Love shouldn’t hurt -ever

Starting Over
by Teresia Smith

Annually, we pause to acknowledge October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We share statistics and stories of those who were able to escape and pause to remember those who didn’t. One of the hardest things for most victims is the daunting task of starting over. Especially those who have been living in an abusive relationship for years, having their self-esteem and sense of worth eroded like a constant waterfall over rocks.

f you are someone who knows you need to leave an abusive relationship but you fear starting over, know you are not alone. It’s okay to not know the next step. It’s okay not to have a planned roadmap to the final destination. Starting over can be hard, and it does require action on your part. However, knowing that you have the option of starting your life over again will allow you to take a negative situation and exchange it for a better one. You can create a new reality for yourself and work towards making your life what you desire.

It is such a gift to be able to restart and have a second chance. You can choose who you want to be, what you want to do, and those you want to allow into your life. And there are always more choices you can make as you grow. Sometimes we get bogged down in our daily responsibilities and start thinking we are trapped in our situation.

Sometimes we hold onto hope that things will get better, even when we know the odds are stacked against us. Sometimes we just feel helpless and weak and even when the situation is toxic our fear causes us to stay in some sort of comfort zone we create. All of those things are true only if you allow them to be true. Ask yourself who you are staying for. Are you staying for that controlling, abusive partner or is it because you don’t believe you can do it on your own. Catherine Pulsifer reminds us that “starting over can be challenging, but also it can be a great opportunity to do things differently.” There is always time to start anew. And remind yourself that this time you are not starting from scratch. You are starting with knowledge and experience.

Crisis Services of North Alabama offers free and confidential services to residents of Jackson County at our local office. If you are in an abusive relationship, you can escape and start again to build up a new, positive life. The only restrictions you have are those you set upon yourself. The ability to start over and make new and different choices is only limited by you. It won’t be easy. It won’t be simple. But you can start again! We would love to be part of your support as you begin your journey. Reach out for an appointment at 256-574-5826.

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