Don’t Just Be a Survivor of Domestic Abuse!
Learn to Start Thriving!
When a victim of Domestic Violence is in the midst of the abuse it is very difficult to break away from that. It is not something a victim just decides to do one day and walks away. If you have read any of my blog before today, you have heard all about this.
At the time I wrote this post I was thinking of a new woman that had come to my group. She sent me her full story to read before we met. I have heard a lot of stories and I use to think at times that it does not get any worse than this. However, I get proved wrong over and over so I no longer think like that. It does not stop my heart from breaking for the women that have experienced things that no one should ever have to endure.
Though my heart broke for her, by the end of reading her story, my heart celebrated for her. Why? Because she was all alone, in another state with out her friends and family whom she had basically been isolated from. She made a decision to gather her daughter and a bag of essentials and nothing else. She got help and she was able to get back to the state she was from and back with her family for support.
That was not the end of her story of survival, in fact, it was only the beginning. She was going through what many go through after the escape. The process of divorce, child custody, the emotions of breaking away from an abuser that you feel love for, defending the accusations of her being the crazy one and the abuser, the grieving for the loss of a family and relationship and starting over. She sat with us feeling shame for the feelings she was having while we sat there thinking how strong and courageous she was. She didn’t get it, that she wasn’t crazy because of the feelings she was having. That is why a support group is so helpful. You are not alone in what you are feeling and going trough.
I shared that with you because survival is a process and it may take a little time. I want to encourage you that surviving is not all there is. You will have to do some things to get there but you can move on from surviving to thriving.
So what do I mean by that? You will always be a survivor of Domestic Abuse? What I mean is when you have experienced abuse, you survive by getting away and staying away. By getting your life on track and moving forward with your life with out your abuser and with out the abuse. However, you can still be stuck in it and living it on a regular basis because you have not taken the steps to heal from your experience.
What are some steps you can take to move on from surviving to thriving?
Support and Counseling:
If you haven’t yet, make sure you find a support group and attend on a regular basis especially if you are still in the midst of dealing with your abuser. It is also important to spend some time with a counselor, preferably one that is experienced in domestic abuse. This can be a vital point in surviving your domestic abuse.
In your survival process it is very helpful to educate yourself about abuse. Not only do you gain power through knowledge but this will also help you to recognize “Red Flags” when new people enter your life down the road.
Forgiveness plays a vital roll in healing from your experience of Domestic Violence or from any bad experience for that matter. Unforgiveness is a breeding place for bitterness and resentment. Living with bitterness and resentment will not only keep you from healing, it will also keep thriving out of your future.
Forgiveness is not for your abuser. Forgiveness is for you, so that you can release what you are holding on to and heal from it. Holding on to the unforgiveness for your abuser is like handing your power over to him.
Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice. Choosing to forgive is generally not what someone feels like doing but they make that choice to forgive anyway.
When you choose to forgive your abuser, it is very helpful if you are specific. Close your eyes and think about how your abuser made you feel, what he did to you and begin to forgive him for each thing that comes to your mind. If he made you feel fear, pain, shame, deceived, belittled, caused physical harm, etc, choose to forgive for each of those things specifically.
Here is a sample prayer you can use.
Lord, I choose to forgive________ for_______. It no longer has any power over me and he owes me nothing.
In Jesus Name!
What will this do for you? Two words come to my mind!
FREEDOM and HEALING!
As long as you hold on to this, you will be in bondage.
After you spend some time in this, make it a habit as things come up and stir emotions in you to forgive your abuser on the spot for how he made you feel or what he did that caused that stir of emotion in you.
This will be a huge step for you!
Change the way you see yourself!
One of the things that happens in domestic abuse is your self esteem takes huge hits. Listening to lies spoken over you about who you are and what kind of person you are has a huge affect. Begin to pay attention to how you talk to yourself and how you see yourself. It will not be easy at first but the first step is to pay attention and recognize that you need to change it.
Read some books or watch some videos on youtube. There are tons of them that will inspire, encourage and motivate you. If you have things come to your mind that you use to hear from your abuser, stop that thought and tell yourself differently
Lastly, get rid of Pity!
So here is the thing, you can be pitiful or powerful, but you can’t be both. If you find yourself in a pit, it is first up to you to get out. No one can make you choose to do what you need to do. No one can make you change your mindset. If you go to see a counselor but refuse to take their advice and do your part, you will never get out of the pit. If all you can do in the beginning is write down in a journal what you are thankful for each day, than do it. It is truly up to you!
I strongly encourage you to consider these things I have talked about. It is a process and it can be work, but I say to you!!! It Is Worth It! One day you will look back a few months and realize how much healing and freedom you have gained. You will feel stronger than you have felt in a long time and you will realize that your abuse has not been in your thoughts on a regular basis.
If you have any questions or need some help with this, please send me an email. My contact information is at the top of this page.
Peace and Blessings,