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Survivors need community to heal. One of the greatest needs of survivors is to find safe communities where they can learn to trust again and navigate relationships as they heal. Building healthy new relationships is one way to get to the root causes of isolation.

There are many places to find community. You may feel safest by looking to social media and online forums for community. After you begin to trust others again it may be time to look to your local community for connection and support. You can build a solid foundation of community by combining online and local support.

There is nothing like finding a friend who is a fellow survivor to help you heal from your past and move forward to your future life of freedom and peace.

If you are struggling to believe that you have a place in your local community you can start with affirmations to help you shift your beliefs that you are worthy of connection. Click here to learn how to write and use mental health affirmations.

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Survivors Need Community to Heal

Survivors of domestic violence and narcissistic abuse understand what isolation is like. During an abusive and controlling relationship, the controller will cut off your access to family members, friends, and anyone else you have healthy relationships with. They do this to strengthen their control and keep you from the help and resources you need to leave.

Sometimes survivors will self-isolate especially as they regain their mental health after going through traumatic experiences. They may have a lack of trust in humanity after years of being hurt by another human who was supposed to love them. How to Cope with Self-Isolation after Narcissistic Abuse from Psychcentral.com explains how and why survivors isolate themselves.

After being isolated it takes a lot of work to interact with others. You have to relearn social skills and overcome the fear of being hurt again. You are more self-conscious after all the insults that were used to undermine your confidence.

When you are isolated you keep everyone away from you. Now it’s time to let safe, loving people back into your life. You need others to help you live a healthy life. It’s important to have a trusted group of people to share your life and experiences with. You can seek their advice and help and give yours when it is requested.

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Humans were meant to live closely with other humans for safety, relationship, and prosperity.

If you have children it is especially important to live as part of a community. If you have survivors in your social group your children will naturally have their own support community of children who understand what they have been through and the struggles they face.

While we are talking about children I found Printable Affirmation Cards for Kids from Createful Journals. This could be an amazing tool to help children who are recovering from trauma.

When I feel lonely I remember that I need to keep growing my connection to other survivors. I need to be part of a community to keep healing and learn not only to live free but to thrive.

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Build Your Local Community

Here are some ways you can become part of your local community to help you heal and build a strong foundation for your new life:

If you are of faith begin attending a local church. Many churches are ministering to single parents and single moms especially. You may find a safe space in a single mom’s group that aligns with your faith. You may have to try a few churches before you find the right fit and sense of community you are looking for. Your local church may know of resources that can help support you while you rebuild your life.

Let your children lead you to new friends by joining playgroups or helping out at their schools. Lots of other single parents are seeking community for themselves and their children.

Support groups. Look for support groups to find a community of survivors. Some of the groups that may offer you emotional support are Divorce Care, Al-Anon, and a group at your local domestic violence shelter. Sharing with others who have similar experiences is a powerful way of breaking isolation. How to Find a Narcissistic Abuse Support Group from verywellmind.com has more suggestions on finding a support group.

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Volunteer. Working with a team of people with a common goal to serve others helps you forget your situation for a while as you make a positive impact on your local community. If you work with the same group often enough you are sure to build new friendships.

Build your tribe in person and on online platforms. If you use Facebook there are many domestic violence and narcissistic abuse support groups available to help you learn you are not alone and help you gain strength. Finding friends who you can share your unique experiences with is so healing. This is your wider social group which leads to you finding members of your inner circle.

Your inner circle. This is your group of most trusted friends, family, and advisors. These are the people who act as your cheerleaders, who wipe your tears and set you back on your feet after a fall. People will naturally become part of this group as you get to know and trust them and it will change over time as you grow. This is the most sacred form of family and friendship and it is an honor to be part of someone else’s inner circle.

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Don’t Rush Your Long-Term Healing Journey

Don’t put pressure on yourself to become part of your local community. Go at your speed and what feels comfortable to you. It may take time to find your people. As you reach out you are learning and growing and healing.

Each person has different needs for their community and those needs change over time. The point is to fight against isolation and learn to love and trust others again.

You need people you can depend on in tough times. Building a foundation of community takes some of the fear of future struggles away. You need this foundation so you won’t be tempted to go back to the abuser or end up with anyone who doesn’t treat you with love and kindness.

Just keep reaching out to others and you will find your people. You will also become someone others need to help them forward in their healing journey.

Survivors need community to learn to live in freedom and peace. I hope you can build your tribe and heal with the strength and support of others.

Always remember you deserve to live in freedom and peace.

May I suggest a self-care plan to help you calm trauma symptoms so you can build a strong foundation for who you are becoming?

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