7 Tips to Rescue Yourself When No One’s Around

By Kim Saeed | Initiating No Contact

Sep 16
Healing emotional trauma

If you’ve recently ended a toxic relationship, healing emotional trauma is one of the first steps to rebuilding your life and self-esteem.

You may already understand the importance of taking care of yourself after being the target of abuse.  Perhaps you’ve even started a healing regimen, complete with guided meditations and energy healing.

But, in the path to recovery, trauma triggers happen.  Sometimes these triggers happen because of something you’re deliberately doing, like checking out the Ex’s Facebook page or driving past their house.

If you’re doing those things, you’ll want to stop.  Obviously.

But, sometimes trauma triggers happen that are absolutely out of your control.  Maybe the Ex sends an email from a new account.  Or, perhaps you think you see them in traffic.  Worse, the Ex approaches you while you’re visiting your favorite coffee shop.

Suddenly, you’re triggered and your best friend isn’t available for a phone call.  Or, it’s 1:00 a.m. in the morning and you see a text that was sent from your Ex who figured out they could use a different number to contact you – and you have no one to reach out to.

What do you do?

Following are seven ways to rescue yourself when you get triggered or are feeling especially blue – and there’s no one around:

1 – Calm your fear circuits with deep breathing

Although this tip may seem ridiculously mundane, the truth is IT WORKS.  When you feel triggered, stop what you’re doing, take six to ten deep, long breaths. Inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four.  Imagine that you’re inhaling white, healing light and exhaling fear and trauma.

This kind of deep breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to relieve stress and shut down the fight-or-flight response.   Additionally, when we breathe deeply, we oxygenate the blood, which causes our brain to release endorphins. These endorphins help reduce stress in the body and decrease levels of pain, both emotional and physical.

2 – Lie down and listen to a guided meditation

Guided meditations help you relax while focusing on pleasant, positive images and affirmations to replace any negative, limiting thoughts. They’re also a super-easy way of achieving mindfulness, because they help you visualize a calming environment and achieve a soothed emotional state, rather than letting your mind go to internal chatter that is stressful.

Make sure you are in a place where you can relax comfortably and use earbuds or headphones for maximum effect.  Keep in mind that guided meditations are different from the popular Zen meditation where you sit quietly and focus on being.  Generally, Zen meditations won’t help in the midst of a trauma trigger.

3 – Be gentle and patient with yourself

Recognize that your overwhelming feelings have less to do with your Ex and more to do with feelings that have been living inside of you long before they came along. Your relationship just reminded you they were there (and made you feel worse).  Once you embrace this, you can get to the root of true self-acceptance and recovery.  You don’t have to know exactly how this will happen in the moment, only that you will begin your healing journey. 

4 – Cut down excess sources of audio-visual stimuli

Survivors of narcissistic and emotional abuse are often Highly Sensitive People (HSPs).  Add that to the fact that you may be experiencing elements of PTSD due to your toxic relationship and any excess noise or activity can make you feel much worse.  Sometimes, without your even being aware of it.

To avoid stark feelings of loneliness, abuse survivors often leave the T.V. on while also browsing the internet on their phone or laptop and may leave other sources of background activity running. 

The last thing you need during a trauma trigger is several sources of noise and visuals blaring at you.  If you experience a trigger, go outside and take some deep breaths, then go back inside and turn off most of your electronics. 

5 – Create a coping toolbox for times when you feel anxious, panicky, or triggered  

Your coping toolbox might include any of the following items:

  • Self-loving affirmations
  • A stress ball or squishy (here’s a picture of mine)

stitch-squishy

  • A super-soft blanket
  • A favorite guided meditation
  • Open a window and listen to the sounds of nature
  • Healing crystals
  • A bar of your favorite chocolate
  • A favorite romantic comedy
  • Or, any that are included in the Beginner’s Healing Toolbox below.

6 – Don’t give in to wild urges you may have in a moment of panic or triggering

Part of your healing journey should include self-control exercises and managing your emotions.  Don’t act, try to sit with triggers until they pass.  For example, when you feel triggered – such as after discovering more deception after leaving a toxic relationship – how do you handle it?

A:  Blow up their cell phone with nasty messages, send them an email from Hell, get in your car and speed to their house or place of employment to confront them, and/or burn a pile of their belongings in your back yard?

Or

B:  You feel upset and betrayed but choose not to engage in drama.  You write the incident in your journal and document the event in case you need to refer to it later.  You realize that trying to get a sincere apology or trying to control events to make the Ex not be a liar is a waste of your precious time (and health).  You choose a self-soothing activity and remind yourself that you have done nothing wrong, so there’s no need to feel badly about the bad choices of another person or internalize the event as meaning you are lacking as an individual.

You’ll definitely want to go with option B.  Option A will leave you feeling angry with yourself and less in control of the situation.  It will also keep you entangled with the person you want to be free from.  Although ‘A’ will feel extremely good in the moment, once you recognize that you acted out of character, you may feel negative feelings toward yourself later.

7 – Recognize that you’ve been triggered

Perhaps it seems silly to say to yourself, “This thing triggered me and now I feel this way.” However, your brain needs to hear you say it. You must remind your brain that where you are now is more important than where you were then.  Take an inventory of your surroundings and remind yourself that you are safe.  Your life is not in danger, and your Ex is no longer a part of your life. 

If you happen to be out in public and the Ex approaches you unexpectedly, walk hurriedly in the opposite direction, get in your car, and drive to the local police station in the event they follow you.  This should put to rest any agendas they may have for stalking and hoovering.  Then, practice the coping exercises in this article.

Copyright 2016.  Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach

Download the Beginner’s Healing Toolkit below and add it to your Coping Toolbox!

Your Healing Toolkit

Jpg_healing_toolbox_rs_for_ck

Join thousands of others who are getting weekly updates, healing tips, and empowered living advice - and receive instant access to:

The Beginner's Healing Toolkit! Start healing from Narcissistic Abuse now!

Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Comment:

(21) comments

Clearing Away Clutter – Risorgere™ November 15, 2016

[…] 7 Tips to Rescue Yourself When No One’s Around […]

Reply

[…] 7 Tips to Rescue Yourself When No One’s Around […]

Reply
Kimberly September 18, 2016

You have brought me such piece of mind. I knew something was so twisted about the man I’m currently with and I did so much research trying to figure out what was causing him to be the way he was. Then I came across the word narcissist and I have to tell you I completely cried because there it was in black and white right before me it was him word for word the perfect description everything was right then and now I have validation that I wasn’t crazy it wasn’t my fault he in fact is a horrible person and is intentionally doing these things to me and I wasnt imagining this. I’m currently still living with him and have no idea how I’m ever going to get out I’ve got nowhere to go and no one to help me no Financial backing and no money saved I’ve been stuck for 10 years and I see no light at the end of my tongue there’s only one way out of this house and I believe that suicide and I haven’t gotten to that point yet but I think about it everyday thank you for your articles my favorite one was the one word it helped us explain to her friends and family what we’ve been going through that’s my favorite one thank you for your articles they get me through my days

Reply
    Kim Saeed September 20, 2016

    Hi Kimberly,

    Please read yesterday’s article: AKERU – THE SANCTITY OF GIVE AND TAKE

    Reply
    Invisiblonde February 27, 2017

    I don’t know if your situation is still the same as it was when you posted this; I sure do hope not.

    I, too, am trapped in a long-term nightmare with a Cluster B-disordered man (he is an almost-textbook Borderline with, additionally, strong Narcissistic tendencies); I am completely estranged from all family; I have no friends; and I have no financial resources.

    I, too, sit here most days thinking of a line from a post I read: “There were times when I thought it would be easier to kill myself than to find a way to make the relationship end.”

    Something that has been indescribably helpful to me is a site I just happened on about a year ago:

    baggagereclaim.co.uk

    I know I am just a faceless entity, but I DO feel your pain. Being all alone in the world is sickening, but it also means that you literally have nobody but yourself to accommodate or please.

    Here’s a thing that keeps me going: I have already given him essentially every bit of who I used to be, and even all that is not enough.

    Why do I think that literally sacrificing my life for him WILL be?

    Reply
anu September 17, 2016

What do you do when they’re stalking you– violating a five year felony domestic violence related order of protection, and doing so with the help of one of the women he cheated on you with? And the police have little to no evidence…some wanting to helo, but feeling as if their hands are tied, and others berate you and treat you as if you are crazy or lying or on drugs? I am in an almost constant state of high alert. I moved my son and I to a totally different town to hopefully be safe. I believe he and his little helper will not stop until I am no more. The humiliation of how I’ve been treated by the police also adds to my fear. Last time the officers responded ti my call I was told “Hmm… Let’s see…you’ve only been in town a month and a half. You’ve called five times….Isn’t it strange ti you thar NO ONE ELSE HAS SEEN OR HEARD ANYTHING?” And that was a woman cop. Her delivery of comments and sneer of contempt left me with a sense that she was not at all a safe person, and that Mt OWN ‘freedom’ might be threatened via some protocol not regularly discussed. I don’t know if a person can be locked up like that, but she made me FEEL like it. I’ve never been a liar. I’ve never been prone to hallucinations, visual or auditory, and I’m almost 50. What do you do when you have no one?

Reply
    Kim Saeed October 2, 2016

    Anu, your situation is a sad, but common one. The only advice I can offer here would be to install a security camera on your home, document everything, and/or hire a private investigator. Those are just practical suggestions to help with the stalking. Regarding healing and moving forward from your experiences, that is a process which would take time and a daily commitment to yourself.

    Kim

    Reply
Dawn Davis September 16, 2016

These letters have helped me. I had been in a narcissist emotional abuse relationship for 17 years. I went no contact by blocking everything .He has another woman in our house. I am sick with sadness. Every week since 3 weeks no contact, he finds a way to upset me. He sends nasty texts from a number I don’t know. Sent a nude woman’s pic to me on my Pinterest . Calls me a skank. I have never been with anyone but him. Tells me to never speak to him, which I don’t then messages me from someone’s phone. My life is a mess. I feel so sad because I loved this man with all my heart. He is always on dating sites and porn . He is a miserable 61 year old man, never happy. Nothing ever pleases him. Treated me like a maid. Now he is happy with his new woman. How can one man go from one woman to another. It’s sickening . Please pray I get over this Thank you Dawn

Reply
    Kim Saeed September 17, 2016

    Hi Dawn, thank you for commenting and I am sorry to learn of your situation. It’s definitely hard. It will be a journey to get through this, but it would make it much easier if you could make sure he cannot contact you. I recommend to clients whose abusive Exes use different numbers to contact them to change their number – as many times as it takes. I have had to change my cell phone number a few times, even though I use it for work. I also changed my email address and completely deleted the old one. Hope that helps.

    Best wishes – Kim

    Reply
      Smlk October 28, 2016

      Kim , I have done the same. Changed my number once again and never gave it to him ! He begged me to ( when he d show up at my work
      Place and at home. But I refused to give it to
      Him ! The last thing i d want to see my phone blasting with his calls

      Reply
SJ September 16, 2016

Very good article and advice! I’m going to printed out and implement many of your suggestions.

Reply
Rebecca September 16, 2016

I love all of your posts. They are powerful and resonate strongly with what’s happening in my life right now. I will laminate these reminders , as I still feel triggered every single day wanting to talk or see him one last time, only to feel hurt once again. Never ending cycle! But I am determined to STOP IT!!! xo

Thank you Kim!

Reply
    Kim Saeed September 17, 2016

    You’re welcome, Rebecca. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!

    Kim

    Reply
Tracey September 16, 2016

I meant Kim of course!
I did read your book how to do no contact like a boss and it’s awesome I read it about 5 times already!

Reply
    Kim Saeed September 17, 2016

    Thank you, Tracey! I’m so happy to know my book has helped you. Wishing you all the very best in your healing 🙂

    Kim

    Reply
      Jane September 17, 2016

      How can u do no contact when your x sends messages that somebody has shot themselves or had wreck broke leg heartattavk

      Reply
        Kim Saeed September 22, 2016

        Hi Jane, The best way to handle it would be to contact someone else who knows the person who has been hurt…but not your Ex. Hope that helps! Kim

        Reply
Tracey September 16, 2016

Thank you Jim.
This is so helpful and I passed it on to a friend.
It’s important to have a tool kit a list like yours because we get so much information from so many sources it’s good to have so much info in one place

Reply
    Kim Saeed September 17, 2016

    Yay! 🙂 Thank you for your encouraging input, Tracey!

    Reply
Robin Wessel September 16, 2016

I can’t buy your books, as i walked out with no job or any means of support yet. But these newsletters are helping me. I read 10yrs. To figure out. Another 10 yrs. To heal maybe thoughts of suicide. Oh no not this girl i gave enough i love me too much now. And i use vortex for mediation. THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME. I KNOW NOW I AM WORTH IT..

Reply
    Tracey September 16, 2016

    Robin,
    I was left the same way I lost my job health insurance got behind on my bills on and on and on 4 months but I’m getting better now I’m working part time and getting back on track you will get there too I will keep you and all of you here in my prayers

    Reply
Add Your Reply

Leave a Comment: