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How to rebuild my life after abuse?

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Old 25th June 2017, 8:42 PM   #1
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How to rebuild my life after abuse?

I came out of a 6 year emotionally/ verbally leading to physical abusive relationship 4 months ago. It was the toughest thing I have ever done, and the withdrawal, depression, despair, hate for myself was so intense, it was horrendous. I ended up doing my best to pick up the pieces which involved me putting myself through counselling for months. I didn't feel the counselor wanted to get too in depth with things, and was very pushy with me at times, saying I either do something or nothing a few times was harsh but true I guess, there are just so many more factors to that. The problem is my negative thoughts overtake everything all the time, I pushed myself to go into a social setting last week, where there was a talk, the whole time my head is beating myself up saying you look like a weirdo, you have no friends, you think your going to make friends here, your sweating, your a failure, your an embarassment, this constant negative voice won't shutup. I always had a negative voice, but after the abusive relationship it went times 50. It definitely helped having that support and person to talk openly to, when I was ashamed to speak to my family about things that happened.

I took that time off for myself, and now am coming out of that hole I was in, thinking crap, look at my life! I have no friends, no job, failed a year in college as a result of the end of that abusive relationship and have financial debt. I live at home with younger siblings, so lack of independence. What is keeping me afloat is knowing that I am free from an abuser, but I am not in anyway fulfilled in my life, and struggle socially, which makes me avoid situations. I have this image in my head of me being a confident, happy person, but am not sure how to get there. I want to get to a much better place in my life, and look back at this one as something I had to overcome, but I feel stuck in where to begin, I don't want to become too overwhelmed, but know I need to make happier life for myself?
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Old 26th June 2017, 9:58 AM   #2
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First of all, I'm very sorry that happened to you. You need to give yourself a break, it's not easy to bounce right back up after abuse. You went to school? That's awesome!

I had a Psychology teacher tell me once that therapists are like shoes, you have to try them on and sometimes they don't fit. If this counselor didn't get deeper into issues you wanted to get deeper into and was simplifying your feelings, get a new therapist. Go to one that specializes in PTSD, Trauma therapy, Anxiety and Depression. (You can find them all over yelp or look through your insurance provider)

As far as living with your family, I would say don't be so hard on yourself. IT might be good for you to live with people right now, and family beats random roomates all day!

All the negative talk can be worked on through meditating, reading positive self help books, and exercise helps build confidence as well.

Do you have a job yet? Look into getting something that builds you up, helps give you some money to go out shopping, therapy, and perhaps later separate from your family and get a place of your own! Good luck
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Old 27th June 2017, 7:00 AM   #3
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I definitely think you should get a new therapist, so you have someone to talk to who can give you feedback. I think writing is a great way to process your thoughts and sort of get to know yourself a little more, but if you're anything like me - when you're in a negative situation, and feeling isolated, writing an almost take over, and you write instead of doing things you could be doing - ie, putting yourself in a social setting. That was great for you to do. Any time you have the opportunity to put yourself into a social setting, do it. Even if you're not feeling it at the time, just try it, and you can always leave.

Also I think it will help you to start job searching, and do what you can to make yourself feel better physically - start exercising. Get a new haircut/color. Step up your look a little bit. Feeling great on the outside makes you feel more confident on the inside, which will help you as you go forth - job searching, maybe getting back into school, meeting new people, etc.

And, as the above poster mentioned, living with family is not a bad thing all the time! I used to live with my grandmother, aunt, uncle, and my uncle's friend, and it was the family house that everyone else always came by, so it was full of people ... I was always hiding in the attic or going to the park or sitting on the roof, trying to find my own space, but once I moved to my own apartment, I realized I totally took for granted what it was like to always have someone there to talk to, even just to sit and watch TV with.
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Old 28th June 2017, 12:57 PM   #4
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You need to figure out how to practice self care which can be a tricky thing to remember after being treated like that for so long. That could be the gym, writing, reading, beauty care - whatever makes you feel good.

One thing that really helped me was reading. I read Lundy Bancroft's book 'Why Does he Do That'. I also read a lot of Natalie Lue who writes on disrespect, boundaries, and self esteem a lot. I found her website very helpful. I didn't find my therapist too helpful either and it was too slow for me. But you need to learn healthier patterns somehow. Otherwise you'll likely find yourself in the same situation. It was amazing how many jerks I attracted shortly after versus several years later when I was more healed.

Last, I would recommend taking steps to build back up your life. I already had a job but I had been isolated. One thing I did was I started going to meetups and made some friends. Find a job or find a way to go back to school. Etc. Don't let him take that away from you. Be selfish and focus on you for a bit.
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Old 1st July 2017, 9:06 PM   #5
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Wow, I am so sorry you went through all of that. I am so happy you were able to get yourself out of that relationship, so great job! I would suggest seeing a counselor to help you walk through all the thoughts, emotions, etc. that you are dealing with. By you leaving shows just how strong you are, so I know you can move forward to a better life for yourself. Best of luck to you and I will definitely be praying for you!
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