Healing and Self Care
In an abusive situation, you can be hurt in a variety of ways. Some of these ways are physical and may need physical treatment, but many of them are psychological and social. You may have lower self-esteem because of the abuse or have worries about the possibility of future abuse. Sometimes people who have been abused find it hard to trust others because their trust has been betrayed by someone close to them. Talking to a counselor can be very helpful for sorting out your feelings after the abuse has ended or for determining how to end the abuse.
You might also worry about your safety after you end a relationship with the abuser. If the abuser continues to call or e-mail you, you could try having your parents screen the call or block the e-mail address. In some cases, you might consider getting a restraining order –- an official legal document -– to prevent the abuser from contacting you again. The easiest way to do this is to talk to a trusted adult who can help you through the process. If you are in school with your abuser and find it difficult to be in the same class or are placed in a group with him or her, you could try speaking to the teacher or principal or having a parent call the school. Remember that you have the right to be free of abuse!
Another issue that sometimes occurs after an abusive relationship ends is feeling isolated from former friends. One tactic of an abuser is to isolate his or her partner from previous friends and acquaintances, and when the relationship ends, you may feel that you've lost your former place. Sometimes it can help to join clubs or extracurricular activities; these help keep you busy and can be a source of new friends. Additionally, you might try talking to some of your old friends and explaining as much about the situation as you feel comfortable. Many of them will probably be understanding, and they can provide much needed support in the time after your breakup.
Author: Anna Rafferty, college student writer