Throughout your life you may encounter people who take advantage of your insecurities so they make them bigger, never allowing you to have self-confidence or to love the person you are. They use verbal abuse in the form of sarcasm to make it all seem like it’s a joke but you’re always the one who feels hurt after it. If you are someone who has survived these situations and you’re someone who wants to bring back their sense of self-worth and self-respect, then I have 8 things listed here to help you overcome the aftermath of emotional abuse.
1. Realize that it’s not your fault
Abusers have the urge to hurt other people, to make themselves feel superior by belittling their victims. This means that you didn’t have a chance to make you both happy; it was either you or him. Let’s be clear, you should always pick yourself first when it comes to happiness! Also, one quick and important reminder: you couldn’t change him as much as you tried. If you had continued with that mindset, you would have been wasting your time. An abuser never changes.
2. Set boundaries for future relationships
This can refer to both romantic relationships and friendships. You now know what emotional abuse looks like and what the first signs are. Also, you know which kinds of behavior are abuse in disguise. The only good thing about abuse is that it doesn’t have to happen again. You can now set very clear boundaries in your relationships which cannot be crossed. It’s also a very good idea to create consequences for if those boundaries are crossed, so that you don’t let anyone make a fool out of you ever again.
3. Be direct and open when it comes to your emotions
Abusers feed off of your weaknesses. If you show them, that is. If you ever again see someone showing the slightest signs of abusive behavior, confront them right away! Make them see how strong you really are and they will be scared to approach you in this manner ever again.
4. Just leave
Why are you trying so hard to change them into a good person? There is nothing you can do without them seeking their advantage so why bother? There are so many beautiful people out there in this world who can love you and in front of whom you can be vulnerable without being scared about them laughing at you. Simply leave those unhealthy relationships, it’ll save you so much time and heartache.
5. Find healthy relationships
As I told you before, there are wonderful people out there in this world of ours and also you need a support group. As a survivor of emotional abuse, you know that there are people who won’t take you for granted and won’t hurt you. Find these people and let them change your perspective on the world. You’ll have someone to call in the middle of the night when you are drowning in tears and they will be there for you.
6. Don’t be afraid to call it abuse
It is what it is. He abused you. Your partner didn’t appreciate you enough to value you as a person and to make you feel loved. He manipulated you into thinking that you weren’t good enough. It was abuse. And if anyone asks you, be sure to tell them what it actually was. Don’t feel bad and second-guess yourself or the situations you went through.
7. Stop apologizing
Your abuser thought that everything was your fault and that you were the one who was making everything worse than it actually was. This manipulative behavior is now pierced into your skin and you have the need to apologize for everything without it being your fault. I’m not telling you to not apologize when it really is your fault, like if you bump into someone on the street and they fall, which is a situation where you need to apologize. But if someone blames you for not reminding them about something important, it’s not your fault, it’s the fault of the person who forgot in the first place.
8. Move on
It sounds easier than it is, but why would you want to dwell on the past, always trying to change it, when you can’t? You will have flashbacks about your abusive relationship for a long time after it ends but be aware of the fact that it’s completely normal and that you need time to move on. Just decide that you want to. Decide that you are ready to open yourself up to new experiences and to new people. This world is full of happiness, you simply need to find yours.