Community//

Words are very powerful, change two and boost your recovery!

Coming out of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship is very confusing as well as painful Healing from Emotional Abuse Words are very powerful and by changing just one word you could help your recovery. There is a Duty of Care by law, a social contract, and responsibility towards others. You could call it having a conscience […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Coming out of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship is very confusing as well as painful

Healing from Emotional Abuse

Words are very powerful and by changing just one word you could help your recovery.

There is a Duty of Care by law, a social contract, and responsibility towards others. You could call it having a conscience – or be consciously aware.

OK, two words, ‘Duty of‘ replaces ‘self‘.

  • Duty of care

noun British

noun: duty of care; plural noun: duties of care

  1. a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others .” employers have a duty of care to their employees”

Definitions from Oxford Languages

This is might be an unfamiliar concept to you. You have been programmed to put others’ needs above your own and you might even find it difficult thinking about having a duty of care to yourself. 

What do you have in place to check that you are ok?

We know we shouldn’t walk by a person if we are fit enough to safely help them. 

But we too easily walk by ourselves, our goals, and dreams, we can easily put our lives on hold for others, overriding our needs, desires, and our life’s purpose. 

The word duty is quite heavy and it is two-faced. 

Duty of care can be used to guilt-trip you into doing something for another person or a group of people. 

It is your duty to do something or not do something. 

A universal contract.

If you see a wrongdoing you are duty-bound to report it, or you might be complicit in the action. Or you might be told it is your duty to protect someone and no say anything about the wrongdoing. 

  1. a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others.

But what if that Duty isn’t reciprocated? 

The people claiming you have a duty to do something for them, never balance the scales, they always taking but never giving you anything back.

It can be even more frustrating if you were bought up in a narcissistic family unit and you are never allowed to leave. You are told by them and society that you have a duty of care to that aging parent or carer… 

Society tells us that we should be caring for the people who nurtured us – it’s a hard pill to swallow when you suddenly realise that the unit was more harmful than it was nurturing.  

Because of the secrecy, the lying, and hiding the dysfunction, you feel shame for your thoughts or you feel guilty for dreaming of the life you want to live, knowing it is your right but believing you have a duty.

The narcissistic parent created bonds co-dependency in their children making it hard for them to break away and live a life independently. 

The weight of the word duty can be heavy but it can also be empowering… 

YOU have a duty of care to yourself – you need to look out for yourself – ESPECIALLY if you have people who take advantage of your generous and caring nature.  

It is your duty to care for yourself. 

When you reverse the statement things change. 

You have a duty to care for yourself. 

You have a duty to ensure your needs are met. 

You have a duty to ensure your environment is safe for you and any dependants. 

But you may find this uncomfortable at first, like an ill-fitting suit.

You have very possibly put the needs of others before your own from a young age. If you were the scapegoat you may recognise this.

This feeling isn’t tailor-made for you – you were given ‘hand me downs’ of emotions, the emotional immaturity, or wounding your parent or caregiver had been lugging around and you were expected to wear them as if they were made for you, and expected to be OK with it.

You were programmed to listen, respond and react to them. 

That programming can be taken to other relationships and you may find you are at work with someone who demands so much of you and friends who do the same. 

People often asked why you didn’t just walk away from abusive relationships and there are a few reasons – one could be you didn’t recognise it as abuse, as you have experienced it before it actually feels safe and you understand the rules. 

I think the word duty is a stronger more authoritative word than self-care… 

You have a duty to protect yourself.

You have a duty of care towards your children.

You do have a duty of care – it is your duty to look out for yourself 

It might not feel right to start with because you were programmed in the opposite way. 

You weren’t shown what it was like to have healthy boundaries – that word might not appear in your vocabulary unless it is preceded by a sentence that includes another person. 

I’m sorry I would love to have come but I am already busy helping someone else. 

And if you try to say no to someone for a personal reason like having respect from your time or it just isn’t something you want to do you might experience emotions like Shame or Guilt. 

In Mario Martinez book the Mind-Body code and he talks about three core emotions we have which are Shame, Guilt, and Abandonment 

Shame and Guilt are similar but they are very different, a bit like twins. 

Research suggests that there are very different emotional processes; they are a gauge for self-correction, but there is different brain chemistry, triggering different reactions.

And it might be that you were programmed in a certain way that manipulated your response. 

Guilt arises when we think that we have done damage to something or someone. Shame arises when we believe that we are damaged in some way (for example, unlovable, unkind, inferior).

They are our internal guides, reminding us of the rules, shame is far more damaging to us over time.

We are social creatures and we need to be with people. We need our tribe for survival, and the fear of being kicked out of a tribe works two-fold. 

Fear of not being in a tribe is an emotion passed down from generation to generation with its own set of rules. To be removed from the tribe would have meant that we were on our own left to survive the saber tooth tiger, obviously, we are less likely to come across one today as a threat but we still have these emotions, so when we misbehave, our brains release stress hormones that motivate us to adjust our behaviour.

This conditioning triggers our stress hormones and you might have found you are living in a state of alert and very possibly have been for a long time.

Your DUTY OF CARE may involve self-care –  free workbook.

YOU HAVE A DUTY OF CARE TO GO TO A TAILOR and buy a suit that fits perfectly, try a made to measure. If that is too scary, buy one off the peg in your size – go and see a specialist who can help you choose the right colour and the right fit for your body shape – I am talking metaphorically here – before I get lots of messages saying you told me to go and buy a new suit. 

You were given hand-me-down clothes – they weren’t yours they weren’t bought for you. They were passed on – they were the wrong size or for the wrong season… 

  • Create a duty of care list 
  • You have a duty to feel whole 
  • You have a duty to feel… add your own statements 
  • And then create a shopping list of what you need. 

A bit like creating a recipe – what ingredients do you need a pinch of?

I found Grounding very helpful, coming out of the continual thought process and the conversations that were on a loop, and reliving the situation that kept pressing release on the hormones for shame. 

This is the link to a meditation I recorded, by staying in your body, you can look at situations differently. 

Talk to your wounds, find out what they really want and need, and listen to what they have to say, believe me, this really does work!

Shame and Guilt are similar, like twins, they look the same but have their own personalities. 

They are a gauge for self-correction but there is different brain chemistry, triggering different reactions within us. 

Shame arises when we believe that we are damaged in some way whereas Guilt arises when we think that we have hurt someone or damaged something.

Shame is internal and Guilt is external.

And the overwhelming emotion of Guilt can occur without anyone else knowing what we did. It arises when your behaviour conflicts with your conscience linked to the person’s internal value system and not that of others.

As Children we internalised the critical voices that we heard, children are sponges and they believe everything they hear. 

And children who experience guilt and shame growing up are likely to continue that pattern as an adult.

  • If you are experiencing this emotion which is releasing the stress hormones you can calm the body down by grounding which will also stop the conversations in your head. Whilst you are here talk to the wound, and ask it what it needs. Listen to what it says or to how you feel, you might find a memory pops up and you might find it beneficial to journal on this and trace back the story. 

This is the link to my free workbook Turn broke broken into your superpower, It gives you the tools to lay some foundations for your future. Your life was destroyed in every area, Emotionally, Physically, Mentally, Spiritually, and Financially and this is why is so important that you start to realise you have a duty of care and so do other people towards you!

The aim is that by the end of the workbook, you will have a clearer idea of what you need or want from your divorce, as well as the knowledge, strength, and ability to step into your Warrior Goddess (or God) power. 

The warrior is CONFIDENT, has an inner STRENGTH, is ASSERTIVE and DISCIPLINED, they are ACTIVE and BRAVE. And you may feel none of these, or you might be able to tap into one or two, but the hope is you can start to align and create a plan of action that works for you.

The word duty can sound heavy but once you start to understand it and wear it in a way that can help you start creating strong boundaries and starting to understand your purpose in life it might the injection of power you need to take control of your life. 

You have a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others. Change others to SELF and you seriously do! 

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Managing Your Mental Wellbeing as We Come Out of Lockdown

by Christine
Community//

When Mental Health Means Not Living

by Renu Persaud
Community//

A-Z of Emotional Abuse

by Elizabeth Goddard
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.