Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dear Wanting to Heal Woman {Part 2)

*I'm not a therapist or psychologist, I hold no special title, but I do hold the understanding of one who has experienced abuse in many forms. I'm writing specifically to women because I'm a woman. I write mainly of emotional and mental abuse because its so subtle and hardly noticed. Just because you don't have a bruise doesn't mean its not abuse*



Dear Wanting to Heal Woman, {Part Two},

Have you read Dear Abused Woman {Part One}? If not check it our here. My first letter was a basic overview of the cycle of domestic violence. The questioning of self, the breakdown of self esteem, the struggles within the mind, and finding safe people. In this letter I want to talk about healing. I know for me I thought that I was damaged, that my heart would turn cold, or that I would become numb. The effects of domestic violence are real and dig deep wounds but we can get better.

I remember one day just thinking to myself, I need to get healthy. I didn't know what that meant. I started to physically experience sickness in my body and had a full on attack in my mind. I knew if I continued down this path I would be destroyed mentally and suffer even worse physical aliments. I do not mean physical wounds from an abuser but abuse takes a toll on your health. You may be experiencing some of these symptoms now. They are fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, insomnia, anxiety. All of these symptoms if left unchecked, can begin to cause inflammation. And inflammation is the beginning of disease. And when your mind is so weak it can cause severe depression. My emotional and physical health become my motivation to break the cycle.

Healing for me began at a domestic violence shelter. Knowledge is power.The more you understand the abuse, the tactics, and the cycle you are able to build confidence. It will cause you to stand up for yourself and that triggers HEALING! My pastor said it best "You fight what you don't understand". Of course this statement pertains to numerous situations but for an abused woman, we fight because we don't understand whats happening. The problem with fighting without any knowledge is that it actually gives the abuser the upper hand. The abuser will use our "fighting" done in ignorance to point the finger back at us and say "see your stupid", "see you have anger issues", "see your the problem not me". This all causes self doubt and pushes us further into their control.


To recap my statement, HEALING from domestic violence, begins with gaining understanding of domestic violence, seeking support from safe people, and being consistent in those two areas. You do not want to seek support from anyone who guilt's you, blames you, or also communicates with the abuser. The reason for this is they can themselves be manipulated by the abuser and/or place you in a unsafe position. I would just like to add that there are special circumstances for everything but as a general guide stick with this. An abuse shelter or hotline is a great place for support because they are totally for you. They want to build you up emotional but they DO NOT make decisions for you. Abuse shelters understand that you need to learn to make decisions and they are a support for you to learn to trust yourself again. The advocates are also able to help you locate financial resources to support you and anyone else in your care. Some shelters also offer legal advice. I will add some links at the end of this letter.

As you begin to grow because of you new found support and growing self esteem your healing will continue to soar. You will still have hard days, you will be angry, and you will really need stable support for a long time. Emotions can come out more intensely after leaving the abusive situation. This happens because you had to suppress emotions to keep yourself safe from the abuse. When you have to stuff natural emotions you become numb. When you become awakened again or start healing, the numbness wears off, and you start to feel the emotions. I call them breakdowns because that's usually what they are. I also think of the verse "Be ye angry and sin not". Ephesians 4:26. I strive to live this out because its okay to be angry, but its not okay to act in our anger.

I hope this letter offered hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. A beginning and a fresh look at what is ahead and not behind.

I'll end with this, once you are in a state of HEALING it never stops. You will be HEALING for the rest of your life if you choose to be.

RESOURCES:
Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)
Website: Thehotline.org
Find A Domestic Violence Shelter Near You

*God was my refuge and still is where I turn, He was and is my comforter. Without Him I couldn't have come out so victorious! So I give all the Glory for my daily healing and strength to Him.*



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