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I am often thankful that I found ways to grow stronger as a women, especially in the aftermath of the abuse I lived through for years. Without this coping skill I never would have become the strong woman I am today, ten years later. These are some of the things that I did and still do today to stay strong. Stronger than the abuser. Stronger than my past. I am not my past and neither are you.
Listen to motivational shows/tapes/cd:
Initially someone gave me a motivational 30 day tape series by Anthony Robbins. I listened to this program for the next 4 years every new years week This system really helped me the most. I also journal, listened to motivating music and really opened up to friends and family for the first time. I needed to learn to stop minimizing what had happened.
Knowing how to relieve your own stress is a priceless gift. Everyone in the world can offer up ideas but like anything else, you need to find what works for you. Years ago I would play the stress over and over in my head, always focusing on the worst that had happened or the worst that could happen. Eventually, I would work myself up in to a full anxiety attack by playing the same old record in my head.
Today, I allow myself to stress for a bit, just enough to know I need to take some action, then when I realize that focusing on the stress of issue is not changing it, normally takes about five minutes, I realize that even though I may not have control over the situation I do have control over my own thoughts and what I chose to focus on. I forced myself to count to five in my head then think of something else, anything else.
To help myself destress from everyday life I learned that for me playing a certain few songs would snap me out immediately, for some reason the tape for River-dance gave me energy, Bach as well. Find what works for you. Many times to clear my head a good old hot bath and a few candles would do the trick. The true trick is to force yourself to only think good things while you are in the bath. If you focus on the issues you won’t relax. Even if you just stare at a candle and clear your mind you will feel so much better after your bath.
Knowing how to de-stress before the stress is full blown is the key.
Talk and Share:
I encourage you to talk to someone you trust. It may not be family, it may be someone that you don’t know online or over the phone. Sharing what happened and how you felt will help you to move on. The worst thing you can do it keep it inside, thinking that makes you stronger. Letting it out and moving on makes you stronger. Keeping it in may allow it to return to your life one day. Break that invisible chain.
I often encourage women to read, it helps you to see that there is a way out of the depression that is often felt when leaving an abusive relationship. I tried to read during the abuse but my abuser belittled me and I finally gave up trying to better myself. I actually secretly wrote a novel during the abuse. It was my only sanity. I had to hide it for her ripped up the first copy.
What makes YOU Smile?:
Find something that is for just you. Anything that makes you feel a bit better. It doesn’t have to be a day at the spa, simply fixing your hair on a day that you don’t want to helps. Painting your nails, buying a new comforter or perfume. It doesn’t have to cost money, find simple things that you like to do. Make your pretty smile a priority. You wore it upside down for way too long. You are what you decide to be, not what someone else led you to believe.
I hesitated at first but after placing my son in counseling I was encouraged to go too. I had thought since the abuse was over I was fine. Never mind the constant anxiety attacks and the fact that I was living off of only coffee and stress. It was one of the best things that I ever did for myself. I was able to share things that I would never share with another soul, even my closest family and friends. You know, things that you can’t even believe you put up with. It was an impartial party that helped me through the grieving process. Yes, grieving. Even though you are most times happy to be away from the abuser you had lived that life for so long you feel alone and empty. Your routine of suffering in isolation is suddenly gone most times. If you are like me I was unable to talk or even have an opinion in my home with my husband so suddenly having someone encourage me to share was difficult at first. Once I got over being embarrassed that I cried each time I opened my mouth I just let it out. I would then come home and read and write in a journal. When I later looked back at the journals I was amazed to see how much stronger I had become, one day, one boo hoo session at a time. Don’t mask the pain with drugs or ignorance. Let the mask go.
If needed, Move to Move on:
Ten years later I would say most of my scars are gone. My nightmares finally stopped just this year when I moved. I had stayed in the same home for ten years, big mistake. Moving set me and my son free from the nightmares. One day he told me every corner of the apartment had a bad memory for him. That was when I knew I couldn’t get rid of all those memories if we stayed here.
What do you do to stay inspired and strong?:
I would like to ask that women who visit please share something here. This is a frequently asked question of readers. What do I do now. Please share what you have done and keep doing to stay strong. Your tips will help other women who seek this wisdom.
What do you do? Share it, don’t keep it all to yourself now!