There is SO much grief that comes with leaving an abusive relationship. People don’t understand that, which makes sense, right? If you haven’t gone through it, you’re not going to understand it.
There are many different ways grief shows up in an abusive relationship.
The biggest thing you grieve is the person.
The reason you were with them to begin with is because you cared about them, loved them even. We stay in these relationships for so long and once we leave there’s grief.
Grief that you’re not going to be with that person anymore.
It’s the grief that you are done with that relationship and there’s no hope of it getting better.
You’re also grieving who you thought they were, who you wanted them to be.
We’re holding out hope that maybe those honeymoon moments, those beautiful times where we saw a glimpse of love, that maybe one day they’d fully become that person.
Leaving means that we’re never going to get that, it’s completely giving up and that hurts.
It’s grieving the loss of the person you wanted them to be, who they were at the beginning of the relationship.
You need to make sure that you’re letting yourself grieve, that you’re taking the time to truly feel those feelings.
When you haven’t gone through it, you don’t get it, and that’s ok. But if you haven’t gone through it, you need to take a step back and understand why it’s so hard for those who DO get it.
You also have to grieve and reconcile the fact that they couldn’t be the person you needed them to be. They didn’t care about you enough to change. Stepping up and being the person that you needed isn’t something they were willing or able to do.
We also have to grieve the person we were before the abusive relationship.
There’s never a way to go back and not be abused, to not have lived through that.
Yes, we can heal. Absolutely we can find healing and freedom and we absolutely should move on with our lives. But we can never be the person we were before the relationship, before the trauma.
There’s a lot of grief that sits in our soul.
When we leave the abusive relationship, a lot of times we don’t know who we are.
Desperately we fight to back to who we were but that person doesn’t exist anymore.
This grieving process can take as short or as long of a time as it needs.
There’s no comparison here – everyone is different.
You may also find that you don’t truly want to heal, that your brain fights against it.
Consider those (myself included) who have chronic pain and chronic illness. While the pain is terrible, it can be even worse to consider life without it.
The pain hurts, but you know it’s there. You know what life will be like, how you’ll experience it. The pain becomes a constant companion.
Without the pain, you don’t know what life will be. You won’t know how to react or how to treat life. You’ll also have the opportunity to stop saying “I wish I could” and actually do it.
You have to process and grieve all of this in order to find the person who you really are today.
It’s hard, so much harder than is fair. But the truth is that just because it’s hard and painful doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel it.
The longer we run from our grief, the more painful it’s going to be.
But going through the pain, whether it lasts a day, a week, a month, a year or more, facing that pain and going through it will give you a life of freedom.
Once you’ve processed it, you can do what you love, go after your dreams.
I understand this is easier said than done and it doesn’t happen overnight. But I promise you that it’s worth it.
Every day you have to remind yourself that it’s worth it, that you’re worth it. You have to choose to push through even when things get hard.
Once you do, you’ll experience a freedom you’ve never imagined.
If you want to chat more about this, feel free to DM me on Instagram. I’m here for you, boo!