Even long after emotional or physical abuse has ended, the effects remain. A single bout of abuse can change a person's mental state forever.
However, determining the course of your life, who you are as a person and how to maintain healthy relationships is something every person deserves. Even the most "emotionally strong" individuals cannot always see the ways abuse affects their lives.
We are not our abuse, and we do not have to live as such.
Subtle signs of abuse
Emotional or physical abuse affects children in many ways. Sometimes they just want to keep to themselves and are unwilling to take part in social activities. Other times they may develop severe mood swings, anxiety, depression and/or anger.
Unfortunately, we are not born equipped with the mental tools needed to heal after abuse. And no amount of love and caring or drugs and pain can heal wounds caused by abuse.
So, we must mentally condition ourselves regularly to properly heal after abuse. The brain is a muscle, and it must be worked out to literally change.
Someone who suffered from an abusive relationship often feels they have a weight on their shoulders or a dark past following them everywhere they go.
Keeping something like that inside is never a choice that leads to happiness and fulfillment. Of course, no one should be forced to tell their story before they are ready, but constantly pushing down the symptoms of abuse is just not a way to live.
Those who seek professional help often feel a release of responsibility from their abuse. They are no longer attached to an event that used to define their character and the course of their life. They now have the delightful opportunity to decide what kind of person they would like to be and to pursue that goal with full capability, even if before they had been defined by their abuse their entire life.
But, those who seek help live a happy and fulfilled life and are able to make sound decisions for themselves and their loved ones. They maintain long, happy and balanced relationships. They are able to proactively handle stress, anxiety and sadness. And they are filled with confidence and self-worth.
If you feel that as a direct result of your abuse you are not able to achieve these things, then you can benefit from professional help. And it is never too late to seek professional help if you were or someone you know was a victim of abuse.
Having the satisfaction of knowing your life is entirely your own and that you are not controlled by your abuse is beautiful and priceless.
Trisha is a writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan of 4 years who promotes an all-around healthy lifestyle, including mental health. In her spare time you can find her painting, gardening, hanging out with her two cats and dabbling in the art of sfx makeup. She runs a personal blog that details her life as an ethical vegan.