If you’re a woman who’s suffered any type of abuse, I want to applaud you for your courage and never giving up.
You looked fear in the face, pushed through the pain and you continued to do that every single day of your life.
When it happens once, it’s never really over. You need to reinvent yourself.
Find who you are again and live through that process with nothing but blind faith and giving life one more chance.
You’re a silent heroine. And your superpower is that you’re unbreakable.
After everything you’ve been through, you’re standing strong, examining your pain and vulnerability, and turning them into strength and wisdom.
I want to remind you to always give yourself time and put yourself as a priority.
With that in mind, here are some things explaining why it is so hard to make connections – let alone romantic connections – after abuse, that you might relate to.
You’re not sure who you are anymore
After abuse, the victim is left stripped of their sense of self.
After manipulation, gaslighting, blackmailing, and conditioning, you’re left with always second-guessing your thoughts and decisions.
You’re not sure which part of you is real anymore.
Your abuser wanted you to feel lost, scared, and alone so he could control you.
And now you’re left in that mess, not knowing how to start improving your self-confidence.
You’re left thinking you’re crazy. Everything you’d said was always “overreacting” or “irrational.”
And then it turned out to be true, but always after you already believed you were overreacting and irrational.
Dear women, you’re allowed to take life in your own hands and write your own story.
You can be what you were before again or what you always wanted to become.
The great strength lies in every one of you. If that wasn’t true, you wouldn’t be reading this!
You need time to regain trust
Every lie is poison and there have been so many lies told to you. And some of them you’ve even continued to say to yourself.
After breaking an abuser’s power over you, you might have realized you spent so much time (months, years, half of your life!) believing something that was never real.
And that took a big toll on your ability to trust, mental health, and overall being.
You need time to start trusting people again and that’s perfectly normal.
You shouldn’t force anything or pursue something you’re not comfortable with. You can heal, you just need time.
You’re scared of being hurt again
After abuse, you need to re-draw your boundaries.
With re-drawing boundaries – placing your own limits – you start seeing which people you want in your life and which people you’re better off without.
Those who cross the limits are not needed in your life.
What you need is healthy boundaries, established through meaningful communication that show compassion and understanding.
Anything less than that is causing you fear of being hurt again.
You need time alone
If you can’t connect, maybe it’s not time to connect. Maybe you need to connect with yourself again.
Maybe you need to recognize your own needs and take them as your responsibility.
That means you might be alone, but not lonely. Sometimes all you need is to be your own best friend.
Let yourself be whatever you need to be at that moment.
You can be angry, sad, overwhelmed. Let yourself feel everything and then forgive yourself for all the times you’ve been hard on yourself.
Release any shame, guilt, or thinking that everything that happened was somehow your fault. It wasn’t.
You don’t feel understood
Not everyone went through what you went through. Some people, luckily, have no clue.
And that sometimes makes you feel like no one can understand you.
Not many people are vocal about their abuse and it’s not the first thing they will talk about.
It could be the same case with you. It’s not unusual to feel like you don’t belong.
Building new friendships and relationships means investing a lot of time, strength, will, and emotions. And it’s hard if you’re a survivor.
You relationship with your abuser is complicated
People tend to think that abusers are people who victims can cut out once and for all.
But what if he’s the father of your child, your work college, your family member, or just a person you used to care about a lot?
Feelings are not an on-and-off thing. We can’t just stop loving someone in a day, even if it’s an abuser.
It is possible to love someone and realize that they aren’t a safe person to be around.
But it’s also possible to learn through painful experiences and love again.
Just remember that you deserve to be safe, respected and loved at all times.