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Healing After Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Updated on October 19, 2016
Roses photo by the author, Janienne Jennrich
Roses photo by the author, Janienne Jennrich

How to Get Through Bad Days After Escaping Psychological Abuse

"How am I going to make it through this day?" Ideas and distractions for getting through the very difficult days after abuse.

Since getting my children and myself out of an abusive situation at home, I sometimes I wonder this. I am not wanting to harm myself, but some days I feels so devastated and hit with so much sorrow. Another long day to face, with my world in shambles.

On days like this, I try to do things, but it feels forced. People say life will get easier in time. I believe them. I must go on. It is a lot like facing a shocking and unexpected death in the family, only worse. Just getting through the day can be a challenge.

I needed to make a list of things I can do to distract myself, to make it through, to keep existing. This page holds my list. Maybe it will help me. Maybe it will help you or someone you know. I hope so.

Please make it through this day, and the next one. I care.

(photo by Janienne Jennrich)

In the USA:

If you or someone you know is in an emotional distress or suicidal crisis,

please call the Lifeline

at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Keep breathing. - This song helps me keep breathing sometimes.

Ingrid Michaelson sings Keep Breathing live. Breathtaking and calming.

Keep functioning. - Things to do...when it is hard to do anything at all.

  • For word people: Crossword puzzles, online word games, word searches
  • For number people: Sudoku and other number puzzles
  • Pray or meditate
  • Take a hot bath or shower
  • Do small loads of laundry
  • Call someone you trust
  • Watch non-threatening TV, movies or YouTube videos.. Some pretty safe choices: Winnie the Pooh (always sweet), classic black and white TV shows (Gilligan's Island, Burns and Allen, Lawrence Welk), and Survivor (I like this because I can watch one after another for several hours online).
  • Read something soothing (again, Winnie the Pooh is a safe choice)
  • Vacuum, dust, or take out trash (at least the house will be cleaner later)
  • Listen to free podcasts (meditation, talk shows, music, foreign language)
  • Doodle, draw, color, or write
  • Play a simple board game with someone
  • Start putting together a jigsaw puzzle
  • Drink hot chocolate or tea
  • Pet your dog or cat
  • Sort socks, count change, or do another repetitive chore
  • Sit on a park bench and watch birds or children

Be "okay."

Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson. Soft, sweet and mildly uplifting. Sometimes "okay" is all we can expect.

Try to notice beauty.


Start a journal, even if you don't write in it today.

Do you ever write in a journal or diary?

See results


* Choose a journal or notebook.

* Find a pen or sharpen some pencils.

* Place them where you will see them.

Watch sweet things on YouTube or Vimeo

Or listen to music

You're Not Alone - "Everybody Hurts"; THIS VERSION BY RACHEL & RYAN O DONNELL


it will get better.

Do you have any advice to others, suggestions or comments to share? - Thank you.

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    • BigRedDomino profile image

      BigRedDomino 3 years ago

      Ingrid Michaelson is great! I was going to comment "Be Okay" is a great song after your first YouTube suggestion but then Blam-o, there it was! Great job, great lens, fabulous ideas for keeping your brain busy while battered.

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 4 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: Wise words. : ) Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      People hurt by others need to keep focus that not everyone is like that. They can look at good things in life and feel gratitude, rather than focusing on only the negatives. Your last comment in the blue box is great: "Remember, it will get better."

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 4 years ago from USA

      @TanoCalvenoa: Yes you can! I've seen it! lol. Creative activities are very healing. Thanks.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      What helps me when things are going lousy is being creative, especially with playing guitar. I also enjoy writing, drawing, and juggling. Yes, you can be very creative with juggling.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Taking the kids to the park for a while can sometimes lift me out of a funk. Regardless of whether I sit on a bench and watch them play, swing with them, play a game or go for a walk around the park, I almost always leave the park feeling better than when we arrived.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 4 years ago

      Your suggestions are wonderful. Thank you for encouraging us. "Be gentle with yourself." is a good thing to remember too.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Uplifting songs can help you think more positively. After my divorce, I had to quit wallowing in sad "missing you" songs which just dragged me down. Keeping busy helps you get through a tough time.

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 4 years ago from Houston

      Great lens and thanks for the blessing and for featuring my bucket list of good deeds. Good information here. I'm a fan of journal writing and don't think it has to be a daily practice, although sometimes it takes that turn.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great suggestions for helping get through those especially difficult days. Mind renewal plays an important role and is vital to move forward each day. I use it often to stay motivated. Wishing you all the best as you take one day at a time. Stay blessed!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 5 years ago

      I agree you have a nice article. During my difficult days, I only think of happy thoughts and most specially pray. Sundae ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good article! When I was struggling through a difficult time, I tried to think of one thing I was grateful for each day. It helped me to see that there were still good things in my life.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 5 years ago from US/TN

      Thanks for featuring my lens about healing music! Ironically, the past couple of days have been a real struggle for me, so I can totally relate to your lens. It's been a long time since I had a fierce bout of depression like this. You have some good suggestions here to keep "hanging in there." Best wishes...

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      @WriterJanis2: And you are so giving. Thank you.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      You are such a fighter and survivor. You have some excellent distractions here. Love the video. Personally, if I feel down, I like to watch something whether it be a movie or just some cute Youtube videos. Excellent job and thanks for including my floral coloring pages lens here. Blessed

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