Something that most people do not understand about domestic abuse is that the victim loses their self-worth. It is very hard to maintain who you are when someone else has taken your self-worth and slammed it to the very bottom of your soul. The victim becomes a very different person, one rule by thoughts of how their words and actions will be received by their abuser. The victim often does not know their self anymore. Their hopes, their dreams, and their thoughts become so wrapped up in what their abuser thinks and feels that they can’t find themselves.
Part of the recovery process for survivors after leaving an abusive relationship is learning what matters to them. This can be a long process. The survivor must take time to slowly explore different things. This can be as simple as tasting a new food or trying a new activity. Learning new things by reading, traveling, or taking classes can also help to reconnect with their inner self. Alone time, meditation, prayer, and deep thought can help significantly as well.
As the person reconnects with their self, spending time with trusted friends and family is also important. Building relationships is a critical processes for recovery. Survivors frequently have difficulty trusting. It is okay to start with a small group and work toward broadening the friendship base over time. Above all, they should be kind to themselves and take time to pamper themselves. They need it and deserve it!