Out of an abusive relationship…

… and now I need an outlet for my anger. 

Reading and physical exercise will help, says our elder. But first of all: forgive yourself.


Dear EWC

I got out of an abusive relationship about three months ago and I would like to ask your opinion on how to make myself feel better. Also, I’m dealing with a lot of anger because of it and I need outlets, but because I am only 16 and I’m a girl, I don’t have much freedom. Any advice?


TwoBitsWorth replies

I’m sorry it’s taken a while to respond to your letter.

You said you got out of an abusive relationship three months ago. Two questions:

  1. Was the departure your choice?
  2. Was this the first time you were in a threatening relationship?

My hope is that you chose to leave. If that was the case, score one for you! This means you know enough to bolt when you are not given the respect you deserve. My hope is that was the first – and last – time you end up in an abusive relationship. If you’ve experienced threatening people before, that’s another story. This would suggest you have a poor self-concept.

Not knowing the exact circumstances, or how you have responded to my questions, let me share some general thoughts about dealing with anger and how to craft your own future. First, remember you’re only 16. Your life experience is limited at this point. As a result, don’t think twice about forgiving yourself for getting into a negative relationship. Even people twice your age fall into bad times. By doing this you will reduce, if not eliminate, some of the anger you feel, ie: don’t beat yourself over the head for getting involved with an abuser. Additionally, learn to forgive others. In the case of abusers, they often were abused (emotionally or physically) themselves. I know – easier said than done, but try and then move forward.

In addition to getting your head straight, don’t underestimate the value of exercise. Just taking a walk each day – maybe 20 minutes – will help you clear your head. If you are up for it, maybe a short run. Being physical not only feels good but releases endorphins which positively impact your mood (and view of the world).

Now, you said you were just a girl and 16 without much freedom. My guess is lack of freedom may have more to do with your age. When my daughter was 16, I certainly set times when she needed to be in for the night, etc, as a way of keeping her safe. Instead of focusing on what you might view as “restrictions”, let’s think about ways you can feel more in control of your destiny. Do you like to read? I don’t care how you read (on a hand-held device, via books, etc), I just want you to explore the world of successful girls and women. Not just the latest movie star but ladies who have overcome challenges. You know Oprah Winfrey, the TV host and actor and mega millionaire. Did you know she was raped as a teen? Yes, her early days were tough. When I read about her, I get motivated to take control of my life. I suggest you ask a local librarian to tell you about biographies of successful girls and women. This will give you role models in life.

Hey, it sounds like you are on the right track now. Consider what I shared and please write back if you wish.


Article #: 406396

Category: Self-Improvement

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