Once you’ve escaped abuse, you must find a new normal. Quiet nights at home feel weird, because you’re used to being surrounded by chaos caused by an angry and violent partner. Having free time to do what makes you happy is strange to you. You now have time to do things that make you happy, and you could even be struggling to find out what makes you happy. This is not uncommon for women who escaped abusive relationships. They must follow a journey of rediscovering themselves, because they lost themselves in the chaos of taking care of their partner’s impossible demands.
Below are some of the tips shared by Jenn Rockefeller on breakthesilencedv.org on rebuilding your self-esteem after abuse.
Doing nice things for yourself may not come naturally as a person who escaped abuse. Therefore, in the beginning you will have to make a concerted effort to do good things for you; buy a new dress, go to the hairdresser, take yourself out for lunch. Diarise it, and make a date with yourself. You will need to do this in the beginning until it becomes part of your daily routine.
- Say what you think
Abusers try to silence their victims. They tell them that their opinion does not matter, or they make victims believe that their opinions are wrong. You’ve practiced remaining quiet to maintain the peace. Don’t hold back anymore. Practice saying what is on your mind. Disagree out loud, and don’t be afraid. Practice doing it in small doses until you become comfortable hearing your own voice and trusting it.
- Positive self-talk
If you’ve survived abuse, you can write a book about all the cruel and untrue lies the abuser said about you to you and to others. In many cases, it does not only come from the abuser, but also your family and friends. If you are going to heal, you must take responsibility for your own emotional and mental health, and that should start with saying positive things about yourself to yourself. Don’t wait for others’ affirmations. Be your own cheerleader. Think of two or three positive things about who you are and repeat that to yourself daily.
Your healing starts with you, and it can start today.
For more tips to rebuilding your self-esteem after abuse, click here.