Leaving a life of domestic violence feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off you so you can finally breathe again. But getting away from the abuse is only the beginning of your recovery. At times the aftermath can feel even more difficult to deal with than the violence, so here are 6 ways you can cope with it.
Find Someone to Talk To
One of the most painful parts of domestic violence is being made to feel entirely alone in the world, and that doesn’t go away as soon as the abuse does. The first and most important thing to do is find someone to talk to. It will be a confusing time and it will be hard to understand all of your feelings but being comfortable enough with someone to be open and honest about your experiences will be a relief. Talking with a professional counselor is a good idea because they will be able to help you resolve a lot of your feelings and anxieties about your experiences.
Be More Social
Domestic violence is a very isolating life. Often you will have little or no interaction with other people or the outside world. When you begin recovering from this life that is the perfect time to change this. You will need people around you while you transition into your own life again and being social is how to do that. By having people around you that treat you as your own person rather than a victim, you will start to feel the same way.
Find a New Hobby
Hobbies are a great idea for anyone, but there are even more benefits for survivors of domestic violence. Taking up a new hobby allows you to do something outside of your head, so you don’t become trapped there. A hobby also allows you to experience new things and enjoy yourself which may feel like an entirely new experience. If you had a hobby you enjoyed before your abuse, then that is an option as well, but finding a new hobby is the perfect way to turn the page and start a new chapter of your life.
Get a Pet
Having a pet is a wonderful thing and even more so when you are recovering from trauma. Getting a new pet can give you back a sense of control as you are responsible for taking care of this animal. They can also bring you a sense of comfort and will stop you from being by yourself and feeling alone. One option is a guard dog, which apart from giving you comfort and unconditional love, will bring you some security as you try to deal with your feelings of fear.
Do Whatever it Takes to Feel Safe
Living with domestic violence are living with constant fear for your safety or even your life, and this will be one of the most difficult feelings to get past. It will take time to feel comfortable in this way again, and that’s alright. While you are still struggling with fears and anxieties it is important to do whatever you need to feel safe. Going outside with people you trust can comfort you when you are out and having security systems can help you feel safe at home. Having a comfortable and safe space to live, sleep easier, and recover better is vital. Upgrading or installing security systems can help you feel secure and safe at home.
Don’t Rush Anything
Recovering from domestic abuse is a process and it can be a very long one. You have already taken the biggest step by getting yourself away from your abuser and you need to understand the next ones will all be baby steps. Pushing yourself too far or too quickly to get back to living a normal life will only hurt you. Allow yourself time and space to get back to yourself again.
Recovering from domestic violence may feel impossible at times, especially in the beginning, but it can be done. These six ways can help you get on a healthy path to full recovery. Just remember that this is a long road, you are going somewhere wonderful, and it is going to get better.