Take it slowly.
Trying to go too fast can re-traumatize you.
Start by simply acknowledging how you feel.
The heart wound of abuse, leaves a mark of fear in your psyche. You may feel frightened all the time. You might have panic attacks. You might feel chronic low grace anxiety. Acknowledge the anxiety and understand that is the result of the abuse.
You might try to change or control circumstances around you, but that will never make the fear go away. It is a way for the part of you who is afraid trying to feel safe. (If you are currently in an abusive situation, it is ok to leave the situation.)
You might feel anger. You might feel sadness and grief.
Watch and be mindful what triggers the fear or anger.
Notice what triggers fear in you. Do some self inquiry about the trigger. What does it trigger within you? Why? You might want to write in a journal to explore this.
Ask: Does the situation I am in justify the level of fear?
Is the fear or anger exaggerated in proportion to the current situation? Does the current situation warrant that level of fear? If not, that is a sign that a heart wound is involved.
Ask: What are my coping mechanisms to avoid feeling the fear?
What do you grab onto or push away to try to feel safe? Do you over eat to avoid feeling the fear/pain? Do you lose yourself in work to avoid feeling the pain? Do you use alcohol or drugs to avoid feeling the pain?
Do you try to control others to feel safe? Do you try to control yourself to feel safe? Do you judge and criticize yourself? Do you cling to a relationship that doesn’t make you happy? Do you avoid personal relationships? Do you keep attracting the same abusive personalities?
None of these things are bad or wrong. They are ways that you used to be safe in a dangerous situation. They are ways that you used to protect yourself.
Yet, acknowledge them and ask if they are still keeping your safe or are they holding you back from being free of the heart wound.
Ask: What belief systems were born out of the abuse?
Here are some examples: I am a loser. I am not safe. People aren’t safe. The world isn’t safe. All men are bad. Everyone is out to get me.
Exploring the shadow side is an important part of healing the heart wound of abuse.
Acknowledge the wounded parts of yourself and practice meeting them with acceptance, compassion and understanding. Be present with the pain of your abused parts and let them know that the pain can and will end.
Return to the 6 steps to heal a heart wound.
Take some time each day, week or month to set down with the 6 steps to heal a heart wound. Which ones resonate with you? Which ones terrify you? Are there ones that bring up tears? Anger?
You can journal about the steps and your reaction to them. Or do a self inquiry and journal around each step.
Create healthy relationships. Spend time with people who you feel good around. And or someone who can give you the space to vent and release emotions safely.
Reach out to someone skilled in healing heart wounds. Acceptance, compassion and support are an important baseline skills for a practitioner.