Free but feeling lost: 3 things to help with recovery from a controlling relationship


Controlling relationships come in many different forms. From blatant control to the more covert, they can make you feel useless, pointless, scared, and extremely vulnerable. When you do finally become free of your abuser, it can be very daunting and scary. Not only do you have to find yourself and start over but, due to the control that you were subjected to, it may be that you no longer know how to make even the simplest of decisions. It can take years, sometimes decades, to fully recover but with the right tools, you can start rebuilding your life again. Here are 3 things you can do to help with your recovery.

Realize that it was not your fault

Whilst this might sound simple, if you have ever been in a controlling relationship then you will know that it isn’t easy at all. Years of being told you look ridiculous, are ugly or are too stupid to look after your own finances become so ingrained that you start believing the things said are true. You may not even believe that the emotional trauma you suffered was abuse because it wasn’t physical, and you have no visible bruises to prove it. Admitting that your partner was at fault and that it is not ok is one step in the right direction towards a happier and more confident you.

Set new boundaries

One of the things that many people find difficult is understanding that they are now in control of their own boundaries. If something feels uncomfortable you can say no. If you don’t feel that you want to be around someone or be put in a certain situation, you can walk away. Settings new parameters, and understanding how to control what does or doesn’t happen can be very rewarding and empowering. It’s a positive step towards loving yourself and feeling safe and secure again.

Take time to recuperate

Rebuilding your life can take a physical toll on your body and mind as well as an emotional one. Make sure that you allocated enough time to relax and find what works for you in terms of a healthy outlet. If reading is your thing, plowing your way through books analyzing the effects of emotional abuse might be good on the odd occasion but try to use it as a way to relax instead. HumanKind, Brad Aronson’s inspiring book about human kindness, is filled with stories you might find very empowering. Sometimes a feel-good book can make all the difference to us, even if only for a small amount of time. If you used to enjoy exercising, then consider getting back into it again. Exercise can do wonders for your frame of mind, and rediscovering an old passion might aid your progression. You may have a long road ahead, but feeling like your old self again, even for a very small amount of time, might do you the world of good.