After a reader commented how she needed to "stay strong" for her children, I realized I needed to write a post that explored this phrase and clarify just what it means to stay strong after a narcissistic relationship.
I have a love-hate relationship with the phrase "staying strong." Many people think to stay strong means to not cry or show emotions out of fear that others will see them as weak.
I feel differently.
What staying strong really means
To me, staying strong means acknowledging your emotions. All of them. Good and bad. When others see us break down and cry, they sometimes don't know what to say. And that's ok.
It is a sign of strength to show emotions, to show your vulnerability in such a way. It is exceptionally brave and courageous to open yourself up and show the world your pain and hurt.
Amy Clover, motivational speaker and mental health advocate, was right on point in her article You've Got 'Stay Strong' All Wrong when she wrote that staying strong is courageous and brave.
It takes courage to talk about feeling hurt. It takes faith to let yourself feel pain, and to remind yourself even through grief that it is transitory. Staying strong isn’t about showing the world you never feel anything less than happy and confident. Staying strong is being brave enough to show them that you do, but that you move forward anyway.
Keeping your pain inside and stuffing it down isn't strength. Opening up and sharing your pain, your anguish, your hurts? Now that's strength.
What happens when we don't acknowledge our emotions
By not acknowledging our emotions and "staying strong" in the way society thinks is the best way, we are actually doing ourselves much more harm than good.
By hiding in that way, it's only stuffing it all down. By stuffing it all down and not releasing it properly, we run the risk of releasing it in an unhealthy way (like yelling at a loved one).
Stress of any kind (bad or good) can affect our bodies. When we hold back and suppress our emotions, we put undue stress on our bodies. This can cause a multitude of physical ailments, like heart disease and bone weakness.
Effects of consistent emotion suppression include increased physical stress on your body, including high blood pressure, increased incidence of diabetes and heart disease. In addition, people who engage in emotion suppression regularly rare more likely to experience stiff joints, bone weakness and more illnesses due to lowered immunity.
What it really all boils down to is this.....staying strong after a Narcissistic relationship means having to share your raw and real emotions. There are so many ways to do this. Talk to a trusted friend or therapist, or write in a journal. There are also a multitude of ways to help improve your overall emotional health, ranging from relaxation methods (like yoga or meditation) to eating healthy meals and getting enough sleep.
How do you stay strong? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
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Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.