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A counselor making notes during a session with a client

Overcoming Years of Emotional and Physical Abuse: A Guide

Many people fail to recognize emotional abuse because it can have fewer clear-cut boundaries than physical abuse. However, the reality’s that emotional abuse can damage your mental and physical well-being, just like physical abuse. Moreover, studies show that emotional abuse is often a precedent for physical abuse.

Most people think that only your significant other can be emotionally abusive. However, that’s not necessarily the case. You can have parents, family members, friends, colleagues, and others emotionally abusive towards you.

Various signs indicate that you’re receiving emotional abuse. They include things like yelling, invasion of privacy, spewing insults, name-calling, gaslighting, and more.

Research shows that emotional abuse can have similar effects to physical abuse. People suffering from both over prolonged periods are likely to develop self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc.

People who have undergone years of emotional and physical abuse are likely to face all these issues. Moreover, they might struggle to find themselves because abuse can result in scars and trauma. Overcoming abuse can be a challenging endeavor. However, time is a great healer, and if you seek the appropriate help, you can start to rebuild yourself and find your self-esteem again.

How to Overcome Years of Emotional and Physical Abuse

Here are some steps to help you overcome abuse. They include:

Create a Safety Plan

Creating a safety plan can provide you with a sense of control and protection. Most victims feel powerless because their abusers have made them lose their sense of control. Hence, you’ll have to devise new ways to empower yourself. Safety planning helps because it enables you to plan your responses for different situations. For instance, if you’re out in public and run into your abuser, it can become a traumatic experience that you might not be ready to deal with at the moment. However, if you plan responses for such situations, you can handle the situation better. Likewise, your abuser might try to contact you on social media. You’ll probably want to consider blocking them on social media to create boundaries and distance yourself from them.

Prioritize Self-Care

An abusive relationship can cause your self-esteem and sense of self to spiral. Hence, you’ll want to take some time to prioritize your well-being without entering another relationship immediately. Consider picking up new hobbies to explore yourself and your identity. Likewise, you might want to pick up a creative outlet to help you vent out your feelings from the years of abuse.

Educate Yourself About Abuse

Going through abuse can be a traumatic experience. Many victims don’t realize their perpetrator is abusing them until the physical abuse starts. Educating yourself about abuse can help you learn about the torment you’ve undergone, and more importantly, aids you to avoid entering similar situations again. In addition, if you understand the ordeal that you’ve undergone, you’ll be able to accept it and seek help.

Support System

Undergoing abuse can be traumatic. You’ll feel like distancing yourself from people and isolating alone. However, that’s not a good idea. Consider seeking support from your loved ones around you. They can help you reclaim your sense of self, and they’ll emotionally support you. In addition, you might want to consider joining a support group for victims of emotional and physical abuse. Hearing other people’s experiences can help you relate. Moreover, learning about their journeys to overcoming abuse can inspire you.

Get Professional Help

You shouldn’t treat abuse, whether physical or emotional, lightly. Consider seeking emotional abuse and domestic violence counseling to help you overcome the trauma you’re carrying inside you. A counselor will help you come to terms with the abuse you’ve faced while reminding you that it wasn’t your fault. They’ll help you cope healthily by equipping you with the tools to do so. You’ll have to be patient because overcoming years of trauma inflicted by physical and emotional abuse takes time. However, with regular help, you can reclaim your sense of self and self-esteem.

Counselor hearing out a victim of emotional abuse

Get Emotional Abuse Counseling Today from a Licensed Counselor

Calming Streams is an online counseling service that aims to help people with challenges in their lives. We provide individual counseling in Douglasville, GA. Moreover, we also give counseling for stress, domestic violence, emotional abuse, special needs, and more.

Contact us for more information or book an appointment with us today.