From the perspective of the Abused
Is there life after an abusive relationship?
ASOLUTELY! Give yourself a chance.
If you have children with an abusive partner and have now decided to leave the relationship, you may still feel a sense of loss. This can often be magnified by the fact that your friends and family are all saying “you are well rid of him”.
Often women have said that they then feel protective of their ex. Nobody can empathise that maybe you still love him? It seems crazy and no one understands, not even yourself. How can you love someone that treated you so badly? But you do know that you didn’t come to the decision to leave the relationship lightly and deep down you know it was the right decision.
Give yourself a break
Do the things that you felt you were never able to do
Try not to dwell on the past
Spend quality time with the children
Don’t give yourself a hard time about feeling down; it will take a bit of time to find your feet again
Write a list of all the reasons why you left him, so you can remind yourself when feeling a bit melancholic
Write a list of all your positive qualities, to remind you how great you are!
Find your local domestic abuse support service and give them a call
An abusive man will charm us from the beginning, we may not recognise it, but often women say that, looking back, the warning signs were all there. You fell in love and his power and control over you increased. We build our lives with him and recreate our world covering the pain that we feel, either by forgiving him for his every outburst or justifying his behaviour to ourselves and our friends and families – he’s stressed, he was drunk, he’s insecure, etc. Using all the excuses he gave us and passing them onto others.
Abused women often feel that they are to blame for our partner’s outbursts of verbal assaults – for making them angry and if we were a better person we could care/love/fulfil his needs better and not make him so upset all the time. Therefore our confidence has been knocked massively, our self esteem is at an all time low and our ability to parent effectively has been damaged dramatically.
You are left with a failed relationship, child/children on your own, probably only a few friends and a strained relationship with your family and his. There can be a euphoric high, now that you are free, but often followed by a crash as you start to question everything you do, often viewing yourself through his eyes. So just look after yourself, recognise all the emotions you are feeling as it’s time to start building a new life, you can do it.
REMEMBER – YOU ARE NOT ALONE
A quarter of all women experience some form of domestic abuse in their lives.