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Leaving a domestic battery situation certainly brings a sense of relief, but that's not all it brings. Because of that, it's a good idea to immediately seek out a support system that can help you navigate this territory. This isn't just to help you get through it, but to help you avoid going into the pitfall of returning to the situation because you feel like there is nowhere else to turn. If you have alienated friends and family, it's time to seek them out again. If there truly isn't anyone available, then join a church or look for a domestic battery support group because the battle isn't over yet.

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Stalking

Yes, there is every potential for stalking to be a thing. When you're dealing with abuse, you're dealing with someone who is looking for control. When you aren't feeding into that, the abuser isn't going to be happy. Now is a good idea to use your history for a good purpose. If you have ever had the police stop by and play mediator in any way, use that to your advantage and file an order of protection. The abuser may ignore it, but at least you have created a paper trail.

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PTSD

Recently, there was a study done which suggested that the mental traumas of child abuse are similar to those experienced by war veterans. In many cases, they both lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You may not be a child, but the abuse can cause forms of PTSD ranging from mild to severe. In other words, it might be something as simple as you jumping every time you hear a door slam to something as intense as a flash back triggered by a specific word or movement.

emotion chart photo: Emotion chart emotions.gif Range of Emotions

Expect a wide range of emotions. You may be afraid to head out on your own, but you have to consider that you obviously survived before the abuser came into the picture. Fear, hurt, anger...these are all common emotions when leaving such a situation. You're going to question what you could have done differently and you're even going to miss your abuser sometimes, because almost every abuser has a significant layer of charms they apply. That's how they get by with what they do.

At some point, you're going to reach a plateau where you feel sort of numb. This is progress, this is where the true healing begins. It's time to start thinking not of what you went through or what you lost, but where you're going from here.

When you are feeling at your worst, keep in mind that the abusive situation was the bottom; you have nowhere to go but up, and your world is shaped by your decisions. When this finally sinks in, you can expect a sense of euphoria, a joy you haven't felt in a very long time.

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Move Forward

When the days seem terribly long and lonely, and you are tempted to reflect on things past, start working on a list of goals. Where do you want to be 5 years from now? A year from now? Do something to meet that long term goal everyday even if that means making just one phone call.

You can also reach out to other through support groups and benefits. If you happen to live in Starke County, Indiana, or nearby, feel free to join in a Benefit for Melanie Greer, a brave woman who recently survived a horrific encounter with domestic battery. You don't have to say anything or share your story. Just look at the support of the people around you and know you aren't alone.



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