Abusive relationships systematically work on taking away your identity. You lose your sense of self, everything in your life revolves around pleasing your abuser, making sure you do and act according to his wishes, in order to avoid an incident. That’s why it’s important to make time for yourself after you leave. Rediscover yourself. Do all of the things you couldn’t.
I had given up so many parts of myself while in my abusive relationship. I no longer wrote creatively. I no longer drew or painted. I had been doing these things voraciously for as long as I could remember. Yet, while in that relationship, all of my efforts were exhausted on pleasing him. All of my mental energy was focused on whether or not I was behaving appropriately for him.
When I left him, I gradually felt more and more liberated as I began to exercise my freedom. I started writing a book (I never finished it, but it served as exhilarating therapy). I started creating digital art. I watched all of my favorite TV shows. I ate all of my favorite foods. I lazed around in my pajamas on my day off and didn’t feel guilty about it. I made so many day-to-day decisions without having to agonize over whether or not those decisions would affect anyone but myself. I could finally breathe. I could finally embrace myself again.
So I urge all of our readers. Whether you are recovering from an abusive relationship or not. Do something for yourself. Discover the things that make you happy again.