The purpose of this series is to encourage those who’ve had or currently going through an abusive relationship that good, positive, healthy and loving relationships are possible. You do not have to settle for anything less than that. Walking into a new life is an ongoing process, and their are many facets to that journey. One of the common threads that I discovered while conducting these interviews with these brave men and women (as well as my own experiences), is that LOVE OF SELF is a big part of the foundation for which all other aspects of a new life can grow. Some people have never actually seen a healthy relationship. They don’t know what it looks like. Therefore, fighting, cursing, blaming, sex that is not consensual, isolation from family and friends, name calling and depravity of one’s basic necessities (food, clothes, shelter) are considered ‘normal’.
The affects of domestic violence and abuse in any form can be long lasting. Trust in yourself and your instincts have been shattered. You tend to feel worthless, ashamed and hopeless. The idea of opening one’s heart in such an intimate way and trusting anyone cannot and should not happen immediately. For the next few weeks, you will have the opportunity to read stories of survivors who’ve found the courage to explore the possibility of finding and maintaining a healthy intimate partner relationship. Again, remembering that it’s important that, among all things, to pace yourself, prioritize and establish a true LOVE OF SELF.