The situation I was in was pretty unreal and out of my control. I don’t want to go into any discussion on that, but I will just say that it was so much out of my control that God had to literally intervene and take over. I was in an extremely dangerous situation. Once He intervened, He sort of guided me from there to pray my way home.
I didn’t have any knowledge of the things I just lived through. I’m not very educated in the field of Psychology or Spiritual matters. Things were being done to me that I’m not here to talk about.
Anyway, God pulled me out of an extremely toxic situation. In every sense of the word toxic.
So when I got out, I had a guard up to almost everyone. He then guided me through some things that helped turn my life back around. And He still is. I’m not “there” yet, wherever “there” is. But mentally and emotionally I’m doing very well.
I have to admit, He was literally doing the main work for me. In that, He literally became my strength through it, and set a protective guard around my heart. But I want to share the things He led me through because I think anyone can benefit from these things when leaving a toxic environment or dangerous and traumatic situation. These things even apply to any situation where brainwashing or verbal abuse has taken place.
First thing He guided me to do was to put my full focus on Him. Take my eyes off the situation, off the memories, off anything connected to the toxic people involved. Don’t think of names. Don’t try to recall conversations or events. Anything involved in that situation I blocked out. Music, places, names, anything that could trigger a thought or memory.
I just got in the present with Him and stayed there as long as I could. In His Word, in prayer, in journaling, in prayer with others, in worship music. Whatever it took to keep my eyes on Him.
I love all music, but through this initial period, I would only listen to worship or Christ centered music. I even made a paper cross and stuck it on the dash in front of me. Any time my mind drifted onto things related to toxic people, toxic thoughts, or toxic memories, as soon as I would catch it, I’d put my eyes right on that cross and pray the Lord’s Prayer. Even just “Father, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from all evil.” Or just stop and say His name over and over.
There will be a time and place for recalling things. For now, don’t even worry about that. Just keep your eyes on Him. Take and keep your mind off the situation or people. That will take away it’s power over you.
You may even need to do this for months. Consider yourself in a Spiritual or Emotional Intensive Care Unit, and no one or nothing is allowed in for awhile that could upset your Life support system.
I started with John 1. That is a very interesting book to read when leaving a toxic situation. It opens your eyes to what you were dealing with. But just acknowledge it for what it is. Don’t try to think to deep on that, but instead On God.
Remember who you are and to whom you belong. Read all of God’s promises to His children and dwell on that. You can pull up lists of His promises online or get a book that goes through them.
Don’t identify yourself as a victim. At least not right now. You got away. You survived. You are more than a conqueror in Jesus.
You may not feel these things, but you have to replace the lies and emotions put in your head with the Truth until you do start feeling it.
God tells us to draw close to Him, and He will draw close to us. He promises that He is close to the brokenhearted. He also tells us to lean not on our own understanding, but in ALL our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our steps.
When we come out of a traumatic situation or toxic environment we have a real tendency to replay memories over and over an over. It is like the trauma is still happening. Or abuse is still happening. We are telling ourselves the horrible things others have said about us as if we are now doing their work for them and tearing our own selves down. Every memory or thought brings up toxic emotions and we feel horrible, sad, anxious, angry, scared, depressed, defeated, or maybe we just feel numb.
So the goal is not to trigger the emotional connection to the event or person and just keep our eyes on Jesus. Now is a real good time to praise Him in the storm. Worship music is amazing through this time. If all you can do is fall on your knees and cry through it, that’s OK and very healing.
The point to this is shifting your focus. Whatever you focus on, you give life to. This is exactly like when Moses led the Israelites out of years of hard bondage and abuse. They were told to keep their eyes on the snake Moses lifted up and keep moving forward. Don’t think about where you’ve been. Don’t worry about where you are going. Keep your eyes on the Lord and trust.
This might seem hard at first, especially if the situation was very traumatic. But make yourself do it. It will get easier. And the Lord will draw close to you and empower you.
All of this may seem opposite to the way the world expects you to get through this period. We’re told to go to counseling, to support groups, whatever ways we can talk about it. Counseling with someone you trust is good. But leave that counseling session at the session.
We need to put more focus on who we are in Christ, in His words, His promises, and in prayer and worship, rather than activities that involve looking backwards and reliving horrible things.
There is a time and place for remembering and talking about it. But right now, you just need to get your focus straight after being traumatized. And if we can get our focus off what happened and onto the Truth, healing will come so much easier.
What we think about, we give power to. The last thing we want to do is give more power to a traumatic event or toxic person. Our goal is to take our power back.
I’m going to make a list of great scriptures that are very healing during this time. But almost all of us have access to great apps like The Bible app, or something similar. Looking up anything on fear would be a great place to start. Whatever it is you are feeling personally, find a good power scripture for that. And anytime you feel that sense of fear or panic, sadness or whatever you may be feeling, repeat it to yourself until the trigger or memory loses it’s power.
I hope this helps someone. This is a journey. I hope by me sharing what helped me and is still helping me, that others can benefit from this.
This is your starting point. Focus on the Lord and give Him back the power over your heart and life that another tried to steal from Him.
May God bless you and guide you into healing, and the peace, love, and life that He intended for you.