Protecting our hearts, minds, and souls after being hurt by a person close to us requires a lot of forethought. In my previous post, we talked about what God asked of us. Today, we will discuss how to use a few tools to help you heal, while maintaining the dignity and respect required of us.
My dears, I am humbled you came here for guidance. It is important to note, what I list below is meant to be an aid to help you on your journey. If at any point you feel your pain far exceeds what you are able to handle, remember your doctor or counselor should always be involved during times of crisis.
Most importantly, if you feel you are at a turning point and are considering ending it all, there is help. Please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Emotionally What to Expect
Know that each individual is different, thus each reaction is different. I am on the anxious side, so my emotions after being betrayed display much more differently than my husband’s emotions. At the same time, someone with anxiety like me may not show the same characteristics. Knowing this, you can rest assure whether you are crying, need to recoup, or feel pain, all of that becomes part of the process.
If at any point the emotions become too difficult to manage and prevent you from accomplishing day to day tasks, then it would be time to seek the aid of a doctor or counselor.
What to Do First
First, forgive yourself for being upset. Allow yourself to grieve a little. This is not the time to judge yourself as you come to grips with the events which lead to this point. For my friends with severe anxiety, if possible take a mental health day from work if the crisis happened the day prior or you feel overwhelmed. Understand you may feel guilty for wanting to take care of yourself. (From a purely business perspective, it may be wisest to be discete about your needs for a personal day. Despite some trends where supervisors support mental health days, others disagree.)
Find A Trustworthy Christian Friend or Pastor
The day someone set out to hurt me, I became paralyzed with anxiety after the inciting event. A massive amount of stress entered my life in a short amount of time, causing a wide variety of negative reactions.
The first step for me, required I calmed down before I could proceed. This step looks different for everyone. For some people it may involve treating yourself to manicure. For others, it may be another treat they enjoy such as golf, listening to music, or wasting a few minutes on Facebook. If staying calm is not possible, I would advise at this point to contact your family doctor, counselor, or psychiatrist, so they may better assist you. There are also crisis centers to reach out too, if needed.
I purposefully sought a devout Catholic friend I relied on due to her trustworthy nature. Christian and nonjudgemental friends are important, because they understand your faith background and want to help you feel better. My dear friend, for instance, made lunch and allowed us to spend time together, as she worked on soothing my stress away.
Your friend or paster can give you advice and help you proceed and make decisions as to what steps you should take next.
Prayer becomes a necessary component as you want God to enter your space and help begin the healing process. There are various prayers you can say, none that requires a specific set of prayers or script. My friend and I did a combination of general prayer requests and seeking Mary’s intercession on our behalf.
What Should I Pray for?
- Your Health
- Positive Action
- Ability to Discern What Your Next Steps Are
- Seek Professional Help if Necessary
- Create Positive Steps to a Better You
- The Ability to Forgive Those Who Hurt You
- The Person(s) Who Wronged You
- Pray They Have a Change of Heart
- Pray That They Change
- If the individual is harmful, that they keep their distance from you.
Prayer allows God to enter and when being open with Him it gives you the opportunity to focus on your needs. This communication with God propels you forward as you take action and begin living a happy and healthy life.
On Distance & Taking a Break
Immediately afterwards, you may feel troubled about renewing a relationship with this individual. Whether it becomes too painful for you to see the person or you feel the relationship has come to an end, you need to give yourself time to process what has occurred.
Do not make any immediate decisions and use this time to determine where you and the individual stand. You may want to send a simple text or e-mail stating you need a break if the person wishes to communicate. Simply let them know you are hurt and need this time to heal and consider what your options are. Reflect and evaluate the state of your relationship and what adjustments need to occur for their to be a healthy functioning relationship.
Quick Note on Toxic Behavior
If the person you need a break from sends disparaging messages or is simply being hostile and negative, it is best to ignore the person and not respond. At that point you want to consider whether this person is displaying such emotion due to low emotional intelligence or if their behavior is consistently toxic. Anyone who purposely harms you and puts their needs above everyone else, is an individual who is not worthy of your time and energy.
My recommendation is to always cut toxic people from your life and to seek counseling should the situation with this person become complicated. Always remember your mental health and safety matters and should not be ignored.
Once you are ready to reconnect your first goal is to set new boundaries with the individual in question. Do they need to respect you? What areas in your relationship are lacking? By using the time before to regroup, you now know what matters most to you and what changes you want to see. Share your expectations and see if the individual is willing to meet those requests.
What you value and the qualities and characteristics you need for a healthy relationship guide you when creating these boundaries. Communicate them and explain why they are important to you. If the person is not willing to respect those boundaries you must decide what consequences need to be enforced and follow through to avoid being taken advantage of in the relationship.
Boundaries are not unreasonable demands with threats of consequences. Those are toxic behaviors people want to stay away from to keep their relationship pleasant and meaningful.
Examples of Boundaries
- Accept You Are Not Available 24/7
- Honor Time Needed with Friends
- Honor Time Needed at Church/Prayer
Apologies & Moving Forward
If apologies were issued and the two of you decided to move forward, accept the person. Grudges and any negative repressed emotions harm you and others. Consider this moment a fresh start for both yourself and the other person as you both work towards building a harmonious atmosphere. Know there is room for growth on your part as well, as you navigate this new road.
When The Other Refuses to Admit Wrong Doing or Change
Sadly, not every person wants their relationship to survive. Their exists many reasons for this type of beahvior, from selfishness, greed, and serious mental and health challengs, such as addiction. Whether it is a severe personality flaw or a mental health issue, know you acted in good faith.
If you sought God and good counsel through either a trusted source or a counselor, know sometimes the other person may not be ready to live peacefully. Respect those choices and know it is all for a reason. They may need to grow or their presence may be too unhealthy for you. When you feel troubled, reach out to a counselor. Counselors thrive on helping clients bounce back and become better versions of themselves, so never hesitate to contact one.
Relationships and Time
People enter your life and leave it for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they were meant to teach you a lesson or you had to help them on their personal quest. When those closest to us choose to leave, their absence marks us.
Regroup, cope, pray, and learn from these moments as you can either allow it to harm you or make you stronger. And never forget that true strength is knowing their is no shame in seeking help as that is how we grow.
Want to read the previous article? Find it here.