How to Validate Yourself after Abuse

How to Validate Yourself after Abuse how to validate yourself after abuse
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

An abusive relationship is a place where you’re constantly invalidated for who you are. Once you leave you may find it really hard to validate yourself because your reality has been distorted and your self-esteem has been ruined. You will even find it easy accepting and understanding other survivor’s experience but not your own.

You may even be so hard on yourself while on the other side you’re cheering, supporting and encouraging others. It is okay to want to seek validation from others especially early on in your healing journey when you feel you lack the reserve to validate yourself. The drawback is you may seek external validation from friends and family who may leave you disappointed and feeling sadder as they may not even understand your experiences or they may just brush it aside as exaggerations and on the contrary they may even support your manipulative ex.

In this article, I will talk about self-validation and 4 tips on how you can practice self-validation after leaving an abusive relationship.

What is Self-validation?

Self-validation is where you accept your own internal experiences, feelings and thoughts. It doesn’t mean that you believe what your thoughts and emotions are feeding you with as justified. This is because your thoughts after leaving an abusive relationship may be something like, “You’re unworthy”, “You’re the narcissist”, “You’re crazy” or just an imprint of the voice of your abusive ex.

So, those thoughts may not reflect your true values and when you validate yourself, you’re just watchful of those thoughts without judging yourself harshly or fighting them. When you validate yourself, you’re your own support system and you will have a better understanding of your internal experiences and even find better coping mechanisms. Self-validation also empowers you and keeps you grounded in who you are. Of course, it is not easy to self-validate because your inside world has been ruined by your past experiences but I am going to share with you some practical steps that will help.

4 Ways to Validate Yourself after Abuse

1. Be Your Best Friend

You can think of that friend you value so much, who you encourage most times when they feel stuck. But now what you do is becoming that best friend to yourself. You can complement yourself for your achievements like leaving a toxic relationship, working on yourself or just any noteworthy accomplishment you’d tell that friend.

You treat yourself with compassion, listen to yourself, encourage yourself or just anything you’d do to that friend. When you’re your own best friend, you don’t talk ill about yourself and you even watch your language or how you treat yourself. You can take a moment and just write down the things you’d do to that best friend if they were in your current situation. A question you can ask yourself is something like, “What would I do to my best friend if they were healing from abuse?” Once you have that list, push yourself to honor what you’ve written.

It will feel forced at first because your insides will be screaming with voices of how unworthy you are but just give it a try, you’re doing it for your ‘best friend.’ When you become your best friend, you’re learning to give things to yourself that you always give to others.

2. Write About Your Feelings

Learn to express your feelings through writing. You can use your phone as a diary, your laptop or even a physical diary. Use any tool you’re most comfortable with, there’s no wrong way of doing this. Use your diary as a tool of self-reflection and acknowledging what you feel deep inside. You can write about how you’re feeling today, what the inner critic is feeding you with or just anything which is on your mind.

Dump all those things in your head to a journal. When you do this for a long period of time, you’ll be able to separate your true voice and the voice of your abusive ex. You’ll also be able to see progress in your healing journey. When you are writing about your internal experiences, do not guess or make assumptions but just state the facts as they’re.

3. Pause

Most times, when we’re feeling sad, we may want to judge or treat ourselves harshly. Because your reality is still distorted after the abuse, you may tend to follow along with that inner critic. That’s where you can inculcate the habit of just pausing and becoming mindful of your present situation. So, if you’re feeling bad, you take a breath and ask yourself a question like, “What will make me feel better in this present moment?”

You may find that all you need is to take a break from what you’re doing, take a walk, eat something or even drink some water. It’s just acknowledging those negative emotions without pushing them aside. When you acknowledge you’re listening to what your body is telling you and that means you’re validating your own internal experiences. Every time you address your needs, you reaffirm to yourself that you’re worthy regardless of what that inner voice is feeding you with.

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4. Normalize those Intense Emotions.

The other thing you can do is understand that it’s okay to have those intense negative emotions. Everyone has emotions and what you’re feeling is not alien, it’s a normal human experience. Sometimes we can be happy and sometimes not. Validate those feelings you’re experiencing after abuse as normal and acknowledge it as part of your healing journey. You also have to recognize when you’re judging your feelings. You can adopt a mantra like, “I have to feel them to heal them” instead of being hard on yourself when you’re experiencing those intense emotions.

Conclusion

Self-validation is not easy especially after you’ve been in an abusive relationship but that doesn’t mean that you stop and hold onto the invalidating voice of your abusive ex, just keep going. It may feel forced at first but just get on with it, its’ all about practice and not perfection. We all have the internal resources to validate ourselves without needing to rely on validation from the outside.

Those internal resources have just been clouded by what you believe about yourself as result of what you’ve been put through by your past experiences. That’s why going inwards and reconnecting with your authentic self will allow you to genuinely love and accept yourself the way you are. When you heal those past hurts, you’re also dropping that inner invalidating voice that constantly feeds you with feelings of unworthiness. You’re sufficient by yourself, it’s never been taken away, you just need a massive shift within you and self-validation will be an automatic aspect of your beingness.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns (in less than 2 months) , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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