Surviving Domestic Abuse
Surviving domestic abuse and healing from domestic violence does not usually happen from one day to the next - the leaving can: you can be in the same house, frightened one day, and the next you can be somewhere safe and never have to see him again. But that is just leaving. Suriving involves finding yourself again, putting yourself back together and learning to life again. Surviving domestic abuse is a process, which might initially look scary, but is actually the road to freedom and back to being able to enjoy being alive.
So now you have left your abuser, or he has finally left your home. You are on your own. You may have children to look after, work to go to, or other responsibilities. You thought that once you had made the decision to end the relationship and were no longer together with him, things would suddenly be much easier. But actually it is still a struggle to get through each day.
Maybe your confidence is low, and you are not sure that you can cope with dealing with the responsibility of everyday chores (bills, children, home to maintain, work, etc.) on your own? Maybe you are not used to making decisions and all the options and choices are frightening? Maybe you are lonely and wondering whether you have made the right decision? Maybe you still feel guilty about what may feel like 'giving up' on him or letting the children down by not providing them with a 'normal family life'? Maybe you are still fairly isolated, feel somehow 'different' from the other people at work or at the school gate, your self-esteem is low and you find it difficult to relate to others? Maybe you are frightened about what he might do next, this is a new situation, and you don't know what to expect?
These are all feelings and fears which are normal after escaping an abusive relationship. Living with an abuser can erode your self-esteem, self-worth and confidence. But once you have escaped, you will find that your sense of worth and confidence does return, even though it may take some time to 'find yourself' again. You have already shown yourself that you have the ability to make decisions, that you have the courage and strength to carry through your resolves, and you know you can cope with almost anything you have to face - after all, if you managed to maintain your sanity and keep functioning (i.e. coping and surviving) while in an abusive relationship, you have all the skills and strength needed to continue to do so. Remember, each day you get through you are a Survivor, no longer a Victim.
Below are a few suggestions for helping you through those first few weeks or months after the separation:
Above all else, if you haven't done so already, seek counselling. ANY form of abuse is traumatic and nibbles away at our deep-seated need for security. It can challenge our understanding and perception of how life works, leaving us feeling insecure and fragile at the very least. Good counselling helps us work through both the short-term and long-term effects of abuse, enabling us to learn and grow from our experiences. Check out the list of Helplines and Organisations, ask your local GP for local services or charities or phone Women's Aid for local information.
How did YOU get through each day after leaving an abusive relationship?
What helped you to survive day by day after leaving an abusive relationship? Share your tips with other visitors!
These are Ideas other Survivors have found helpful!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
A Whole New Beginning
Fighting to get my kids back.
Writing things down
Remember how to Relax
Remind your self that none of this is your fault.
Burning the reminders Not rated yet
Affirmations Not rated yet
Music music music Not rated yet
this is my time now! Not rated yet
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF Not rated yet
Get Cognitive Behavior Therapy Not rated yet
Keeping Busy Not rated yet
support groups Not rated yet
letting go Not rated yet
Your mobile Not rated yet
Give your story a voice. Not rated yet
Writing down everything he has done pysical and verbal ... when, where and why in table form. Not rated yet
Writing things down. Not rated yet
growing something where once were weeds Not rated yet
Being selfish for once in my life Not rated yet
Motivational Quotes Not rated yet
Surround yourself with friends and family that care about you. Not rated yet
Find Strength Not rated yet
Take it one day at a time Not rated yet
Thought Blocking... Not rated yet
peace of mind Not rated yet
hour by hour, lots of deep breaths Not rated yet
I Love My Children Not rated yet
Do Not Isolate Yourself Not rated yet
© 2011, Hidden Hurt
In This Section:
Books other Survivors have found helpful in the US:
In the UK the following books have proven helpful to women trying to survive domestic abuse:
Life after getting out of an abusive relationship often continues to be a struggle, and It's My Life Now offers guidance to overcoming common pitfalls, blending worksheets with insights on self exploration and ongoing growth. From handling feels of loss and guilt to overcoming feelings associated with having loved an abuser, this book continues to offer invaluable lessons and be a real source of help and strength:
To order in the UK: It's My Life Now
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