While escaping the prison of emotional or mental abuse is a challenge in itself for many people, getting over it as part of your past is just as important. Long term abuse of this kind can leave the person who has suffered from it feeling anxious and depressed for some time after the relationship has finished. It can have many long term effects as well as causing mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
For many, it’s generally not just a simple case of walking away from the relationship and getting on with life again.
The Consequences of Mental Abuse
Most people who have suffered from mental abuse have found that the very moment they escape to greener grasses is when other problems start to occur. If you have been in a long, abusive relationship and your partner has been undermining you for all that time, then you may find that you lack confidence and self-esteem when you step out into this brave new world.
Emotional abuse can brainwash an individual into thinking they can’t do particular things or that they are worthless in certain ways. In sever circumstances it can lead to anxiety and panic attacks and other mental health problems including substance abuse both while in the relationship and when they leave.
As a victim of abuse, you may have difficulty in moving on from the past and constantly find reasons why you were to blame for what happened. That can stop you looking forward to the future and leading a new, happier and more profitable life.
You might fall into a similar relationship with an abusive partner because you still have low self-esteem or convince yourself that you simply make bad choices when it comes to relationships and there’s nothing you can do about it. You might even have a victim mentality where you believe you’re getting what you deserve.
How to Move Forward from a Past of Mental Abuse
In order to get over mental abuse, many sufferers need not only to look forward to a better life but also build their own self-esteem. It’s something that is easier said than done, of course. While you might not have the scars and bruises that come from physical abuse, there are plenty on the inside and they are just as real.
The shadow of emotional abuse can live with you long after that relationship has ended. It can seem like a huge stone you can’t move and which is going to be crushing down on you forever. To combat this, you need to know that change is possible and, not only that, you can implement it yourself and drive it forward. As the saying goes, every long journey starts with a single step. The key to changing behaviour is starting with small things. But, in the end, you are now in charge.
Perhaps the most important change is in the way you think. It’s one of the hangover’s from an abusive relationship that is all too often hidden away – the notion that you deserved to be abused in the first place. Your partner was right to criticise your body or the way you laugh or how you dress. That’s just how things are.
Getting back your own self-worth is no easy task. For some who have been in mentally abusive relationships it can take years and meanwhile their lives and other relationships are put on hold because they are ‘just not ready’.
Getting the Right Support
There is no shame in getting help to get over a mental abuse past. In fact, it will enable you to put in the changes and conquer your issues much more quickly. Part of this involves moving your focus away from your mentally abusive partner and putting it firmly on yourself.
Therapy can help you identify that you can move on and move forward. Talking to close friends and family who know what you have been through can help build your confidence. It’s not an easy road, of course. But there is a path ahead and you can change things.