PTSD often leads to a cycle of flashbacks and hard to process memories. When the trauma that led to it comes from abuse, that cycle often includes a type of negative self talk that reinforces the belittling and destructive attacks that you have suffered.
Your abuser did not just hurt your body. When they hit you, gaslighted you, and called you names, they damaged your mind and took away your self worth. The bruises heal quickly – it’s the mental and emotional scars that stay with you.
In order to start healing from those, you have to start by interrupting the pattern of thoughts that are reinforcing your abuse. One of the ways you can do this is by beginning a practice of positive self talk.
Self talk may sound a bit strange, but it can be very effective – and we all do it anyway. The key is learning to take control of your self talk so that you can use it to heal, rather than allowing it to happen unconsciously in a way that hurts you.
For example, If you feel yourself starting to become anxious, your natural self talk may be to say, “I can’t breathe, I can’t do this!” Stop, take a breath and instead say, “I am OK. I am feeling anxious, but I am strong and I have done amazing things and overcome incredible challenges. I can handle this.”
This technique may seem simple, but it can have a huge effect on how you see yourself and how you deal with your anxiety and negative feelings.