A common trigger of inner tension, distress and chronic pain is this dilemma:
👉 Do I banish a loved one who has hurt me, so that they can’t keep hurting me… but then suffer the loss of the relationship?
👉 Or do I keep the relationship with my loved one… but then suffer as they continue to hurt me over and over again?
This is a dilemma between choosing the pain of healing and grieving, or the pain of ongoing injury.
And you may find that there really is no third option that works for you — that choosing to heal means ending the relationship, as painful as that may be.
Or you may find that the path to healing that works best for you is a third option: To keep the relationship, but set a firm boundary on behaviors that injure you, physically or emotionally.
This may be very difficult, but if it’s what you truly want — and if it actually feels possible — then it might be the path that you choose.
Whatever your situation, needs or preference, one thing is consistently true: We cannot heal an injury when we continue to be re-injured. It just doesn’t work.
Whether we end the relationship or keep it, we need to put a stop to the injurious behavior if we want our nervous system to feel safe enough to heal — emotionally and physically.
This is easier said than done, and it’s important to consider your own safety first when setting boundaries. Start with small, doable steps. Maybe the first step is confiding in a trusted and supportive friend. You don’t have to do this all at once. You can take one step at a time.