Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Your Recovery From Domestic Abuse

'You got this' written on the pavement in chalk alluding to domestic abuse recovery.

Recovering on Purpose

Recovery from domestic abuse and violence is always possible. Recovery from domestic abuse becomes probable when you:

  • have an idea of what domestic abuse recovery looks like,
  • know, in general, what feelings to expect during recovery,
  • get a head start on complications that can happen in recovery, and
  • develop coping skills to navigate your recovery from domestic abuse.

No one knows how long you’ll need to completely recover from domestic abuse. But as you’ll find out, even a bit of recovery from abuse makes your heart sing. Nurturing your recovery, or recovering on purpose, adds structure to your recovery.

Thoughts of Returning During Recovery

If only recovery from domestic abuse and violence were as easy as leaving the abuser. Unfortunately, by the time you leave, you’ve intertwined your core, your heart, with the abuser’s demands. This means different things to different people. You may

  • Hear his or her voice in your head. The voice can wake you up at night or be so distracting during the day that you literally can’t think straight.
  • Feel extreme anxiety when you do something the abuser didn’t want you to do, or if you do something different than the abuser wanted you to do it.
  • Think that your feelings of sadness after leaving the abuser mean that you are meant to be together (when really, you’re feeling a withdrawal, of sorts).
  • Feel melancholy or fear when you visit a place that held significance for you during the relationship.
  • Want to text, email, call, stalk on social media, or visit one of the abuser’s friends or family members.

Remember that no matter how you sense the abuser’s presence, you will continue sensing them for some time. It only means that you and the abuser intertwined your psyches. Your abuser benefited from it; you did not.

The feelings of attachment can feel so strong that you believe you belong with the abuser. Thoughts of your abuser and the relationship can make you feel distracted and overwhelmed. You may consider returning to the relationship to end your current pain. Stay strong. Stay away. This attachment will end in time.

Is Recovery from Domestic Abuse Possible Before Leaving the Relationship?

You can heal a little during an abusive relationship, but real recovery from domestic abuse comes after you’re free of it. Here is some information on how to:

> fight back against abuse when you’re in an abusive relationship,

> heal from and prevent domestic abuse attacks when you’re not ready to leave the abusive relationship,

> and recover from domestic abuse after leaving an abusive relationship.

If you can heal in an abusive relationship, why should you leave it? The fact is that healing in abuse is a game of catch-up. Every day in an abusive relationship, you deal with either abuse or the fear of it. Although you can heal from the day before, you can’t really recover from domestic abuse while you’re stuck in it. However, healing from one day is better than not healing at all.

Domestic abuse recovery comes after the threat of abuse no longer exists or is, at least, not a daily concern. When you no longer live with abuse, the healing you do builds on itself. One day, you’ll wake up and not think of the abuse all day. And days stretch into weeks, weeks into months, and before you know it, you’re whole again.

In an article on HealthyPlace.com, I said,

If you are currently in an abusive relationship, I don’t want to say you’re screwed on recovery. But you kind of are. Just a little. Although there are things you can do to recoup from the day’s abuses, while living with your abuser, you are continually recouping. You can’t get ahead of the emotional and psychological trauma and into recovery when you live with abuse.

How To Recover From Emotional Trauma of Domestic Abuse

I still believe that. Whole-heartedly. Although you can’t completely heal from abuse while living in it, self-care can keep you healthier than doing nothing at all.

The only way to recover from anything is to first fix the problem. For example, recovery begins when you kill cancer cells, put a cast on a broken bone, or take an antibiotic to balance the bacteria in your body. You can’t recover from anything if you don’t do something to fix the problem first. And honey, you are not the problem that needs fixing in your abusive relationship. The problem is your abuser, and your abuser is pretty happy just the way they are.

So let’s get back to recovering from domestic abuse on purpose with Five Feelings in Domestic Abuse Recovery That Could Derail Your Healing.

Featured photo by Sydney Rae