In my previous blog, Domestic Abuse: The Transformation Process, I stated that the impact of the abuse is subtle and that it takes time to recognize that the abuse has changed who you are as a person. Yet some of these changes are obvious to others. I will list how to tell that you have been transformed and how to reclaim yourself.
You may recognize that something is missing and sense that something about you has changed. You might not like the person you have become, however you are not aware of your loss. You may recognize that your thinking process has altered, yet you might not be aware of changes to your self-esteem.
Signs and Symptoms That You Have Transformed
If you experienced any of these signs, you mostly have been transformed.
- You know something is wrong, but you can’t figure it out
- You isolate yourself because you feel embarrassed about yourself
- You accept his excuses for his actions
- You accept responsibility for his action and take the blame
- You deny that any abuse is happening
- You don’t trust yourself to make decisions
- You rely on your abuser to do all the thinking
- You live in shame and humiliation
- You believe that you are the problem
- You second-guess yourself
- You feel confused and disoriented about his behaviors
- You are unsure about your recollection of events at home
- You are consumed by thoughts about the abuse and how to stop it
- You feel that you are losing your mind
- Fear consumes your day-to-day activities
- You feel powerless to change the situation
- You are easily anxious and irritable
- You are afraid to voice your opinion
- You feel emotionally fatigued and physically drained
- You feel emotionally numb
- You lack interest in activities that you once loved
As a result of these signs and symptoms, your self-image is profoundly damaged. To put it another way, it is almost like a “death of self.” This state of mind can lead to feelings of hopelessness and make you believe that you don’t have the power to get help. The good news is that there is always hope for change.
Awareness that the abuse has changed you is the first step to recovery. Reclaiming yourself can be difficult, and it will take time and effort to do it. Here are some of the actions you might have to take to reclaim who you were before the abuse.
- Remove yourself from your abusive environment
- Seek professional help
- Pray and meditate to strengthen your spiritual self
- Be kind, patient, compassionate and empathetic toward yourself
- Forgive yourself
- Tell your story in a safe place; it is your truth and it will help to set you free
- Celebrate your survival, especially if you were able to break free
- Love yourself by engaging in activities to promote wellness like exercising, eating right, and finding time to relax
- Reconnect with people who love and care about you
- Join a community of support to meet your physical and emotional needs
- Attend a support group with people who have experienced domestic abuse
- Engage in activities you enjoy, or consider new activities
- Set healthy boundaries
- Regain your voice by telling others what you need and want
- Combat your negative thoughts with positive thoughts
- Take responsibility for your actions and let go of things that you cannot control
- Focus on your strengths
- Volunteer to help other survivors of abuse
- Grieve and let go of your sense of loss
- Journal about your transformational journey
You can overcome any difficulty
As you journey through the stages of regaining the person you were before the abuse, remind yourself that you are strong and can overcome any difficulty. Surviving abuse is evidence that you have the power to find yourself again. Hold on to your faith. Embrace God’s love because it has the power to set you free. The abuse was never a part of God’s plan for your life. So, move forward and be the wonderful person that God wants you to be.
Check out these links for more on self-care:
Hello my friend! I found your latest blog on the fb page: Helping hands against domestic violence. Good to see you are writing again! Blessings, Caroline
Great to hear from you! You right, I haven’t done much posting. It takes time and only a few interactions with the blog all contribute to mine inconsistency.
I have a friend who follows your work. Keep up the great job you are doing! Hope we can connect soon.