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Do the Work: The long term impact of abuse

A key process to rebuild your life after abuse is to ‘Do the Work’.

Now this is not as easy as it sounds. You may think it is just doing a few sessions of therapy and you’re done, thanks very much.

I wish it was that easy! If that was all we needed, we would have saved many thousands of dollars in psychologists and programs.

However, domestic abuse creates havoc, emotionally, physiologically, and financially. The long-term impact is huge including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and the list goes on.


I can remember, in the first year after leaving, when there was a falling apart. You know how you go up and down? This was going down.

I was standing on the railway station waiting for the train, getting more and more anxious. I wanted to get home to my child who had left school early, not in a good state. They were also struggling with the aftermath of the abuse.

While waiting for the train, I noticed how anxious I felt. My heart was racing, my stomach churning, my breathing was shallow and fast. I could feel the anxiety pulsing through every part of my body.

I thought: I haven’t felt like this for a little while.

Ohhhh. I used to live feeling like this every day. I cannot believe that I lived feeling like this for years.

It was a horrible overwhelming feeling – being out of control, scared, anxious, nervous, worried – triggered.

At that point, standing on the railway station platform, I did not know about strategies to reduce my anxiety. I could have used ‘pursed lip’ breathing or tapping, also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique. But at that time, I did not know these tools or could not recall them.

Tools to help

It was not a nice feeling standing on the platform, feeling overwhelmed. That’s why in the Broken to Brilliant Blogging Self-Care program, domestic violence survivors practice self-care strategies such as tapping. So we can have the tools at hand when needed.

Andrea Bolding, a trained professional in Meditation and Yoga, taught us about the impact of trauma, the tapping research, potential triggers and how tapping works to reduce stress and anxiety.

Andrea created a special how-to video for the program, covering tapping points and breathing. Her video is exclusively for Broken to Brilliant participants, but here are some other resources to get you into tapping.

Self-care tools

There are many tools to help with your recovery after abuse, but as a survivor, I had to do the work.

I have tried many different tools such as counselling, exercise, gratitude, transformational programs, writing therapy, yoga, meditation, tapping and more.

I have done the work and continue to do the work.

Moving away from abuse, not being stuck in your story, reducing triggering means you need to do the work. Test out different self-care tools and find what works for you. Have fun along the way, learning, and connecting with other survivors.


Blogging STARS program

This Blog is a part of the Broken to Brilliant Blogging STARS self-care program, which supports domestic violence survivors to practise the self-care strategies of Sleep, Tapping, Activity, Regulation and Support, (STARS). As they practise the strategies, they blog about it. You can read their survivor STARS Blogs:


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1 Comment

Amber Woodford
Amber Woodford
Oct 05, 2022

Love how this makes me feel like the ‘work’ is actually do-able & worthwhile. 👏😃 We’ve all been on that platform - and it isn’t fun.

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