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It’s never easy to walk away

Life & Life Issues with EMMANUEL MUKULA
THIS week, I received mail from a victim of abuse and below is the letter.
Hi Coach, I was in an abusive marriage for over 10 years and it was so hard for me to leave him as I was so much in love.
With the help of my friends, I gathered the courage to leave to try and start over. It has not been easy but I am really trying to adjust. How do I get passed the trauma and move on?
Abused.
Dear Abused,
The trauma of abuse leaves deep psychological scars on survivors. It will take time to adjust to this new life without fear of violence to yourself or the children. You are not alone-one in four women experiences some form of domestic abuse in their lives.
Often, survivors of domestic violence have said they continue to feel protective towards their ex and may even avoid reporting further abuse after they have separated. It’s difficult to explain or to understand the mixed feelings you may have towards somebody you loved, but who you now recognise as an abuser.
It seems crazy and no one understands, not even you. How can you love someone that treated you so badly? You know that you didn’t make the decision to leave the marriage lightly and deep down you are sure it was the right thing to do. But this person has been a big part of your life and it can be hard to move on.
An abusive partner will blind you with their charm right from the beginning; you may not recognise it, but looking back, the warning signs were all there at the beginning. The romance was distracting you from seeing it. And the jealousy, which is flattering at first, becomes worrying and isolating. It can be hard to leave once you have fallen in love and when you do manage to get out it can be tempting to return to an abusive relationship.
The abused often feel that they are to blame for their partner’s abusive behaviour. You think you must be a bad person to make someone so angry and if you were a better person, if you could care/ love/fulfil their needs better they would be nicer to you. Your confidence is knocked, your self-esteem is very low and your ability to parent effectively can be damaged.
It’s time to start building a new life. You can do it! Give yourself a break and distance yourself from it, do the things you felt you were never able to do. Try not to dwell on the past but spend quality time with your children. Don’t give yourself a hard time about feeling down; it will take a bit of time to find your feet again. Find a counsellor or abuse support service and get help.
For questions and contributions, email me on emmymukula@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook or LinkedIn at Emmanuel Mukula.

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