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Aftermath: Toxic Groups and Relationships

Here are some common after-effects from toxic group membership or relationships. While the same group can be okay for some of its members, it can be utterly toxic for others. We are all different in our need for belonging, individuality, and level of self determination.

The same goes for relationships - a narcissist might target some partners more than others. Leaving either behind comes with a lot of challenges and takes time.

  • Thoughts keep circling in my head, I can't make them stop

  • I don't think I'm worthy of love

  • I have fears about the world ending, hell, karma or other punishment

  • Fear of making mistakes, difficulty making decisions

  • Sense of dread, anxiety and panic

  • Guilt for having left the group and leaving people behind

  • Guilt for living / enjoying life

  • An internalized voice criticizing or policing me

  • Strong beliefs and inner convictions that I didn't choose

  • Feeling responsible for others and their needs

  • Lack of boundaries, not sure when someone is violating mine

  • Difficulty connecting with other people

  • No sense of who I am, my identity outside of the group

  • Difficulty talking about and making sense of my experience

  • I feel depressed and find it difficult to function

  • I am very angry, there's so much rage

  • I have a hard time connecting to my emotions

  • I question my reasoning, how I make decisions

  • I put myself down

  • I still think in us-versus-them terms, who is the enemy now?

  • I daydream or just drift off, disconnect from my feelings

  • I feel like I have to be productive all the time, difficulty relaxing

  • I don't feel safe​


Read more of the questions on the intake form. You can look at the questions without sending the form! Just see what applies to you. Stronger After offers free one-on-one educational coaching to help you recover from psychological abuse.

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