Living After Domestic Abuse

» Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Living After Domestic Abuse

Surviving domestic violence and moving past it are two very different things. If you have left an abusive relationship successfully, you have made a huge step, and should be extremely proud of yourself. It’s important to remember, however, that although the abusive behavior may end at you leaving, the emotional and mental scars it leaves may take longer to recover from. The good news is coping with the aftermath of domestic violence is something that you are capable of!

Something that you will need to commit yourself to in order to stick to your convictions and continue your progress, is trusting yourself and your decisions. It is easy to fall back into your old situation when you are still feeling like a victim. It’s important to remind yourself that you have made the decision to leave for any number of reasons, and that those reasons are extremely valuable to you. Whether your reason is your children, your peace of mind, your happiness, your safety, or anything else, always remind yourself of why you left.

If you start questioning yourself, or doubting that you made the correct decision, here are some quick thought guides that can help keep you on track:

  • Reassure yourself that your instincts are strong. Think of all the times in the past that you were right about the abuser or the actions of the abuser. Before the abuse started, your abuser may have hid their actions well, but surely after it began you knew it wasn’t right. Your instincts probably instructed you to turn and run immediately. It’s in our nature as human beings to know what isn’t a safe situation. You leaving an unsafe situation proves that your instincts are right, and that you did what you had to do to survive.
  • Set healthy boundaries for the people in your life. Taking the time to decide what you want in your life will help you feel empowered. Ask yourself what kind of friends, family, and significant other you want in your life. Be sure to also include the traits that you want the people around you to exhibit. Rather than just saying “I want to find a nice guy”, elaborate and explain what that means. A statement such as “I want to find friends who are honest, kind, do thing for me selflessly, accept me as I am, follow through with their commitments…”. After deciding what you will accept from the people in your life going forward, you will feel stronger and more capable of evaluating the people surrounding you. If someone is violating a major boundary for you, understand that it is okay to remove that person from your life. Remember it is actions not words that matter.
  • Don’t give away too much too soon.  This is just a safeguard for you at this point. Leaving an abusive relationship can make you feel lonely, scared, and vulnerable. Do not allow these feelings to persuade you into another unhealthy relationship. In other words, now that you know what you want, don’t settle for less. Keep in mind that abusers want to find out everything they can about you so that they can more easily control and manipulate you. Don’t bargain and convince yourself that someone is good for you because being with them feels better than being alone.  Saying something like “Yeah she lied to me about that, but at least I know that she’ll never do that or that”, is a common statement from abuse victims. Of course nobody is perfect, but if you meet someone who is severely deficient in some of your requirements, don’t continue to foster that relationship.
  • Never blame yourself. This sounds like common sense, but this is one of the hardest things for an abuse victim to accomplish. What happened to you is not your fault, you didn’t ask for it, and you can’t change how it happened. Abusive relationships are toxic, and nearly impossible to salvage most relationships from. An unhealthy person can’t have a healthy relationship. So no matter what you did or didn’t do, if your partner was mentally or emotionally ill and not seeking help, nothing on their end would have changed. Just remember you control your thoughts and your feelings. You are not in control of anyone else’s actions or feelings and no one else is in control of yours.

Abuse is never okay. If you are in an abusive relationship and looking for help, please contact us today. Our caring staff can help you recover from an abusive relationship.

Other Resources:

The National Domestive Violence Hotline Site: http://www.thehotline.org/resources/

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

 

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