“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” ~ Jack Kornfield
One of the things I realized while I was experiencing abuse was that I was solely responsible for taking care of myself. As much as I craved the idea of my abuser taking care of me, I knew I couldn’t depend on him or anyone else.
As things between my abuser and me deteriorated, I recognized that I was in a do or die situation. What I saw was my abuser doing everything in his power to weaken my health in every aspect and, by doing nothing for myself, I was helping him succeed.
Self-care is more intensive in abusive situations because it involves more than staying healthy. I had to keep a clear mind and I operated in “survival mode” 24/7. It was all about getting enough rest so that I could function every day, exercising to stay in shape and keep the endorphins pumping to improve my mood, eating the right foods, and finding ways to calm myself to fight the effects of stress. My counseling sessions gave me a safe space to vent and learn several coping mechanisms. My family and friends gave me comfort. Most importantly, going to Church and praying was nourishment for my soul. I read books, wrote stories/played online games with friends in an online community, listened to music, went for walks. If my kiddos were home, we’d watch movies, play games together, and acted silly to make each other laugh. Keeping busy helped, as did anything that allowed me a bit of escapism.
Self-care is a very personal thing that involves whatever we need to take care of our spiritual, physical, emotional, mental and psychological health in toxic situations. Additionally, when we practice self-care regularly and religiously, our self-worth becomes so important to us that we don’t allow others to mistreat us.
“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. ” ~ Sonya Friedman
As always, we’re here to help. ❤