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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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.

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Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.


About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.


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Listening To Vic Mensa

A social commentary through music.

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In the fall of my junior year, I acquired an aversion to elephants and the color red. The red elephants on my television screen were revolting: come January 2017, an openly sexist, racist bigot—the antithesis of the American spirit—would hold our country's highest office. My calculus homework was long-forgotten on the kitchen table as I sat next to my mother in silence. I envisioned repealed civil liberties for minorities, eradicated universal healthcare, and an ominous wall that separated us from the rest of the world. I felt helpless—but, I was not alone. 2,140 miles away in an Atlanta hotel room, the face of social hip-hop, Vic Mensa, fielded phone calls from his dejected sisters and dealt with his own incurable disgust.

Mensa grew up in Chicago's South Side. His parents (both educators) taught Mensa the importance of politics, literature, and mathematics, while the rest of the South Side exposed Mensa to humanity's unsettling realities: gun violence, drugs, and police brutality. Following the murder of his childhood friend, Mensa decided to create music that inspires political and social change. Mensa writes and performs powerful songs packed with an effective combination of both rhetoric and personal experience. To him, the 2016 Election results were not disheartening; instead, Trump's win only strengthened his vision. "I realized that [Trump] had to happen because we've been pacified by having Barack [Obama] in office. That pacification would have only continued by having Hillary elected," Mensa stated in an interview with CNN the day after the election, "My fight doesn't end here no matter the outcome".

Mensa's debut album, There's a Lot Going On, was released a few months prior to the presidential election. On the seven-part album, track six, "Shades of Blue", is the most politically-charged song included in the collection. The first time that I heard the song during the summer of 2016, I focused solely on the appealing beat and pretty harmonies. I understood the obvious reference to the Flint water crisis; however, I overlooked the lyrics' full significance. Listening to the song post-election was a drastically different experience. As Mensa predicted, Trump's hateful rhetoric and racist remarks pushed social justice issues towards the forefront of my mind. This elevated awareness made me conscious of "Shades of Blue"'s allusions to social justice, and Mensa's intricate lyrical tools reinforced my sense of purpose: taking a firm stance against injustice to spur political change.

As I later discovered in "Shades of Blue", Flint is a segue to other social justice themes. Race, socioeconomic status, government inefficiency, and white-centric media coverage are all problems that are exacerbated by the Flint crisis. Mensa utilizes potent images, the "color of morning pee coming out of the sink" and "lead in the water gun," to highlight the severity and transparency of the crisis. Mensa further articulates his point on race and class disparity by comparing the Flint crisis to a sinking boat: if the boat contained white people, the government would intervene and help; yet, since the boat contains minorities (both racial and socioeconomic), the government will allow it to sink. Mensa's lyrics also explain the government's inability to aid poverty-stricken areas. Our representatives allow inner-city areas to flounder under mounting violence while allowing media sources to emphasize the stagnant stalemate between the U.S. and Russia. Rather than confronting the rising crime rates in places like Mensa's native South Side Chicago, the government chooses to work on "true" American problems like Russia and to leave the "black problem" to fester and deteriorate. For me, these verses highlighted the government's incompetence and failed attempts to provide tangible assistance for specific minority groups which amplified my frustration with the inequality in America.

Trump has forced America to recognize some of its ugliest truths. His supporters no longer have to hide their racist opinions; the enemies are clearly targeted, and the lines have been erased—anything is fair game. For years our nation has suppressed underlying marginalization, and now that these sentiments are public, our generation can identify, confront, and combat racism. I have followed politics from a young age, but Mensa's music inspires myself and my peers to actively participate in politics. With the Trump administration bearing down on valued American institutions, the public must unify and stand as an ally for groups who have been ignored and suppressed throughout history. Our strength and influence is derived from passion, large numbers, and ceaseless agitation. "Change gon' come," Vic Mensa promises in "Shades of Blue", but "it's all on you."

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