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How to Rebuild Your Life After You've Left an Abuser
How to Rebuild Your Life After You've Left an Abuser
09/18/2017

There is no simple formula for rebuilding your life after you’ve found the courage to leave a psychologically and/or physically abusive person. Everyone deals with his or her different experiences in various ways. However, there are some universal tools that can get you going in the right direction. Here are my tips for rebuilding your life after you’ve left an abuser:

  1. Say it out loud. You have to be willing to say, “I chose this guy/girl. I stayed because I was too afraid to do anything else, I didn’t want to be alone, and/or I didn’t think enough of myself. You need to be truthful with yourself.

  2. Cry it out. You don’t need to throw a pity party, but you have to deal with all of your built-up emotions. The best way to let them out is to get involved in group therapy with other people who have had similar histories. They’ll be understanding, provide support, and have arrived at different levels of dealing with their abuse. The most important thing is that you can help each other. There’s something very good about helping somebody else when you’ve run into a wall. You can help that person avoid the wall or deal with the realities of that wall. You can be helpful even if you’re only at the beginning of dealing with things yourself. Simply turning to someone and saying, “I know how that feels,” makes that person feel less alone.

  3. Work on yourself. The last thing you want to do is find another relationship. You have a lot of work to do to unscramble your brain. You need to get to the place where you understand that nobody deserves abuse. Even if you think you’re dumb, fat, ugly, or unlovable (or some combination), nothing qualifies you to be a victim of abuse.

  4. Build your personal strength. No matter what you think of yourself, your willingness to tolerate abuse has probably impacted other people (your family, your kids, etc.). You have a moral obligation to those people to pull your act together. You have got to take the time to do that and get the help you need.

  5. Don’t engage in negative self-talk. You’re not an idiot or a loser. You’re simply a person who gave up on him/herself.

  6. Believe that you can still do it. Yes, it’s true that you’re going to feel behind in life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t catch up. Take the leap of faith and trust yourself enough to know that even though you’ve done something stupid or weak, you have what it takes to turn it around.

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Tags: Abuse, Marriage, Mental Health, Relationships, Tips, Values
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