Then I became me…

Emotional abuse is such a complex thing.

Life after emotional abuse , even more complex.

Many of us aren’t even aware we’ve been emotionally abused.

So how do you rebuild? The physical abuse , the sexual abuse well you just have to let literal wounds heal. You have to come to terms with the fact you’re a little changed. You’ll forever be a little more cautious. You know for sure it happened though. You felt physical pain.

Emotional abuse though? Well how can you recover from something you don’t even know you’ve been a victim of? Well if you’re even questioning it I would thoroughly recommend doing the Freedom Programme. I know I talk about it a lot but doing it saved me from total self destruction. I dealt with the impact of the abusive relationship , but more than that I have been able to identify emotional abuse in subsequent relationships . I don’t even mean romantic involvements but just even friendships or any situations where I have to deal with other people. I am confident that now I can pick out a twat in a crowd. They think they’re ridiculously clever but they are so similar they give themselves away very easily.

So rebuilding after abuse I found incredibly difficult. I expected once I left I could snap back into being the girl I was before him. It was naïve, but I believed I’d only be truly recovered when I was back to pre -him me. In hindsight pre-him me I was a teenager, I still had a mum, I wasn’t a mum myself. You can’t just flip back into that . So I learnt that I had to rebuild but as a new version of me. A better version of me. Ultimate Kelly if you will.

Emotional abuse is like a giant game of jenga (I’m so sorry you know me and my analogies)

The jenga tower is set up. On each brick is a character trait that makes you you. Some are little things. Maybe that you love lipstick or that you have a favourite movie. Some are huge : That you are opinionated , independent , intelligent .

At the start of the game he takes the little bricks . Tells you you don’t need to wear lipstick you’re already pretty or that that favourite movie of yours is a bit silly . Aren’t you better than that? He thought you were cleverer than that? He takes them gently and the tower doesn’t topple because these are easy bricks .

Once the easy bricks are gone things get a little more complicated . he has to go for trickier ones . He doesn’t want the tower toppling just yet , not too early he’ll give himself away. You see that brick with your best friend’s name on though? Yeah he needs rid of that and its going to be tricky because it’s one that’s helping hold the tower in place. You’ve played jenga though haven’t you? You know the key to removing the tricky bricks is confidence. Just in and taking it , you falter you’ll lose. He mentions he overheard your best friend talking about you , laughing at you , she’s only friends with you because she feels sorry for you . Just like that the brick is taken . The tower looks more vulnerable now . It could fall at any minute.

He’s not going to lose the game though , no way . Not after he’s put so much effort and time into it.

There’s one block holding things together. Keeping the tower upright that everything is resting on. It has self -belief written on. It’s the belief that you know you are strong and that you are loved and that you are worth so much more than him. He can’t let that stay. He can’t take it though either , people will realise what he is doing. So he talks you into taking that block yourself. Tells you you’re ill , you need help. You are paranoid and delusional and you need him to take care of you. With shaking hand you pull that block yourself and hand it to him.

The tower topples.

What was once a combination of all the things that make you you is now just a heap of bricks on the floor .

The bricks stay like this for a while . You accept your lot. You’re broken , defeated and there’s nothing you can do.

Then. One day. Maybe the day after you throw him out of the game for good , maybe it takes weeks or months or even years you begin to rebuild. All on your own. All the original bricks are back , stacked and stable . The tower looks strong , but you’re aware that it would only take a few lost bricks to make you vulnerable again. So you add more bricks to strengthen the structure , to make it so strong and stable it’s almost indestructible. Bricks you didn’t even have access to originally.

You add a strong support network , you add therapy and counselling and knowledge. That Freedom Programme brick makes your tower a super structure. The self worth brick , the confidence brick , the trusting yourself brick they are all pretty hefty ones too.

You see I’ll never be the pre-him me ever again.

To become the post-me him I had to take on board more character traits that I’d never needed before . I had to become brave and self secure and independent. I had to become resilient and tough and focussed.

All the bits that had previously made me me had been demolished . I had to round them all back up again , then I had to find a few more for back up.

Then I became me .

My Facebook page is here

Cup of Toast
Mission Mindfulness

85 thoughts on “Then I became me…

  1. Well, f*ck, Kelly, if you didn’t just tell my story in a Jenga analogy! Wow! This is so brilliant that I don’t really have the proper words to express how much I love this post! And yes, these emotionally abusive behaviors definitely carry into friendships, too. Because you see I came out of two severely emotionally abusive romantic relationships (one I married, one I almost married) and I built myself back to the where I thought I was impenetrable… I thought for sure that I could “pick out a twat in a crowd.” And then one came in the form of a female friend…and she was more clever at being manipulative than I was at spotting the twat behaviors. And what a mind f*ck that ended up being for me. Given my history of rebuilding my broken pieces into an unbreakable structure, I did recover in just about one week’s time. So there is that…no lasting effects from that one, for sure. I applaud you and this post! So, so good, my friend.


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah it’s such a relief to know it’s relatable!!!! Yes friends can have those same behaviours which is always an odd one!


  2. Great Jenga analogy. I loved reading about your rebuilding. Hope you have friends and family to help you lift the bricks to put them back in place. It’s tough to do it all by yourself…:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re a bit like me with the analogies … I think of one, love it and run with it, and then have to kind of tweak it a bit to make it work. But it’s great when they do pan out, as your jenga one surely does. Nice one #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you , I hope she sees it and can help. When you’re in the midst of a rubbish time it’s hard to believe there’ll ever be better times

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, for giving clarity to something that is so overwhelming. I’ve got my own story and I remember very clearly the fog of confusion about what was happening. Wondering whether it was all my fault, the niggling thoughts that surely this wasn’t right, but the blind love that kept me where I was. The Jenga analogy makes it all make sense and gives hope that you can rebuild yourself, brick by brick, stronger than before. #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a tricky business … making yourself strong and whole again, but paradoxically letting yourself be vulnerable and open to new love and new experience. Beautifully described. #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a powerful post. It’s really brave of you to openly talk about your feelings and what happened to you. But hopefully sharing it helps. Well done x #Blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely blown away by this post. Well done you – your tower is strong, and gets stronger every time you share your experience to help others and yourself. Like you, I think the world of the Freedom Programme. All the very best. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Awesome Blog Kelly! I love your analogies. Jenga is the perfect analogy for emotional abuse. I suffered it as a teenager from my mums partner and i watched my mum topple at the abuse of this same man. She was that strong tower and became a pile of wood on the floor. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. #Blog Crush

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Came here via #BlogCrush and also delighted you are linked up via #BestBootForward – we are honoured to have you. There are no clever words to say how brilliant this post is. Raw, honest, real. Makes me question my own relationships which has to be a good thing I think and also to look at my own behaviours too. And then I love it too because ultimately you have a very happy and inspirational ending

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well done for writing this and that analogy is just top. I remember doing a course for work where we focussed on identifying different types of abuse and it’s sad but emotional abuse is so common and most of the time said person doesn’t even know that they are a victim to it #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think that’s the hardest thing for people to understand , you’re so brainwashed you doubt your own gut feeling that something is wrong


  11. SO powerful and I LOVE your analogy. I am a visual person and that explanation really helps me understand.. I always sort of did since I was fascinated by all facets of psychology in college but this really helped. I think any time we go through anything that really makes us struggle or forces us to grow and change as a person makes it impossible to go back to who we were before. Good for you in building your tower taller, stronger, and fortified. #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Absolutely loving the Jenga Analogy – for years I never even knew the true impact emotional abuse can have on someone beyond the physical violent and sexual abuse. Love our openess and all the best with continuing to develop the True You 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Goodness me. Thank goodness for the freedom programme for and the extra block. I don’t understand why someone can be emotionally abusive and hope I never have to go through what you have. X #Blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Brilliant post! I didn’t realise how much control my first husband had over my life until I met my second husband. 7 years later there are still times where I duobt myself because of that control.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wonderful analogy Kelly. I have always said that you’re story inspires me and the way that you have written this just enforces that even more. This not only helps you with moving forward but I have no doubt will help many others too. Thanks so much for sharing with #TriumphantTales.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh Kelly – the analogy is perfect! It makes perfect sense and you’ve hit the nail on the head. I can relate to it in the sense that I developed a chronic illness, age 19, which, over 6 years, stripped me of my entire personality, self-confidence, and friendships.

    This week is exactly 6 years since I got better (which feels significant because it means I’ve been better for as long as I was ill) but I am still trying to rebuild my tower. I often fall into the trap of thinking it needs to be like the pre-ill version of me, but, like you say, I was just a teenager then. I’ve had to create a new version of me.

    You are inspirational! #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  17. And what a wonderful you you are! You are a super strong lady to have rebuild yourself after the torment you suffered. The jenga analogy is very powerful. Well done for picking yourself up after the abuse you suffered – it must have been incredibly tough. #thesatsesh xx

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow what an amazing read I can relate to everything and how fab was that compairing it to a game of jenga … I’ve never experienced emotional abuse before and till now and I’m finding it so hard to find myself again I mean the person I was before him I dont even know if I want to be her again it’s like I dont know me anymore. Having things to read like this makes it easier to know I was defiantly emotionally abused coz sometimes even now I ask myself am I an abusive person is this why this keeps happening to me physical emotional.. litrally what is it??? I look forward to reading more of your blogs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think that’s one of the hardest thing about emotional abuse , you doubt yourself that it happened to you . There are so many of us though , the more we tell our stories the more it can help people. Hope you find my blogs useful xx


  19. A truly wonderful post and so interesting to read. I am sure this will help so many understand their feelings and know slowly slowly they can put those blocks back and build themselves back xx #Blogstravaganza

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love the Jenga analogy! How clever. Nobody should ever be broken like that but over time and with the right support I do believe that we can find stronger bricks to build our super structures. Thank you for linking up with #Blogstravaganza x

    Liked by 1 person

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