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SELF-CARE AFTER DOMESTIC ABUSE

You have been battered so much that you don’t know how it feels to be whole. You have been so afraid of holding your head and looking others in the face for fear that your cheek will encounter the open palm of another, that the ground is all you have been seeing. You can’t remember how it feels to choose the clothes you want to wear. You may even ask how you can rebuild from nothing and restore your strength, self-esteem, and diminished dignity.


When a builder gets ready to construct a building, he develops a set of plans, and then he works from those plans to do everything related to getting the building erected and standing tall. Like the builder, you must establish a plan to rebuild your self-esteem. It’s time to do some heavy construction! Take out a picture of yourself that was taken at a happier time. Resolve to look like that again. Start with a self-makeover. Get your hair done – change your hairstyle – lock, twist, knot, braid, or whatever suits you; get your nails manicured and your toes pedicured, pamper yourself, buy that perfume you’ve always wanted but thought you couldn’t afford. You are worth it. Then do a makeover in the house. Redecorate; get rid of those ugly sheets and worn-out comforter; open the blinds and let the sunshine in. Light some scented candles. If there are things in the house that cause you pain, get rid of them. Your heart can’t mend if it is constantly reminded of the hurt. I was in counseling for a whole year, repeating and reliving the story. Realizing that I could not continue in the same place, that I needed relief from the suffering, I did a makeover. Not only did I change the locks, but I changed the door also, the drapes and the dishes, and everything else in the house that brought me pain.


Now, get out of the house when it is possible. With Covid-19 running rampant, it’s hard to do activities outside. Inside, prepare a gourmet meal; set your table for one. Adorn it with fresh flowers and candles; take out the crystal and China that you’ve been saving for a special occasion. This is that occasion! Take a bubble bath. Create your own spa by perfuming your bath and lighting candles all around the tub. You are free!

If you have always wanted to go back to school but couldn’t, enroll in online courses. I had only an Associate degree, but I enrolled in college and completed my bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in three years.


The point is you must feel good about yourself. Tell yourself you are beautiful, and you are worthy. Love yourself again. You are important and your life is meaningful with a purpose. Unlock the door to your full potential. Yesterday is gone and the morning has come. Today is a new day and life goes on!

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