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Finding Yourself After An Abusive Relationship

Finding Yourself After An Abusive Relationship, Toxic, Therapy, divorce, "Be what you is, cause if you ain't what you is, you is what you ain't". Abusers, narcissists, gaslighters, narcissistic, gaslighting, find authentic self, new identity post breakup

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to like to reveal 15 keys to finding yourself after an abusive relationship.

First a quick update: 

The Breakup Quiz

Are you heartbroken, angry, lost, lonely, confused, depressed, or pining over your ex? How would you like to benefit from personalized advice, action steps and revelations? Take my Free Breakup Quiz and get your own personalized report.

14 Ways To Escape From A Narcissist or Toxic Relationship

Criticism, contempt, condemnation, stonewalling, silent treatment, defensiveness, manipulation, control and/or any form of abuse – mental, emotional, physical form a toxic relationship. Here are 14 ways to escape the toxic relationship and narcissist Watch the video

Now, let’s talk about the 15 keys to finding yourself after an abusive relationship.

What does it even mean when someone tells you to be yourself or to find yourself?

Finding yourself refers to creating a new identity, independent of other’s opinions and expectations of you; an identity you consciously choose.

Finding yourself and being authentic means living in alignment with your values and beliefs. Finding yourself and being true to yourself is living out your values, passion and interests.

However, if you have been in an abusive, narcissistic or controlling relationship, it will be challenging to clearly determine what your values are, and what it is that you want and like.

Here are 15 keys to finding yourself after an abusive relationship:

1. Acknowledge Yourself

You took the first step by ending the abusive relationship: you deserve recognition for you acted in spite of the fear.

2. Be Patient With Yourself

The longer you were in a controlling, abusive or narcissistic relationship, the less you used your decision-making ‘muscles’, and therefore you will feel afraid, unsure, uncertain or doubtful about your own capabilities. New decisions, new actions and new habits will create new neural pathways in your brain.

3. You Are A Seed Turning Into A Flower

The poet Dylan Thomas wrote about an energy in the delicate flower that also exists in all of us. He called it “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower.” You are a seed and an energy that will, too, blossom now that you are out of the darkness and in the light.

4. Relax The Rules

If your ex was abusive, domineering or controlling, then he/she probably set harsh rules. Relax the rules for yourself and notice when you are judging or trying to overly control or restrict yourself with rigid rules.

Some say, “Love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need”
I say, “Love, it is a flower
And you it’s only seed”
…Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Life’s the seed, that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose

The Rose, sung by Bette Midler, lyrics by Amanda McBroom

.5 Move From Survival To Hope

Victims of abuse often focus on simply surviving day to day, and rarely have goals for themselves or even their children. Hope occurs when you believe in possibilities and therefore set goals. Establish new goals for you and your children; set short-term and long-term goals.

6. Identify Who You Were Before Your Ex

What were your happiest moments of your life prior to your abusive relationship? What were the things you enjoyed doing the most before he/she came along? Life is lived in 4 realms: Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual. Write out all of your qualities, characteristics, skills, talents and abilities with the above 4 areas in mind.

7. Be Proud Of The Small Things

You will be tempted to beat up or blame yourself for being in an abusive, controlling or narcissistic relationship. Instead, be compassionate towards yourself, and forgive yourself for being human, for being vulnerable and for being treated poorly as long as you were. It’s okay to make mistakes; you are not the mistake. Be proud of whatever you’ve accomplished thus far. Let me help you to understand, explain and resolve/heal what happened to you (subconscious beliefs and childhood trauma/adverse experiences) that led you into an abusive relationship.

8. Face The Truth About Your Ex

Abusers are highly skilled at convincing friends and family that, you the victim are the abuser. Further, victims often blame themselves for the anger, rage, abuse, and violent outburst of their partner. Face the truth that your ex was who he is before you met him. You didn’t make him who he is, and he is not God. He is not superior or smarter than you. He just found the means to control you.

9. Maintain Your Wall

Abusers, narcissists and people who gaslight you will try to dominate you once again, and they will keep pushing to get back into the relationship. Beware of their emotional or psychological ploys: anger, threats, tears, regrets, promises, or claims of undying love for you. Above, all do not believe them when they say they have changed. Avoid any contact unless children are involved.

10. Change Your Physical Surroundings

Even if you cannot afford moving or redecorating, throw away some old furniture and repaint the rooms in the colors you like. When you change your surroundings and in the way you want, you will feel more in control of your life.

11. Practice Self-Care

Do something pleasurable every day for yourself: bathing, yoga, listening to music, walking, reading, meditating, exercising. If you don’t view exercise as fun, focus on the mental and emotional boost it gives you. Do things that make you feel better. Give yourself small gifts – a massage, spa, facial, etc. Also, begin to reconnect with old friends and colleagues to rebuild a social support network.

“Be what you is, cause if you ain’t what you is, you is what you ain’t”.

– attributed to Marge Thurman

12. Avoid The Bad Habits

Sugar, junk food, alcohol and other stimulants will most likely make you feel worse and exacerbate depression. Let me help you to deal with the pain, and resolve the past and core issue.

13. Accept The Conflicting Emotions

There will be contradictory and confusing emotions once you start finding yourself after an abusive relationship. Even when it is a welcomed change and new beginning, you will still experience sadness and grieving (the old had been a part of your identity, routine and life.) There may be times you feel lonely, uncertain, afraid, angry or lost. Seek support from friends and professional help to deal with and resolve the emotions, doubts and/or flashbacks.

14. Do Things With The Children

Share moments and experiences with your children: movies, sports, hobbies, outings, day trips. Do not make them your therapist, confidante, or shoulder to cry on. They cannot meet your emotional needs but, you can gain a lot of peace and fulfillment from expressing love to them. The younger they are, the more dependent they are on you.

15. Do Something New

Join a group, a class or take a small group trip so that you can experience yourself in the context of new people who don’t know you, and away from the way your ex defined you, crushed or controlled you. New people will be more accepting and you will find that you can have fun and express more of yourself!

If you or a friend need help to resolve pain from love or failed relationships, do as others have done – resolve it rapidly and be set free of the pain by experiencing my SRTT process  – without reliving the pain: book a one-on-one session with me.

You can add to the conversation below.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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