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Nine Steps Toward the Road to Self Compassion After an Abusive Relationship

9 Steps Toward the Road to Self Compassion

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After a relationship with an abuser, it’s important to be in your own corner. It will be worth it to gain a realistic appreciation of who you are – free from criticism.

Work toward self compassion.

Implementing self compassion is one way you can take care of yourself, while healing. It helps to lessen the burden of any unnecessary pressure you might still carry as you navigate through the recovery process from trauma caused by the relationship.

Here are some tips …

• Education – Learn the basics of cluster B personality disorders. There are some personality styles that are prone to abuse others. Their peace, comfort and financial advancement in life is usually at the expense of others.

• Tap into your desire for Self Preservation and Safety – We all have a need to feel safe and thrive. This can become shaken within a relationship with an abusive partner. Abusers require their mate sacrifice themselves and allow them all the privileges and benefits that come from an intimate relationship. This control gives them comfort and pleasure. However, this one sided / exploitive interaction can often lead to the abused partner abandoning her own safety and self preservation merely to keep peace and/or please the disordered partner. You can reignite your desire for safety – it is already programmed within us as human beings.

• Strive to shift direction. For many, making a shift in ‘how’ they see their abusive partner takes time. It can be difficult to think that the person who shared the most intimate moments with you could actually be an “abuser”. Or even worse, for some it is even more difficult to process that the person might actually have a disorder that is extremely difficult to treat – such as narcissistic personality disorder or psychopathy. If your partner is an abusive individual, you owe it to yourself to have a willingness to shift direction and think of him/her as they truly are. 

• Adopt a “No tolerance for Abuse” stance. No one deserves to be hurt. As the “No More” domestic violence campaign advocates – No more!

• Avoid behaviors that can increase the bond to the abuser.  Try to avoid unnecessary contact. Even contact that involves the abuser lacking awareness of your presence (i.e., viewing their social media). 

• Actively work to banish negative self talk.

• Avoid toxic people and situations.

• Be mindful to reduce, not heighten, the emotional climate of your environment and interactions.

• Maintain patience with yourself. It might take some time to get through this pain. Often the damage caused within an abusive relationship is traumatic. A few months is rarely enough time to get through the emotional upheaval of trauma. Be patient and have self compassion.

Rhonda Freeman, PhD | NeuroInstincts

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