You may remember things that you don’t want to recall and be triggered. That’s a part of the process and why it’s so crucial that before you get started, make sure you have support systems in place.
Counseling is beneficial in so many ways. The best learning skills can be found in therapy sessions, women’s resource groups, churches and even in anonymous groups such as Al-Anon.
Friends are well-meaning and a good shoulder, but do take care about taking advice, for if they’ve never walked an inch in your shoes, their advice given may or may not be damaging.
“Get over it.” “Forget about it.” That is double-edged advice that haunts those that have been traumatized. We want to get over it, we want to forget it, and we try very hard to.
Sometimes leaning on friends causes them to distance themselves. They either can’t bear the burden of what you’ve endured or they simply aren’t connected with you in that way to hear all of those closeted skeletons.
My circle of friends is exclusively small with a lifetime membership. My true friends know my triggers, know the rules, accept and love me as I am- and I do the same for them. True friends tend to be discovered in the most unlikely places under the most bizarre of circumstances.
Where I found the most beneficial support was from online support forums. I was allowed freedom to process in my own private way, without feeling overwhelmed. As my abuser was suffering from anxiety and alcohol abuse at the time I was escaping, I subscribed to support groups for families of alcoholics and women’s abuse groups online. It was helpful to learn that I was not alone, and that it wasn’t my fault.
In support groups you have a great chance to find comfort and companionship as you all share a common thread. You may find though that over time, people may come and go, for each trauma is different and victims heal at their own pace from victim to survivor to thriver. There is nothing wrong with that, and there is no right or wrong way to heal.
Many times the abuse stems from some type of addictive issue on the abuser’s end, such as a chemical addiction. Sometimes abuse stems from the abuser’s feelings of insecurity and fears. Some abusers are disassociated (detached from their and others feelings) and yet other abusers run purely off of raw emotions while you become disassociated as a result of the abuse. Some abusers reenact what traumatized them. Abuse is a continuous cycle. All it takes is one to break the chain.
Abusers play games, speak in riddles, and make you feel like you’re losing your mind- and all the while, do their best to make you completely dependent upon them. Their goal is power and control. Abusive types are unhealthy individuals in need of professional help.
It’s unfortunate and frightening that many victims of domestic violence stay home in an effort to help the one abusing them, hopeful that they could fix the problem- when truly, the problem is not theirs- while their life is in a repetitious pattern of danger. The general pattern for a woman to return to an abusive relationship is eight times before the final escape.
Eight opportunities to be harmed- eight opportunities to be broken physically, spiritually, emotionally- eight opportunities to die.