My name is Candace and I am a college student in Louisiana. I recently got out of a very mentally and physically abusive relationship about a year ago. I must admit it was the most trying time in my life. I met a young man about 2 months ago and he seems like a nice guy but I’m very hesitant to allow him into my life. He means well and he’s been there for me but I can’t seem to get over the thought of how my ex treated me. The mental and physical abuse left a lasting effect on me to the point where I don’t trust anyone, I don’t like being around a crowd of people, especially men and I refuse to go out after it gets dark. I like this young man but I’m truly not ready to start a new relationship. Do you think that I can get passed this paranoia that I have and accept this young man into my life? Are there any suggestions that you can give me to help me cope with my past and learn to live with this emotional scarring. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Just Not Ready Yet
Dear Just Not Ready Yet:
I can only imagine that having been involved in any type of abusive relationship, weather mental or physical was a great challenge. Therefore, making it extremely difficult, even almost impossible, for you to totally trust anyone ever again. I think that maybe you should start by reflecting on what drew you to this type of person in the first place. Making sure not to berate yourself for having been drawn to his type. Maybe, make a list of the things that you will and will not tolerate in a new relationship. Always, bring yourself and your new partner’s attention to any type of behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable. Above all, believe and trust yourself. It is possible, that with time and the right person, you will be able to love and trust again. If you are not ready for a relationship just yet, it is perfectly fine. I just want to let you know that it takes time to heal. Healing does not happen in a week, a month or even a year. Healing is a process. If all else fails, you might consider seeking a professional therapist to help you work through your feelings so that you can move forward in a healthy manner.