Taking the first step
The emotional & mental turmoil suffered by those who’ve experienced abusive situations (of any sort) can last a lifetime…it’s never easy but it is possible to move forward
The first step for victims of abuse…any form of abuse…assuming that it has been acknowledged & dealt with appropriately by the relevant outside agencies is for the survivor to begin to come to terms with their situation by understanding that what happened to them is not now and never was their fault.
Abusers are generally speaking both manipulative and clever in the way they program their victims to believe that they in some way are to blame and to be honest are uniformly successful in their quest such is their power over their victims.
To suggest that survivors ”get over it” is a common misconception and whilst some do indeed appear to have done just that closer inspection will usually belie the true extent of the psychological damage as evidenced for instance by addictions, self harming, mental health issues etc.
Surviving abuse is in itself a bit of a cleft stick…by definition anyone who comes through it alive is a survivor and should be proud of being so but in reality the survivors of abuse fall squarely into two camps those who learn to cope and those who don’t.
Which camp any of us fall into is part of the lottery of life. For instance how can 2 survivors of the same type of abuse (if not by the same person) find one well-balanced and adjusted to their situation whilst the next person will have withdrawn from life and spiraled into an addictive lifestyle which will almost certainly waste what’s left of their lives.
The key is just one word – FORGIVENESS!
The art of forgiveness is a twofold process first we have to forgive ourselves. Forgive ourselves for not knowing what we didn’t know…the fact that we..you..any abuse victims are NEVER to blame…and then and here is the big one and to be honest the one thing that many struggle to come to terms with FORGIVENESS of the perpetrator!!
Now I KNOW how difficult even impossible that concept is for many people but the fact of the matter is until such a time as we are ready, willing and/or able to do this then we will and do remain firmly shackled by the chains of the past.
The past and the abuser once brought to accountability have no further power over us other than that we choose to give it. Whilst ever we are at a point that we can’t move forward because of what’s happened to us then the abuser remains both in our minds and hearts and most definitely in control.
The act of forgiveness should NEVER be about the other person but always about ourselves. Why because in all honesty they rarely if ever acknowledge that they have done anything wrong and as such don’t accept their responsibility for their part in your trauma.
How should we go about taking this enormous and extremely challenging step?
Meet them in person and speak to them face to face?
Possibly dependent upon circumstances if you are able to be calm & look the person in the eye…only you will know if you are at that point even if it is possible..but I would ALWAYS suggest doing so within controlled circumstances with the presence of an unbiased 3rd party for your support.
Almost certainly…writing gives us the freedom to say anything and everything we ever wanted to say but were afraid to for fear of backlash and retribution but the beauty of it is that once we’ve given voice to the words by putting them down on paper we have acknowledged both them and what they represent. By doing so we have taken the first all important step to recovery or ”getting over it”. Once you’ve written everything down, read it out loud to yourself but as though you’re speaking to the other person and then in one of the most empowering moments you will ever experience (making sure it’s safe to do so) set light to it and watch it burn. As it burns acknowledge that this is the end of that period of your life begin to look to new beginnings. When we’ve done this it naturally underpins and reinforces the major way in which forgiveness not only occurs but is most powerful.
Absolutely, definitely YES!
Tell yourself and often that in forgiving the other it’s not for them, it never is. Remember that in forgiving them you are taking positive action to set yourself free from the past and move forward into the future…your future, one in which they have no place.
Not in any sense physical, emotional or psychological. In doing so you are taking away their power and reclaiming your right to live your life, in your own way and on your own terms.
Do you ever ”get over” being abused?
Realistically speaking you will probably never,ever forget what happened to you but perhaps for the first time you can celebrate the fact that you survived (remember many don’t) and begin treating every new day as the opportunity it is…one where today you will finally choose to be happy!!
Will it be easy? NO!
Will it be worth it? Absolutely. Always YES!