Learn how to heal from emotional abuse and take back your life with this comprehensive guide.
We understand how emotionally draining, confusing and challenging it can be to experience abuse, especially when it's from someone you love and trust. Emotional abuse is a type of abuse that can leave deep scars on your mental health, self-esteem, and overall well-being.
However, it's essential to know that you're not alone, and healing is possible. Many people we meet ask us, "how do I get over an abusive relationship"? This guide is a response to that question.
In this guide, we'll provide you with practical tips and insights on how to start your journey of healing from emotional abuse and taking back your life.
It's crucial to note that healing is a process, and there's no quick fix or one-size-fits-all solution. However, with patience, determination, and the right resources, you can overcome emotional abuse and regain control of your life.
Recognise and Acknowledge the Abuse
The first step to healing from emotional abuse is to recognise and acknowledge that you're experiencing it or did experience it. Emotional abuse can take many forms, including verbal abuse, gaslighting, isolation, intimidation, and manipulation (coercive control). It's not always easy to spot emotional abuse, especially when it's subtle or disguised as love and care. However, if you feel constantly criticised, belittled, or controlled, it's likely that you're experiencing emotional abuse.
It's crucial to acknowledge and validate your feelings and experiences, even if others may not understand or believe you. You have the right to feel safe, respected, and valued in your relationships, and emotional abuse is never acceptable.
Realising, waking up... this 'Aha' moment can be one of the toughest steps. Don't ignore any niggling suspicions about yourself and your relationship.
Seek Professional Support
Healing from emotional abuse can be a daunting and overwhelming journey, but you don't have to do it alone. Seeking professional support from a therapist, counsellor, or support group can provide you with the tools, guidance, and validation you need to heal and move forward.
A mental health professional can help you identify the effects of emotional abuse on your mental health and develop coping strategies to manage them. They can also assist you in setting boundaries, rebuilding self-esteem, and developing healthy relationships. Joining a support group of other abuse survivors can provide you with a sense of community, empathy, and understanding.
Not everyone feels up to face-to-face support or has the time, space or finance - and there are online programmes that are an alternative for people who are not at risk or experiencing extreme trauma, such as the Psychologist created 'Get Out Get Love' programme.
Practice Self-Care and Self-Compassion
Healing from emotional abuse requires taking care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. Practising self-care and self-compassion can help you nurture your mental health and well-being and promote healing and growth.
Self-care can take many forms, such as engaging in physical activities, eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and engaging in relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. It's also crucial to set aside time for activities that bring you joy and fulfilment, such as hobbies or spending time with loved ones.
Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and empathy, even when you make mistakes or experience setbacks. It's essential to recognize that healing is a journey, and it's okay to have bad days or moments of self-doubt. Practising self-compassion can help you overcome negative self-talk, build self-esteem, and promote resilience.
Not sure what self-compassion is or why it is so important?... read more here.
Set Boundaries and Prioritise Your Needs
Setting boundaries and prioritising your needs is essential to healing from emotional abuse and building healthy relationships. Boundaries involve setting limits on what you're willing and able to tolerate, clearly communicating your needs and expectations, and asserting your rights and autonomy.
It's crucial to prioritise your needs and values, even if it means saying no to others or setting boundaries. Prioritising yourself involves recognising that you deserve respect, love, and care, and it's not selfish to prioritise your well-being.
In conclusion, healing from emotional abuse is a journey that requires immense courage, patience, and self-love. It can be a roller coaster of emotions, with highs and lows, but every step forward is a step towards freedom and empowerment.
We want you to know that you're not alone, and it's okay to ask for help and support. Here are many services that can offer such support.
You deserve to heal, and you deserve to live a life free from emotional abuse.
Remember that healing is a process, and it's essential to be kind, patient, and compassionate with yourself along the way. Know also that there are known journeys of recovery and that there is hope!
We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights and tools to help you heal from emotional abuse and take back your life. We believe in you, and we're rooting for your success.
For more information about the author (Dr Craig Newman, founder and author of Get Out Get Love, click here).