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Can You Heal From Abuse?

Guest Blogger for The Unite in Light DV Awareness Conference: Melinda Kunst

Healing from any type of abuse can seem like a long process. You may be wondering, can I recover and how? These negative thoughts don’t happen overnight; it takes time to plant positive beliefs in your mind. Be gentle with yourself and take baby steps towards healing.

  1. Go no-contact! This may mean you have another person check messages or voicemail messages. This is also a great way to keep a paper trail of any threats of harm or malicious intent from the abuser. If you have to co-parent, it can be challenging, but for visits, try to drop off and pick up children in a public spot or have a friend to witness and support you.

  2. Don't engage with this person! If this doesn't work, stick to the facts, use short answers, and ignore heated words or exchanges. They could be trying to get you to respond.

  3. Be careful during family get-togethers, school, or holiday gatherings. You may even consider staggering when you arrive or leave so you don’t bump into this person.

It’s okay to grieve for this relationship. There may have been promises of change that didn’t happen. If you are considering going back, please remember a healthy relationship does not make you feel unworthy. Consider jotting down why you left your relationship and look it over anytime you feel the urge to let this person back into your life.

  1. Start trusting your instincts again! Trust yourself if you feel off about a person or situation, and take things cautiously. If you are starting a new romance or relationship, don't leave your children or furbabies alone with this person until you can genuinely feel that you trust them. It may take time for this to happen, and trust the instincts of your children and or if your pet doesn't like this person. Introduce this new person slowly.

  2. Slowly rebuild your life again. This may mean you move to an entirely new place and start over. You may have to let go of old friends or family members that are also toxic.

  3. Start journaling your thoughts and feelings, let the tears flow, and cry or scream if needed. You don't have to keep this; you can tear it up or save it for legal purposes.

  4. Start walking or working. Exercise sends good vibes to your body, can increase good endorphins to your brain and the rest of you, and is a great stress reliever! You don't have to sign up for a marathon or hot Yoga. Start slow!

  5. Talk to a supportive friend or counselor about your past. Learn new patterns to help you overcome any issues with trust, boundaries, taking steps to heal, or coping skills to help with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, or other health issues.

  6. Volunteer for a cause or in your community. Giving back can make you feel good and introduce you to new people and experiences.

  7. Practice gratitude every day by journaling or saying what you are thankful for. Gratitude can remind you that the small glimmers can help boost your spirits, calm your mind, and shift your perspective. Try to use different ones over and over. Think out of the box! You can be thankful that someone complimented your hair or outfit. Maybe someone bought you coffee, or you found a parking spot near the entrance to a store.

  8. Use affirmations! These can help reprogram the negative thoughts in our brains. When we say affirming words, we give ourselves something positive to feed our brains! Say what feels natural and authentic to you. This may take time for you to believe what you are saying.

Sometimes, I would put my hand on my heart, strike a power pose- Superhero or give myself a thumbs up, saying,

"I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"

"I am Enough!",

"God's got this!"

"I am confident in all I do!"

"Everything I touch turns to gold!"

"YAY! I made the bed!"

"I showered today!"

"I folded that mountain of laundry today. WAY TO GO!"

"I will treat myself with respect today!"

"I am learning to love and accept you!"

Repeating the affirmations many times can help reinforce the goodness! Honestly, when you begin, you may feel these aren’t working. Doing these over time and using other self-care methods can help change how you see yourself.

Self-care can help you recognize that you are worthy of being loved, respected, and cherished. Don't hesitate to reach out if you need more tips, suggestions, or just to talk. I am happy to hold space for you!

JOIN MELINDA on the UNITE in LIGHT DV AWARENESS CONFERENCE OCT 12, 2023 at 6:30 pm MDT, where we will share more about healing.


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