Hope Rise Thrive
Healing After Abuse
Healing after abuse includes discovering long-lost hope, engaging in self-care, and tapping into the resiliency you already possess. Some individuals find this is easier to do than others.
There is substantial grief and loss that happens when we are abused.
How do we adjust and begin to find new direction?
Hope and Resiliency:
There's no doubt that abuse creates trauma in the lives of those who experience it. While in the abuse you may have hoped that things would get better. Once out of the abuse, we hope for a better future. In order for us to grow after trauma we need to know we are safe, we need to feel supported, and we need opportunities to advance. It helps to know others who have survived abuse. Start small. Learn as you go. What motivates you to find healing and tap into your resiliency?
Grief and Loss:
No one gets into a relationship to get abused. When we lose family, friends, or community through isolation, it is a form of loss. If we are moved away from a place we love, that's another loss. If we are made to quit work or school, it's another loss. It might be the loss of time invested in the relationship or the loss of a dream. Loss creates grief. Even if you are grateful to be away from the abuse there can be grief over the abuse and the end of the relationship.
Take a walk, wear your favorite sweater, take a coffee/tea break, have lunch with a friend, listen to music you love, eat well, take a nap, play a game, journal, let go of self-criticism, set boundaries, go to therapy, ask for help, know that you are worthy of love and respect, engage your spirituality, buy yourself flowers.
Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is vital to recovery.
Look at how far you've come. Celebrate accomplishments. Try something new.
Finding a New Path:
After escaping the abuse, you have a fresh opportunity to discover new paths in your life. This could mean new educational/career opportunities, new hobbies, new friends, a new faith community, and more.
Embrace these as an adventure. If you are hesitant, find another survivor and discover new paths together. My single mom friends were a lifeline for me. Take inventory of your support systems and make the most of them. Breathe deeply. Smile. Enjoy. Repeat.
Learn to Recognize Red Flags:
Part of recovering well after abuse is learning how to not end up in another abusive relationship. Without this vital shift in perspective, we can't protect ourselves from future harm. Behavioral red flags are a warning sign of danger ahead and help you take careful inventory of a new relationship. Numerous red flags should not be ignored and are a strong indication of toxicity and abuse. Stay safe and heed the red flags!
If the Abuse Continues:
Post-separation abuse is real, and it can be a real obstacle to healing, hope, and resiliency. Many survivors find that the post-separation abuse is quite intense. You are not alone. Do not allow your abuser to take your joy or get the best of you. Focus your energy on healing. Lean on your support system. Engage in self-care. Invest your time in the things that matter to you: your children, your job, your health, your faith, and your friends.
Hang in there. I believe in you!