Dr Lisa Turner was a sufferer of emotional and psychological abuse from an older partner, and was held as a virtual house prisoner until she found the strength to leave.
Here, she shares her advice on thriving after abuse
- Let go of shame and reclaim your power
Shame and guilt are powerfully destructive emotions and can lead to long-term health problems. Shame is the result of self-judgment. Each day make a conscious effort to relax shame and guilt away by simply being the non-judgmental witness. Harbouring emotions like anger, resentment and especially fear give the abuser power over you. To reclaim your power, release their emotional hold over you and your painful emotions triggered by or memories of past events. Complete indifference is true power.
- Get support from friends and family
In almost every case an abuser will deliberately isolate their victim from friends or family, often through anti-social and embarrassing behaviour,
blackmail or by displaying jealous behaviour. This means you lose the vital support network of friends and family. Use any means you can to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Your community and its support is vital to your recovery.
- Call for your Guardian Angel or spiritual support
If you have a religious faith you might like to restore your connection with that again. If religions don’t attract you then consider finding and cultivating your own personal connection to a spirit or a higher power. There is nothing more powerful than calling on the support of God, a spirit guide or a guardian angel to protect you. In almost every case, a victim skyrockets their recovery by drawing strength from a higher power.
- Refuse to be defined by what happened
Don’t make it part of your identity. It is something that happened, not something you are. Everyone makes bad choices in their past. Kick start your recovery by doing something positive and empowering. Anything that gives you a sense of achievement and inner satisfaction. This might mean you set yourself small challenges at first, and once you have succeeded with those, then move on to bigger ones. Nothing moves you from victim, through survivor to a full blown thriver more quickly than achieving things on your own merit.
- Get physically healthy and strong
Nurture, love and start to take care of your physical body. Start to exercise and eat healthier foods. Increasing your physical strength and health will have a knock-on effect on your emotional wellbeing. It will increase your inner strength too.
- Don’t blame yourself
It was not your fault. You’ve probably heard this time and again, but all too often the victims of abuse still blame themselves. Abusers are masters of mind control and manipulation. Don’t believe it, you are not to blame and you can and will fully recover.
Dr. Lisa Turner is a personal transformation coach and trainer who helps people to become the best version of themselves. To find out more visit psycademy.co.uk
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