Tips on Healing from Abuse
by: Lauren Christenson
I am often thankful that I found ways to grow stronger as a women, especially in the aftermath of the abuse I lived through for years. Without this coping skill I never would have become the strong woman I am today, ten years later. These are some of the things that I did and still do today to stay strong. Stronger than the abuser. Stronger than my past. I am not my past and neither are you.
Listen to motivational shows/tapes/cd:
Initially someone gave me a motivational 30 day tape series by Anthony Robbins. I listened to this program for the next 4 years every new years week This system really helped me the most. I also journaled, listened to motivating music and really opened up to friends and family for the first time. I needed to learn to stop minimizing what had happened.
Talk and Share:
I encourage you to talk to someone you trust. It may not be family, it may be someone that you don’t know online or over the phone. Sharing what happened and how you felt will help you to move on. The worst thing you can do it keep it inside, thinking that makes you stronger. Letting it out and moving on makes you stronger. Keeping it in may allow it to return to your life one day. Break that invisible chain.
I often encouarge women to read, it helps you to see that there is a way out of the depression that is often felt when leaving an abusive relationship. I tried to read during the abuse but my abuser belittled me and I finally gave up trying to better myself. I actually secretly wrote a novel during the abuse. It was my only sanity. I had to hide it for her ripped up the first copy.
What makes YOU Smile?:
Find something that is for just you. Anything that makes you feel a bit better. It doesn’t have to be a day at the spa, simply fixing your hair on a day that you don’t want to helps. Painting your nails, buying a new comforter or perfume. It doesn’t have to cost money, find simple things that you like to do. Make your pretty smile a priority. You wore it upside down for way too long. You are what you decide to be, not what someone else led you to belive.
I hesitated at first but after placing my son in counceling I was encouraged to go too. I had thought since the abuse was over I was fine. Never mind the constant anxiety attacks and the fact that I was living off of only coffee and stress. It was one of the best things that I ever did for myself. I was able to share things that I would never share with another soul, even my closest family and friends. You know, things that you can’t even belive you put up with. It was an impartial party that helped me through the greiving process. Yes, greiving. Even though you are most times happy to be away from the abuser you had lived that life for so long you feel alone and empty. Your routine of suffering in isolation is suddenly gone most times. If you are like me I was unable to talk or even have an opinion in my home with my husband so suddenly having someone encourage me to share was difficult at first. Once I got over being embarassed that I cried each time I opened my mouth I just let it out. I would then come home and read and write in a journal. When I later looked back at the journals I was amazed to see how much stronger I had become, one day, one boo hoo session at a time. Don’t mask the pain with drugs or ignorance. Let the mask go.
If needed, Move to Move on:
Ten years later I would say most of my scars are gone. My nightmares finally stopped just this year when I moved. I had stayed in the same home for ten years, big mistake. Moving set me and my son free from the nightmares. One day he told me every corner of the apartment had a bad memory for him. That was when I knew I couldn’t get rid of all those memories if we stayed here.