage of text messages and emails, left voice messages. Stop now! This is giving them more fuel to prove you are crazy and that they were right to discard you.

There might be a need to tell everyone ‘it wasn’t me, they did this, this and this’. Don’t do it.

Inside of you is a child trying to get the attention it never received. That inner child is screaming for attention. Instead, go inside and seek the wound that so desperately needs healing.

If you find out they are seeing someone else, find somewhere to go and heal. Resist the temptation to contact them and tell them what happened, remember they think you are crazy and you will be reaffirming that you are!

Find a tribe who have been through this. This is a unique relationship, your friends (unless they have experienced this) will not understand. You will be expected to get over this quickly, but you are going to need the time it takes to undo the damage and release the trauma.

Don’t be sucked back in, this is a game to them. They very possibly are enjoying seeing and hearing how broken you are. I remember trying to go ‘no contact’ and getting a message saying how difficult that was going to be, that we should be together, we were Soul Mates… I remember thinking, I have got this all wrong they Love Me! And when I tried to contact them, being told they were turning their phone off in the evening and over-night as they were so busy at work and needed the space to clear their head.

Did you become the detective? Their mask is slipping and because you are no longer a good supply of attention they become careless. Your intuition is kicking in. The words and actions are not matching up. You know something isn’t right – but you don’t know what it is. Have you ever done this before? Probably not!

This is the time to really nurture yourself.

Remember they have mirrored your insecurities! This is the gift they gave you. You now have the opportunity to heal your wounds.

There are relationships where people get cheated on, and relationships that don’t work out for various reasons, but this wasn’t one of them. So ignore the people who say ‘you should be over this by now’, they haven’t experienced what you have!

Now is the time to heal the trauma and begin untangling yourself. Find where it really comes from. Like me, you may find a huge abandonment wound from Childhood.

In SHORT, relationships which are as bad, if not worse, than a longer relationship they may skip some of the devaluing stage and they will very quickly discard you by ghosting you; leaving you waiting and wondering what happened. BUT your pain may feel much deeper, believe me, I have been there as well!

You may experience conversations with yourself, they could be ‘if only’ conversations. If only you hadn’t done this, or said that or given them more attention. It is important to understand at this point it really wouldn’t matter what you said or did, this was going to happen. They were ready to move on. And why would you want to be in a relationship where they don’t want to be with you. Set them free and set yourself free.

When this happens, I urge you to step out of the situation, out of the constant thought process, ask yourself where is this coming from, close your eyes, and feel it in your body. Ask yourself how old you are when feeling this pain, and send love to that child.

You have been looking for answers, you have been trying to find out what happened… I believe what you experienced was for your own healing. For you to heal your wounds and to feel complete. You were targeted by a child living in an adult body. A person who experienced an emotional disconnect at a young age. How can one human being just walk away from a seemingly loving relationship with no thought or consideration for another? Normal relationships deteriorate. You wouldn’t be feeling like this if that had happened. The acceptance and respect for another person would allow you both to walk away.

A lot of the work I do now is around the original wound.

Helping you calm your body and mind. Helping people get the answers they are looking for as quickly as possible. Helping people pick up the pieces left of their lives. Helping them out of the fog. Helping them build better boundaries. Helping re-attach their intuition.

One thing that came out when I was writing Finding Lily was the extent people will go to protect themselves… As I sat there in Greece finishing it I realised how many similarities there were in my second one. I realised the common denominator was ME! I allowed this to happen.

When I work with people in this area I ask ‘I bet there were at least three huge Red Flags’. They think about it and say YES. When I look back at my last relationship, when the third Red Flag was raised, I was done. I give people three chances, that is enough. If someone hasn’t understood my boundaries by then I am done. As I forgave the person standing before me (once again) I remember asking myself ‘what am I teaching my daughters about relationships? That this is OK behaviour?’. I forgave the adult child who claimed to be really really sorry and to never do it again…


  • Elizabeth Goddard

    Author of the A-Z of Emotional Abuse and Finding Lily I help people break the invisible bonds that keep them trapped after a relationship

    Through my own healing journey, I know the damage emotional abuse leaves both in your internal life and your external, physical, and financial life because I’ve been there.

    This was a game and I didn’t have the rules. After an unhealthy relationship, I was left a shell of my former self and I’d lost everything; I was broke and I was broken… 

    I was stuck in a debilitating cycle of questioning and doubting myself- 

    “If only I had said… If only I hadn’t said… Maybe if I had done… Maybe if I hadn’t done… “ I thought it was all my fault.

    The very first part of healing was dealing with the invisible bonds the Trauma Bonding, which kept me trapped unable to move on.  I eventually realised it really wouldn’t have made any difference if I had said or done anything differently I would still be here, I might have been granted more time but I also might have been even more traumatised. 

    I believe the emotions we feel are trapped trauma and we experience over and over again until we remove it completely from our system. 

    And that we need to get to the root cause, and much like a verruca, if a tiny part of the root is left it will lay dormant until it is triggered again. 

    The problem with a lot of methods is they only scratch the surface of the problem and act more like a bandaid rather than a full solution…

    Every step I have taken over the last 20 years has brought me to this point to be able to spot the hallmarks of abuse and transform the grit into gold

    Each new level of understanding has expanded my toolbox.

    I am so passionate about the work I do with clients, seeing them gain the clarity and the inner healing is magical and to see their faces change physically after just one session inspires me. 

    And I love having a business that allows me to travel, for travel was something that saved me when I was going through my own healing journey. 

    When I’m not working on Revive Your Soul, you will probably find me in my garden tending to my vegetables, might find me walking along the canals, writing, or meeting friends for coffee. Or you might spot me at the airport…

    Elizabeth Goddard

     Author - Finding Lily & A-Z of Emotional Abuse and Emotional Abuse Specialist