Learning How to Trust Yourself Again After Abuse

June 16, 2022 Cheryl Wozny

Recovering from a verbally abusive situation is not an easy journey for most people, including myself. The internal damage to my psyche that I endured for years has shaped how I react to certain situations and the choices I make in my life. Part of my personal healing journey is learning how to retrain my brain to think and process my circumstances differently. 

Taught to Ignore My Instincts 

Years of experiencing verbal abuse have given me a skewed view of how to read my instincts. My abuser disregarded my feelings, reinforcing the idea that my emotions were not valid. I lost faith in my ability to tell the difference between abuse and love. 

If I expressed concern, I was told I imagined things or was incorrect. I never challenged the opinion of my abuser or their actions since I was coerced into believing they were right and I was wrong. 

This constant opposition to my instincts slowly changed how I read my gut feelings when approaching new situations or uncomfortable circumstances. Unfortunately, my past paved the way for me to ignore my gut when I chose abusive relationships later as an adult. 

Learning to Listen to Your Gut 

With therapy, I am slowly learning to listen to my gut feeling once again. Although I can be sensitive to some situations and overreact, I no longer ignore my instincts. If I feel upset or threatened, I will voice my concerns. I use my courage to tell others I do not appreciate their hurtful words as I learn to heal and move forward from abuse. 

I am slowly getting stronger and learning that my intuition is there to help guide me on my journey to a better life full of balance and healing. 

Validating Your Feelings

With healing comes a teeter-totter of emotions. I find some days I am a rock star and can handle any ups and downs that come my way. Other times, I turn into a recluse and hide away from the world because I cannot accept the slightest harsh word or unfavorable situation. 

On those days when I cannot cope well and may overreact to my environment, I still have to remember to be gentle with myself. I am not perfect, still learning how to heal and grow. If I face a situation that makes me upset, I should validate those feelings and recognize why I am upset, even if I do still sometimes overreact. There is a reason for my emotions, and by exploring these feelings, I can learn how to handle various circumstances better on my journey. 

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2022, June 16). Learning How to Trust Yourself Again After Abuse , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 27 from

Author: Cheryl Wozny

Cheryl Wozny is a freelance writer and published author of several books, including a mental health resource for children, titled Why Is My Mommy So Sad? Writing has become her way of healing and helping others. Find Cheryl on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and on her blog

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