Photo by Dương Trí on Unsplash

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 


You might be in the throes of confusion; either at the end or nearly at the end, of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship. This might have happened years ago and you still haven’t quite got over that one…

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 abuse is taking place; it is like Chinese water torture, it happens very very slowly and it turns you insane!

You were targeted

There is something magical about you, something pure, your energy, your creativity, your fun, your laughter; that is why you were picked and groomed!

It was done very subtly. You fell in love with yourself (hold that thought)!

Everything you said and did was watched and noted. You were swept off your feet with compliments, gifts, days out, meals out, your every need was catered for (if this didn’t happen, or on a lesser scale, I will address this in a moment). You woke in the morning to find a message from them; this was deliberate, ensuring they were the first thing you thought about. And perhaps they did the same at the end of the day, sweet dreams…

From Psychopath Free | Jackson MacKenzie | Six Major techniques used to brainwash you.

  1. We have so much in common
  2. We have the same hopes and dreams
  3. We share the same insecurities
  4. You are Beautiful
  5. I’ve never felt this way in my life
  6. We are Soul Mates

Do any of these sound familiar?

I have covered No. 1. They listened and mirrored what was important to you, your values and they repeat these back as if they were their own.

And, as part of that process, they begin not only to take over your life but also your future. They create a bond that will later become so hard to let go of.

No 2. This is the fake future. Nothing about it will be real but the stories around it will be so believable, you are there planning it with them, your dreams completely forgotten.

No.3. You share the same insecurities and it is again a mirror; what you see in them is something they will have seen in you. You will do anything to help them. You received praise and there might have been something inside you wondering, who is going to help you or when it is going to reciprocated. As you are boosted a step higher you will be told that no one has ever understood them as you do; they will compare you to their exes and you will want to do more and more for them to show how much you do care.

No. 4. The compliments you receive from them make you feel special. They may compare you to their exes. What is actually happening; they training you in order for them to receive compliments from you. And they are also instilling at the same time your need to look nice for them, to impress them.

They have never met anyone like you; you are special! This is No.5. And they tell you why you are so special, this is why they bring in the comparison to their exes. They are affirming to you that they are exes for a reason, and, if you want to stay in this relationship, you’d better not do what they were doing or you will be one of that long line of crazy exes… And because of this you don’t question what the common denominator is in these relationships.

No.6. We are meant to be together. We are Soul Mates! They love the idea of being a romantic; they love the attention. They are creating a bond; the more they talk about it the more you start to believe them… Think about it; you already have so much in common, you are starting to map out your Fake Future together! They are the person of your dreams. You are beautiful and you are the only person (so far) that has really understood who they are and their needs. OF COURSE, YOU ARE SOULMATES!

And you are hooked – it was that simple (for them).

For you, the trauma of untangling yourself from this is much needed. I believe this is a beautiful gift they have given you. It might not feel like it now, but you will look back and realise how far you have come.

I am going to write about the next stage DEVALUATION as a separate article.

There are two points I would like to make; I said HOLD THAT THOUGHT at the beginning.

Part of you fell in love with yourself! They were mirroring all those amazing things in themselves; all the qualities they are missing, the empathy and caring for others. Your inner beauty and your deep forgiving soul! I believe these people are very insecure and they are looking constantly for validation. I don’t know if they realise how much damage and hurt they cause or if they in fact care.

BUT I want to you realise you fell in LOVE with YOURSELF in a roundabout twisted way! You are an amazing person! I know you are hurting and have been for a long time, but NOW is the time to fall back in LOVE with you!

The second thing I want to address is SHORT relationships; these are as bad, if not worse, than a longer relationship. You have the intensity of the more permanent relationship; you may not get as many gifts and meals but you get everything else. The fake future, the comparison to the exes, how amazing you are… But very quickly you will find the DEVALUATION and DISCARD interspersed between the techniques they favour. They will ghost you and you will be left hanging wondering what is going on. You won’t hear from them. For them, it was very possibly a gap filler whilst lining up their next victim or ensuring they were ensnared.

BUT your pain may feel much deeper, believe me, I have been there.


  • 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