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Abusive Relationships

answered 01:43 PM EST, Tue October 18, 2011
My niece is just coming out of an abusive relationship. Her boyfriend was physically violent and he worked hard to destroy what self esteem she had. He also introduced her to meth and but she has been working hard to get clean since they finally split up 2 months ago. She used to be such a bright and cheerful person and now she is so changed. She thinks so little of herself and she totally lacks in confidence. It’s like after a while she stated believing all of those terrible things he would say about her.

I have been trying to get her to talk to someone like a therapist about what she’s been through and about how she can get back to the person she used to be. She says there’s nothing wrong with her and she doesn’t want to talk about it and she really doesn’t want to talk about it all with a stranger.

So I don’t know what to do? I can see that she’s been started down a wrong path and I want the bubbly cheerful girl I know and love back again?

Do you think Yoga or meditation or something like that might help her get balanced again. I am really hoping I can guide her or help her but I just don’t know what to say or do. I am hoping we can do something together, like take a class under the guise of it being just something fun to do but that it would actually be something that is designed to be therapeutic and helpful for her.

Thank you very much,


Kelly Miller Says...

Kelly Miller K. Miller


This is one of the toughest subjects to talk about especially for the one who was in the abusive relationship. There is a lot of shame and judgment on self when you are in or have just left a relationship that is abusive. If she is a strong person she is more than likely telling herself she is fine, she can handle it, and that some of what happened she could have changed. Everyone from the outside perspective sees how much it has affected her life but the person living through it doesn't see this the same way.


Sometimes talking about it makes it too real and may also cause those feelings of shame, guilt, and self blame come to the surface and reinjure all over again.


If she would take a yoga class that might be a good beginning, anything to engage herself in being good to herself and that she deserves to take care of herself. So many people that have been abused dont feel they are worth anything more than what they got out of that relationship which was abuse. The more she can create healthy things to do, learn new things and challenge herself to have some successes the better she will feel about herself and regain what she lost in the relationship.


For those trying to support her it is important to support but not to do it for her, this just reinforces what she already thinks about herself from being abused, which are thoughts like; I cant do anything right, I'm not worth it, I am the problem, if I wasn't so stubborn or dumb...


I hope this helps, I know it is hard to watch your loved ones suffer and lose a peice of themself.



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Page last updated Oct 18, 2011

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