It is not that uncommon for a person to suffer from an abuse of various sorts, however, the issue of domestic violence tends to additionally complicate this matter.
Instead of coming from external sources, this abuse stems from the place that was supposed to be safe, warm and full of love. Think about it, even if you had the most abusive boss or coworker in the world, you could always find serenity back at home, even though you should never endure the abuse, to begin with.
What if you had no shelter and no support whatsoever.
Needless to say, this would leave a long-lasting mark that would remain an obstacle long after the actual abuse ends. In order to move past it, you would have to begin the Chapter 2 of your life, yet, such a thing is not easy to pull off, nor is it possible without some professional guidance.
With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips and pieces of advice coming from the experiences of professionals, as well as real people who’ve endured this before
1. Understand that it’s not your fault
The first major thing you need to encounter is the self-realization that the abuse in question was in no way your fault.
One of the main things that abusers love doing, as a form of a self-justification method and a self-defence mechanism, is persuading the victim that all of this was somehow their fault. The greatest problem with this lies in the fact that the victim often finds themselves unable to understand this unprovoked blind hatred, which makes them rationalize the reasoning of the abuser.
Another psychological weapon that the abuser uses is the persuasion based on the idea that all of this is only temporary. For instance, an abusive spouse may use the situation at work as an excuse, which gives the victim a sort of a false hope that things might still return to the way they were before the violence.
The greatest danger of this technique lies in the fact that, should the victim finally gather the strength and the courage to escape from the clutches of the abuser, they might get accused of not trying/persevering long and hard enough.
Lastly, not all of these unjust accusations come from the abuser. Sometimes, a person gets confronted by the insensitivity of their own friends and family.
Most commonly, these people accuse the victim of choosing an abuser in the first place. It’s important that these accusations, although harsh and even harmful aren’t a cause of hate or malice but sheer lack of knowledge. This is why it’s pivotal that you look for a professional aid in order to overcome the problem of self-blaming.
2. Look for a legal help
While some may underestimate the importance of a legal system in this situation, especially in this so-called Chapter 2 when the victim is already out of the reach of the abuser.
The reason why this does matter is due to the fact that the person in question needs to know that the law can and will protect them. They need to know that actions, especially violent ones, have their consequences.
It’s even better if the abused party could find their own family lawyer and press charges. In this way, instead of backing down, they can get the sensation of standing up for themselves and fighting back. Also, they can stand up to the abuser without resorting to any of their own violent methods.
Keep in mind, nonetheless, that vengeance and closure are not one and the same thing.
It goes beyond saying that an average family lawyer has seen more than their own fair share of similar cases. Which is also something worth taking into consideration.
You see, sometimes a word coming from a psychologist may sound like something borrowed from a textbook. On the other hand, when these same words of support and understanding come from your lawyer, a person you’re paying to merely provide you with legal counsel, this may have a completely different connotation.
3. Make your life anew
While some may say its cowardice to abandon your previous self and even go as far as to claim that it would be one final victory for the abuser.
Still, this is as faulty as it gets and this kind of thinking can only hold you back. Think about it, even under normal circumstances, we evolve and grow as people. This means that we may find ourselves liking things we’ve never liked before or abandon hobbies that, all until recently made up huge parts of our lives.
When one is subject to mental and physical abuse, things take turn for the worse. You may come to associate things you do, places you visit and the habits you develop, with some overwhelmingly negative experiences.
Why not leave all of this behind and just start anew? After all, doesn’t changing your life take more courage than just threading the old familiar path?
4. Surround yourself with those who make you feel good
At the very end, you need to start surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good. We’re not just talking about people who were always there but people who you actually feel good around.
There are some, who, although close and would never do anything to harm you, simply drain your life energy one bit at the time. These are the so-called emotional vampires. Even though this may seem a bit cruel, you might not be in a situation where you can afford to spend time with these people.
What you need now, more than anything, is positivity. This needs to become your number one life priority.
At the end of the day, you need to learn how to work on your own happiness, instead of constantly worrying about what others expect from you or trying to avoid stepping on someone else’s toes.
No matter how hard or how far away this may seem, this is the only reliable way for you to bounce back from this traumatic experience and set out on a path where you’ll be a better person with each passing day.
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More by Emily Wilson