How Do I Overcome Abuse?

How do I overcome abuse, in general?

Dear Latoya,

First, we need to determine if it is overcoming current abuse or past abuse. If it is current abuse, there is really no getting over it until you remove yourself from the abuse. If it is obviously abuse, you need to get out! If it is not abuse, but uncomfortable, then we would need to consider coping methods in dealing with the less-than-ideal situation.

I have a feeling you are referring to exactly what you said here, abuse.

Overcoming abuse is a process. It does not happen overnight. At first, when one discovers that they are free from abuse, and at a point where they are free to recover, the desire is to instantly feel better (common to us, as humans), and to have clarity on what we are recovering from, and to have validation that we did experience what we know we experienced and that we are not alone in our feelings.

In some cases, the harder we strive to find who we are, who we were (before, during, after the abuse), and where we want to be, the more confused we become, the more hazy things may become and the more dejected we may feel.

It is very cliche, but it is true that time is the best healer, but time can only heal if we safeguard ourselves against further abuse and pain, and learn to love ourselves where we are at, TODAY, and take those little baby steps in moving forward.

Here are some thoughts that may help:

  • Love yourself. And, accept yourself, right where you are, problems and all. Do this daily, moment by moment.
  • Validate yourself. Your feelings are real, and it is ok to hurt. Remind yourself that you are not alone. You do not need all the answers.
  • Do not force yourself to remember everything or be able to figure it all out. Accept that something caused you pain, whether you remember or not, and focus on the healing. Remember when you need to remember, and then let it go.
  • Find someone who you can trust. Someone who you can talk to and vent. Possibly a spiritual leader, a counselor, a best friend. Sometimes, you may need to find more than one person to help fill this spot.
  • Find out what makes you feel positive. Do that! Do it often.

This will give you a start.

Deborah E
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Deborah is a #1 Jazz Singer, as well as a lifelong musician, songwriter, and sound engineer. She is also a writer who pursues a love of positive psychology. She is a thesis short of having her doctorate in psychology.
2 comments… add one
  • This is fantastic advice. It is not easy to leave an abusive relationship and it takes time to build up your strength and courage, especially when you have been in a long term abusive relationship that has broken you down. It is also so important to work through what you have been through. I didn’t do that and went from one abusive relationship to the next unable to break the cycle. When I went into treatment for alcohol and drug addiction the counsellors got me to take a good look at my relationships too and it was such a life saver.

    • I am so sorry you have had these challenges and bumps, Lynne. But, I am glad you found help and hope! Thank you for sharing that with us. Abuse is definitely challenging, no matter what type, when, or how we respond to it in a not-so-positive way, in order to sort of silence or solve it. Sadly, sometimes the remnants stick with us. But, we are there for each other, eh? Be well, Lynne. Wishing you the continued best.

      *I apologize for the extreme delay in responding. We were working on some server updates as well as an ongoing health issue, but that is no excuse for the unforgivable delay. Thank you for your patience. (This message is posted on multiple replies.)

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