I’m A Survivor of Domestic Abuse

Whilst the football season is upon us, spare a thought for those in abusive situations.  It is well documented that domestic abuse reports rise when major sporting events are happening. 

As a survivor of domestic abuse, I wanted to share some thoughts with you, a little of my story and some ideas for things you can do to take a step forward and remove yourself from these situations.

First Things First

1. You have to want to leave and build a better life for yourself,

2. You have to believe in yourself,

3. You will most likely have a long journey ahead of you therefore you need to accept that you will often take steps backwards as well as forwards.

A Bit of My Story

I’ve been in more than one abusive relationship and on more than one occasion I left and went back. Why?

Fear! Plain and simple. I was scared.

  • No one would want me, I was damaged goods,
  • I believed I wasn’t worthy of self-love, never mind the love of any others,
  • I didn’t know any better, I thought this was how it was supposed to be, and I didn’t know how to get out or where to go for help.

I ended up living in the pub my abuser drank in. Not ideal when you’re trying to get away. It was a step in the right direction… until I went back. I did leave, eventually. Almost being shot and killed was a step too far. I got a council flat and moved in. Straight into another abusive relationship, but this one was abusive in a different way. Manipulative, rather than violent, I did leave that one eventually too, but it took a while to realise the main problem was me. My lack of self-worth and confidence. Once it’s knocked out of you, it’s hard to get it back. But it is possible.

It’s not easy leaving abusive situations whether it’s a relationship, a working environment or a family situation. I am living proof that it is possible and looking back on my journey these are my main realisations:

  • I am worthy of love,
  • I am loved,
  • I am brave,
  • I had to learn to be true to myself to ensure I started to attract healthy situations.

It’s been a long, long journey and at times a hard one, but I’m still here. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and proud of where I am.

Over to You

Here are a few of the things I did that you could try if you find yourself in a toxic situation. 

Anything which isn’t love doesn’t feel right or feels like hell on earth is toxic.

  • I journaled. Daily. I wrote down everything I was feeling. At the time it was all negative but now if I feel the need to journal, if I’m having an off day, I always write at least one positive thing from that day,
  • I did something new and different. At the time I began studying for a qualification which would enable me to get an office job, (I was working in the pub at the time,)
  • I exercised, mainly walking and swimming, and I still do both now. I love to walk in the woods, and I often paddle in the river. It helps me ground myself and I love the feel of the water flowing over my feet. (Note to self, must do this again soon. Hopefully in the sunshine,)
  • I did a lot of inner work asking myself who I was and how I wanted to feel,
  • I had to go through it and learn to forgive both myself and them. (Here’s a blog I wrote on forgiveness.)

Some of these may be or seem impossible to begin with, especially if you are watched 24/7, but there is always one thing you can do; visualise your ideal future and what you want your life to look like.  And dream big. 

Always ensure you put your safety first and as one of my readers also pointed out, when planning your escape, ensure your own safety at all times. 

You are worthy, you are unique, and you are needed on this earth.

Building my world on love, beginning with self-love.

If I can help, please contact me at lisa@lisambillingham.com.

*Cambridge English Dictionaries are used for the meanings of some words and phrases.