It happened to you. You never thought it would, but it happened to you. Someone you loved and trusted was abusive towards you and finally, finally you got the courage to end it, to leave. Now, in the stark, cold light of reality, you finally understand what they did to you. Every single wound feels like it has been slashed open again and you cannot understand how you allowed this to happen to yourself, how could you be so blind to think you needed someone in your life who hurt you so much. You feel like you will never trust another person again. The truth is, it is going to be hard. But if you have been brave enough to leave, then you are certainly brave enough to trust someone again. Trouble is, where do you begin? Where you begin when your heart feels this sore and the pain and humiliation is unending?
1. Cleanse your heart.
The first thing you need to do is to try and get rid of the darkness that has found itself resident in the chambers of your heart. Abusive people convince you that they are only doing to you what you deserve and that wrecks havoc on who you are. It is like this thing has taken resident in your heart that is convincing you you deserve the pain. It makes you comfortable with being hurt. You need to get rid of the idea, the dark thing inside you that is convincing you that pain is all you deserve.
2. Be easy on yourself.
Getting out of an abusive relationship is similar in some ways to recovering from a terrible illness. You need to take care of yourself so that you can heal. Take a day off work if you feel like you cannot be around people yet. Spend all day in bed, watching films if that is what makes you feel better. Don’t push yourself to get back to a routine as soon as possible and don’t punish yourself for needing time to recover.
3. Start talking about it.
Find someone who can understand what you have gone through, whether it is another abuse survivor, a therapist or even just a friend. Talking about it really does help, it lessens the burden you are carrying on your shoulders alone and allows you to feel lighter, a bit better, a bit stronger every day.
4. Let your pain teach you.
Pain changes people. This is no secret. But your pain speaks with wisdom. When you are a child, the same pain teaches you to not touch fire by burning your fingers. When you grow older the fire turns into people. Your pain will teach you how to be careful, but it will also teach you how to be compassionate to others, be kind to those who are hurting and how to be strong in the face of adversity.
5. Believe in yourself and disregard your fears of not being able to succeed.
Abuse tends to make the survivor fearful of everything, most specifically believing in themselves. That is the way an abuser gains control over them. Breaking out of this and beginning to believe in yourself is extremely hard, but it is the most necessary, important thing you can do for yourself. The only way you can break the cycle you find yourself locked in is disregard the idea that you cannot succeed by surrounding yourself with positivity. Motivational books, movies, positive thoughts, positive people. You are strong enough to pull yourself out of something that could have potentially killed you. You are strong enough to have survived intense and terrible pain. And in that, you are powerful enough to do anything you set your mind to. Believe in yourself, no matter what. The rest will follow.