4 Things You'll Struggle With After Getting Out Of An Abusive Relationship

4 Things You'll Struggle With After Getting Out Of An Abusive Relationship

Things will be difficult but you will find peace again.
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There is a big wave of "lost" and "what now?" that comes after getting out of a toxic/abusive relationship with someone. You are not so sure what to do now but you are sure that you are struggling with things that you cannot seem to find or get enough advice on. You find yourself sitting with the same, negative thoughts and fears that something that has already happened to you will happen again. You are looking for people who understand and who have been there too, and if this is what you are looking for, I get that. You are going to struggle with things that might seem hard at first but with time, you will find peace again.

1. Loving and forgiving yourself

One thing you will find out sooner or later after the break-up is that no matter how much you try to look for things to help you love yourself, none of it will work. Loving and forgiving yourself starts with you. It starts with telling yourself all that has happened is to help you and allow you to attract better things. To love yourself you have to forgive yourself. You have to sit with why you loved your abuser and what made you stay for so long and forgive it all.

There is nothing wrong with why you stayed or how you could love someone who could hurt you so much. You don't have to justify why you spent so much time allowing someone to hurt you. You just did and to be honest, abusers have a good way of making you feel that you aren't capable of being loved by someone else.

But you are capable of being loved and it should start with you. You should set the example of how you want others to love and treat you. Forgive yourself for all that you have allowed and let yourself move on from that. Love yourself with all that you have to know that if someone were to come into your life and treat you like that again, you know to leave as soon as possible. Love yourself enough to know where you are comfortable and uncomfortable.

2. Opening up to others

Besides loving and forgiving yourself, you are going to have a hard time letting others in to love you. You are going to struggle with being yourself around others because you have been told it isn't worthy nor is it a good person to be around. You have been embarrassed and humiliated for who you are for so long that you are going to hide that away from others with the hope that they don't feel the same way your abuser did. You are going to protect yourself from any opportunity of being hurt again. You aren't going to know why after a year you still can't seem to open up.

Give yourself time. You don't have to open up right away after being abused, especially to those who don't know you or your story. You don't have to talk about what you went through and why even to those you are closest to. You don't have to do anything that you are uncomfortable with. It might take you months or even years, but that is okay. The last thing you need to do is pressure yourself into opening up to people. Being quick to open up might extend your healing process and put you in more positions to make things worse on you. So calm down and give yourself the time that you deserve and need.

3. PTSD

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is something that people forget that comes with abuse in any kind of relationship. Small, irrational things will become big triggers for you. People are not going to understand why things are triggers for you but that does not mean you have to justify your reasoning. You do not have to explain to anyone why you are scared or why something small to them is so big to you.

My ex-boyfriend used to grasp my boobs after yelling at me or calling me names, out of nowhere and for no reason. I was seeing someone not too long ago who, in the middle of a conversation, did the same thing. I was scared. The feeling of being looked at like an object instead of a human being came back to me. I have felt the pain that comes with feeling like I don't deserve respect for so long and right when I thought it was gone, it came back. I know how small that looks to people but when you are dehumanized for so long and it occurs again, in a different context with a different person, it is fucking scary.

Your triggers are going to happen and they are going to seem so irrational to other people, and that is okay. So stop thinking that you have to justify why you are always on the verge of freaking out. When someone is yelling at you or being mean, but in a more healthier way than your abuser, and you still break down and cry, just let it out. You do not need to explain yourself and your pain, it isn't for anyone other than yourself.

4. Understanding that your abuser still exists

You abuser still has a life and that is one thing that is going to hold you back from being happy. I know how it feels to sit around and wish that your abuser would encounter all that is bad in this world, but that is not going to happen. I know how it feels to see them with someone else and wonder if they are treating them right. And if they are treating them right, are you incapable of being treated right? I know how it feels to wish that they could feel what they put you through for so long. But thinking that your abuser will not continue life after what they did to you is a joke.

You might see them out acting like they didn't take away every piece of you. Hell, they even might wave at you. But that feeling of anger that you get when you see that life has not destroyed them the way that they have destroyed you is your own poison. You are allowing them to continue to suck the life out of you and this time, they aren't around you.

It isn't you that they have the potential to hurt anymore. It isn't you that they are calling names and yelling at. It isn't you that is laying up at night wondering what they are doing behind your back and with who. It isn't you that is being constantly embarrassed. It isn't you that is being blamed for every little thing. You have to remember that just because you see that they are overtly enjoying life, that if they were genuinely happy, they wouldn't have treated you and those around them so poorly.

Your abuser still exists and still has to move on with their life but let yourself find happiness in the fact that they can no longer hurt you and that freedom is your friend now.

Cover Image Credit: Annie Spratt

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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