You suddenly found yourself not only the victim of abuse, but now a survivor who has escaped the situation. Now that you have left the bad situation, you must learn How To Start Over After Domestic Abuse. It may seem so simple to those around you, but as a victim you realize that it isn't going to be an easy feat. With emotional, often physical and long term damage to deal personally and with your children you are faced with a ton of needs and desires and have no idea how to make them happen. Here is a simple method of maneuvering through this part of life nobody every teaches you how to cope with.
HOW TO START OVER AFTER DOMESTIC ABUSE
Seek counseling for yourself and/or children. The best thing you can do for yourself and your kids after you escape an abusive situation is to seek help. Not only does that include help from the authorities to stay safe, but it means seeking emotional help for the damage done to your self esteem and coping mechanisms. Finances can be tough during this time, so seek out local free counseling programs, help from your local DHS offices or a recommended church counselor. Most doctors offices and emergency centers as well as local police departments will have information on where to seek this help from.
Seek help for jobs, finances, housing and career development. While many people scoff at seeking government assistance, this is likely a time in your life when it is needed and useful. Find out what your local Department of Human Services has to offer. Whether it is a free parenting class, help finding a job or assistance with HUD Housing or SNAP benefits to help you get on your feet, don't feel shame. That is precisely what these programs are there for, and what the employees are trained to help you with.
Don't be shamed or feel guilt if you need to move to a new town or state. Don't let the idea of “running from your past” invade your mind. For many domestic abuse victims, the only way to truly start over on solid safe footing is to remove yourself from the place the abuse occurred. That means leaving the home of the abuser, and in many cases the city, town or state. Starting over completely can promote healing, bring peace of mind and give you a clean slate to begin a life without everyone knowing your story unless you want to share it with them.
Allow yourself the time to grieve. While many would think you should be thrilled to be out of a bad place, there are many things you will lose in the process. Whether it is a long time relationship, your home and possessions or a bit of your dignity, there will be things left behind. Don't feel badly for the days you are depressed, angry or embarrassed. Allow yourself time to grieve.
Find a soothing hobby or way to get rid of stress. It can be tough to hold up under the scrutiny of friends, family members and medical personnel after you have left an abusive relationship. Find something that you enjoy doing or participating in tha can be your safe way to get rid of stress. An art class, yoga, walking with friends, reading books or simply a glass of wine and a bubble bath regularly are all great ways to take care of yourself. Of all times in your life, this is not one to forget about “me time”.
This will be one of the most difficult times in our life. It can and wil also be a stepping stone toward better things to come. Learning how to start over after domestic abuse starts within yourself. Taking the time to really understand what you want from your life will help to lead you toward better decisions. Seek counseling from trusted individuals, and embrace the second chance at a fulfilling life that you have been given.