Women who are coming out of destructive relationships have been the most invisible women on the planet. We have been silent for a long time, our lives lacking normal, responsive, interactive, and respectful communication. When our silence finally breaks, however, we suddenly can’t be stopped. We unload stories and examples of what our life has been on anyone who will listen, barely in need of prompting. We talk about what happened, and freely give examples of how bad he was, what he said, what he did, or didn’t do, and it overwhelms.

People quickly tire of our stories; they are a chore to listen to and it often appears that the purpose of telling the story is to vent and not change, to talk and not connect--especially if we don’t want solutions. The result? False connections with people who feel used. No one knows what to do with the information we give them, and they want to avoid that discomfort, so in turn, they avoid us.

We want people to react with outrage to our stories; we want them to reject these men who target and abuse women-but most don’t because they will almost never see the guy we describe. Their non-reaction invalidates us, sends a message of tolerance and acceptability, and this makes us focus on convincing people about him and his destructive ways; it makes us explain more, spinning us further into focusing on the guy we left, at our own expense. When we search for validation, hoping it will create understanding, instead of sharing things for connection, growth, and motivation, our stories are futile and only keep us from moving on. The destructive guy becomes the only thing we talk about, and we don’t even realize it. This is the story-trap, and almost every woman falls into for a while, after she leaves.

We will never, ever get enough validation from anyone to take away the harm that he has caused, so getting stuck here after leaving means your focus and emotion have stayed in the past, and on him; this means he still controls a big piece of you-for whenever you talk about him in any capacity, it shows that he has worked his way into your ability to move on. His control comes in spite of distance when you “storify” your experiences too soon after leaving. Hold off on talking about the details for a while, until you are well out of the battlefield. The goal is not to silence you now, the goal is to keep your motivation and timing in check, so that the story doesn’t take you down after you have survived him.

To ensure that you don’t allow repetitive story telling to trap you or alienate you, follow these four rules:

1. Ask yourself: how does telling your story improve your life? It should, or you shouldn’t tell it. The most successful people are often the ones telling of the most tragedies. They learned to tell their story when the timing was right, which is after they had figured out how to use the problem to empower them and serve them. You can spot opportunity in your adversity, too.

2. Set the intention to only tell your story with a purpose in mind. What have you learned from your experiences? What do you want people to do, or how do you want them to feel, after they’ve heard your story or examples?

3. Keep the story telling to a minimum, otherwise, the emotion it stirs up will trap you. This will affect the new reality you are trying to create...it could even drive you back to him.

4. Begin to validate yourself. Forget about capturing validation from your story or from someone else--you need your energy to rebuild, to develop more awareness, to learn about traits and to laugh again; save your story for later, and validate yourself; you know the truth, and you were right to leave.

Author's Bio: 

Teagin Maddox is a Certified Life and Relationship Coach empowering women to improve their lives after draining and destructive relationships. She reminds women to focus on their strengths and potential, and to see the opportunity in their relational adversities. She gets women to tap into their dormant power, creating remarkable transformations, and unshakable awareness. Her effect comes from what she makes women feel, not from what she reveals to them.

Prepare yourself for instant validation, and intensify your determination to succeed...visit www.TraitTraps.com

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Teagin Maddox, the Official Guide to Domestic Violence