People have known and understood physical pain since the beginning of human existence, but it’s only recently that people have started recognising and identifying emotional or psychological issues. Abuse isn’t always physical; one can also hurt someone emotionally and it is equally painful, if not more. But because of its ambiguity, it often goes undetected, sometimes even by people who are at the receiving end of it.
Emotional abuse can look like your partner withdrawing their affection to make you do as they please. It can also look like gaslighting you or acting like a victim. It can also mean manipulating you or giving you the silent treatment. Realising that you are in a psychologically abusive partnership and walking away from it requires a lot of courage.
After all that, you have to heal yourself to be able to truly recover from your past. Here are tips that will help you feel whole again.
Set strict boundaries
The first thing you should do after leaving your abusive ex behind is to cut them off from everywhere and every platform. Ensure they don’t have access to you—in person, on call, or on social media. You don’t need that negativity in your life. If a situation forces you to stay connected, for instance, having a child together, ensure you establish boundaries, giving them only minimal access. Let them know their membership to your life has been revoked and they don’t enjoy the same privileges.
When you’re healing from a relationship where you were heavily gaslit, it’s likely that you will feel emotionally depleted and will experience self-doubt. It’s essential to educate yourself on emotional abuse and how it can impact you so you know how to approach the situation. This will help you not feel any unfounded guilt or shame.
Build a support system
Let your friends and family know how they can be there for you. Don’t let stigma stop you from reaching out to people. If you need a new job in a new city, don’t hesitate to ask that old friend to help you. If need be, reach out to support groups and see how they can help you start afresh. According to Psych Central, your support system can build you up and even help you counter negative thoughts that crop up in various phases of your healing.
Practise self-care and self-love
Irrespective of what you’re healing from, you must practise enough self-love to be able to recover. Self-love will give you the courage to walk away from people who don’t deserve you and to fight everyone who tries to break you! Start journaling your thoughts and feelings. Practise healing affirmations. It will all help you fill your heart with light and positivity.
Know that healing is not linear
Some days you will feel you’ve healed; some days, you may feel like you have a long way to go. Remember, healing is not linear. You will win and lose, but even when you think you are losing, you are still winning. You are on the path to recovery, and while it may not be a straight road, it’s still leading you to where you want to be.
Don’t get into a relationship until you are healed
According to Psychology Today, people who have not healed from their past may end up being attracted to the same toxic traits of their ex. You may subconsciously seek comfort in familiarity, even though it’s quite tumultuous. This is why, you must heal before deciding to date again.
If you’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship, please seek help from a therapist. It can support your recovery in a deeper manner.