When a survivor leaves an abusive relationship, especially one that has been verbally, emotionally, and mentally abusive there might be a lot of hurt we end up carrying out with us when we leave our abusive partner or unhealthy relationship. Even though it may seem difficult, a survivor of an unhealthy or abusive relationship can learn to unload some of that hurt and heal. Here are a few possible practices or things to try to regain your power, strength, and sense of self after hittin’ the road and saying…
Take several moments, opportunities, minutes, seconds, any and all time, to recognize how amazing and strong you are because, ‘damn Daniel!’ you had to have strength for yourself during that relationship, and also strength to leave. Both are valid and amazing, *clapping and cheering.* GET IT!!! Again, this is just one of the many things you can do to help yourself, and please feel to practice as many reps of this as many times a day as you like.
Another possible healing suggestion would be to try some old and new hobbies. Maybe it’s been a while since you drew, painted, wrote, danced, swam, went to a movie you chose, or even hung out with friends. Try one or ALL of them again, see if you still like them, see if they make you remember the ‘you’ were able to be before that unhealthy or abusive relationship. Also, ‘shiny and new’ can be a great way to start anew. Try a new restaurant, try out a new activity, check out a new art exhibit, attend a spoken word by your peers, volunteer for the humane society or the local farm in one of the valleys, or anywhere you might be interested. Doing the things that made us happy before can help us regain that personal mana again, and new things we end up liking might show us how much we’ve grown too.
Lastly, when we get to a good place and are feeling stronger, figuring out, "what does healthy mean to me in my dating relationship" can be a way we think, know, and hopefully obtain that healthy love we all deserve. If we don’t know what we want, how are we supposed to find it or spot it when it comes along?? This might take some extra support from your besties or your ohana as it might take some convos about that unhealthy or abusive relationship you just left and realizing what did NOT work for you. Sometimes when we know what we don’t want we can start thinking about the things we do. When we are a grounded ‘me’ we also have the opportunity to be a stronger ‘us’ for when you do decide to start dating someone new.
Now, I’m not trying to say that healing is an easy process or that every option suggested is going to work for every person. There is no “one-size fits all” to any person’s healing, but know that healing can definitely happen. Again, it might be work, but you’re worth it, so give it your all. You deserve it!