Trauma and emotional release techniques?

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    I’ve been severely traumatized by a recent relationship which has now ended. I allowed myself to be brainwashed by someone who is severely mentally unstable. I put him on a pedestal because of my codependence issues and gave him EVERYTHING I have. When he ended it I felt like my world ended – still feel that way. Empty, lost, angry – mostly with myself for not speaking my truth. Anyway, the stuck emotions are rocking me and I have thrown up regularly and have been suicidal. The need to fill the void from an external source is overwhelming. The “why does everyone who says they love me abandon me” is plaguing my mind. I shake. I cry. I scream. Yet none of it feels like I’m releasing anything. It just stays there like an all-consuming cloud that guides my days. I’ve been seeing a therapist but don’t feel like she or anyone gets the depth of the abuse I’ve endured and what it’s doing to me.

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to get rid of some of this? And have it be productive? I’ve sat in my car and screamed until I’m hoarse. I’ve cried until there are no tears left. I realize I’m blaming my emotions on external things when I know it’s just my ego and memories of past pain that make me feel this way, but knowing it and internalizing it in order to deal are two different things. I’m trying to get to a place of recognizing my inherent worthiness of love, but until I remove some of these blocks I don’t know how I will ever be able to do that. I’ve looked up everything I can on the internet and while there’s EFT (tapping) and some shaking thing for PTSD – can’t remember the name – I haven’t found much. Also all these techniques are planned vs being able to release when I’m triggered, so I’m not even sure they are effective because of that. I have tried planned sessions of emotional release but can’t seem to dredge up the feelings in that moment. And when fear and anger and shame and hate overwhelm me I just swallow it back down because I don’t know what else to do. It’s like an automatic response. Thanks for any suggestions…


    Dear Crystal:

    I re-read your posts in your previous thread. You are asking, on this thread, about techniques to release your emotions, the “fear and anger and shame and hate” that overwhelm you.

    In your last thread in your previous thread you wrote about your boyfriend: “…He is so full of rage and fear himself and wants revenge on those he feels abused him… fight some war involving aliens and technology… I BECAME him.”- he was full of rage and fear, like you. He wanted revenge and he went about resolving his emotions in the following ways:

    1. “Driving down the highway at 2am doing 110mph with the lights off and throwing salt out the windows because it’s protective.”
    2. “Ripping all the UPC labels off everything in the house because they can track us.”
    3.”Taking a shower in cold dirty standing water then wearing his clothes”
    4. “Him backing me into a corner and poking me because negative energy was coming through me and I had to release the demons…
    5. Creating these strange electrical devices and moving them around to scramble the energy.

    As classically psychotically delusional as his ways were, he did things to resolve his distress, his fear, his anger- he did things, and so, you went on the ride with him, not only on the literal highway, but any other ride (1-5 and others you may not have listed). You went on his ride, “became him”, so to resolve your own distressing feelings.

    Clearly, to me, you do need to find ways to resolve your distressing feelings, only not his ways. The ways that will work for you need not be symbolic and delusional but true to your own life. Looking for resolution in your own life, relationships still ongoing come to mind-

    I read that your father committed suicide. I don’t think you mentioned your mother. What is your relationship with her, currently?



    Thank you for posting. I relate to your story

    Something I noted when reading your post

    I’ve been seeing a therapist but don’t feel like she or anyone gets the depth of the abuse I’ve endured and what it’s doing to me.

    I had the same experience. In hindsight for some reason I wanted my therapist to acknowledge my hurt, which he did in a way, just not in a way I subconsciously wanted. I think I wanted an excuse and justification for feeling the way I did, I wanted to blame and be righteous in my anger. His concern was not about what my X did or taking about her but on me and how I might move forward and perhaps in time use the experience to grow. And He was right. Focusing on my X and trying to understand her was not going to help me.

    I know it’s just my ego… And when fear and anger and shame and hate overwhelm me I just swallow it back down because I don’t know what else to do.

    I feel that the statement ‘just my ego’ can become misunderstood and even get in the way of dealing with our experiences.
    It takes a strong sense of ego to be able to let go of the ego. That might sound like a contradiction but I don’t think it is.

    For me it’s a difference of identifying ones identity with the ego (which is what we want to let go of) and viewing the ego as the observer and part of the self through which we experience being conscious.

    I am not my ego, my ego is a part of me. I am not my ego but in relationship with my I
    I am not my fear, my sense of self is experiencing fear in this moment, I am not my joy, my sense of self is experiencing joy in the moment and grateful. I am not my failures, my sense of self is experiencing disappointment at not succeeding in the way I imagined…

    When fear, anger, shame and hate overwhelm you the ego observer notices without identification judgments.
    You might swallow the experience but instead of feeling helpless notice that as well, you might yell and notice that. Your ego not the cause and so effect of the issue in the moment but as conscious observer.

    The experiences you had were real and your responses valid in the movement. They may not always have been helpful but still valid. The act of allowing the ego – your sense of I – to observe (without labeling the self) I believe opens the door to learning better ways in dealing with the memories and learning from the experience.

    There is a time for all things and it may not be time to hear the following so forgive me if it upsets you (I know I didn’t want to hear it at the time, I was in a time of hurt and didn’t want to think about growth) – in a few years when you look back on the experience you will discover that the experience pushed you into a greater awareness of your relationship with your authentic self, others, and even things like your concept of love and relationship.

    Though time does not heal, time can transform and ‘soften’ our memories and yes time can also harden memories and doing so embed the past in the present. Reading between the lines of your post I suspect the former will be the case.


    Dear Crystal,

    From what I am aware of, below are some of the techniques used for emotional issues.

    1. EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping (the one that you mentioned)
    2. Bach Flower Remedies
    3. The Release Technique
    4. The Sedona Method

    “..all these techniques are planned vs being able to release when I’m triggered..”
    All of these can be used at the time when you are triggered. You may also require using a combination of these techniques. For example, you may take the Bach remedies say three times of the day and still be doing any of the other techniques. On the other hand EFT doesn’t seem to be comfortably done in public (in case you are triggered when in public), but in that case The Release Technique or the Sedona Method will be of help and in another situation when you are in public you may still grab a Bach remedy from your purse or your office drawer and use it.

    I will suggest you to go through the details of each of these and pick the one(s) that resonate(s) with you the most depending on the type, intensity of the issues you are facing related to your situation and your day to day lifestyle.

    Please let me know if you need to know any information/resources on any of these.

    Take care,


    Hi Crystal,

    One VERY therapeutic technique that people often overlook is writing.

    You can:

    1. Write down everything (EVERYTHING) and ritually burn the pages
    2. Journal about everything that happened and all your feelings
    3. Write a story (or novel!) about your experience, only in THIS parallel universe (which scientists now say are real) write yourself as the Victor
    4. Start a blog that supports others going through the same thing. Karma states that he will one day stumble across it and wonder if it’s “him” and if your online presence is “you”. He will probably learn some sort of a lesson and feel shame at that point.
    5. Write a letter to him. But don’t send it. Every couple months or years look at what you wrote and revise it. After you boil it down to The Essential Truth.. send it to him. Or not!

    That is what helped me in the long run.

    Blessings to You,


    • This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by Inky.

    Thanks you all for your responses. Anita – my relationship with my mother is complicated. I know where I learned codependency from as she was this way with my father who was also mentally ill and she could not walk away. I love her and she is a beautiful person but the traits she exhibits push all my buttons because they are my own as well. When we talk it’s superficial but she’s the first person I want to call when my world is shattering and she can’t be there for me in that capacity which just makes me feel more abandoned and rejected. I need to do some deep work with this inner-child thing. It’s so freaking hard!

    Peter – great insight and I expect that the hindsight will one day “soften” and lead me to gratitude for this experience because I really do believe everything happens for a reason and if I don’t learn from it then what’s the point. As for the ego, I get what you’re saying about the observer. I just am not sure how to “let it be” like that, you know? I feel driven by these emotions, like they are all-consuming and I can’t step back enough to let them process. It’s like they are me – my identity. So how do I step back? Does that make sense?

    VJ – Thanks for the release techniques. I will have to look some of them up.

    Inky – I do journal every day and have been for years. But thoughts get caught in my head and I don’t feel like I’m being authentic in some of my writing. Like there aren’t enough words to explain how I’m feeling. I like the idea of writing the story the way I want it. That seems like an awesome idea. Perhaps it will help me re-frame. Believe me I have written him so many letters I will never send. They were therapeutic at the time. Maybe there will be more.

    Love to all… 🙂


    Hey Crystal,
    First of all, you’re doing an amazing job!! You’re here & your safe 🙂 so well done.

    I’ve recently been through a similar situation with my ex, we split in June last year. I was similar to you, in terms of wanting something/someone outside of myself to “fill the empty gap within me”, my relationship with my mother isn’t great either & can relate to 90% of your story.
    I’m not going to sit here & say that it’s easy, because it has quite easily been one of my biggest challenges in life, I feel quite annoyed at myself, because I lost my Nan & Grandad a few years ago & I’m sure this feeling has been worse! Anyway, you’ve acknowledged this situation & the triggers you have, which is so amazing! Being aware means you’re half way there! I think one of the main things that has helped me through funnily enough is therapy but mainly meditation. Have you tried it? There’s an app called Headspace which is a good place to start. If you haven’t heard of meditation in the unstigmatised way, it’s basically realising & acknowledgibg your emotions/feelings, sitting with them & not making a story out of them. So realising you feel sad. Even saying it… I feel sad, I am sad, you might cry.. but you don’t need to think “I fell sad because of my ex boyfriend & what happened & how I feel about myself &…” – make a story out of it. You’re sad, just accept it. Meditation really helps with this – it doesn’t happen overnight, they say it takes 21 days to form a habit but I’d say after 2 months I was witnessing a different side to me whereby I stopped making these stories in my mind & I stopped ruminating about ‘what ifs’ & what I should’ve or could’ve done.
    As for my self love I realised I had none & I beat myself up a bit, played the victim, but I realised that got me absolutely nowhere as I still felt the same if not worse than before. I owned the fact that yes I left him get away with far more than he should’ve & I put myself second but at the moment I came to that realisation was so powerful because I knew I would find & use the tools & techniques to heal myself.
    Before I would seek a new relationship in the hope that someone could fix the parts that, quite frankly, I couldn’t be bothered to fix myself & I got myself back into a circle with another man who hurt me just as much as the one before. So I cut off all expectations of potential lovers & started, & still am, concertrating solely on myself.
    The books I have read have been very powerful & on many occasions I find myself crying in the pages, but I just let it flow.. Usually after 5 minutes I tend to feel released & continue reading (what that fly on the wall must say about me!) I will paste an acceptance quote on her after (don’t want to lose this that I’ve wrote).
    Please know that there are no overnight cures (at least I’m yet to find them) & that this is all a working progress (it’s been 8 months for me) & that you get out of it what you put in. So if this is a real problem for you, which sounds like it is, perseverance is key.. just keep going. Those patterns through meditation & work will subside & you’ll come out the other side more awakened. I hope I’ve covered your question, let me know yours thoughts?

    The books that have helped me are:
    Barbara de angelis – how did I get here?
    Brené brown – the gifts of imperfection
    Harriet Lerner – the dance of anger
    Kristin Neff – self compassion

    Well done on where you’re at, you’re doing an amazing job!


    Poppyxo – you rock! Good for you. It’s so awesome to hear from others who have gone through similar experiences and are coming out the other side better than ever. I do meditate, or try, and have been off and on for a number of years. It’s hard when feeling so overwhelmed and sometimes I believe that meditation is just a way to dampen the feelings then I question myself (like always) on whether I should be doing that or not. The hamster wheel in my brain goes around and around. But I also know this is not a thinking thing, it’s a feeling thing and my biggest challenge in life is living from my heart instead of my head. Thanks for sharing the reading as well. I love Brene Brown – I assume you’ve seen her Ted talks on vulnerability. If not, soooo worth watching. I don’t know the others but am now itching to read more.

    As you said, there is no overnight cure and I guess we just have to relax and trust we are doing the right things. Gotta quit beating myself up that I haven’t found all my deepest truths at the ripe old age of 45. God sets no time limits on healing so I will just persevere and keep the faith as best I can. Thanks and you are amazing as well!!


    Thank you 🙂
    I believe feelings work in the same way though… I also used to get angry, more so at the time when triggered by him. This is because I was unable to express my emotions to him so took it out in anger, this is generally what anger is – unexpressed emotions. But when you really think about it, a story or something that has happened triggers a feeling, doesn’t it? Could you explain a situation whereby you get triggered? What the you doing? Are you thinking about something having a conversation about something? Does it just come from nowhere, but truly nowhere? No previous thoughts or texts or calls from him? Pain at yourself, feeling like you’re a failure etc? Because that comes from the lack of self compassion & love.. again working on this will help those feeling subside.
    Can I ask how long this situation has been going on/ when you broke up?

    Meditation is hard in hard times I get that because we almost don’t want to feel, anymore than we already do, any negative emotions or feelings.. but this is part of acceptance & realising we need to go through this to heal from it. Remember.. What you resist persists.
    I’m trying to find the acceptance thing I mentioned but it’s on my old phone, but I think I have kind of covered it. Just accept how you feel.. don’t try too battle with it, see it almost as a friend, nothing to be afraid of, the less you feed it the more it fades


    Dear Crystal:

    You wrote about writing in your journal: “thoughts get caught in my head and I don’t feel like I’m being authentic in some of my writing.”- I believe it is so because your heart has some truths it wants to communicate to you, but it is too distressing to hear those truths, so the head jumps ahead with its rational thinking to make sense of things. Only it cannot make sense of anything when it is incongruent with the heart. That incongruence is the inauthenticity you mentioned, I believe.

    Here is my imaginary input by your heart as it responds to what your head says (quotes from your last note to me):

    Head says: “my relationship with my mother is complicated”
    Heart says: my relationship with my mother is simple.

    Head says: “I know where I learned codependency from as she was this way with my father who was also mentally ill and she could not walk away.”
    Heart says: my mother didn’t protect me from my father.

    Head says: “I love her and she is a beautiful person ”
    Heart says: I need her to love me, to protect me, to help me. I wish she loved me, protected me, helped me.

    Head says: “but the traits she exhibits push all my buttons because they are my own as well.
    Heart says: I hate (very angry at) her!

    Head says: “When we talk it’s superficial but she’s the first person I want to call when my world is shattering and she can’t be there for me in that capacity”
    Heart says: she never helps me. I need her to help me! When will she help me???

    Head says: “I need to do some deep work with this inner-child thing. It’s so freaking hard!”
    Heart says: then listen to me, I speak simple language, short sentences; I don’t use a rich vocabulary (I don’t use “capacity” for example). I know what I need. I know what I want. I am simple. Don’t judge me, don’t disapprove of me. Listen to me…



    Anita – you are right on the money. I always try to rationalize with my mind but my heart says those very things you say. Thank you so much.

    Poppyxo – The situation was happening since June of last year. Doesn’t seem like long but felt like a lifetime. Things moved so fast with him. I get triggered from anything – songs on the radio, thoughts of my life without him, thoughts of his rejection of me after all we’ve been through together. I have talked to him a couple times just lately after swearing no contact but I couldn’t bear the emptiness. He is my addiction. I don’t even think it’s him that I miss. It’s that someone loved me and swore they wouldn’t leave and then did anyway, just like everyone else in my life has done. It’s the rejection that hurts. That’s what brings up all the unworthiness and feelings of no one can love me. And when I do talk to him I can’t speak my truth. What I really want to do is scream at him but I can’t because I’m afraid that means I’ll lose my connection with him forever and I guess I would rather have him in my life in some capacity (friend) than not at all. Sounds so pathetic on paper. He broke up with me two days before Christmas and then we proceeded to spend the next week and a half together with me crying all over him and pretty much begging him not to leave. And all the while I continued to have sex with him. Then I saw him again a couple weeks later for a long weekend and did the same thing even though I knew he wasn’t going to love me romantically again. I think a whole lot of that anger is directed at myself because I feel ashamed and weak.


    Oh bless you, I really feel your pain.

    I need to make you aware of a few points that you said…
    Originally in your previous post you said “But I also know this is not a thinking thing, it’s a feeling thing and my biggest challenge in life is living from my heart instead of my head.”

    Now you’ve said “I get triggered from anything – songs on the radio, thoughts of my life without him, thoughts of his rejection of me after all we’ve been through together.”

    You hear a song on the radio, you replay a part of your life, that, at the time was good (maybe?)& In all honesty this is a hard one as it triggers a memory so I can’t say ‘dont make a story out of it’ but I can say that to the rest. Thoughts of your life without him – you probably tend to make a story out of what if this happened or I can’t believe this happened… Your dragging yourself into a story. Then thoughts of rejection.. you’re thinking about him leaving you again, making a story out of it. When I say story I don’t mean you’re making stuff up, but you’re reliving what’s happened in your head & that’s not healthy for you. Accept the song makes you sad & just feel the sadness. Try not to have thoughts in your mind about the relation the song has (hard I know, but that’s where your meditation practise comes in)

    Your story sounds so like mine! I went through rejection with my ex & I’ve been left all the time by men. I give them everything they could ever ask for & only recently I got in touch with an ex from a few years ago & asked why he cheated & treated me like crap & his honest answer was that he could get away with anything because there were no consequence to his actions because I always forgave him & from my eyes saw the good side to him. Sometimes you have to own your part in something.. this hurts, but the realisation after opens you up to know that moving forward you can change this & eventually find someone better. I’m not saying that’s the end goal as it’s not, however, if you’re on the path I’ve recently ventured off, (which I think you are) you may be thinking why does this always happen to me? Why do people leave? Realising these things will almost make you think “see, told you it was me” but look at it in that it gives you the tools to heal & change moving forward. I apologise if that’s not what you want to hear or that doesn’t fit your situation, I just thought I’d share my experience as it may resonate with you.

    And don’t worry, I done the whole sleep with him still text him etc, it’s normal, we still have feelings for them. It isn’t pathetic, none of this is, this is your life, far from it. If we don’t do or find these things out now, we may be tempted to re open it in the future.

    You mentioned you can’t speak your truth, what truth is this? You’re afraid you’ll lose connection? Would you not say you already have? Have you got anything to lose by speaking your truth? How do you know he isn’t thinking the same as you? Being open is by far the best thing you can do, either way, good or constructive. I feel you probably feel so constrained because you have so much inside that you want to get out – to him?

    I feel, again, from my experience that he’s your addiction because of your lack of self love & self worth.. & please don’t see me saying this an attack on you as a person, far from it.. but because you don’t love yourself fully you need/want him to fill that empty gap.
    You need to learn how to fill it yourself & this is when healing will truly take place once you learn that only you in this life can truly fill that gap. If you go around life trying to fill it with money, things & other people I’m sorry to say but it’ll always be there.
    I know this is alot to take in & you’ve been through a hell of alot, but do you know what, you’re recognising it & talking about it & you should be so proud of yourself! Start focusing on yourself completely, your health, your well-being, physically & mentally. Go do things you enjoy.. they say the best thing for healing is to experience joy!! 🙂 you’ll do it, I know you can. You have so much knowledge already & I know putting it into practice is the hardest part, but when you start to notice the change & contentment in you, you’ll realise your such a powerful person you’ll never want too stop! 🙂

    Let me know your thoughts & obviously keep me updated! Xx


    Dear Crystal:

    If I am right on the money, like you wrote, here is an “emotional release technique” (from title of your thread) for you: let your heart write your next post, using simple language, short sentences, like a child would. Write from the heart, like a five year old. Or not.

    Brittany Irizarry

    Hey Crystal,
    I can totally relate to your experience. The feeling of just trying and trying to release the trauma , detach from it, accept it. I by no means am an expert or have completely found the solution myself but a previously twisted relationship and it’s pains has taught me how to deal with the pain and trauma. I realized trying can get in the way , by living in the emotions you are still giving them power. Try traveling deeper , to the core, to the beliefs that you hold about yourself and others. Remember darling you are a beautiful being of love and your relationship effective you to that extent because of how deeply you love and feel. When anger comes, give it love. When pain comes, give it love; say to it: I know you are hurt beyond belief, here is my love. If it helps picture you hugging the painful parts , accepting them and forgiving yourself for allowing an unstable and suffering man to come in your life and parade his way through your self esteem. Your wounds will heal and you will be stronger and much more deeply rooted in divine love. Always remember the oneness that you are; this too shall pass.


    You all are so amazing and beautiful. I have not been able to dig down to that core and just simply feel and love the emotions that come up. Too scary I guess. I do lack love and compassion for myself and have been forever looking for that external magic bullet that will fix me. I’m attaching stories to everything just like Poppyxo said. Maybe there’s part of me that wants to feel like this. If I am the victim long enough, someone will save me, right?? When I boil all this down, I need to stop trying so hard and just keep it simple. Acceptance, forgiveness, compassion for myself. Dig deep and allow that scared and hurt little girl to speak up and give her love.

    Anita: You may be the most insightful person I have ever heard from. After all the books I’ve read – thousands of pages about how to go through this “process” and blah blah blah. And you sum up everything in a few sentences. Now that’s authentic.

    My heart says please love me. And it’s saying it to the rest of my Self, not to anyone on the outside. I think something just clicked…

    I am forever grateful to everyone for sharing your experiences and your wisdom with me here. You are all my gurus 🙂

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