Survive and Thrive By Building Community

Part of healing is connecting with others

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

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

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 the abuser used to undermine your confidence.

When we are isolated we keep everyone away from us. Now it’s time to let safe, loving people back into our lives. We need others to help us live a healthy life. We need to have a trusted group of people to share our lives and experiences with. We can seek their advice and help and give ours when it is requested.

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

If we have children it is especially important to live as part of a community. They need to see that we will be okay without them when they grow up. They don’t need to worry that they will have to take care of us.

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. I struggled with this at first because I chose a large church to attend which made it difficult to get to know anyone. I started going to a smaller church where a friend worshiped and found I already knew a few people there. After a few months, I joined a Bible study group which has helped me connect even more. My church also has a single mom group which makes it easier to build connections. Sometimes you have to try more than one place of worship to find the right fit for you.

Let your children lead you to new friends by joining playgroups or helping out at their schools. I was surprised to meet other older single moms like me when I took my child to birthday parties or attended school functions. Lots of other single parents are seeking community for themselves and their children.

Support groups. I have been part of a Divorce Care group, a domestic violence support grout, and Al-Anon and found all three groups helpful for my healing. I felt so alone in my struggle before meeting with others who were facing the same difficulties. Just knowing you are not alone helps a lot.

Volunteer. Working with a team of people to serve others helps you forget your own situation for a while. If you work with the same group often enough you are sure to build new friendships.

Build your tribe. I have spoken with so many other women who are survivors. It just sort of comes up in our conversation. I know there are many out there and feel connected to my community and the world through our shared experience. Sadly, there are many of us in this world who know what you have been through. If you use Facebook there are many domestic violence and narcissistic abuse support groups available to help you learn and gain strength.

Your inner circle. This is your group of most trusted friends, family, and advisors. These are the people who act as your personal 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.

A Caution

Don’t pressure yourself to become part of your local community. I have been out for over three years and am still seeking community. I am an introvert so it takes me a little longer to find good friends. I also can’t handle a large friend group.

Each person has different needs for their community and that changes over time. The point is to fight against isolation and learn to love and trust others again. You also need people you can depend on in tough times. Having that foundation takes some of the fear of future struggles away. We need this foundation so we won’t be tempted to go back to the abuser or end up with anyone who doesn’t treat us 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.

Peace, love, freedom,

❤ Julia



Julia Freeman, Trauma Recovery Coach

I believe survivors of narcissistic abuse and domestic violence deserve to live in freedom and peace.