As we move through the pandemic, a lingering topic we must keep examining is domestic violence. Research continues to try and determine the cause and effect of domestic violence. Analyzing this subject may sound like a scientific way to attempt and justify its existence or behaviors of the abuser. However, it is far more complex than that. 

First, understand that victims are not to blame for the actions of the abuser. We are all gifted with the freedom of choice. An abuser chooses to abuse. The excuse of drugs or alcohol dependency should not be considered a valid defense for a perpetrator of abuse. There has been no substantive research to confirm that alcohol or drug abuse is a cause of domestic violence. It should be noted that alcohol and drugs exacerbate existing conditions within the abuser by impairing judgment, reducing inhibitions, and escalating aggression. The common denomination for all abusers is control.  

A better approach might be to determine which character flaws are common to all abusers causing them to abuse. A character flaw resulting from anger, insecurity, and insufficiency is just some of the traits the abuser will try to revert to their victim. Subsequently, this psychological abuse affects the victim long after they have left their abuser. It may alter a victim's psyche on how they view themselves. We read articles about the consequential emotional attributes of victims. 

However, as a survivor, I want to share some of the untold truths that are not as popular. What about the unpopular dimension of love, healing, and strength on our journey to betterment? Here are some thoughts survivors might want to consider before they pursue another relationship. 

Love

You must understand what love is NOT. Love is the absence of anything that should be part of love. If we are not clear on what love is or what we will accept, it becomes easier to accept. Implicitly, I was taught when you are physically disciplined, that love can still exist. Relationships can be emotionally unbalanced if the partners have a different understanding of love. Vagueness in how love is defined can leave you with making causal theories as facts. So be truly clear on what love is not. 

Healing

Healing is a journey. When you unfold your truths, you will expose layers of hurt that existed, perpetuated, or created. Using the analogy of a wound, the deeper a wound or the wound's location, the greater the sensitivity and the healing period. Wounds heal from the inside out and create a scab. Under the scab, healing is taking place if we keep the wound clean and protected. The scab eventually falls off yet, marks the skin.  

The older the wound, the less sensitive it may become, but the mark is still there - the same way with our hearts. It is essential to keep your heart clean from infectious environments and restore your soul. Your soul remembers your wounds. Heal from the inside out. Self-development and self-awareness will lessen what triggers your emotional scars. Without it, you will have unclear boundaries, which could open the door to another infection! Always remember self-development is continual. 

Strength

It is challenging to think that our worst experiences can be the catalyst that ignites someone else's confidence to take action. But it happens. When the shame of being a victim is unsilenced, it moves us into a realm of strength – a strength we always had but never evoked. Abuse can be crippling if we do not move through our experiences and take the lessons. There will be an opportunity for you to discuss your experiences. It will be at the right time to help the right person in front of the right people. I encourage you to move with the spirit within you because your past residue can become the strength to impart into others. 

It is quite possible when we ignore deeper conversations about love, healing, and strength; we can continue to experience different forms of abuse and not recognize it. If you were psychically abused in your previous relationship, it is possible to be drawn into an emotionally abusive relationship. Our abuser taught us to accept abuse, and until we reconcile with self, and ask ourselves these tough questions, the chances to have a repeatable past is increased. We were born innocent, life presents itself differently than expected, but it's up to us to respond. 

Reintroduce yourself to Y-O-U from the inside out and take the time to do the inner- work, first and foremost. 

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