As with all forms of abuse, there is one thing that can never be taken from you. Abuse may rip you of your innocence, steal your innate human rights, rob you of your independence, and destroy your belief in love – yet, despite the destruction – there still is one thing you possess.

No matter how terrible… how awful… how humiliating what you experienced was – if you’re reading this – my guess is you still have this one thing.

That one thing is… your mind. You still have your mind. However, having something and properly utilizing it are two different things.

If you’ve experienced intimate partner abuse, you know all too well that possession means nothing. Just because someone possesses something doesn’t mean they know how to nurture it and bring out its full potential.

Every abusive relationship I’ve ever been in has been domineering, controlling, manipulative, and possessive. Every tactic in the book was used to insure they maintained their authoritative position over me.

They certainly did their best to camouflage their possessive nature and insecurities. They’d make it seem as if it was best for our relationship and me. However, I can see now they clearly felt entitled to something that wasn’t theirs.

They believed they had a right to know my every thought and every move I made. And beyond that – they believed they had a right to dictate what my thoughts and actions were.

Looking back it’s painfully obvious how destructive their fundamental thinking was and how a relationship with someone like that could never work.

Some outsiders looking in might assume that we were trapped under the abusers spell. And in many ways, we were.

However, as any courageous soul that has ever escaped such fraudulent love, knows there was always a part of our head and heart our abuser could never touch. There was a part of ourselves that we internalized… it was hidden and protected – reserved just for us.

That protected part of your head and heart are the gorgeous pieces we get to use to restore our lives. But knowing it’s there isn’t enough. Knowing that you still possess your mind isn’t enough.

We must overcome dysfunctional indoctrination and learn how to protect and nurture our heads and hearts so that we don’t repeat the destruction or pass it on to all the little eyes watching us.

In the last days of one of my relationships, I remember lying on the floor while he hovered over me… my body felt thick and heavy, as if my entire body had fallen asleep and I was full of wet sand.

I’m not really sure what happened that evening, but I do remember repeating in my head… “You can’t have my mind. You can’t have my mind. You can’t have my mind.”

Little did I know how powerful that mantra really was.

Someone can steal your autonomy, invade your personal space, violate your privacy, rob you of every human right imaginable, and pull every trick from the hat to convince you that you’re the problem and you’re unlovable. But they can’t take your mind without your consent.

Their delusions weigh tons. The venom, lies, nonsense, and insanity that spew from their mouths could fill the Grand Canyon. Yet, their delusions do not have to be your reality.

Sadly, just because they’re gone it doesn’t mean the affects of abuse are gone. It would be nice if escaping was as simple as leaving. But, it’s not.

Living in an abusive environment for any length of time has an affect on our heads and our hearts. Unless you’re a psychopath without a conscience and emotions, no matter how strong you are and the intensity of your resolve there was still an impact on your head and heart.

It’s a reality we must accept in order to overcome abuse and heal ourselves. People often say time heals all wounds. But, I disagree. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Action heals. We must do the hard work of healing ourselves.

We were targets of abuse and they dragged their horror story into our lives. For a time, they were successful at corrupting our heads and hearts with their delusional thinking. And now that they’re gone – we have to undo the pile of insanity they dumped in our yard.

We can’t internalize the corruption they desperately tried to get us to adopt. We can’t own the simple truths they twisted. The lies they shared about who we are and what we did. They can choose to see things the way how they see them, think how they think, believe what they believe, treat people how they choose to treat people and we don’t have to agree.

Their dysfunctional thoughts and actions don’t have to be ours. We can see things differently. We can make choices in our own lives based on our truths and what works for us even if it directly clashes with someone else.

The challenge in the healing process is disconnecting from the dysfunction and reconnecting with what we think, how we feel, what we believe, and what our values are.

When we’ve been enmeshed with a dysfunctional, controlling, and abusive partner, we lose touch with our own heads and hearts. Our identity becomes blurred. We lack clarity.

However, the greatest impact on creating a life that we can fall in love with is taking back control of our minds and making choices that are congruent with our heads and our hearts.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to leave an abusive relationship and tons more to heal from it. We’ve all got hills to climb in our lives and sitting at the bottom won’t make the hill go away. Healing is possible and I wish for your head and heart that you make the choice to heal yourself from abuse so that you can become the unstoppable person you aspire to be.

If you need additional insights and support, please read the eBook and get connected with our private Facebook group.

Until next time, live with courage and be unstoppable!

Cheers! Xo