There are plenty of ways an abuser is served their exit papers to leave our lives…
However, when this is done there’s one thing that never changes… The stages we go through in rebuilding our lives.
There is the clean up phase, the recovery phase, and the reconstruction phase of getting our lives back in order.
As survivors, we often don’t consider the residue of issues that haunt us in our day-to-day interactions with others who don’t know our story.
The aftermath process is often overlooked only because we are relishing in the freedom of being able to make our own decisions (although it can be frightening) and waking up without thinking “how can I avoid getting abused today!”
This reprogramming of the mind can be very difficult and can take some time trying to figure out, part of this is because many victims have only ever seen themselves as victims.
In recent write ups on domestic violence, authors have addressed the notion that survivors of domestic abuse suffer from PTSD. I cannot say how clinically proven that is but we (together) can walk through some of the “going forward” complications that go on in the minds of the formerly abused.
Trust is a big quality that diminishes when trying to pick up the pieces and move onto something new, fresh and extremely less aggressive.
Out of all the things that get buried along with our confidence, trust is the most crucial element in allowing someone to redefine themselves. Without trust, we will not be able to look a potential boo/mate in the eye without thinking “Can I trust that he won’t beat me?” Trust is a “who we are now” factor because it is needed once we find out who we are and what we stand for.
There are a two basic types of trust (according to me) that I would like to introduce:
- Inner trust.
- Outer trust.
Inner trust is the ability to have trust within ourselves so when it comes to leaving an abusive relationship and going into a new relationship “we” have to trust ourselves to recognize, address and disqualify individuals who display those “red flags”.
Outer trust is the ability to apply and distribute trust accordingly to individuals who are qualified to receive our trust. This is the trust we apply to others.
I know this is something that is hard for us to understand ESPECIALLY coming out of an abusive relationship in which we can find this article to be easier read and said than done…
That’s why I think it is important to at least consider aftercare.
I’m a firm believer that it is important that aftercare is implemented throughout the whole healing process of self.
Reconstruction of self is the first and most critical step in getting back into interpersonal relationships. This can be done by way of therapy (based on the seriousness of the abuse), coaching, and through spiritual guidance.
Surprisingly, people tend to struggle with this stage because it is the stage where you are completely alone, working on all those insecurities you feel. But this is where you will learn to “trust” yourself enough to make the necessary changes to prevent a repeat of your previous relationship.
Leave your pain and pack up the lessons learned is what we would call growth because pain keeps us emotionally attached to the situation(s).
The lessons help us grow to know better and do better going forward… It’s that “This is NOT happening to me again!” impact!
Overall, the aftermath is not pretty when coming out of any abusive relationship and this does include emotional abuse as well. It is the aftercare process that helps us heal and deal with life going forward because we often fail to realize that after a crisis there is more to come; however, the only way to prepare for that is to trust yourself enough to learn from previous situations and don’t be afraid to fire future unqualified individuals from your life!