Growing up, I witnessed the women in my life endure abusive and toxic relationships. I didn’t realize the effect that this had on me until I reflected back on the toxic relationships that I had experienced as an adult. I consider myself a smart and educated woman, so I was perplexed by the fact that I kept unconsciously repeating the same cycles I witnessed as a child. I kept choosing men who disrespected, dishonored, and abused me. Why? I discovered that I allowed these toxic behaviors because I was never taught to love myself. After the abuse, I sought counseling, but I never got a true understanding of my worth and value and healed as a woman. I discovered that in order to stop the destructive cycles in my life I had to: Reflect, Rethink, and Resist.
What happened? As a part of healing, it’s important to reflect back on your experiences so that you can learn from them. This can be hard for abuse survivors, but its a necessary part of the process.
Why did it happen? Did you miss the signs? Where you desperate for love? The only person you are responsible for is you. Therefore it’s essential that you take ownership of the part you played. If you allowed someone to mistreat you, forgive yourself and learn how to love yourself. You are not responsible for a person abusing you, but you are responsible for what you allow. It was hard for me to accept this at first, but when I did, it empowered me by showing me that I have options.
What work are you doing to prevent it from happening again? The only person you can change is yourself. You cannot stop a person from behaving a certain way, but you can heal by getting the tools and knowledge to learn how you should be treated. You must be your greatest ally. You must initiate your own healing. You must be willing to do the work to learn your own worth, and no longer tolerate toxic behaviors from others.
There’s a beautiful life waiting on the other side of what you’ve been through. Let’s get there together!