Some women think fear, anger, depression, and guilt will magically disappear when the abuser is out of her life. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It could take years of counseling before the damage is no longer an issue.
It may be tempting to want to place your old life in a microwave, press “2 Minutes”, “Start” and hope your NEW life will begin right away – especially if you’ve left an abusive relationship. You’ve endured fear, intimidation, guilt, shame, and reproach for days, weeks, months, and years. You’re free – now what? Why doesn’t it feel good? Where is your complete RELIEF?
After the shooting, I wanted to change EVERYTHING – hair, clothes, and the walls in my house. It seemed as though I could feel him in every room and I couldn’t sleep at night – especially in my own bedroom. I asked my friend’s husband to come over and paint the house. He did a marvelous job and it made me feel better. I could then sleep soundly every night – good change!
I even decided to leave the place where I was teaching. I didn’t feel heard or appreciated there. Some of the staff members, including myself, felt trapped in an abusive relationship while working there. It reminded me too much of what I’d just been through; so, I put in my letter of resignation and left at the end of that school year. I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do. I just trusted God and left. What that a good change? YES! Did it have potential for disaster because I didn’t exactly think that through? YEP!
Ladies, you may even be tempted to start a new relationship. You miss the love, affection, and intimacy from your previous relationship and you may even have the thought that a new relationship is just what you need to help you get back on track. DON’T DO IT! Wait four seasons (one year) before you start a new relationship. Go rediscover who you are and what you like to do…Learn all you can about abuse versus healthy relationships. If you don’t, you might find yourself in another abusive relationship OR you could damage a perfectly healthy relationship because you are broken.
Change is a process; however, it is like cooking something in a crock pot versus cooking something in a microwave. Trust the process. Allow God to mend your hurt and change your mindset.
Believe me you want your changes to be long lasting and if you give yourself a break, take time to pray to God, and allow Him to make the necessary changes, you will be healthier and happier in the end.
You CAN rebuild your life one day at a time and with God by your side.