Abusive relationships are often considered to be about physical and sexual trauma, except they are not. Everything from controlling behavior, excessive possessiveness, or manipulation to verbal abuse comes under its purview.
Those who have finally come out of an abusive relationship and are seeking help through PTSD therapy in orange county CA, may seem like not an option. Therefore, this blog will help you understand the type of abuse you may have faced, its potential signs, and what necessary steps you should take.
Understand The Types Of Abuse In A Relationship
Abuse may take any form of harmful behavior toward another person. For example– getting body-shamed by your partner almost daily would break your confidence, making you feel emotionally and psychologically vulnerable. Another type of abuse could be violent physical or intimate behavior, termed as physical or sexual abuse.
Depending on these and other common behaviors, abuse can be divided into:
In recent times, even stalking someone digitally and demanding access to social media accounts passwords would also be considered a type of abuse. The only difference is we call it digital abuse.
Common Situations People Face
In such scenarios, people have different experiences even after coming out of their relationships–
- Missing the ex
- Feelings of loneliness
- Thinking of going back to their abusive partners again
- Anxiety or depression
- Developing a sense of fear
- Facing troubles while making decisions
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Proven Ways To Heal From An Abusive Relationship
The healing process always takes time to give results. Some days, you will feel happier, while other days, out of nowhere, your past will appear in flashbacks. However, with the following ways, you can seek support and relief–
Setting Clear Boundaries
Boundaries in a relationship differ from the brick walls we use while marking our territories. If you know what setting boundaries in a relationship means, you have already set foot on the path of healing.
However, in case boundaries may sound like an off-beat topic to you presently, the following example may help:
- Did you or your partner used to check each other’s phones?
- Did only one of you carry the burden of domestic chores?
- Were you afraid to express your feelings openly?
If the answer to these questions was a YES, your relationship didn’t have healthy boundaries. Let’s understand what setting healthy boundaries may look like:
When both individuals in a relationship can share their opinions, they can say no when they don’t want to do a sure thing and have struck a balance between their responsibilities. Even having disagreements and accepting each other’s viewpoints is called boundary setting.
As the relationship has already ended, make sure you and your ex are on the same page, whether in terms of behavior or communication. It’s better to unfollow their social media accounts and make a plan for a fresh start.
Creating a Safety Plan
While we are on the subject, healing may not happen if you or your partner disrupt each other’s space. Even when you have common friends, try to avoid public meetings as much as possible because it will make you recall all your distressful experiences with your ex-partner.
It is highly recommended for those who have faced violent behavior in their relationships.
If you feel unsafe or anxious while going out, take support from police or legal authorities to get a restraining order. You can also consult the best social anxiety therapist to get over those feelings. Simply put, your priority right now should be to recover from the trauma and live a safe, happy life.
Self-love has become a trend these days. While a few people call it a tabloid trend, PTSD therapists consider it the most effective step in coping with relationship trauma.
The reason is people who have come out of abusive relationships develop the habit of putting themselves in second places. They forget to value their needs and keep on pushing their feelings aside. This puts them in a miserable position as they start believing that the only way to seek love from their partner is always to say YES.
At times, these scenarios reach a point where their approval becomes insignificant.
Therefore, after you have safely come out of an unhealthy relationship, start practicing self-love. Indulge in self-care routines, meet friends, work on your hobbies, or take a break.
Affirmations May Also Help
You must have come across affirmations on the internet. Whether cards or quotes, those sentences help you develop a positive mindset.
Remind yourself that the abuse you faced was never your fault. The wrongdoings of other person is not a cause for you to blame yourself or even them. The best thing now would be to break the chain and heal from it all.
There will be times when you’ll miss your partner, but remember you are strong. Here affirmations help. Simply saying in the mirror every day in the morning that:
- I am happy.
- I am brave.
- Everything is working out in my favor.
- I will learn and grow.
These affirmations may sound simple, but when you try them for yourself, you will see a change in your beliefs.
Building a Strong Support System
People assume telling others about their struggles would make them come out as weak. No, it doesn’t. Only a brave person has the ability to express their emotions. The ones who can accept their vulnerability and make changes in their life are the ones with the strongest minds. They aren’t afraid to be judged but see themselves as humans.
So, accept your every emotion. You don’t have to do anything alone. Talk to your friends, family, or a therapist, and you will feel better.
Bottling up everything inside is never an option. Learn to let it out.
Finally– Ask For Help, If Required.
In severe cases, communication with a loved one or setting plans may not work. When you have continuous sleepless nights and random thoughts troubling your mind during the day, seek support from a professional. Thanks to technology, you may even be able to get trauma-related help with online PTSD therapy without going anywhere.
Remember, help is available. You just need to find a reliable source and heal.