In this episode, I am joined by Vivian McGrath as she shares with us how to redefine your self-worth after trauma. Vivian works with women to step out of the mindset of a scared little girl into a powerful and aligned woman. She shares with us how not to let trauma define your story as you are not what happened to you. You can build a successful life after trauma. Listen in to rise up out of your insecurities to find your own self-worth and the beauty within.
About our guest:
Vivian McGrath is a Personal Power Coach for high-performing women who are ready to stop hiding behind a successful career or keeping up the appearance of the perfect family while experiencing a less than desirable personal life. Vivian almost lost her life in a toxic marriage and went from a young, single mother to becoming a successful TV Producer for global networks like the BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, TLC, and ABC. She now works with women who are ready to claim their best life both on the inside and out, and to lead with success in life, love, and their career. Watch her free Workshop: My 5 Step Relationship Detox: How to recover from toxic relationships, fall back in love with life and never settle for less again here: vivianmcgrath.com/freedom
How to lead with success in life, love, and career as a powerful woman:
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I know you, you are afraid to speak up, you are scared of what other people think of you. And you blame yourself for what happened to you. I know how it feels. Because I’ve been there. If you found me, I’m so grateful you’re here. This podcast will give you hope. And now I’m your host, Anna ditchburn. I’m going to hold your hand and provide the guidance that I needed the most. It’s time for you to find your why. And turn your experience into your superpower. So lock your door, put your headphones in, and enjoy Vivian McGrath, welcome to the world’s best Trauma Recovery podcast.Vivian McGrath:
Thank you. I’m really delighted to be here. Vivian,Anna Maydonova:
I am so excited to have on this podcast. Because knowing your story, and what you have gone through makes me think of so many millions of women who are going through a similar situation. And we will dive into this. But being television executive producer at Vivian McGrath, and a personal power coach and a speaker, I’m wondering what inspired you to start this business?Unknown:
I think it really found me. You know, I, I built a very successful career as a television producer making very high profile, high rating shows for British and American television. And I’d been doing that for a long time. But alongside that, I seem to just mentor women and some men along the way that I employed, I was always mentoring, it just came naturally. And I got to a point where my television career meant that I was traveling a lot, I was away four to six months of the year away from home. And because we moved to Hong Kong, and my work took me back to London, and so I was away a lot. And I have a really, really beautiful relationship with my husband. And I started to think, you know, I miss hanging out with him, I really want to hang out with him. And, and I started to also realize that I got to a point in my career, where I wasn’t learning anything new, I wasn’t being stretched, I absolutely fulfilled the dream career that I had when I was young, and smash that out of the water. And it was 10 times more than I could ever have imagined. So there was enough, nothing left that I felt I needed to accomplish in that way. And so if I’m honest, I was getting a little bit bored. You know how we always need to evolve, we always need to grow ourselves. And then it just found me because I thought, I don’t know anything other than television. What do I do? What do you do? How do you reinvent yourself? And then I realized, no, I do I know my own story. And my own story for those who knew it and I’ve mentored over my life had a very powerful impact on their lives. So I started to realize, I just need to, I now need to become the story. And and tell it and and be a living example, that you do not have to be defined by something abusive or traumatic in your past, because that’s not who you are, you are not what happened to you. And you can break free from it and choose to create a completely different life one of success, love, powerful connecting relationships. And so I just started to write and speak about it. And then people from around the world started to find me and have now become beautiful clients that I help show how to do the same.Anna Maydonova:
And the clients you’ve changed the life of it transformed their lives. Vivian, I’m just looking at you. And before we dive into your story, how Can someone going through a such an abusive and horrible experience? can look so amazing? JustUnknown:
how Thank you can be a secret. I really appreciate that, especially at my age. It comes from within, you know, it absolutely comes from within and, and, you know, when I was young, I was pretty I was slim I, you know, I was popular. boys liked me, you know, but but I didn’t have that beauty with him because I had, I didn’t realize I had deep insecurities inside me. So when I was young, I thought I was strong and confident. I thought I was what I look now on the inside as well as the out but I wasn’t what I didn’t realize was the energy I was giving out. Back then of insecurity people pleasing, am I good enough? Do I belong? Do I fit in subliminally actually sends out a signal? Come on, anyone who wants to push my boundaries, test me try it on, manipulate me. And I actually became very, very, very vulnerable. Because I was this pretty little girl who also had that naive vulnerability about her. That insecure, I’m going to pull up people, please, I’m going to put you first. That led me into many, many dangerous situations of being accosted by older men when I was a little girl being manipulated, and ultimately the relationship that I ended up in very young with a husband who almost killed me. And fast forward to today, what you see is that alignment, I’ve now realized that there was this frightened little girl inside me. And the frightened little girl inside me was making all the wrong choices and decisions based on fear. Am I good enough, just just to those other people like me, or you know, all those insecurities that we have. And once I realized that, actually, I was handing my self worth away to strangers to anybody who would validate me and, and tell me what I was worth. But now I don’t do that. Because now I really worked hard to find self love, self worth, self confidence, all of those self Dashwoods. I’m aligned. And so what you’re, what you’re seeing I hope is someone who’s very centered, very aligned. And I know my work. And when I work with my clients. And literally in eight weeks, they come to me there’s broken, scared little girls. And then little girls are driving the bus of their life making all the decisions out of fear and insecurity. And as we work together, they start to align and step into this woman, this higher self adult who’s aligned, confident, has inner peace, and joy no matter what happens outside of them, no matter what anyone else thinks of them. They reclaim their own worth. And it’s it’s incredible to watch. They just evolve like these butterflies and like they come out these really beautifully empowered women not in an arrogant or hard way. But just so knowing who they are, and that they are worth the best. So I hope that’s what you see me.Anna Maydonova:
You know what this resonates with me so much. Because Vivian when I started my healing journey, honestly, I feel like I look younger and better than 10 years ago. It’s like the weight of the whole world. Came off my shoulders. What in the first place? breaks those little girls, those women? Where is it coming from people pleasing?Unknown:
First, I wanted to say to you I’m so sorry about what you’ve been through. You know, your story is deeply traumatic. And I want to honor you for the journey that you’ve gone on and the work you’ve done, and how you survived that Well, I really do because, you know, hearing your story, I was in tears. And yeah, so thank you, thank you, thank you for receiving for us connecting together. So I could just say that to you, you know, I, you know, I believe that, and this is not to speak of any blame, because I’m not someone who is interested in blame, I’m just interested in understanding where it comes from. And what I know now is that when we are little girls, and we were a sponge, and we absorb everything that’s happening around us, the experiences that we see what our parents say to each other, how they connect to each other in their relationship, how they connect to us. And I wasn’t from an abusive home, which I found really difficult to understand how somebody who doesn’t come from an abusive home can end up in a very violent relationship. But it was dysfunctional enough that if your parents, or main caregivers, or siblings or whoever is around you, when that you’re that little girl, unable to nurture your emotional needs, then you start to create a story around it. And for me, that story was, I mean, my parents were wonderful. They looked after all my practical needs, but they just were quite Victorian, and there was no emotion. If I got upset, my mother would just dismiss it with a bit of gaslighting, You’re too sensitive. You know, your tip that’s wrong, it’s that you it’s not what you think it is, it’s you shouldn’t be upset, you know that. So I learned to hold everything inside. My dad was my mom was very controlling, and she had narcissistic tendencies in a very covert way. So everyone else would think, wow, she’s this marvelous woman. But it was very covert, and very controlling. And, and my father was beautiful. Bless his soul. He’s only just passed away a few weeks ago, he started to hear that focused on just keeping the peace and keeping her happy. And so he didn’t really have time to connect to us. And he had four daughters, it was a bit overwhelming. And so you got the story I told myself was, my needs don’t matter. I can’t say I’m upset, because I’m wrong. And if as a little girl, you’re looking at your mother saying no, no, that what you’re feeling is not right, you’re too sensitive. You’re not going to say, Well, my mother’s wrong, because she’s your mom, she’s your world. You’re just a little girl who loves him. And so I absorbed it as I’m my needs don’t matter. I’m unlovable because they never hug me. They never, ever heard me. They never told me. They love me, I’m unlovable. If I got upset about something, my mother when they get really angry, more angry, so I had to just swallow everything. And people please so that she didn’t get these bursts of anger. And so that becomes your story, that I have to keep the peace, I have to put everyone’s needs first. I’m not good enough. I’m not lovable. I’ve got a set. So that story then, as you grow up, becomes your identity. And you think it’s who you are. And so you go through life, that is who I am. That’s I I’m the one who does this, I have to do that. And you know, put that in a family of siblings where everyone plays that specific role of the High Achiever perfect firstborn, or I was the Joker people pleaser keep everyone happy at the you know, as the last board. And then that became my role at school. I was the one that just was the Joker kept everyone happy, looked after everybody else. I became like everyone else’s agony. Nobody knew that I was dying inside.Unknown:
And that becomes your who you are. But it’s not who you are. Because that’s who you’ve become based on other people’s stories and trauma and experience. And and when you start to realize, well, it’s making it’s informing every decision you make this story that I am that person. But it’s what if it’s possible, it’s not true. What if it’s possible that’s story is not true. And you can find a global belief that’s greater than those beliefs that have led you into abusive relationships led you to whatever trauma you’ve ended up in, then you can change it, you can rewrite it. And that’s what I show my clients how to do is to rewrite that, and say, This is my identity, I can keep all the amazing parts of my parents that are great. But all the parts that haven’t served me, and have led me to this place as a people pleasing, pleasing martyr to people who hurt me, I can now let go of. And so that’s, that’s where I find it. And again, I say that without blame, because my parents did the best that they could at the time. We all do. And I’m sure I’ve passed some stuff to my kids, and I helped them to work out, you can separate from me, you don’t need to take the stuff that hasn’t been quite so helpful. And so that’s where I think it comes in. I don’t blame but I do believe generational trauma. And it can be very simple trauma does pass down. And until you see it, and take responsibility for your own life as an adult. And I actually think it’s part of just growing up actually letting your parents go with love.Anna Maydonova:
Yeah, well, I also believe we need an adversity in our life to grow. So perfect childhood just doesn’t exist, I believe. And what I’ve come to learn through my own healing journey, that is very real, that people leave their lives, not as it is. People leave their lives as they are. And because of my own fears, and limiting beliefs, and self doubt, but I wasn’t true to myself. Yeah. And it caused me so much pain in my, in my life. Vivian, you’ve mentioned that you, you’ve been in a very abusive relationship with your first husband, would you share a bit more about your story?Unknown:
Yeah, I met him when I was very young. And he was quite a well on television star. So extremely handsome guy, with his piercing blue eyes. And, and so and I remember, I was completely had a massive crush on him when he was his TV star. And I didn’t even know him. And so he was very, very charismatic, very mesmerizing. And when I first met him, it was like, I was the only person in the room and I was in a room full of models full of actors. We had the same agents, I was an actor back then. And it was like, I was the only one who existed. And I very quickly saw this side of him that I you know, wasn’t the TV face. That was a little, you know, he started to reveal a bit of a damaged past a difficult past. And so immediately, I was hooked into feeling sorry, gosh, this poor guy, you know, well, and then gradually, he would lead on that, oh, the last girlfriend was this and that. These are all I now know, the classic red flags of, you know, a narcissist as they really win. But I quickly started to think I can make this guy feel lovable, I can make him happy. He’s had been had had such a hard time as a child. I can fix this by just giving him all the love I’ve got to give because we are those sorts of empathic people who just have so much love to get. And he was, he was lovely at first. You know, I didn’t marry a violent man. I didn’t fall in love with a violent man. I fell in love with a man who later turned out to be violent. And what happened was what I now know is coercive control, which you is now, you know, back then there was no such term I didn’t know about emotional abuse. Now of course, we The Tinder set swindler, and all these shows on on Netflix and whatever. It’s in the zeitgeist coercive control. So it was very subtle at first, it was just, everything was wonderful. And then he would just disappear. And I wouldn’t hear from him for two weeks. And then he come back, because that is if nothing had happened, and it just it destabilize me, I still think, Well, I must have done something. So then I would double down to try and, you know, be even more lovable, more beautiful, more, whatever, then it was about changing what I wore. You I don’t like you looking so sexy. And that, you know, other guys are looking at you that sort of thing. And it just gradually, gradually went like that. And what I what I learned was, he was testing my boundaries. If he said he didn’t like what I wore, would I change what I wore, if if he disappeared for two weeks, and then came back and I got upset. And he just gaslight me, and told me, Well, you’re the problem for getting upset. And I stayed and put up with it, then again, I passed that test that he could start to manipulate. And then one day, he just this anger I’ve never seen before erupted and he just slammed me against a wall wood is squeezing my face. And, and really like I’d never seen these eyes before. And it was quite frightening. And then bang, it was gone. And then he started crying. Oh my gosh, that’s like my father, I can’t believe I did that I’m sorry. And then it just built to, you know,Unknown:
it would be this cycle of this eruption of anger. And then this remorse of crying, I’m sorry, because my father was one. And I really don’t want to become like that, and all this stuff that he told me. And so it becomes this gradual as they say, the frog, in boiling water, where you don’t realize it’s happening, because it’s so subtle, and it goes away. And then two weeks would be amazing. And you think, oh, did I imagine that maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought. And so it erodes you you’re on you’re not on steady ground, it erodes your confidence. You, when you if you aren’t playing the role of ignoring and all that, then then he would punish me by disappearing. And so what happens is, the more the more he then starts to pull away, the more you lean in, because you’re, you’re needing him to validate you. And it’s a very subtle, but incredible form of brainwashing where what happens is your very self worth, your very happiness and moods start to depend entirely on him and his, and then he has total control over you. And the more the more your self esteem erodes, the more you just need him, especially after an eruption of anger to tell you. I know I love you, I really do love you. And it becomes like this drug. And it was like I was addicted to a drug. And it’s like, imagine if I was on heroin. And the highs at first is so incredible. And then you get the low and the low makes you desperately want that high back again. And then what happens is the highs get less and shorter, and the lows get greater and longer. And then you start to get desperately craving this drug and you start to turn into a woman you don’t even recognize this clingy, needy, scared. Oh, I just don’t I didn’t even I got so far from who I was. Because he was just controlling me. And once he controlled me, the emotional abuse turned to violence. It turned to driving in a car and then driving at the fastest speed possible and heading towards a tree and saying he’s going to kill me. It drove to sleep deprivation where he would not let me sleep all night and put a light in my face and if I fell asleep, he would he would throw me out of bed and get violent and push me you will not go to sleep before I do. And he was in one of these crazed modes where he wasn’t going to go to sleep until it escalated to the You know, and this was, you know, quite severe violence. And, and I was just so helpless by that point, because he also isolates you from your support network. I was isolated from my friends, everybody, and I was terrified. He said, If you leave me, I’ll kill you. And, and then one day he almost did kill me. He I was pregnant by this stage. I married him amongst all this, can you can you believe that?Anna Maydonova:
I mean, that is how powerful coercive control is that I thought that he needs me to prove, I really love it now. And then it’s going to stop. So yes, because he’d say, Well, when you marry me, then I’ll feel secure. So I then marry him, I’m pregnant. And I knew when I walked up that aisle, that I shouldn’t be marrying this guy. I knew, but by then I was so terrified. My mother zipped up my wedding dress, and my back was black and blue. And she said to me, it’s better to go through with it than have a Boston of a baby. Because her stories that she grew up with, and her identity was very Victorian. And the worst thing is a baby out of wedlock, because that brings shame. So that was her story. I forgive her for that now, because that was Post story. That was her truth that she passed to me and didn’t protect me, you know. And so I I married this guy, I then when I was seven and a half months pregnant, I suddenly this argument erupted out of nowhere, like one minute we’re fine the next minute, oh, my God, and it was terrifying. And he started smashing things. I mean, he’s he did, he’d done everything in the past. It’s smashed into torn my clothes off me he’d everything you can imagine with this day, this look in his eyes, was the most frightened thing I’ve ever seen. It was like, it was like, his eyes were black and cold. And anyone who’s almost been murdered by someone who loves him say the same thing. These eyes go black and cold. And he suddenly straddled over the top of me and he’s six foot two, and his whole body weight pinned me down. And he strangled me. And just was this close to my face. Saying, die, you can’t excuse my language. You can beat that. Die. You see what die you see what die and he he meant it. He was wanting me dead? Yeah, just it that always triggers me to remember that. And so, you know, the helplessness you feel when someone has your last breaths in their hands.Unknown:
was just the most terrifying, terrifying thing I’ve ever been through in my life. And my body, everything went into slow motion, time went into slow motion. And I felt my soul leaves my body as I was seeing this white Tunnel of Love. Like, I mean, I’m here I am looking at a man thinking. The man I love is about to kill me and our child. And yeah, how do you equate that in your head and that was my last thought. And then a white tunnel of like, closed in. And as I was going unconscious, it was It wasn’t my life that flashed before my eyes. I felt my my soul my energy, if I can describe it, leave my body. And I felt the energy of my parents who were overseas at the time. I felt them come to me. It was the most extraordinary experience. And I felt their energy of utter sorrow. As they found my dead body that was or as they found out, their baby daughter was dead. And it’s I’ll never forget it. And so I must have been close to dying is my all I can think of. And then I came to I have goosebumps and weights came here. It was extraordinary. It was an energy presence that was so visceral that they was there and it was like, I became them. And I felt that utter sorrow and just deep loss for me. And yeah, it makes me cry too. And I then came, how I came round was that he started just shaking me and dragging me across the glass of all the glass that he’d smashed everywhere. So I was getting cuts on my body. And I think that just shocked me. I think he must have thought I’ve killed her. So he was then frantically trying to do something, I don’t know. And then when I regained consciousness, he ran out of the room, into the kitchen, and just all I heard was plate smashing, and just this massive noise, and then the survival kicked in. And I just thought, Ron, just get out and I, I was on pure jet journal. And at that point, and I just ran out the house, I ran down the road. And then I just was in shock. I could barely breathe, my throat was closing up, I could barely breathe. I had blood pouring down my legs from all the cuts. I was in short, a little singlet top bare feet, seven months pregnant, massively pregnant, and I walked past two neighbors who turned away from me. And that, really. And that was the turning point. That was the turning point. I thought my baby was dead, because my baby was always very active. And he was still, he wasn’t moving. I thought, My babies, my babies did my babies did it. And then I just knew where a police station was. And I just walked. And I just walked. And I just walked until I walked in that door, I could barely speak. And I finally admitted that I was a victim of domestic violence. I said, my husband’s just tried to kill me. And I’ve been hospitalized in the past and lied through my teeth to the police. So it was the first time I’d admit it to myself. I need help. I can’t hide the secret anymore, that I have so much shame around. And so that that was that was the beginning of my healing and recovery. And no, not quite. I went back to him after that, if you can believe that. Because he promised to change. He went and got help. He went to AAA and he stopped drinking. And I just desperately wanted my father to my son to have a father, I just wanted us to be a family. And there was also a part of me that was just so scared. Because he said, if you leave me, I’ll kill you both. And that was a night where he took the baby. And he went for hours. And I thought he was going to kill him. And so I was, I was so mixed up. I mean, I was, I was so deeply traumatized. I didn’t know what I was doing. And I needed help. And there was no one really supporting and helping me.Anna Maydonova:
And I had to help my son knowing even Yeah, knowing even your neighbors turned around your mother, a person who biologically designed to kill if something should happen to you locked away,Unknown:
I think it was too great for her to cope with. And her way of dealing with it was to reduce it to a medical problem. He’s got a drinking problem, and therefore if he can stop drinking, it’s all going to be okay. I think it was. That’s, that’s what I believe it was so traumatic for her to see her daughter go through that, that she had to cling on to something tangible, that and combined with, you know, a single mother on her own is great shame. My daughter is going to be shamed. In society. If she’s a single mother, we’ve got to fix this so they can stay to get you know, it was all that stuff. So again, it’s stories from somebody else but coming my belief and my story. And I did finally leave and God I mean, that night that I finally fled was the most terrifying in my life. I literally a friend of mine came over, we just threw whatever we could into a car, got my baby and and went. And I just thought I just thought he was following me that he was I knew he was away for a certain amount of time. He also could be unpredictable and say it was going out. Surprise me to just check up on me, you know, and I was just I was looking over my head I over my shoulder. And if it was just terrify. And then then when I got free, I planned my exit safely. Because I knew that it was the most dangerous time to leave that of him killing me. So I planned it, I had a safe place to go. And then I was euphoric. I was euphoric, for a number of weeks of that relief, that freedom, that I finally got away, and then then I crashed really hard, because the addiction to him was still there, the craving for that drug was still there. And I had to go cold turkey, I had to withdraw from that drug, and all the pain, all the fear, all the loneliness, who’s going to love me now with that with a baby? Maybe he’s right, no one will love me more. All of this stuff poured out. And it was it was like withdrawing from the most toughest drug I’ve ever had in my life. And I did that by myself, cold turkey. And that was the beginning of my healing, I realized I had to feel everything. I was numb for so long, that I had to feel I had to feel it because I thought if I feel it, then I can start to release this trauma. So so that’s that’s a long answer to your questions.Anna Maydonova:
And I’m very glad, Vivian that you went into such detail. Because not many women and men and kids can realize that they are in narcissistic relationship. And so they don’t have a protection. And I know you have so many resources, where you are talking about how to recognize the narcissistic relationship. So I would really, really highly recommend our listeners to check your website and your YouTube channel and the link we will, we will post below. But I’m just wondering if someone someone from our listeners are in those kinds of relationships, and if the dependent codependent on the narcissist, and they don’t have an opportunity to exit those relationships, what would be your best advice how to protect yourself, at least for some time beingUnknown:
you need help and support it’s unproved, it’s extremely hard to do it by yourself. And the first thing is, you need to understand that you cannot change them, you will never ever, ever change them. And they don’t have two sides, you think they’ve got this really lovely loving side, it’s just this broken part inside them that, you know, we can fix and we can heal and get them back to becoming that loving side. Again, they don’t have two sides, they are that person. They are the abusive person who is very adept at putting on a beautiful, nice loving mask every now and again. But that mask is the one that slips, because the real them is the abuser. That is the real person. And if they are making you to blame for their behavior, then even if you you even if when you leave them they go to get help. They’ve they’ve done it because they want to get you back. So they’ve made you responsible for their getting help. It’s not about them taking accountability for their own behavior. So, you know, they in order in order for that relationship to be fixed, they first have to take a responsibility and accountability for their own behavior. And for them go and put in the years and years and years of work to heal just like we do. And it’s never gonna happen, because they’re narcissists. They don’t they truly believe they’re the victim. So if you’re in a relationship like that, you need to get out and codependency I didn’t understand it. But once you understand it, you really understand this dynamics of why you feel sorry for them, why you feel guilty for them, why you go back to them even after what they’ve done, you know, and so the first thing I would say is get Help and Support even if if at first, I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have anything you get to those support groups, I believe now there’s codependency anonymous groups. There’s an incredible book called women who love too much by Robin Norwood. That book was changed my life because it made me realize that codependency it really explains it and why it’s never going to change, it will only get worse. And then, you know, two women a week are killed by these men. So do everything you can to learn and understand about codependency. Understand that you cannot control or change them, that is out of your control. And the more you you try and control your situation, the more out of control your life becomes. That’s what I realized, the more out of control my life became. Therefore, the only thing that you have any control over is you. And that’s quite liberating. I was like, what a relief, I can stop trying to people please and save the world, I can stop trying to rescue this broken guy who’s almost killed me, I can stop, all I have to do is focus on me. And that is far less exhausting. That’s doable. And then you just take one baby step at a time looking after you focusing on you get go to, you know, ring an anonymous helpline find out for funding and support and whatever is available to help you leave that situation. That’s that’s what I would say if someone was stuck, but I tend to not work with women who are in that situation. Because when they’re fully in that situation, they have more emergent and urgent needs, which is to get that on the ground help and support to get out. I work with women who are down the line. And who have now focused on themselves, pick themselves back up. They’re, you know, on the road to recovery that they’re working. They’re they’re independent financially, so they’re not in that dire straits and desperate, because then they’re in a space to start to really do the deep work to understand how did I get into that relationship? And why do I keep repeating that patternAnna Maydonova:
in what I wanted to share with you very quickly. I was in an in a very abusive relationship. Well, after what I went through my childhood was the same story people pleasing, limiting self belief, self esteem was somewhere under the ground. And I married an abusive man, as well. I was married for four or five years, it took me a year to get out from those relationships. And I’ve met a man of my dreams on the streets of Melbourne. And what’s happened, you would think or, you know, you met the ideal person and everything is fine. Now, what I found with myself, I didn’t tell about my trauma at this point, when I was sabotaging those relationships. Oh, that’sUnknown:
what I wasAnna Maydonova:
writing. So when you’re going to tell me off or when, when you’re gonna, you know, yeah, starts fighting with me. So I will sometimes start the fight because that’s how I used to so we’re gonna fight and then we’re gonna, you know, you’re gonna cry, or I’m gonna cry and everything will be fine. And it took me probably a year to realize, Hey, hold on, this is not those relationships anymore. And my husband now he will saying no, do not bring your past experience into this relationship. I’m not your ex husband. That was an eye opening. And your thoughts on this.Unknown:
It’s what I did. I did the same. And, you know, it’s interesting. I always say that attracting love is not about attracting it, or manifesting it. It’s about reflecting out and and when you reflect out insecurity and fear, and that scared little girl, you attract the types who are the mirror of that. They’re scared, insecure, damaged, broken souls. And again, I am not victim blaming, but part of that attracting emotionally unavailable and tight So if people are because we are emotionally unavailable, you know, we’ve learned this insecure attachment style as children were unavailable. And vulnerability feels quite unsafe. And, and so we go on these relationships, which if I can focus on fixing that person, then I don’t have to look deep inside that there’s a scared little vulnerable girl inside me. So you have a relationship that someone emotionally unavailable, you can you can keep them at a distance, it’s at a distance by default. So it feels safe in a really screwed up dysfunctional way. So when you meet the you do some healing, and I meet my beautiful available, lovely, stable, balanced guy. And he is available to get close to me. Oh my god, it’s terrifying. Because if that means I’ve got to open up, I’ve got to get vulnerable. And number one, I’m gonna I think deep down subconsciously. What if he finds out who I really am the unlovable, the unworthy the that that girl I’m scared of what have you finds out who I am and doesn’t like that, he’s going to abandon me. And I’m terrified of abandonment because my parents abandoned me emotionally. And I know what that feels like, it hurts. I don’t want to be abandoned anymore. That little girl and he doesn’t want to be about it. So I’m going to push you away and abandoned knew before you abandoned me. And secondly, I also know what opening up and being vulnerable feels like in an abusive relationship. I know that when I open up and get vulnerable, you’re going to use it as a weapon to hurt me. Yes. So it’s twofold. It’s complicated. So I started turning into my ex, I suddenly was picking arguments and doing all this draw, and I thought, What am I doing, I’m becoming the person I left.Unknown:
Exactly what happened to me.Unknown:
Yeah, and and what I find a lot of my clients, they, they are in this pattern of attracting only the emotionally unavailable types. And the ones that are that are lovely and available. They, they push away. And and that is that cycle that I have to show them what’s going on. In fact, one client as we’re working through, she was convinced he was abusive. And by the end of it, we’ve talked, we worked through it, she realized, oh my God, he’s the love of my life. He’s the available guy I’ve always been looking for. And the other thing is when you grow up walking on eggshells, and when you grow up in that sort of emotional chaos and inner turmoil, that’s your normal. So in the absence of that, when you’re in an available relationship, there’s none of that in my relationship. It’s it’s peaceful, it’s really easy. It’s effortless. Even if we have an argument. It’s, it’s, it’s easy to just, we end up laughing because it’s so out of character. And it’s quite funny. But we can work our way out of it easily and so you’re not familiar with it. So you find those guys boring. You know, you find the bad boys exciting and the stable ones boring because there’s none of that fireworks in my stomach going like butterflies and I was convinced that that meant my ex was the one that because he was stirring so much in me. But it’s not. Now I know if you’ve got fireworks or any of that that’s a great big red flag right? Because the nice available guys it’s a slower burn. It’s a you build a lovely, solid friendship and trust and it comes gradually but but yeah, took me a long time. And and my husband was just beautiful. He was there. He’s not going anywhere.Anna Maydonova:
And he’s a such a lucky guy.Vivian McGrath:
He says that toAnna Maydonova:
me, Man, where people can find you.Unknown:
They can go I’ve got a number of places. And will you put the link in my name Vivian mcgrath.com. And actually I have, you can go to my website, Vivian graph.com. You can go to YouTube, which is youtube.com forward slash unbeatable because I’m unbeatable. But what I would encourage if this resonates with anybody, you know, I created a 45 minute free workshop which It is the five mindset shifts that I have worked with my clients to make, to fully recover from toxic relationships, fall back in love with your life, and never settle for less than you deserve ever again. And and that’s the web, the workshop that my my clients did before they then got on a call with me and decided, you know, yes, they want to, we want to work together. So well, you can watch that at Vivian mcgrath.com forward slash freedom. Because it’s it’s your your first step to freedom. Amazing. So that’s, that’s where I would suggest they go as the first place.Anna Maydonova:
Amazing. Amazing. Thank you. Vivian. Do you have any concluding thoughts before we go?Unknown:
Well, I loved what you said, your husband said, you know, your your past doesn’t equal your future, unless you drag it into the future with you. And I am not defined by what happened to me in the past. I was when I believed those stories of who I was, but I’m not defined by that anymore. And and you can, you can, you know, choose who you want to become. That’s got nothing to do with your past. But I’m perversely grateful for my past, because it allowed me to learn an enormous amount of less lessons that have now led me to choose the really empowered, successful woman I’ve become in life, career and relationships. So it is it is a choice, and you have that choice. It is within your power to make that choice. You’re not stuck. You’re not trapped. That’s not who you are. But you need to take action. You know, nobody can help you. by you. And you know that too.
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