There are a lot of things from past relationships that we can self-determine as baggage. There are things we know we’ll need to work on or learn about, and then there are things we might not fully be aware of or understand. Those things usually pop up without us knowing.
Domestic violence is somehow both of those things: known and unknown. Defined and undefined. We know it’ll still hurt in the future, but we really have no idea how or to what extent.
It might seem like we’ll never love again. We might feel as though we don’t deserve it, or we feel that we have no clue how to do it again. How do we start again, all over, after already being hurt so much?
We’re here to tell you that loving again after domestic violence is possible and within reach. Here’s how to learn to love again.
Take Your Time
This seems obvious, but it needs to be a constant reminder.
Not only do you need time after the end of your relationship, but you need to learn to remind yourself that you deserve however much time you need in whatever area you feel affected by this.
You’re going to feel resurfaced or repressed feelings months and years later. You’re going to catch yourself anticipating a negative reaction or outcome out of habit. You’re going to cry, suddenly, and probably a lot. You’re going to need a lot of time, at different times, over and over.
Rebuild Your Identity
One of the most joyful experiences after a relationship with domestic violence or domestic abuse is when you rediscover yourself. Set aside regular time to learn about who that is.
Do old things you liked or that make you feel good. Look for new things that you like or that adds to the idea of what you want your life to be.
You take you with you, and that’s foundational to any new relationship you eventually become a part of. If you’re excited about yourself, you’re already halfway there in any new relationship.
Commit to Communication
Arguably the most important part of any healing process is expression. Whether you’ve dealt with a domestic dispute, domestic fight, or an overall abusive relationship, your understanding will start with talking.
More than likely, the process will start with a therapist, counselor, or friend. It’s important to be able to talk through your thoughts and feelings. However, it doesn’t start there.
A key part of relationships is communication, but communication is something increasingly hard for people who come from backgrounds of domestic violence. In order to learn to love again, you have to make a commitment to yourself to try.
Talking will be hard, but it’s something you’ll have to work through, and you’ll always be glad that you did.
You Don’t Have to Do it Alone
Getting out of a domestically violent relationship is one of the hardest and most commendable things a person can do. The healing process afterward might be just as hard, but it’s possible.
It might be daunting to even consider a new love, but there are people out there that want to help you get there.
If you’re in need of immediate help, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is found here, along with another list of hotlines and other resources for immediate help. However, if you’re safe and want to learn about the first steps of your healing process, check out these resources.