When you come out of an emotionally abusive relationship you have so many questions, and; there is nothing more soul-destroying than having conversations with a person you are no longer in contact with.

These relationships are so hard to heal from!

Perhaps you are questioning everything that happened, going over your relationship with a fine-tooth comb wondering what you did wrong, yes what you did wrong. 

All the ‘Maybe’ and ‘If only’ statements. 

Maybe you are dissecting every scenario and every conversation. Perhaps you are replaying different endings, replacing words and outcomes. 

You have possibly been replaying the relationship, wondering if you had done something differently would you still have your partner or you might be wondering if you hadn’t done something or said something if things would be different. It hurts so, so much! 

Potentially this has been keeping you stuck not being able to move on, move forward and put it behind you.

Some of this is because of the Gaslighting and some it does because of the bonding. Some of the techniques used to hook you in. 

I have used the analogy of a fisherman before. 

They cast their line, and they wait for a bite. When the Fisherman feels a tug on the line, he (or she) doesn’t land it straight away as they want to ensure the hook is fully embedded first. 

So the love-bombing stage is like the fisherman hooking its fish and during this time that you were tricked. Those text messages you woke up to, they were to ensure your first thought was them, how thoughtful of them… You believed you were the first thing they woke up thinking about, well you were right, but it was for a different reason. 

They do it to secure you as quickly as possible once they have done that they don’t really need to make that much effort. And if they have a few potential partners they are hooking, it makes their life a lot easier. 

They needed you to become reliant on them as quickly as possible. They use techniques to manoeuvre themselves into your life and gradually taking it over. They Gaslight you to make you believe you are going mad, you begin to question your reality, and yourself and then turn off your intuition. Of course, your intuition wasn’t wrong! But they needed you to believe it was. The cycle is the same Idealisation • Devaluation • Discard but they each have their own favourite tool. So if you picture a bicycle wheel and its spokes, Emotionally abusive and Toxic people have their favourite tools, these are more refined with each victim, they have practised them to hook you up to the drug of choice which is them.

Bonding takes place, as it does in every relationship, but these bonds were one-sided; you bonded to them they didn’t with you. These bonds are like super-glue hard to remove. Have you ever got your fingers stuck together with super-glue? Acetone can help break the bond, but it leaves the glue, and it takes time to pick it off, it is irritating, you may even find yourself picking at it, taking off the skin as well!

In relationships, Oxytocin is the super-glue. It is the bonding agent; the hormone that is released creating trust in any relationship. But sadly this bonding was one-sided, you were bonding to them, they put on a mask and played a role. 

You changed your life, and you believed them when you were told to ignore the Red Flags. You need to give yourself time to grieve. Your life was consumed by them, not only have you lost your partner you have lost the relationship and the fake future. You are likely feeling very lonely. 

Oxytocin is a double edge sword; on one side it is the love hormone that helps us bond with others, but on the other side, it strengthens the emotions we experience in traumatic situations, it imprints the memory of it. 

A lot of my work over the last 10 years has been understanding the effect our childhood has on our lives as we grow up. I have heard people say if you want to know who you are marrying look at their mother or father. And the reason for this is we live in a Theta State up until we are about 7 or 8 years of age, this is a hypnotic state as children we live in. If you have ever experienced a show  our parents are the the 

If you were bullied at school those memories and emotions from the event can be the trigger for fear and anxiety in the future. Perhaps you find yourself working for a bullying boss, your anxiety levels are rising you can’t understand why. 

In social situations, if your experience is negative or stressful, Oxytocin activates a part of the brain that intensifies the memory.

Scientists discovered that oxytocin strengthens an important signalling molecule — ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinases) — which becomes activated for six hours after a negative social experience. ERK causes enhanced fear, by stimulating the brain’s fear pathways, many of which pass through the lateral septum the region involved in emotional and stress responses. The lateral septum in the region that has the highest oxytocin levels in the brain and has high levels of oxytocin receptors across all species from mice to humans. And experiments with mice have established that oxytocin is essential for strengthening the memory of negative social interactions and oxytocin increases fear and anxiety in future stressful situations.

This was a game and you weren’t given the rules… 

They listened intently to your every word, and this is why they seemed so familiar to you; you may have felt like you knew them intimately, it may have felt as you had always known them. Perhaps they told you they were your soul-mate, and that you had so much in common, but they were really just mirroring back your ideas and your dreams.

Then they moved on to the Devaluation Stange; here they tested you to check they had set the programming correctly and when it was they knew you would be more interested in protecting the relationship than you would be in protecting yourself. 

They may have made comments about your intelligence (something they admired you for in the beginning), or your abilities in certain areas and perhaps your hopes and dreams. If you question this, you are perhaps over-sensitive, or they were only joking! 

The attention that you received at the start of the relationship disappeared and over time you began to accept any little crumb they threw your way. They use other techniques such as triangulation. They talked too much about their exes, or they talk about anyone who gives them attention, this is used to draw you closer and fight for their attention. 

They triangulated you with anyone you saw as a threat. They love to turn people against each other; they keep them just far enough apart so they can’t compare anything, but close enough to ensure they know they are a threat. Manufacturing situations that made you feel jealous and so you would question their fidelity.  

Just like they have poisoned and brainwashed you, they have done the same to everyone else in their lives; the stories they made up about the other people they are now telling about you. 

This is about Power and Control 

The cycle now starts; round and round and round it goes.

They then introduced the Discard Stage, to make sure you are fully hooked; this is not be confused with the Final Discard. They may disappear or not call or do what they said they were going to do. They then reappear with a gift or compliment, giving you back the feeling you had at the beginning of the relationships and reaffirming that they do love you! 

They turn everything into a competition, and you end up fighting for their attention with fake or invisible people.

We are all a bunch of chemicals.

When this relationship ended, you may have had difficulty managing your emotions or you might have experienced strong emotional reactions to situations, perhaps becoming irritable or having extreme mood swings. 

And the Stress Hormones stay in your body. Those Oxytocin receptors are strengthening the memory and fear again.

You may experience intense cravings wanting to get back to the Love Bombing Stage at the beginning of the relationship. 

Perhaps this relationship was bringing up emotions from your childhood that you were unaware of or from another relationship that you recover from and are experiencing the pain again.

These are real fear responses when your partner screamed in your face or shouted so loudly you jumped, your fear responses were being triggered.

You have experienced it before you are reliving it! 

Like a drug user, you now need to go COLD TURKEY! 

It might be painful, but I promise you it will be worth it. 



  • 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