Are you a parent who is trying to rebuild your life after an abusive relationship? If so, you're not alone. Abuse can take many forms – physical, emotional, sexual, financial – and it can leave victims feeling drained, powerless, and isolated. But it's important to remember that you are not defined by your past. You have the power to reclaim your life and create a future that is safe and healthy for you and your children.
Here are five tips for taking back your power after an abusive relationship:
1. Understand that the abuse was not your fault
One of the most positive things you can do for yourself is to understand that the abuse was not your fault. No one deserves to be abused, no matter what. You are not responsible for someone else's actions.
Unfortunately, abusers often try to blame their victims for the abuse. They may say things like "You made me say it," or "If you hadn't made me so mad, this wouldn't have happened." But the truth is, no one makes another person abuse them. Abuse is a choice, and it is not the victim's fault. However, understanding that the abuse was not your fault is an important step in healing from the experience. It can help you to move on and to build a healthy, happy life.
2. Commit to your self-care and self-love plan
After being in an abusive relationship, it is more important than ever to commit to your self-care and self-love plan. It can be difficult to prioritize taking care of yourself when you have been used to someone else making themselves the center of attention, or when you have been so used to neglecting yourself. However, it is essential to remember that a relationship with yourself is the most vital to being a great parent.
You deserve to feel love and respect yourself, and only you can do that for yourself. When you take the time to nurture yourself, you will find that you have more energy and enthusiasm for life. You will also be better equipped to handle the challenges that come your way with your co parent.
Self-care is how you physically take care of your body. Whether it’s going to the gym or eating healthy meals you are physically nurturing what your body needs to thrive. Self-care can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour a day. On the other hand, self-love is how you mentally heal yourself. Self-love is about boosting your confidence, owning yourself worth, and setting healthy boundaries for mental peace. Self-love may look like affirmations, value statements, deep breathing or journaling to name a few. Self-love takes about ten to fifteen minutes a day. Gratitudes and affirmations can also become a family dinner activity for bonding.
3. Indulge in a new passion project or hobby
Trying something new can be daunting, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. If you're looking for a way to heal emotionally, why not try indulging in a new passion project or hobby? It can be anything that you've always wanted to try but never had the chance to, from painting and pottery to rock-climbing and hiking.
The key is to find something that you're truly passionate about, something that makes you feel alive. It doesn't matter if you're not good at it at first – the idea of learning and improving will give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction. And as you progress, you'll likely make new friends who share your interests. Who knows, indulging in your new hobby might just be the best decision you ever make. We recommend finding one hour a week to indulge in a new hobby of interest.
4. Seek professional support and guidance
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing from abuse. Every individual has their own unique set of experiences, emotions, and needs. As a result, it is important to seek out professional support and guidance when healing from abuse. A counselor or a coach can help you process your experience, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and establish boundaries for yourself and with your coparent. A coparenting coach can also provide invaluable resources for the whole family.
In addition, support groups can be a great way to connect with others who have been through similar experiences. Sharing your story with others can help you feel less alone, and hearing about their journeys can offer hope and inspiration. If you are ready to begin the healing process, reach out for help. There are people ready and eager to assist you on your healing journey toward wellness.
5. Surround yourself with great friends and family
Leaving an abusive relationship can be scary and nerve-wracking, but surrounding yourself with great friends and family can help you through it one step at a time. They can provide love, support, and place to stay as you take this difficult step. Furthermore, they can be a source of strength when you feel like you are all alone. If you're thinking of leaving an abusive relationship, reach out to your friends, family, or us for help.
Once you leave an abusive relationship, it doesn’t always mean the abuse will cease. Many abusive partners continue to find ways to control you through coparenting of the children. Check out these signs for coercive abuse when coparenting with an abusive ex.
If you're ready to heal and take back your power and happiness, let's chat.