June – Week 1

Well, here you are! You have succeeded in leaving the toxic relationship behind. You and your kids are in a safe place filled with
calm and peaceful vibes. You’re tired and exhausted physically and emotionally. But you no longer need to walk on eggshells. Relief has arrived.

You have given up so much to escape to this refuge. You begin to list in your mind what’s been left behind. Clothing, bedding,
kitchenware, perhaps your car or your job, all of which will eventually be replaced. But what have you really lost? Self-respect,
confidence? God can restore all things through Christ Jesus.

June – Week 2

Building respect starts with setting healthy boundaries. This can be difficult to approach after living with an abusive partner.
Reach Out Speak Out has counselors to help you begin to learn to set these boundaries.

This will benefit not only your life but the lives of your children.

This improves self worth which creates a healthy, confident person and lessens the likelihood of the children being drawn into their
own toxic relationship when they grow up.

Taking these steps can be a bit scary. But I promise you that with each step you will begin to feel proud of yourself. Good choice!

June – Week 3

Let’s look at how many responsibilities you have been carrying.

How many are really your responsibility versus others, like your ex-partner or other family members.

Now is the time to put down what is not yours to carry. I know this seems difficult and even scary but for each responsibility you
return to the rightful owner you will gain a little respect for yourself and think “Wow, look at me. Standing up for myself.” This
is looking out for yourself.

You have begun to build healthy boundaries and a little confidence.

June – Week 4

God is your strength. Praise him daily.

While you are no longer taking on others responsibility, there may be some friction and some puzzled onlookers. Even the kids
are wondering who is this new mother of ours. You have probably been teaching them about their responsibilities too. You have also
gained some of their respect.

Now when you slip up and then see that something is not yours to handle, don’t give up or berate yourself. Forgive yourself and
keep moving forward.

God will not give up on you.

Recognizing Grief – Week 1

Living with domestic abuse can numb you so that you don’t realize what all you have lost. Your aspirations and dreams lie buried under many layers of disappointment, broken promises, emotional wreckage and physical pain inflicted by your partner. You are living in grief. Grief for the loss of your happiness, the loss of the wonderful person you fell in love with, for the plans you had for the future. All gone.

Grief can be defined as the natural reaction , a normal reaction to loss. It can be the loss of a job or your health or a death of a loved one. But the loss of a relationship, even if you’re still in the relationship is still a loss to grieve.

Recognizing Grief – Week 2

The stages of grief are as follows:

  1. Shock / Denial. Disbelief and numb feelings
  2. Pain / Guilt. Unbearable pain of loss and guilt for burdening others
  3. Anger / Bargaining. Insisting to God that he removes the pain or fix
    the situation.
  4. Depression. This may be when you try to isolate, processing the loss
  5. Upward turn. Anger and pain have died down, you are calmer.
  6. Reconstruction. You begin to piece together parts of your life. Move
  7. Acceptance / Hope. Acceptance of your new life sinks in with hope
    for the future.

This is the recovery process for loss, the process for healing and moving on.

Recognizing Grief – Week 3

But what if the process is repeatedly interrupted?

Picture yourself moving through these stages while living with your abuser. They hurt you again but explain why it’s your
fault. You experience stage one, shock, disbelief. The reality of this narcissist, the loss of a perfect partner begins stage two,
pain and guilt.

Next will be stage three, anger, bargaining. Going to God, asking to take the pain away. This can be happening daily or even moment to
moment. Then stage four, depression and isolation. Then, before you know it your abuser strikes again, sending you back to the pain
and guilt of stage two.

You are no closer to healing then you were a month ago, a year ago or longer.

Recognizing Grief – Week 4

The Holy spirit now begins to press you into looking up to God. Looking for a way to finish grieving and heal. This is the bravest thing you may ever do.

But you are not alone in this. God is always with you and Reach Out Speak Out can be also. We have counselors and resources and testimonies. We are a faith based ministry helping victims become survivors.

You just lean on the Lord and make a choice.