An abusive relationship can take a toll on every aspect of your life. From other relationships, self-confidence, your sense of safety, your mental health… There isn’t a single portion of your life that abuse doesn’t touch. For this reason, even when you’re finally out of an abusive situation, it can be hard to heal. You’re mentally exhausted, embarrassed, alone, and facing the negative impact of your ex partner. So, how do you start healing? And what can you do to better your situation and find yourself again?
Abusive Relationship: Healing and Moving Forward
The first step towards healing after an abusive relationship, is coming to terms with the trauma. Whether the abuse was physical, mental, or a combination of both— you have a lot to overcome. Maybe they never hit you, but they publicly embarrassed you, called you names, made you insecure, kept you from the people you loved…
When you are finally able to remove yourself from the situation, you can begin to understand what things were happening that you didn’t process as abuse. You did not deserve what you are going through. This is not how a relationship is supposed to work, and that is not what you should expect of a partner in the future.
Speak with a professional
While we all like to think we can take care of ourselves, some situations are more difficult than others. Especially when you’re spending months, or even years, being told that you aren’t good enough, amongst other things. A therapist can help you process those emotions you’re feeling, and begin to heal after an abusive relationship.
Completely cut the abuser out of your life
When you’ve been with someone for a long time, no matter if they were hurting you or not, it can be difficult to cut them out of your life. Therefore, having photos around, access to their social media, and things that remind you of them— can be detrimental to your healing. Cut out your exposure, begin seeing a professional, and spend time with the people who are there to help you through this difficult time.
Focus on your health
Develop healthy routines to replace your old ones. Begin your day with exercise, breakfast, work, reading, yoga… Whatever helps you heal, find yourself, an escape the memories and feelings you might associate with your abusive relationship. Healthy eating and exercise is a great place to start in improving your health and mental state.