There was a time where you feared the person who was supposed to love you. Maybe your life was in danger. Maybe the abuse wasn't physical, but rather verbal; mental and emotional abuse are just as real and hurtful as physical abuse. I know what it's like to stay in a relationship due to fear, yet have a tremendous amount of resentment for the person you trusted with your heart. At this point, life doesn't feel real because at one point in your life you thought this kind of thing could never happen to you. But this doesn't have to be your end story. You can find love after abuse. You can tear down the walls your heart instinctively built to protect itself from the pain. You can trust again with your whole heart and with absolutely no doubts. You can experience the gift of being physically touched by a lover again, and this time, without pain. But how?
Acknowledging and accepting what happened is the first step towards healing. Get through the anger, sadness and all the other emotions that keep you bitter and fearful of the beauty that is still out in the world of people. Work on forgiveness, not for the other person, but for yourself. Free yourself of the pain associated with holding grudges or bitterness towards the person who hurt you. Holding onto this pain does nothing for you or the person who hurt you. It doesn't hurt them or upset them, however, every day that passes with you holding onto the pain, is another day you are hurting yourself. Forgiveness is a way of letting go of the pain and bitterness so you can move on, as neither of those things is beneficial to you. This does not mean you have to accept this person back into your life, nor does this person need to know you have forgiven them. Just do it for you.
In all honesty, this journey is not an easy one. The paths are difficult and at times, the pain takes over and it becomes difficult to see a way out. The amount of different emotions you encounter in a situation such as getting out of an abusive relationship, is long enough to make anyone fear love. Find a strong circle of support to help push you along the path and to stand by your side when the light fades and the darkness starts to trickle back in.
The healing process takes time and in so many ways, it's a growing process as well. You will learn things about yourself that you have either forgotten or have yet to notice. You will find strength in unexpected places, people and circumstances. There will still be days filled with regret, sadness, anger, discouragement and fear, simply because you are human and you had your heart invested into a relationship that turned abusive. It's all very normal to have days where it's easy to believe in love again and then have days where love seems to be non-existent in your world and you lose hope. Stay consistent and know that the silver linings in your clouds are there and they are coming! Love after abuse is possible and can be better and stronger than any other love you have felt. Just be patient with yourself.