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Chiugo Akaolisa: Emotionally Damaged



I know exactly what it feels like to be emotionally damaged. That feeling when you bury your heart deep within layers of cynicism to prevent it from ever being hurt again. Every subsequent encounter with people feels like an interview to make sure they don’t remind you of the past. I learned from a very young age how to keep my guard up, so a series of failed relationships didn’t help. The more I entered into a new one, the less I had to give.

It feels like another lifetime now.

There are different triggers that damage people emotionally but all centre around someone significant leaving them feeling broken. What comes after, is a vow to never be that vulnerable.

Everyone goes through a different recovery process when a relationship comes to an end. Much like grieving from death, recovering from the end of a relationship takes time and patience. There is no quick fix. If it is rushed, you miss the lesson life is trying to teach or end up in the hands of the same type of people you will be better off avoiding.

The beneficial thing about a break up is that you learn lessons about life, lessons about love and lesson about yourself. You learn to identify your flaws and enhance your qualities. With all this knowledge, you can then enter into a new relationship, better and wiser.

This is all in theory….most times, it never translates to the real life

To some people, the end of a significant relationship signifies the end of a healthy love life as they know it. Damaged by a horrible dating experience, they’re now terrified of moving forward with someone new. Some people begin to withdraw whenever a relationship escalates and some avoid commitment at all cost.  They won’t give into their feelings, let go of their doubts and inhibitions or open up to their partner because of the fear of being hurt again.

This is a sad reality for so many and a good number of them don’t even know that they are damaged!

When a person is emotionally damaged, the place where they usually draw love, understanding, empathy and any other emotions that can sustain a healthy relationship is blocked by a painful memory. What is left is a rigid demeanour and an untrusting mind that shapes every interaction. Walls as high as Jericho are built to protect their fragile heart.

It is very difficult to break free when someone enters that mind space.

Healing is subjective. There is no “one-size-fit-all” to this. But the universal first step is recognizing and embracing that experience that did the most damage. The next step is to figure out the lesson that life needs you to learn. For me, it was patience and serenity. For some, it is comfort in being unattached till a good person comes along.

Dating or marriage is not a race, and it’s not a competition and there is no time attached to it but at some point, it’s healthy to settle down only when you are ready. Ready being the operative word.

We must take a look on the positive aspect of a bad experience rather than reliving the pain that it brought to our lives. We must take all of the lessons we’ve learned from the situation and never imprison ourselves with the past. Most importantly, we must give ourselves the freedom to love again.

We lose ourselves in things we love. We find ourselves there, too ― Kristin Martz


Photo Credit: Dreamstime |  Yolanda Van Niekerk

Chiugo Veronica Akaolisa is a graduate from the University of Alberta, Canada. She is a God-lover and a recluse. Her every spare time is spent writing and developing her business. She is an entrepreneur and a budding novelist. Her true passion is Poetry and Relationship Tips. She has a minor in Psychology. Twitter: Verachi | Facebook: | Instagram: missverachi |


  1. Diddy

    June 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Do we blame love for emotional damage?No,just like pink said in her singles title “try” where there is a desire,there is gonna be a flame,where there is a flame someone’s bound to get burned,but just because it get burns doesn’t mean you are gonna die,you have gotta get up and try,some find it difficult recovering from break up,some r depressed and might lead to suicide,while some it makes them stronger but it does not mean we hav to give up on love.Love they say is a beautiful especially when we r with the right person.

  2. Tkum

    June 8, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    emotional damage is no excuse abeg…life most times gives you disappointments enough for you to have learnt how to so move on..didnt say its gonna be easy though.. but my dear you have to look for the best way moving on will work for you. Not sure emotional damage is the right word in Nigeria, i think its best called insanity…anyways, whenever you find yourself in that condition, go place a seed or secret thanksgiving offering in the altar of your bible believing church..scribble a note or prayer wish/request thanking God for Sanity and Health, and watch how you go dey alright in very few days….works totally for me. i am a hopeless romantic and soft person. my one cent advice though…

  3. keeks

    June 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Well written. To love is to risk being hurt. And I get you. After my own phase I started to shine my eyes well well. I am in love but there is that thing that never leaves you once you have been hurt before. Dating and marriage is indeed not a race.

  4. bunmi

    June 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    U always konw wat to xpect !s u get into sumtin

  5. bunmi

    June 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm


  6. beautycee

    June 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    “For some, it is comfort in being unattached till a good person comes along”. i agree with this. i have tried after a year of broken 8 years relationship. still i dont seems to get attached to anyone. if am close to you today, tomorrow everything abt you irritates me. for how long will these continue. pls how do i help myself. how do i improve. i really want to. am 28 years, i wish i never wasted my whole twenties dating one guy. #sobbing# God pls help me.

    • Oluwabusola Adedire

      June 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      You need to start by rebuilding your self esteem because self-confidence is the beginning of a long lasting love story. Follow me on instagram @beauty_without__ borders where I share inspirational quotes on inner beauty, emotional healing, and cultivating self love. I empathize with your pain however, being vulnerable with another person is something you should do slowly and purposefully. Be kind with yourself, you are doing your best. x

  7. loveaddict

    June 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    “Dating or marriage is not a race, and it’s not a competition and there is no time attached” God bless you for this!

  8. lacey

    June 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Excellent piece! Every relationship is a learning process! You must step back and reappraise and understand what went wrong! As there are people out there damaging other people because they are damaged themselves! So you will do yourself a favour by ensuring you are cleansed from their emotional toxins in your system ,as you are only responsible for your own actions! Move on to better things for yourself and have an open mind. You will be fine! Life is no competition,so stay on your lane.

  9. Oluwabusola Adedire

    June 8, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    When dealing with loss, nobody can tell you the best way of dealing with it. Just know that you can either be miserable or stronger…. whichever you choose, the amount of work is the same.

  10. Leo

    June 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Nice write up, Nne. So many people are ruining other people’s dating history bcos someone ruined theirs. Nigerians needs to learn how stop sweeping their emotional problems under the rug and deal with it. Better for everyone. My opinion sha

  11. Rita M

    June 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I ave been in a relationship for 5 years and people keeps on “pokenosing” on when I am getting married. I am only waiting to when I am ready!

  12. Cj

    June 8, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Loving someone is giving them the opportunity to hurt us but trusting them not to.. When they break that trust, just like a bad deal, we learn from the experience, get up and move on..sitting too long in that place of hurt doesn’t do us any good. Love is a beautiful thing!!

  13. Godsangel

    July 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    yes it does hurt when we love someone and they hurt us…what we have to do is get up and keep moving…as the bible says the arm of flesh will fail u, we just need to trust God for that inner strength to move ahead. For me have been hurt so I decided to take a step back. i recently got talking with this guy and we became friends ,he’s been hurt too so we decided to take things slow, we talk every day. fast forward to few months later he started acting strange, no calls….asked him y, he said his ex is back begging and all had to give him space…….never give up just keep forging ahead. My advice

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