- Suddenly, you can breathe. I mean actually breathe, not the paranoid, “oh my God what is he/she going to do/say to me today.” kind of breathing that you’re used to. It’s like someone has actually lifted a weight off your lungs.
- You have hours and hours of time to spend on yourself. Abusers tend to make themselves a full time job. They expect your constant attention all the time. Losing one from your life makes you realise just how much time they were taking up of your life. Practice plenty of self care in these hours. You deserve it now more than any other time in your life.
- You feel lost sometimes and other times you couldn’t be happier. Even if your relationship was abusive, you are so used to the patterns of the other person have a polarizing effect on your mental health after you leave. This is just an indication of how much and how deeply they controlled you. Fortunately, rationale will soon sink in and take over your thoughts, and you will soon entrench yourself so wholly in your life that you won’t find yourself missing them.
- You are overwhelmed with the amount of control you suddenly have on your own life. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because it forces you to sink or swim. It’s bad because it feels like being pushed into the deep end without warning.
- You discover just how complicated healing from abuse is. You discover that trauma is a demon that you have to battle along with nightmare at night. You discover that the people closest to you do not understand you the way they should. You discover that you need to rely on yourself more than anyone and that in itself will push your healing. You discover pain is a good thing because it leads to growth.
- You realise you have to learn who you are all over again. Abusive relationships drain your personal energy, they rely heavily on making you forget who you are independent of that toxic human in your life. You remember attributes of your own that you had to hide away in order to appease this toxic person. You learn how to allow those attributes to flourish.
- You begin to realise how many people love you. Abusive partners work best with isolation. They convince you that you have no friends. They convince you your family doesn’t love you. They convince you that they are all they have. They break your mental health and well being down to the point that you’re confused and unsure of who to trust. After you leave, you restablish bonds. You reaffirm friendships. You understand how many people have loved you and you regain some self confidence from it.
- You encounter people who pretend to be helpful but are really toxic themselves. Most people who have never been through abuse, even self proclaimed ‘psychologists’ (aka, someone whose studied a course at college – and now thinks this is what they are), do not fully understand the devastating effect trauma has and how awful the fallout is. They lose their patience with you as you try to heal and these are exactly the people you do not need to be around when you have just left an abusive relationship.
- You begin to learn that you are deserving of happiness. You understand that feeling unhappy is not a normal way to be. You slowly start to appreciate living in the moment without worrying someone is going to steal it if you are too happy.
- You begin to learn how to forgive yourself. The truth is, forgiveness is a gift we must give ourselves in order to heal before we can bestow it on others. It is an art, as well crafted as that of letting go. So forgive yourself your demons. You are only just healing.
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