Self-Isolation Is a Common Result of Verbal Abuse
Verbal abuse can bring numerous harmful outcomes during and for years afterward. Unfortunately, self-isolation is just one verbal abuse side effect. In comparison, many victims will keep themselves away from others while in an abusive situation, while others, like myself, continue this behavior, even after breaking free.
Why I Self-Isolated After the Verbal Abuse
The process of self-isolation is typical among verbal abuse victims who are no longer in an abusive relationship. After finding myself free of abuse, my lack of trust in others kept me from pursuing meaningful relationships for years. The underlying feelings of self-doubt and apprehension would overshadow any desire to meet new people.
At the time, I felt that I was protecting myself from harm. I did not want to be in a similar situation and make every effort to ensure it didn't happen. As a result, I kept everyone at arm's length, just outside those walls I built around myself. Although I had control over my life by avoiding potential abuse, I most likely missed some terrific opportunities to meet new people and build healthy relationships.
One Step Out of Self-Isolation from Verbal Abuse at a Time
Professional therapy taught me to trust others and open my life up to experiences I previously avoided. Once I started my healing journey, the world around me began to change. However, this was not an instant process, and it took years for me to go through each step as I moved away from the effects of abuse.
I am lucky enough to have a life partner who understands my anxiety and apprehension from my past. He is there for me without judgment at each step as I slowly learn how to function with more trust in him and others. I can only hope that everyone on the path to recovery from abuse is fortunate enough to find someone like him who is supportive and understanding.
Still Have Work to Do
And even after years of therapy and a support system, I still actively work on my self-isolation feelings. On my bad days, I will retreat into my home, avoiding others, staying where I feel safe. However, I realize these actions are not always beneficial, and I still have work to do to move forward from self-isolation.
However, the circumstances are different now. I know I can reach out to my therapists, supportive partner, and friends when I feel alone and vulnerable. Change does not happen immediately, but with many small steps in the right direction. I look forward to the day when my past will not be as haunting as it can still be on those bad days.
Wozny, C. (2022, September 22). Self-Isolation Is a Common Result of Verbal Abuse, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, September 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2022/9/self-isolation-is-a-common-result-of-verbal-abuse
Author: Cheryl Wozny
There is no pre-determined amount of time that it takes us to heal. The pain that is stored in the body and mind from abuse needs absolute calm and safety to be released. During the time that you are protecting your peace and healing, it may seem odd that it's necessary to avoid even positive interactions but the stillness makes way for progress and one day it won't be so heavy anymore. Until then, you are doing an amazing job at learning how to love yourself and set the new standard for how people will treat you in the future.