Toxic relationships take a toll on your mental and physical health not only during the time of the relationship, but the impact tends to continue later as well. Just as you experience post-traumatic stress disorder, in the aftermath of the relationship, you can also continue to experience these signs as well.
It may be hard for you to identify with, as many people think that once they have ended the relationship, the bad will naturally go out of your life, but the fact is things are not that simple.
The time that you spent in emotional and physical abuse has a grave impact on your subjectivities. Your brain uses your experiences to pan out a game plan, and therefore, the trauma does not end with the relationship.
In some people, the impact of the trauma might be extremely high, meriting consultation with an online psychiatrist to get better. However, it is also possible that the result of the traumatic relationship might be subtle that you do not add them up.
Furthermore, in cases where the abuse was more about mind games rather than blatant physical violence, identifying might also take some time. People do not realize until they struggle with their mental health and relationships what they had experienced was in fact traumatic.
Hence, knowing the signs of a traumatic relationship is important to identify the damage, and then remedy it accordingly.
Some signs include:
Being apologetic has become your modus operandi, as when you were in a toxic relationship, you had to take the blame for everything. To soothe the waters, you then had to say out a litany of apologies. Over time, this became your standard response.
Another sign that you were part of the toxic relationship is that you feel anxious all the time. While we all have situations in which are anxiety increases, and that is normal, but having chronic anxiety is a cause for concern, one that merits help of an expert then.
You end up blaming yourself for what went wrong in the relationship. The guilt is greater in cases where the partner was manipulative, narcissistic or gaslighted, as they then paint the event in such a way that you come off as the bad guy.
Furthermore, they bank on the vulnerability you feel when you are undergoing trauma, so you end up blaming yourself for everything that went down. You also wish you had done things differently as the scenarios continuously run through your head.
Haunted memories make a comeback to you during your sleep. These nightmares may be about events that had already occurred and are being played in your memory.
In cases where partners kept tabs, gaslighted, stalked you, it is natural for you to experience paranoia as a result. If you have been manipulated and coerced, chances are that you do feel paranoid after the relationship has ended as well.
Jumping into a relationship after ending a toxic one, and often with the same pattern of abuse, is also a sign that you had a traumatic relationship.
You might not consciously realize the triggers, but your brain certainly does. Hence, certain places, scents, foods, songs, anything really that your brain associated with the relationship and the consequent trauma, might then trigger you. You might become scared, jumpy, or it may then make you extremely anxious.
In normal relationships, things that might remind you of your partner might make you feel forlorn, or happy, or sad, but being scared and anxious is not one of them. Furthermore, these triggers generate a huge response from you, indicating that what you experienced was indeed traumatic.
If these signs are something that you identify with, it is pertinent that you get help from a mental health expert like a Psychiatrist in Islamabad.