Emerging from a domestic violence situation into the sun feels an awful lot like bursting through the barricades that separate dark from light. Your barricades might include fear, financial difficulties, isolation, hopelessness, religious beliefs, and so many other things. A few people manage to do it on their own, but most people need help. (Don’t we all?)
A Pivotal Moment
For every survivor of domestic violence with whom I’ve spoken, there has been a pivotal moment when they have made a conscious decision, “No more. I’m not going to let you keep breaking me down. I’m not going to keep making myself smaller and smaller. This is my life and I’m going to own it.” There are a lot of different factors that get us to those moments. A real threat to our kids’ safety. An injury that goes beyond a bruise or sprain. Being completely isolated from our friends or family, whether out of fear or shame. It doesn’t matter what gets you to that moment. It only matters that you get there.
It’s your life. You’re worthy.
Make A Plan
Have you had that moment? If you have, you need a plan. In June, Jan wrote a series comparing the preparation plan for a hurricane or other major storm to a plan for getting ready to leave a DV situation. You can read Part 1 here. Your first step, though, should be to contact a group like Reach Out Speak Out, with people who are trained and, sadly, have much experience in this.
Share With Someone
You can try to get out on your own. But life, in general, is so much easier and better with friends who care about you. Tell someone what’s going on in your life. If you can’t tell your family or friends, tell us. We care.
We want you to live your best life being fully and vibrantly yourself.
Need an anthem? (I have always liked having songs to help inspire me and I know I’m not alone!) Here’s one that I use whenever I’m afraid or the old you’re-not-good-enough scripts start playing in my head (and I thank my friend, Beth, for reminding me of it):