After leaving an abusive relationship you would imagine the hard part is behind you. No more trauma. No more threats. No more fear. In reality, moving on from an abusive relationship is an uphill battle. The emotional scars of an abusive relationship can stay with you long after you leave the relationship.
It is important to remember that you are entirely capable of moving on. You will be able to love and trust again, even if it takes you a while to get to there. With time, effort, support and patience you will be able to move on and break the cycle of abuse in your life. Below are tips to help you move on from your abusive relationship.
Remind Yourself Why You Left
Journaling about your abuse can help you remember the reasons that you left and can be particularly helpful if you’re having second thoughts about leaving. Many victims leave an abusive relationship hoping their partner will magically become a different person; At one point in time, this was definitely me too. Reminding yourself of why you left can help you break the cycle of abuse.
Seek from friends, family, a licensed therapist or a domestic abuse survivor’s therapy group. Your self-esteem and confidence may be damaged by the abuse you experienced. Reaching out for help and sharing your experience may be difficult, but you will experience great relief as well as validation by leaning on others to help you heal.
Focus on Your Interests
It is important to focus on yourself during this time of healing. Pursuing a passion or building new interests. A creative outlet is a great way to release emotions and focus on something that makes you happy. Activities such as art, baking or gardening can help you use your energy in a positive way.
Be Patient With Yourself
Recovery is hard and it is important to give yourself the time and place to heal. Don’t put a timeframe on your healing process. It is ok to grieve. Your feelings are valid and you are allowed to work through them at your own pace.
Kusby, A. (2016). How to Heal After an Abusive Relationship. Psych Central.