It is easy for me to understand why I lack self-confidence. After 18 years of verbal abuse, it became ingrained in me that I wasn’t able to do anything correctly.
I spent so much energy during my recovery looking for people to validate that what I was doing was okay. Whether it’s positive validation from my sister, my boss, or my children, I constantly set the conversations up so I received confirmation that what I was doing was okay. Even worse, not receiving confirmation from the person sent me into a tailspin believing I was automatically wrong in what I was trying to achieve. I didn’t need another person to tell me I was wrong in something I was doing; their lack of response was enough to send my racing mind into overdrive. I never considered that maybe the other person was busy or unable to answer me right away.
How to Recover from Domestic Abuse
Eventually, I realized that my lack of self-confidence is not a reflection of how I should view myself. Instead, my lack of self-confidence is something that is a deeply rooted reminisce of the abuse. I started looking at my self-doubts. A correlation developed between what I was worried about and my speculation on how my abuser would be reacting to the situation. Calmly, I started listening to see if how I thought my abuser would be reacting were the thoughts in my mind. Without allowing my abuser’s thoughts to become something that I focused on, I started hearing my abuser’s negative comments sounding like they were coming from me!
Realizing that it was my abuser that was convincing me to doubt my abilities, caused me to stop doubting myself so quickly. This allowed me to start focusing on replacing my negative thoughts with calm thoughts about the situation. Slowly, I started blocking my abuser’s doubting thoughts by replacing them with confirmation that it’s okay for me to believe in myself and my decision making abilities.
Additionally, I gave myself room to make plans and mistakes. I decided that it is okay if I made mistakes during my journey. I started giving myself credit for trying to make plans versus get reacting to the events. I decided that a failed plan is better than no plan at all.
Additionally, I began to give myself room to believe in myself and believe in my ability to make decisions. I started being okay with some small decisions that I made. Once I started being more positive about my decision making abilities and giving myself credit for trying versus doing nothing, I started believing in my abilities more.
I wasted so much energy over the years trying to obtain validation for what I believed to be correct versus working on believing in myself. Focusing on believing in myself, and dismissing my abuser’s degrading views the minute they start, has greatly assisted in my feeling more confident.
It’s healthy for me to believe in myself. Daily, I need to stop and give myself credit for how far I have come in my journey to becoming a survivor.
Hi, I'm Sue
Welcome to my blog! I served twenty-one honorable years on active duty, living a double life of capability and accomplishment in the service while enduring brutality and abusiveness in my twenty-one year oppressive marriage. Today I'm happily married and have three children who are my inspiration and motivation.
My goal is to help combat the lies of abusers with the truth of God. I hope you find my words to be healing and helpful through your own life experiences.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn't make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn't release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had on me.
Read the full raw story in my new book, Rock Bottom and Faithless.