5 Steps To Empower Yourself After Abuse

By Rachel

Relationship Hero has a strict policy which prevents coaches from reuniting or condoning abusive relationships. We also cannot coach you to leave an abusive relationship because this may be dangerous. However, our coaches are happy to help you understand how these fights begin, how to have a healthy relationship and how to have a more peaceful and empowered life. Here are 5 things you can start doing right away to empower yourself.

Rebuilding self-esteem

There’s a good chance your self-esteem is really low. In order to rebuild it, start doing activities you love again. If you don’t know of any, this is a good time to start something new. Try yoga or self-love meditations, reconnect with creativity through art, music, or dancing. Get a gym membership and move your body. Be gentle with yourself and rediscover things that make you happy, that you like to do, and that you’re good at. As often as you can, speak kind words to yourself, words like “It’s not my fault and I’m doing the best I can”, or “I love you. It’s going to be ok.” Building self-esteem is the antidote to being controlled, as it will help you see situations more clearly and help you stand up for yourself. Setting a goal and then accomplishing it can help you begin to trust yourself again as well.

Rebuilding your support network

Since abusive relationships can be intentionally isolating, it’s also important to reach out to friends and family more. You may feel you need to reconnect or apologize if you’ve been MIA, or if they “told you so” before, but don’t be afraid! The people who love you will be thrilled to have you back in their lives more and trust me, they do love you. And they will understand what you’re going through more than you know. Abuse thrives in secrecy but can’t exist out in the open for very long. Spend intentional time every week with loving relationships outside the abusive one. They will help you feel good, supported, and offer a second opinion when you’re not sure what to believe.

DOMINIC’S STORY*

What helped the most was talking to understanding friends relationship coaches, and I'm blessed to work with older men and women who have way more experience with dating and dealing with people. I either got she is crazy or abusive answers from everyone and that helped me see the truth.

Understanding yourself

Take some time to acknowledge which of the above characteristics fit you or the relationship. You can begin to journal to yourself why, with loving curiosity. Very commonly, there’s a good reason that will come to you, like when you stood up for yourself as a kid you got shut down, so you learned to ignore your own needs and try to get love by focusing only on other people. This is not a time for self-blame or shame, rather, it’s a chance to really increase self-awareness as to the dynamics at play. It’s not your fault, but you can make a new choice now! And every time you increase awareness, increase your self-compassion in equal measure! Which is why the next step is so important:

Forgiving yourself

A common response to facing this information is to feel ashamed. Asking questions like “what could I have done differently?” Or “what’s wrong with me that I keep going back?” But understanding plus forgiveness can help you realize that you have always been doing the very best you can, and you deserve a break. At this point, to give yourself love and forgiveness will help you empower more change than self-blame will. You can take three deep breaths and have a conversation with yourself saying, out loud, “I am sorry. Can you forgive me? Yes, I forgive you. I love you. Thank you.

CAMILLE’S STORY*

I keep being told how important self-care is at this point. I know more than anyone how impossible this can seem in the aftermath of a breakup from a toxic relationship. The best thing you can do for yourself now is to be gentle, compassionate and patient with yourself. You are your own best friend now and you will get through this. I believe in you but more importantly, you believe in you, you just may not see it yet.

Seeking Help

At Relationship Hero, we match you with coaches who have specific training and understanding in the areas you need, so when you come in for coaching, we’ll find you a coach who understands abusive relationships and can really help you work through the many layers it takes to find freedom and empowerment in yourself again. We will listen without judgment or shame, and focus on building action plans that rebuild your self-esteem, support network, awareness, and compassion, so you can make the most empowered choices possible.

*Names changed to perserve identity