Realizing you are in an abusive relationship takes a long time to acknowledge & sometimes an even harder time to accept. Once you do, however, you’re likely unable to allow circumstances to remain exactly as they are.
For some, the violent cycle has gone on for too long and the thought of allowing it to continue any longer seems impossible.
This feels difficult because it is this difficult. All of a sudden you are bringing light into a place that has only known darkness. There will be great resistance, yes, but an infinitely greater reward.
This kind of change can be confusing, overwhelming and even dangerous. So, below are a few steps you can take right now to move towards change:
Positive Support: Tell friends, family & professionals; people who can and want to help you. Invite more of these people into your life & surround yourself with more of their good-natured, positive energy.
Schedule Therapy : If you do nothing at all, at least do this! At the base of it, talking is effective because it allows you to find words for the feelings & circumstances you’re going through; this invites clarity. When you can see the problem, only then can you begin to re-frame it.
Regain Your Independence: Start to recognize when failing just means learning. Gaining independence means getting in the habit of persisting even after a “failure.”
Happiness: At your core, what makes you happiest? What fills your cup? Whatever it may be, slowly bring it back into your life. If you’re finding it difficult to think of anything, it’s okay. You’ve likely just changed and there is nothing wrong with that. Take this opportunity to get to know the person you are now & explore what makes your heart glow.
Reevaluate your definition of Love. What feelings arise when you think of love? Often times we cultivate definitions of love without realizing it. Explore them. Determine if they are healthy (rooted in unconditional love) or unhealthy (rooted in fear). Take this process gently & with a professional.
Children: Spend time with them if you have them. Trust me, they want to see more of you. This will not only fill their hearts, but yours too.
Doubt: Choose to see past it & choose to walk near the thoughts that say, “You can do this” and “It is possible”. The way you talk to yourself matters, so be a good coach to yourself and cheer for team YOU. If you can’t find the strength, then surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Research: There is a vast amount of information out there on exactly what you’re going through at this very moment. Read, read, read. Knowledge will help you gain insight & momentum to change. (Tip: Recognize productive sources & sources of negativity. If you’re not sure, ask a professional.)
Be open: Changing this cycle is harder than creating it. Allow yourself to be open to things you’ve never entertained before. Breaking old patterns can mean trying out new ones.
Assigning responsibility: Know that you are responsible for you and for your children if you have them. However, you are not responsible for the ways in which someone else behaves or thinks. Drop that self-made burden. He is responsible for himself.
You: Be kind to yourself. Love yourself and forgive yourself. You are a beautiful, important life and no one knows you & your needs like you do, so tend to your well being. Choose YOU over him, over the violence and make you the spotlight of your life again.