Q:

Is there help for people like me?

Hi Jude, I was raised with family violence and then went on to marry a violent man. Because of religious beliefs I stayed for 6 years until the beatings became too regular and in front of our son. I have since remarried a wonderful man and life should be good but I struggle with confidence and flashbacks and can't quite shake 'bitterness' among other things. Is there help for people like me? Women who are safe but still mentally struggling?

 


A:

Thank you for your question and I admire you in many ways, one for your honesty and please know firstly there is absolutely nothing wrong with you in what you are feeling and experiencing, this is very normal and there is definitely help for women like yourself who have suffered abuse and find themselves still struggling.

What we must remember is that the effects of family violence can continue long after the violence has stopped. I know for myself that even after I had got away from abusive relationships the effects stayed with me for a very long time and it wasn't until I got help (in various ways) that things changed.

What I mean by various ways is there are a number of things you can do. First of all I truly believe you are half way there because you have acknowledged that you have this problem and have now asked for help.

There are many wonderful people who can help you through this who are counsellors and work in the area of family violence (not just people who are experiencing it but people who have been through it like yourself). These people work in community agencies and are available to you if you want to make contact. If you ring 0800 456 450 you can find out what's available in your community.

I do know how difficult this can be but please know that these people are trained and come from a caring and non-judgmental perspective and want to help, that is what they are there for.

If you ring and don't feel comfortable with the person you have spoken to, try someone else as it's very important that you feel a connection and feel comfortable with the person and the agency. They will then make an appointment for you to see them and they will discuss your options on how best to help you. They may want to work with you on an individual basis, one on one to help you deal with the issues you are facing. They may be able to offer programmes (or know of programmes) that you could attend.

What about friends and family? It's very important (and I speak from personal experience) to surround yourself with positive people who can and will help build you up, your self esteem and confidence.

You mentioned in your letter that you have a son and you have remarried a wonderful man so doing this can only strengthen your relationship with your son and husband and you can then start enjoying life more fully. It truly is worth it. I wish you all the very very best and I'm so proud of you for taking the first step by writing in. 

Jude

 

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