From Emotional Trauma to Internal Triumph: How Life Coach Tabitha Brooke Overcame Narcissistic Abuse
Today Tabitha Brooke is a renowned life coach and the founder of the Love Me Lab, but her journey to self awareness was a difficult one. As a survivor of narcissistic abuse, Tabitha found herself lost and in need of healing at age 30. After years of suffering in an emotionally abusive home where religion was used as a weapon against her mind, Tabitha was able to escape the only home she knew and find herself in the process. Ten years later, Tabitha now dedicates her life to helping others. She works with people who have faced emotional and narcissistic abuse to pinpoint the root of the issue and equip them with the tools they need to engage actively in self love and self care. Tabitha’s story is an inspiration and helps us to see that there really is light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s a few key points from our conversation:
Those who have healed often help heal. In Tabitha’s case, her calling to be a life coach was made abundantly clear after she had done the work on herself, and it was a path that literally called her. Tabitha took a look back and noticed that there were recurring conversations and themes in her life. Her joy for holding space for people and the fact that complete strangers would come to her and share their life story with her made it apparent that she had a gift and a calling. While she isn’t one to give advice, she asks the questions that get others to realize what guided actions they can take to change their course. Given the combination of her passion, skillset, and the needs of those around her, coaching was a natural career for Tabitha.
Not all abuse is physical. Emotional abuse can often be hard to recognize, because it’s not top of mind when we think of being abused. This is why it is important to pay attention to our energy and feelings, and really get in tune with our emotions. When you take a step back and consider how you feel after interacting with certain people, you begin to recognize certain patterns of behavior and sources of conflict. From there it is important to stand in your truth regarding how a certain person or situation made you feel because emotional abuse is often backed with a tactic called gaslighting. In a nutshell, gaslighting is when someone tries to get you to question your memory, thoughts, or things you know to be true.
Boundaries are necessary for your mental health. When you’re accustomed to being a people pleaser, setting boundaries is a foreign concept. However, in order to truly heal and have peace you must set safe and healthy boundaries. When doing this you may receive some pushback, but just remember that the only people that will be upset with you setting boundaries are those who benefitted from you having none.
It’s not your job to fix everything. As a survivor of emotional abuse you probably have felt that it’s your responsibility to make everything right and ensure that everyone is okay. It’s not. You are not responsible for the mental health of other adults. Being a good person doesn’t mean you have to play the role of the rescuer or the fixer. Do what you can within the confines of your boundaries and release the rest.
When your childhood is flooded with abuse, it can be difficult to recognize what healthy relationships look like. Children’s minds are like sponges, so when your baseline is flooded with walking on eggshells and abuse, that becomes your norm. It’s time to break that cycle by setting a new standard and building a new foundation.
Uncovering trauma from your past can help you understand roadblocks and issues in your current relationships. Oftentimes trauma and pain is so integrated in our core foundation that we don’t even realize the hurt and the pain that we feel. This is why it is crucial to look back over painful situations and analyze them to understand how we were impacted by those who hurt us. When you do this, you are able to understand your trauma, your triggers, and how to engage in healthy relationships going forward.
You find what you need when you let go of what no longer serves you. The universe can’t step in until we allow it to. When we begin doing the work to heal it creates a snowball effect of abundance and realization. While this realization isn’t always pretty, it is crucial to uncovering the weeds that have grown in our foundation.
Emotional stress can manifest itself in physical ways. Just because you’re not acknowledging negative emotions lying underneath the surface doesn’t mean you got rid of them. When you don’t tend to your mental health, you might find it creeping into your physical health in the form of headaches and chronic illness that you didn’t have before. Your overall wellness depends on your ability to unpack the emotional baggage that you’ve been carrying around and release it.
Don’t force forgiveness, let it happen overtime. Sure it’s true that forgiveness is for the person doing the forgiving, but forcing feelings of forgiveness sometimes causes people to neglect the truth of how they feel and the very real pain that they’ve experienced. Instead of focusing on forgiving, focus on healing. Enter each day asking the question “how can I show up today?” When you do this, you’ll notice that you heal yourself, and at some point, you’ll realize that you aren’t impacted or hurt in the same way that you once were. In that moment of realization, you’ll come to notice that you’ve forgiven on your own terms, in a way that is natural and not forced.
To heal you need to get curious, observe your thoughts, and create a new narrative by doing something. When we’re flooded with negative thoughts, our first instinct is usually to block them out or try to think of something different. Instead of blocking the thought out, Tabitha says we should get curious about the thought. Observe it and dissect it so that you can get to the core of why you feel a certain way and what thoughts and feelings might be lying underneath the surface. Once you take the time to understand your feelings and where you’re coming from, you’ll be able to create a new narrative in your life one intentional step at a time.