Divorcee wants to heal after abusive relationship

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

I am in a relationship, but I am still wondering if I have made the right decision.

I am a divorcee from an abusive relationship who has developed fear, doubt and mistrust. In fact, my current partner had to challenge me physically and emotionally to make me feel and live again. I felt numb emotionally and, at present, I am still grappling with this and feeling uncertain.

Coming out of an intimate partner relationship, you can either be a victim or a survivor.

You are a victim if you allow yourself to be the dupe the perpetrator wants you to be. When you are emotionally crippled, mentally drained, and physically hurt and unable to function, you would succumb to the victim role that you were relegated to by the abuser.

On the other hand, when you experience all the physical and emotional abuse and suffering and still maintain a “never say die” and “down-but-not-out” posture and attitude, then you are indeed a survivor.

It is not unusual for individuals like yourself, who have been on the receiving end of domestic violence, to experience fear, doubt, mistrust, and numbness. All these are symptoms of the acts of violence perpetrated against you, but which you can overcome over time.

Your new partner must be patient and understanding and should not force you to be at ease in his presence. He should take it slow and go at your pace as you recover from the traumatic events that you endured over the period.

Physical and emotional confrontation by your new beau would only make matters worse, and serve to make you relive the trauma.

If your partner is impatient and unwilling to have you properly process your thoughts and feelings coming out of an abusive relationship, then you will have to rethink if you are ready to resume a relationship and if he is ready to deal with you and your emotional and psychological baggage, which require time to unload.

You may need to consider individual counselling to help you restore a positive sense of self and belief that you can get past this episode in your life.

Your support system would need to be activated to walk with you on the road to recovery. Your new partner would have to be an integral member of your support system, and he must display sensitivity and compassion. Failure to do so will cause you more harm than good.

I recommend to you the powerful song sung by Helen Reddy, entitled I Am Woman. Listen to it daily as a part of your healing process and recite the lyrics as often as you need inner strength to keep you motivated.

All the best and take care of yourself.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com . Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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