New Year’s Resolutions You Can Make To Overcome Emotional Abuse

New Year's Resolutions for emotionally abused women

by Annie Kaszina on December 29, 2017

If  you’re an emotionally abused woman, what New Year’s resolutions should you make?  Is it even worth making resolutions?  When your very own Jerk does so much jerking of your emotional strings that it is hard to stay half-way sane.

The answer has to be a resounding “Yes” – provided you are making the right kind of New Year’s resolutions.  But you do have to understand what will work, and what may well not work.

What works and what doesn’t for New Year’s resolutions

Setting big financial goals may well not be a brilliant move, if you’re not mentally and emotionally ready to pursue them relentlessly.

Being determined to ‘bag’ yourself a superior class of partner within the next 12 months, is not a good idea.

Resolving to get your whole life sorted within a year may be a big ask.

What you don’t want to do is:

  1. Set goals that are too big, too soon, that will leave you feeling like a failure if you don’t reach them in the unrealistic time-frame you’ve set yourself
  2. Not see the wood for the trees
  3. Not give yourself time to heal
  4. Rush headlong into anything before you are really clear about who you are, and what is right for you.

Having goals is great.  Having big goals can be inspiring.  But it can also be confusing and demoralizing.

Let’s focus on the confusing piece for a moment.  In our society, everyone is forever extolling the wonders of goal-setting.

“Don’t worry about the How,” they declare, “just focus on the What.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, there are a couple of catches.

What you need to understand about focus

First, if you’re an emotionally abused woman – even a recovering emotionally abused woman – you may well have a slight challenge around focus.   PTSD and/or mood swings can make it very hard to stay focused on things like goals and aspirations – and incredibly hard NOT to fixate on your abuser and his behavior towards you.

Second, the How may not be that important. However, it’s hard to keep your eye on the What when you have a real issue around the Who:

Who are you to create the life that you want for yourself?

Is the kind of question you’ve been taught to ask yourself… by You-Know-Who.

Actually, to paraphrase Marianne Williamson,

Who are you NOT to…?”  (That is, not to create that life for yourself.)

Gain a sense of self-hood

The first thing you need is to gain a sense of self-hood.

Nobody comes out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a sense of who they are; only what they are not.

And this is where the New Year’s resolutions come in.  Here are a few that it is worth… not just making, but actually IMPLEMENTING .  To the best of your ability.

  • Being kind to yourself. That means cutting yourself a bit of slack, instead of asking yourself what kind of failure you are; because that is how Mr Nasty spoke to you.
  • Learning to love yourself. (I know, I know, you probably want me to wash my mouth out with soap for coming up with such a filthy idea!)  What this means is, start to NOTICE when you – more or less automatically – exclude yourself from the circle of respect and consideration you show to other people. Then make a deliberate effort to be half as nice to yourself as you are to other people.
  • Do something that gives you pleasure every day. I’m not suggesting you try to outdo the UK’s Princess Beatrice who famously has  had more holidays per year than most people have hot dinners out.  You can find something to do every day that is neither time-consuming nor expensive.  It’s about you making a conscious start to put simple pleasures back into your life.
  • Changing your beliefs about you and happiness.

How much is that to ask?

Why small and unimportant can be good

Are you underwhelmed by how small and unimportant this sounds in the context of the feelings, and the challenges, you face?

Don’t be.

I’ve known women whose lives changed because of a regular bubble bath, or a cup of tea (drunk) in the bath, on a regular basis.  (Brits often have a love affair with the bath tub but there are plenty of other simple pleasures you can find that can produce the same result.  A daily latte in a coffee shop transformed another clients’ view of who she was.)

This year, wherever you are on your healing journey, set yourself up for success by starting from where you are, and honoring who you are.  Do that and by the time December comes around you’ll have more to celebrate than you could imagine right now.

Wishing you a wonderful 2018,


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