After you realize you have hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. Therapy was my go to, my foundation to start rediscovering where I was and where I needed to be. For me making the decision to go to therapy was the best one I could have ever made. However, before I made my decision, I was very hesitant to go to therapy. I thought, “I don’t need someone judging me, or telling me what to do.” And although that may be true for some therapists, it is very important to make sure that the therapist you have is a good fit for your needs. Once you make the decision to start understanding where you are you can begin to discover how you got there.
And until you come to a point of wanting to go to therapy, educating yourself on abuse, and reaching out to victims who are now survivors, none of it will make sense. You will continue to blame yourself for the abuse that is taking place. The more I educated myself on the abuse the more the last five years made sense to me. Never having been around abuse my entire life until now, the phrase, “you don’t know what you don’t know!” really takes on a new meaning.
As you move through therapy and slowly start to find yourself again, the feelings of hope and strength start to come back. Believe me when I say it is a slow uphill battle; life doesn’t stop moving because you are trying to find yourself again. I still had to work, take care of my boys, my dog, and I still had to come home to my abuser every day until I felt ready to make my exit.
I continued therapy every week for six months, and that truly was the best thing I could have done for myself and my boys. What I learned during that time is invaluable and it will forever be embedded in my head to never allow someone the power and control over me again. The second best thing I did was read a book called, The Verbally Abusive Relationship-How to recognize it and how to respond by Patricia Evans. This book was an eye opener to abuse that can fly under the radar without notice to others, unless you are living it. You can’t take back that precious time, but you can make it better going forward.
Therapy is a safe place to talk and release emotions, thoughts, and anything that needs to be uncovered from the abuse. You begin to learn that the abuse is not your fault. You did not bring it on yourself. You did not make it happen. You did not cause it. The emotions that come with accepting those three things are very overwhelming because that is when you realize that you are not the problem. That takes the responsibility off you, allowing you to start focusing on healing yourself.
Survivor Story: Part One
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