Recovery From Abusive Relationships. How Long Does It Take?

When you first leave, it’s as if a veil has come off. You now see the reality you have denied for so long.

This was the most painful time for me.

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Fantasy future

I had to grieve the loss of that fantasy future I had. Accept who he was now, not cling onto the hope of that fantasy man I had in my head.

I, like the lady above, cried and cried.

I felt anger, loneliness, shame like she did.

Like her, I had to be still with myself to heal. I had to process the painful emotions I had numbed for so long.

It was like being in the darkest of tunnels for a long time.

What I didn’t realize was, by doing this, I was walking towards the light.


Facing yourself

It is only when we are still and have the courage to face ourselves that we can heal. 

I agree you can’t do this alone. Therapy, a support group, self-help books, online video courses. Whatever works for you, lean on it for support.

Facing yourself will mean a tough journey ahead. But it will be worth it.

We need to understand the root cause of why we ended up in this abusive relationship. Why we may have even repeated this pattern in one relationship after the other.

When she refers to healing family relationships this is because it goes back to our childhood. Childhood insecurities can lead to adult trauma.

We need to understand what these are, where they come from and the impact it has on our lives.

To heal, you also need to learn to love yourself first. Repair those childhood wounds.

All this takes time.


Healing is a journey

Healing is a journey. It never stops.

I am still peeling onion layers off myself, after decades. I am learning new things about myself all the time.

When the student is ready, the teacher comes.

You will learn only as much as you are able to cope with at the time. Then the next time you’re ready, you’ll learn a little more.

Drip, drip, drip. A little over a long period of time. It may not feel like you’re making progress, but it ultimately adds up to so much.

One day you’ll look back and be amazed at how far you have come.

Try not to get overwhelmed by the future and how long this healing might take.

You can’t skip this step if you want to change your relationships and life.

Healing is a journey. It never stops. When the student is ready, the teacher comes. You will learn only as much as you are able to cope with at the time. Then the next time you’re ready, you’ll learn a little more. 

Learning to love yourself

Take one day at a time and keep focusing on you and your recovery. You will get there, I promise.

As for finding love again. You will. When you are not looking for it.


Heal YOU first.

Love yourself as much as you want others to love you. 


Then you’ll find happiness within. You’ll be able to be ‘happily single’ and not need a partner to feel whole or secure.

Then when you feel ready to start dating again, you’ll be dating from a position of strength.

You’ll have healthy boundaries. You’ll heed any warning bells.

Don’t be hard on yourself. Try not to blame yourself for any narcissistic abuse.


And keep reminding yourself:

When it comes to recovery from abusive relationships, time is your best friend.


Are you feeling like you’re still in a dark tunnel?  Are you finding your first taste of freedom?  Let me know in the comments below. 

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Originally appeared on
Written by Vivian Mc Grath
Printed with permission from author

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Recovery From Abusive Relationships. How Long Does It Take

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Vivian McGrath
Vivian McGrath is a TV Exec Producer making documentaries for US/UK and Australian television networks. She’s a survivor of domestic violence, motivational speaker, author, and empowerment coach. She helps women who are ready to recover from abusive relationships, fall back in love with themselves and never settle for anything less than they deserve ever again. If that sounds like you then join her FREE Masterclass here:
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