~ Healing Yourself ~
On this page we want to speak about a few different parts of the healing process with you.The things that happen to us all at different times. Things that make us not feel like we are accomplishing much and things that can add to our emotional turmoil.
First off, anger. We are angry for what we have been through. To put faith, trust and love into someone who abuses us, can do alot more damage than just hurt us. To be with someone and have them make us change everything about us, until we are no longer ourselves but become who they worked so hard to make us, then still not be happy and beat us, rape us, demean us and abuse us in all the other ways, how can we not be angry? How can we forgive, the unforgivable things they have done to us?
Some people say that not letting go of the anger keeps us in the victim's role. I believed that for awhile. The anger may never totally go away and that's ok, as long as we don't let it interfere with the positive progression of our lives.
If we let it effect us adversely and hold us back from moving forward with making accomplishments, if it is eating away at us every day of our life, then it is keeping us in the victim's role. But if we can still move forward, making a happy, safe and productive life for ourselves, the anger just becomes a part of our history. History can not be changed. We have to live with it, be it good or bad.
Another thing is outsider's input. Whether it's the friend who can't understand, family members who have never been in an abusive relationship or that have always lived with abuse and accept it as normal. Maybe it could be a professional in the system, who has become so hardened by the day to day contact with our situations.
There are so many people who can make a comment to us and we can instantly feel totally awful. They can make us question our own judgment and our reasoning. It can make us feel defeated and knock us back to square one, if we let it. We NEED to not let it.
These people whether they know and understand abuse and all the horrible effects from it, or whether they don't even begin to understand it, nor want to, they have NO control over our lives, feelings or our accomplishments. It is again our choice to not let them put us in a position, to feel bad about ourselves and our lives.
Living with abuse is not easy, it takes alot of strength to stay in a life of abuse, those who are still in and trying to gain the knowledge and courage to leave, need support from positive people, to help them to make their decision.
Those of us, who have already broken free from the abuse, still need support from positive people. There are alot of emotions to deal with after you leave. The key to both situations is YOURSELVES and KNOWLEDGE.
We have to trust our own feelings and decisions, knowing we have the right to be free and make our own choices. If someone doesn’t agree with or like those choices we make, too bad! They have the right to choose differently for themselves, but not for us.
Knowledge gives us everything we need to make any decision that we may need to. Learning all we can about the laws, domestic violence and everything related to it, is one of the most important things we can do for our children and ourselves. Breaking the cycle of violence is the single most loving gift you can give your children and yourself. Violence is not good for anyone. It takes its toll on all.
Another thing is getting help, if and when you need help. Counseling from a real life domestic violence counselor is very important. Not only can they help you with your feelings and giving you support and set up counseling for your children, but they can help you with legal referrals, getting State Aid, training for a career and they have a wide and diverse amount of local resources at their disposal for you, just for the asking.
Next, if you are having more serious emotional problems, like so many of abuse victims do, go to a doctor. There are many medications that can help ease the effects of our emotional abuse and it is not something to be embarrassed about.
Being in an abusive relationship causes alot of damage emotionally, the prolonged effect can actually change the natural chemical levels in your brain. There are many medications that can help level those chemicals back to where they should be.
The last thing is your safety after you break free. An Order of Protection Against Domestic Violence, means nothing if they call you, come by your home or work, email or mail you letters, send messages through another person, stalk or harass you in anyway and you don't report these actions.
All of these are Violations of the Protection Order, which has been put in place for your children and your protection. Take ALL violations of the RO seriously and report them. Log all calls, get an answering machine and save the tapes, keep letters, print emails, in other words document everything.
These are crimes, just like the abuse was a crime. Abusers don't respect the law and will often violate the Restraining Order. They need to be held accountable for these violations, for them to see you will not continue to play their sick games.
YOU have the Control and the Power over your life. Don't let them diminish that, show them when you said ENOUGH, you meant it. Don't be pulled back in for more abuse. Life is hard...Leaving is hard...Change is scary... Healing takes time, but we can all do it, especially with a good attitude and some positive support. Nothing worthwhile is easy!