How to Love Yourself After an Abusive Relationship
“One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
The person of topic in this article will not be called by he or she. This person will be considered as an “abuser,” because they do not deserve a title that references a human being.
According to Healthy Place, “Emotional abuse is any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”
Facing emotional abuse, whether that is from a family member, friend, or significant other, is one of the worst things to ever experience. Emotional abuse can cause a number of psychological effects on its victims, a major one being depression.
What categorizes as emotional abuse? Emotional abuse is when someone calls you names or brings you down emotionally in any type of way. This can be by trying to change who you are, punishing you, attempting to control aspects of your life, and put in a position of inferiority.
An emotional abuser is normally a narcissist. Mental Help states that a person may be abusive for two reasons: they had an abusive childhood or they are mentally ill.
“People who abuse end up abusing because they have an empathy deficit, either because of some sort of brain damage, or because they were so abused themselves as children that their innate empathic abilities never developed properly. Such abusers cannot or will not relate to other people as people, choosing instead to treat them as objects. In effect, they confuse people for things. They treat people as though they were there solely for their convenience and do not otherwise have an independent, important life. Abusers who treat people in this manner are very likely psychologically ill, and possibly medically ill as well. They may have an antisocial (sociopathic, psychopathic) or narcissistic personality disorder, and they may have anger or impulse control issues and substance abuse issues on top of that.”
It is hard to remember these kinds of things when you are in an abusive relationship because you are constantly being told that the problem is you, and even worse, you believe it. It is easy to believe that what they abuser is saying is true because this is a person who “loves” you, and if someone loves you why would they say such things unless it was true.
An outsider would see that mind set as absolutely ridiculous, but that is only because they are on the outside. They haven’t got caught into this web of insecurities and lies.
“It got to the point where I thought I deserved it,” says Vlogger Amber fromAmber is the New Black. “I thought that I was actually a horrible human being and that I deserved it.”
When in an abusive relationship you lose sight of your judgment and everything that you stand for. You lose who you are because you are forced to alter yourself to fit the abuser’s wants and needs and each time you fail miserably when reality is it isn’t actually your fault.
“I got told off for making jokes. I got told off for saying things that were ‘ratchet’ and ‘unintelligent’ and I would just like I am not myself. I think my parents and my friends could see that I was not myself. It was a really difficult time. ”
So, how do you find yourself again? How do you learn to regain love for yourself after being brainwashed for so long on all the reasons why you shouldn’t.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO CARE
One of the most essential things you can do for yourself right now is to surround yourself with love. For so long you have been confronted with hate and angry to the point where you have become numb to any type of emotion. Spend a little extra time with some friends and family. Express your feelings with them and allow them to comfort you. They want more than anything to help you out in your time of need.
DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY
Think about all of the things you absolutely loved to do, but never were “allowed” to. Take a moment and smile at the satisfactory that you will never have to deal with that again and go do those things! Your abuser may have hated the idea of you going out with friends on the town or shopping for a new wardrobe. Whatever it is that will aid in putting a smile back on your face, go and do it. Boost your freedom with absolute pride. You deserve nothing less.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
There is nothing wrong with asking for help, especially from a professional. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to therapy or counseling. Sometimes seeking help from a stranger is more beneficial than from someone you know. A therapist will take the time to assess your goals and guide you on the pathway of reaching them. You will revisit what has caused you such a great deal of pain and face it together. A therapist is there to help you find that resolution.
Maybe one-on-one therapy isn’t for you, and that is okay. Research some local support groups in your area. It may help to meet other people who have been in the same situation as you. Listening to other people’s situations and comparing it to your own can give you the bravery you need to face it. It will also show that you are not alone and that the abuse you endured is not your fault.
REMIND YOURSELF OF THE GOOD IN YOU
This may sound like the hardest thing in the world, but it is easier than you think. You need to block out all of the negativity your abuser filled your head with and remind yourself that it is not true. You can start off by telling yourself how brave you are for surviving such a situation. Make a list of all the things you or someone else likes about yourself. Look over the list time to time to remind yourself of your worth because there is some.
Any kind of abusive relationship can change your life forever, but it is who you become afterward that makes you such a beautiful person in this dysfunctional world. A person who deserves to be loved.