by Annette Young
If you are now in the process of recovering from emotional abuse, having escaped from the clutches of the relationship, there is bound to be a deep sense of relief. It’s also likely to be intermingled with sadness and regret, even if the relationship was beyond repair and damaging. Freedom may have been a long time in the planning, or, you may have suddenly realized that enough was enough and walked away. Whatever the circumstances; it takes time to get back to normal.
Since I wrote my book, Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! I have spoken to many women who have experienced varying degrees of abuse. Some had endured a nightmarish situation for many years, scared to leave but deeply unhappy within their individual environments and afraid for their futures. Others are now free and yet feel as if they are still trapped on an emotional level. Freedom has not enabled them to feel safe or whole. Sadly emotional abuse is everywhere and if you looked into the relationships of those around you, no doubt, you would uncover some ugly realities. The stark reality is that abusive relationships exist everywhere.
Emotional and physical abuse is far more common than any of us would like to imagine. Worse, the harsh reality is that many women fall back into the clutches of an abusive relationship without realizing it. This may seem unlikely considering the traumatic and long reaching effect of abuse but, it seems that we become used to a certain type of behaviour, it becomes familiar and therefore is easier to slip back into.
The most important thing that you can do once free from a relationship is to give yourself time. It takes time to make sense of the past, to heal any emotional wounds and to then prepare for your future. Recovering from emotional abuse does not happen overnight, there is no magic wand to wave and you have to deal with the rawness of the reality and for some, this deeply rooted hurt is the hardest to overcome.
I have often found myself looking back with a sense of disbelief, questioning why I had put up with such an uncaring relationship, but, as much as we can analyse over and over, we have to accept the past and to come to terms with it. We can’t go back, we just have to learn which type of relationships are damaging and to avoid them. We cannot blame ourselves for loving someone. Everyone makes mistakes but, in time, we can work out patterns of behaviour and to identify those relationships that should be avoided. Rushing straight into another relationship is usually a mistake. It can be terrifying being on your own and starting life again, but I have no doubt that it is a better option than being with someone who wields their words like a weapon and who makes you feel bad about yourself.
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