Abuse can be of various kinds such as physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, coercive and financial. Depending on the level and intensity of abuse, the victim can experience a serious loss of confidence and self-esteem. While bruises may heal, the scars caused by psychological and emotional trauma may remain there for a long time. Another major loss is the victim’s ability to trust another person. This can create challenges when the affected individual may be trying to enter into a new relationship. Here’s what experts have to say about surviving abuse and embracing new relationships.
Take a break: You need to find some time for solitude, so that you can see and think clearly. It will help clear any doubts or confusions that you may have about your abusive relationship. It may help you identify how things went wrong and how you may have missed the warning signs. Taking a break can also provide you with a clear idea about how a healthy relationship should be.
Don’t rush: Every individual is unique and moves at their own pace. You should not be in a rush to enter a new relationship. The trauma caused by abuse may take longer to heal, so the first priority should be to become a normal person again. The baggage of the past should be discarded before entering a new relationship. There is no fixed time for this, so you can take as long as you want.
Get support: Friends, family members, colleagues, counselors, self-help groups and other social organizations can be very useful in helping you overcome the trauma of abuse. These people will form your support network, and they will be there for you when you need to discuss something or just pour out your thoughts and emotions. Just talking and sharing with a close friend or family member can lighten your emotional and traumatic burden.
Don’t be under pressure: People who care for you may be making efforts to help you get back to normal. However, if you feel that you are not ready to move into a new relationship, you need not take decisions under pressure. You should clearly communicate with your loved ones that you are not yet ready to move into a new relationship.
It is not easy to start trusting new people after you have been in an abusive relationship. So, feel free to take as much time as you want. Utilize your time doing things you like and keep interacting with family and friends. When the wounds of abuse start to heal, you will notice it on your own. This will be the defining moment that will usher in new energy, confidence and trust. You will be willing to start life afresh and open to exploring new relationships that come your way.