Most people do not realize that they are trapped in a cycle of abuse until it is too late.  Luckily, you can break the cycle of abuse — it is hard but it is possible.  Read on to learn more.  

Recognize the Cycle

The first thing that you need to do is learn to recognize that there is abuse going on, and that there is a cycle. There are 3 phases in the cycle of abuse: tension building, explosion, and then the honeymoon.  During the tension building stage, or Phase 1, there is normally no visible abuse going on, but the environment is quite tense.  Phase 2 is the explosion stage where the abuser will attack fiercely, be it emotional or physical.  In the honeymoon stage, or Phase 3, the abuser will apologize for what they have done, and try to make it up to the abused by buying them flowers, being nice, etc.  

Understand Your Story

You will also need to do is take a look at your story, and come to terms with it.  Unresolved trauma will negatively affect you and your children, so it is important that you do all you can to heal your own wounds so that you don’t inflict any on your children.  It will be hard, as you may have to look at your life in a different light, and many of the memories might be suppressed.  You will have to look at your abusers as flawed people, revisit past events, and even recognize how your past is affecting you now.   

Protect Yourself

If you still live in the home or have the abuser in your life, it is important for you to take care of yourself first.  Take the time to gather essentials such as passport, wallet, etc. and then leave as soon as possible.  If you do not live in their home but they are still in your life, find a way to slowly let them go.  

Learn How to Calm Yourself

If you become emotional, it is easy for past emotions to cause you to fly off the handle.  Learn how to calm yourself down before reacting.  Take a deep breath, go for a walk, count to 10, sing a song, whatever helps you to take a step back.  Learn how to think before you act, and teach your children to do the same.   

Get Help

Breaking the cycle of abuse may be impossible without someone by your side to help you through it.  It can be helpful to visit with a professional to discuss what you have gone through and what you are going through now.  They can help you recognize trends in your life and break free of them.