Life after abuse can be one of the most frightening and most liberating experiences of your life.
For many of us, leaving abuse is truly a leap of faith. No one knows what heart aches & challenges, successes and joys you will find “on the other side.” But one thing is certain: your choices after abuse will change you more quickly than your abuser was able to brainwash you. In essence, life after abuse requires you to brainwash yourself.
It is important that you treat yourself right during your recovery from abuse. Continuing to abuse yourself mentally, emotionally, or physically will continue your life of chaos and pain. But when you know what to do – the tricks and tips of recovery that work for you – life after abuse can be magical!
Life After Abuse: Greatest Fears
After abuse, when we look into the mirror, we think we see someone we do not know anymore. We tend to think the abuser fundamentally changed us at our core. We worry that we’ll never be “that girl” who gave her heart away so freely ever again.
I think of the effects of abuse differently. During our abusive relationship, our abuser imagined us to be someone different. In the spirit of love and cooperation, we tried very hard to add the abuser’s version of us to us; we hid ourselves, we didn’t execute ourselves.
Evidence that we did not succeed in changing ourselves is proof that we did not change who we were. If we had changed who we were, our relationship should have worked out – there would be nothing for the abuser to complain about. But no. We left our abusive relationships fighting and kicking the whole way (some more quietly than others).
The good news is that you are STILL you! You are no longer a figure of someone’s imagination. You no longer must hide under your abuser’s version of “the perfect spouse” to protect yourself. You didn’t go anywhere! You were only hiding.
Goals for Recovery In Your Life After Abuse
The main goals of life after abuse and recovery are
- to shed the fake personality of your abuser’s “dream woman”
- to separate your thoughts and emotions from your abuser’s brainwashing
- to uncover the beautiful, shining spirit that is still inside of you
- to live life after abuse with greater wisdom, vision, and resourcefulness than ever