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How to Care for Yourself in an Abusive Relationship

Every one of us needs to love and be loved. It is part of what makes us uniquely human. But what happens when trying to be loved hurts? How do you cope with an abusive relationship? Some people say “Just leave!” While that may seem like the solution, abusive relationships are rarely an isolated part of someone’s life. Often the relationship is twisted up with other relationships, property, obligations, and commitments. If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help. And try these things you can do to start taking care of yourself.

Abusive Relationship Help: Love Yourself

Did you know you can meet part of your need for being loved by loving yourself? It is true, and it is very simple to do. Start telling yourself “I love myself” whenever you think about it. It can be out loud, it can be in your head, and it can be written down. When you are feeling anxious or scared, try to get a few minutes alone to repeat over and over “I love myself”. If you are a parent, you might have to sneak to the bathroom to do this.

No matter what messages you are hearing about yourself, you can give yourself the most important message—love. It is such a simple act, but it is one that begins to change how you see yourself. As this change happens you will feel stronger, valuable, and loved.

Abusive Relationship Help: Only Own What is Yours

Very often, abusers place blame on their victims instead of taking responsibility for their words and actions. If you are in an abusive relationship, you may feel the things that are happening are your fault. They are not, although it is a hard to believe when you are always being blamed. Take responsibility for your own words and actions, but do not take responsibility for anyone else’s.

When you are accused of ‘making’ someone do or say things, tell yourself that it is not true. Remind yourself, each person’s actions are their own, and not your fault. By extension, you are not responsible for someone else’s happiness. Of course, you want the people around you to be happy, but it is not your job to make them happy. True happiness comes from within, not from someone else.

Abusive Relationship Help: Plan for What You Want

In an abusive relationship, it can feel like you have no options. Start to challenge this feeling by thinking about what you want in life, and how you might get it. This might sound selfish at first, but it is very empowering. You are the only one who can decide what you want. When you know what you want, make a plan and start to work towards your goal.

If your plan works, great! If it does not work, you get to choose another plan and try it out. Your plan may be as simple as taking five minutes a day to sit somewhere quiet and say, “I love myself”. Or, your plan may be ending the abusive relationship. The important thing to remember is that it is entirely your plan.

Abusive Relationship Help: Find Your Power

You may feel completely powerless right now. It is another sign of an abusive relationship. But there is one thing you can control, and that is yourself. You have the power to choose your thoughts, your words, and your actions. When you have thoughts that make you feel terrible, you have the power to change what you are thinking. This begins to change what you feel, what you say, and what you do. Every day, remind yourself that your choices are your power.

Are you ready to feel empowered, loved, and full of possibilities? Our Internal Empowerment training helps everyone meet their needs, have control in their life, and choose what they will do to make their goals a reality. We are looking forward to connecting with you!

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IECAST is a 501 (c)(3), Public Benefit, non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating productive and mindful individuals, families, and organizations. We bring this vision into reality by developing diverse, internally empowered leaders who use the principles and practices of Choice Theory® as taught through the Internal Empowerment Coaching program. Our goal is to teach individuals, families, and organizations to reframe, reorganize, and reallocate resources to become effective coaches and leaders.