Your emotional safety is just as important as your physical safety. Dealing with the aftermath of abuse can be a very challenging experience, especially on your mind and heart. The emotional scars of domestic abuse can stay with victims long after they have left the relationship. Following these tips may help you maintain your emotional health after leaving.
- Identify things that help you calm down — taking a warm bath, reading a book or taking deep breaths can help you de-stress
- Remind yourself why you left — journaling about your abuse can help you remember the reasons that you left and can be particularly helpful if you’re having second thoughts about leaving
- Identify a call buddy for when you’re missing your ex — talking to a friend can help you resist the urge to reach out to your ex when you’re down
- Talk to a counselor or join a domestic abuse survivor’s therapy group
- Talk to your family or friends — community members and neighbors can also be a good resource
- When an anniversary, birthday, holiday, etc. is coming up, prepare yourself — try to make other plans, set a strong support group in place to help you through emotional times
- Give yourself time and space — recovery is hard so go easy on yourself. Don’t put a time limit on getting past your pain. It’s ok to grieve. Even though it was an abusive relationship, it is still a loss. You are allowed to feel what you feel at your pace.
- Be conscious of your emotional routines — maybe your partner was your go-to person when something went wrong. You’ll have to change not only your physical routines (see previous post) but also your mental routines. You will have to find new coping mechanisms. This may take time but you can do it.
Remember, advocates at The Hotline are always ready to take your call if you need help or support. 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or (206) 787-3224 (Video Phone Only for Deaf Callers)
Do you have any tips for recovering emotionally after an abusive relationship?