Surviving Abuse ~ The Aftermath
Accepting What Happened
Every stage of healing from abuse is different. The first and most important step is accepting what has happened and making the decision to walk away for good.
It is easy to fall back into old habits and routines. When we love someone it doesn't matter how much they have hurt us because they are easily forgiven. It takes truly unforgivable acts to make us question anything and even then, the lines can still get blurry.
Abusive partners can make you feel like it really is your fault. They can and will make you question if it was you the whole time who was making life so hard. If it really was you enticing them to anger easily, to hit you, to spew lies and hurtful words at you. They can also turn the charm on in a flip second.
It is hard to understand just what you are accepting at first. Being confused and blind sided by the realization of what all has happened is to be expected. Its hard to comprehend that someone we loved could be so callous and uncaring when we loved them so deeply and unconditionally.
It becomes hard to trust people after abuse. To get close to anyone. You might alienate your family and friends. You may become agitated easily and simply not be yourself because of everything you are feeling. The aftermath of abuse is chaos. Its a disaster. Its picking up all of the pieces and trying to put them back together.
The point of acceptance is, to understand that you had wrong done to you. That it was not your fault that they are the way that they are. You did not create them or make them that way. You suffered at their hands because of their problems, not yours. Accept that you were abused but do not hold it back. Do not accept the lies. Accept what you know to be true. You are beautiful. You are a unique individual and you have an abundance of self-worth even if you cannot clearly see it yourself.
Forgiving Yourself & Them
There are many types of people in the world. If I had to group them all into two categories there would be the forgivers and the non-forgivers. Those who forgiveness comes easily to and those who could hold a grudge until time itself was no more.
I understand the struggle in forgiving someone who has hurt you deeply. It isn't just the hurt that you are getting over. It is the utter betrayal of trust and your heart. There is anger, depression, numbness, rage, and so much more that comes with moving towards forgiveness.
It is important to know that forgiveness is imperative if you want to heal from the abuse, regardless of how hard it may be to get to the point where you can.
Forgiving someone who isn't even sorry really sucks. Try to remember that it isn't for them. It is for you. Holding onto that resentment and bitterness that forgiveness can bring is only going to keep you down. The best way to move on is learn from what happened, forgive them, forgive yourself, and let it go. I'm not saying that you will ever forget, because those memories will stay with you for as long as you live. It gets easier with time. Eventually instead of tears when you tell your story, you will be able to talk about it and admire your own strength.
You are strong. You are resilient. Nothing is impossible if you just have faith.
The Vicious Cycle - How To Break Free
Are you thinking about returning to that person who hurt you? Do you find yourself questioning if this time they really mean that they have changed?
Have you actually walked away but now they are making you question everything? Are you scared because at least you knew what to expect with them? Are they trying to win you back the same old ways as before or even offering up sweet sentiments and saying they were wrong?
Do yourself a huge favor. Understand that if they have done this before, then it is a vicious cycle that you do not want to be apart of. They will do whatever it takes to win you back. They might even keep up the façade for a little while just to keep you interested, but sooner or later, it will revert back to the same things. Something will trigger a rage and everything will spiral out of control all over again. Think about it this way. They cannot harm you or abuse you if you do not allow them. The only way to take that control away from them is to walk away from them and to stay away.
Keep a support group of close friends or family if need be to help you in your weak moments. Believe me, there will be moments. You will remember the potential you saw in them. They will be especially charming towards you and entice you to come back. Just remember what it was like when they were in control of the situation and hold strong to doing what is best for yourself.
Have you ever been mentally/verbally/physically abused?
Healing takes time. It takes tears, anger, moments of weakness, late nights and early mornings pondering over everything that happened. It takes almost as much out of you to heal as it did to be hurt. It is a journey, a process, not something that happens overnight.
Be patient with yourself and understand that there are many different stages to healing from abuse of any kind. Anger, depression, grief, loss, acceptance, forgiveness, etc...
Understand that PTSD can happen to the best of those who have went through traumatic experiences. Don't chide yourself for flinching away from someone's hand. Remind yourself that not all hands are so cruel. Do not put yourself down for wondering constantly if that person really means what they say. Reassure yourself that certain people haven't given you reasons to distrust them, and remind those people that you have been through something horrible and just need their support.
Open up and talk to people you trust about what happened. Its a scary thing to do but it will help you to know that you are not carrying that burden alone anymore. You'd be surprised how many people might tell you that they have been through the same things.
Just remember to be patient with yourself. Healing is a process not a magic thing that happens instantly one day.
Every time you have a negative thought about yourself challenge it with a positive one. For everything you think bad about, think something good about. Over time, this really helps your train of thought and eventually the negativity is fewer and far In between compared to the positive thoughts. Challenge yourself to do this daily for a better mindset.
Know Your Worth
Knowing your worth comes with time. It takes trail and error to realize what the lies are and what the truth really is. Do not let someone else's opinion of you determine your self-worth. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and entrusting your worth with another is never a good thing to do.
You are a child of God. You are a beautiful individual. You are SO special.
It does not matter how many times you have been called worthless, nothing, low down. It does not matter how many horrid things you have been called or told you are. None of that determines how much you are worth. You are PRICELESS.
If the person you are with does not treat you like something worth losing, then they do not deserve you. Know your worth and walk away from those who don't.
There are many women who get into relationships with the best of intentions only for it to end up a very hazardous situation. They do not know how to leave without escalating the violence. They may be afraid to pack their things in fear of what their partner will do to them if they were to try and leave. This is a real problem but there are many real options as well.
Even if you have gotten away; If are having difficulties recovering from the abusive relationship and need some professional advice, there are many places you can seek help. You do not have to remain silent about your suffering. There are others out there who care, who want to help.
Abusive people have perfected the art of tearing a person down from the inside out. Ruining their self image, destroying their self confidence and making them feel worthless. They will tell you lies all day long to make you believe that no one cares, that no one will believe you if you tell them the truth of what is happening. Worst of all, they are charming and outgoing, so many people may even believe what they have to say. Seeking help is so important because it allows you to open up to someone who can really see what is going on. It allows you to talk to someone who will not only take your side, but teach you ways to rebuild what that person had destroyed.
There will come a point in time where you can move on. When someone will come into your life and make you realize that not all people are horrible. Someone who will value you for who you are and not only see your worth, but admire it. This person will show you how you should be loved.
It will be a scary day, when you realize you are ready to love again. You may question yourself and if things will turn out the same way. Remind yourself that not everyone is your ex. Not everyone is going to devalue you as a person, hurt you the way they did, or try to control you. Allow yourself to open up and trust, love, and move on. You have come so far. Be honest with this person. Tell them what you have been through. If they are the right one, this person will be understanding and love you unconditionally. They will be gentle with your scars. They will be equally as gentle with your heart. Hold on for this day to come for it is sure to.