Often people believe that those who have endured abusive or manipulative relationships will just bounce back emotionally after a period of time and certainly once they have escaped the clutches of an abusive partner. It’s as if life MUST suddenly go back to normal and you surely MUST feel whole again?
It’s reasonable to consider that those who have never endured an abusive relationship is not likely to understand, it’s far more important for you, the former victim of abuse, to realise that even if you have escaped, you will be far from whole.
Sadly, the damage from a toxic relationship is far-reaching. Its icy tendrils invades every aspect of life, extending outwards and contaminating even potential future relationships. No doubt, you feel lost. Freedom was supposed to be the end of hardship and pain, but now, you may have lost sight of who you are and how to cope. If this sounds familiar, know this, it’s ok to be lost for a while and, it may not always be possible to fully heal yourself.
Admitting that life has changed you is a positive starting point. Admitting that you are different and that you may be unable to identify with the woman you once were is smart too because often there’s a seemingly impossible divide between that woman and the woman you have become. Life shapes us all, in both good and bad ways, but abuse, well, understand that it is not always possible to completely lose the fear of a new relationship, although, sometimes, with the right person, it is possible to do so.
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Either way, being kind to yourself is the best starting point you can have on the road to recovery. You are bound to be uncertain. You are bound to have self-doubts. Don’t judge your fears or your new identity, embrace it. After all, you are a survivor.