In the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry meets his Godfather Sirius Black, who endured 12 years in solitary confinement in the prison for a crime he did not commit. Laying of the floor by the lake the Dementors circle Sirius Black and you see a white pearl leaving his mouth, for me, this represents the Soul. Not a Harry Potter fan? 
It really doesn’t matter.

If you see the image you will understand, especially if this is something you have experienced yourself. You can watch it here at 1:45 when it leaves the body.

For me, the Dementors Kiss not only sums up perfectly the feeling of having your soul sucked out of you but leaving you a shell of your former self and this was my experience of discard following an emotionally abusive relationship.

The eyes are the gateway to the Soul; I looked in the mirror and there was no one staring back, an empty shell.
“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself… soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.” —Remus Lupin’s description of Dementors

How did you get to this point?

  • You were swept off your feet with compliments, gifts, days out, meals out, your every need was catered for. 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…
  • In the Devaluation stage they test 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. They may make comments about your intelligence (something they admired you for in the beginning), or your abilities in certain areas and perhaps your dreams. If you question this, you are perhaps over-sensitive, or they were only joking! And these subtle put-downs, followed by some idolisation, change the chemical reaction in the brain. You are now ADDICTED and what happens is your INTUITION is overridden by the need for this drug.
  • During the discard, the attention you received at the start of the relationship disappears and you start to accept any little crumb they throw your way. 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 re-confirming you are the love of their life and you are their Soul-Mate. Discard occurs 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! During the discard the dementor is flying around, swooping round and round draining you of the little respect and self-esteem you have left. And that kiss, is that final moment, leaving you in a heap on the floor. You may have run out of the energy needed to supply them with the attention they need. You may have fallen off your pedestal not conforming to the picture they have built of you in their head.

You may never know…If you have found yourself in this position please believe me you can get back from it. That feeling of emptiness does fill up, the listlessness behind the eyes does come back. Think of yourself as a car battery, you need to recharge completely. You need time to fill all the cells back up again. Each time you try to restart the battery that process is draining and the energy isn’t replaced very quickly, but it will happen. And this is why you are told to go no contact!

Bit by bit you can start to claim bits of you back. It is really hard at first; you have been programmed to respond to your Dementor and realising you don’t have to do that is like being the elephant who has been chained up for years, even when the chain has been removed it stays in the same place.

But, bit by bit you can claim yourself back. Try tiny steps at first – something you liked to watch on the TV or listen to something on the radio. Your Dementor may have been at someone at work, or they may be a family member. 

It’s your party so you can cry if you want to(You would cry too if it happened to you).CRY!

Let it out, all of it… I read about someone who let herself cry at a set time every day for a set amount of time, personally, I would let rip! Let it go, let the tears flow. You need to grieve and your body needs to grieve and heal.
There will be days, weeks and possibly months you believe this is all your fault. There will be ‘What If’ and ‘If only’ moments. What if you had done or said something differently, If only you hadn’t said or done something… How do I say this? IT WAS ALWAYS GOING TO HAPPEN, you may have said something or done something differently and it prolonged the relationship a while longer but it was always going to happen. 
I believe understanding what happened and why it happened is a big part of the healing, also understanding the role you played is the crucial part so you can heal your wound and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Understanding the Dementor is actually the empty one, and unlike you, he/she will not be able to go and heal, they won’t be able to recharge and they will continue to repeat this pattern time and time again. Why? Because they can’t take responsibility for the part they played, they need to blame others and they are really children trapped in adult bodies (think of Trump and Boris and what they both get up to). 

Once you can start to see this as the gift it is, you can start to understand and locate the Original Wound. And by re-claiming that you can start to feel whole (I want to put again, but many people especially Empaths have never experienced feeling whole).

I love this quote from Glennon Doyle Melton; I used it in my book Finding Lily because that is what happened to me. 

“You can be shattered, and then you can put yourself back together piece by piece. But what can happen over time is this: You wake up one day and realize that you have put yourself back together completely differently”.


  • 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