Hello everyone! I’m going to jump right in today.
If you are in an abusive situation, how do you get out of it? You get out of it by 1) being smart and calculating, and 2) doing the unexpected and unpredictable.
What exactly do I mean? No worries, I’m going to explain what I mean and how it worked for me. This is doable, I did it. You must be ready to execute you plan and follow through – you can’t look back or turn back. The timing will be different for these steps because each situation is different. Ladies and gentlemen, you know your situation, act on these steps accordingly. Safety is paramount! Consider your safety and the safety of your children above all else! Do not be afraid! Freedom awaits on the other side!
When I say smart, I mean you plan and calculate each step out the door just like your abuser plans and calculates your abuse. First, you speak with a trusted friend or relative about your plan; and not with your cell phone, with a pay phone or work phone if necessary. Next, you pack a bag, little by little, day by day and you keep this bag in a place he or she will never think to find it. Keep in mind to stash money in a safe place as well, even if it means giving it to a co-worker or friend for safe keeping for later. In the meantime, work out with your trusted friend or relative the date you will leave your situation and where you will go – know the date, time, place, and transportation plan. These conversations and this type of planning will require secrecy and perhaps some patience but keep your cool, you can do this. You will have to act with your abuser like everything is “okay” and like nothing is wrong during this time. If they can put on an act, you can too.
When the time comes to execute your plan to leave, do it and don’t look back. Walk out of that house, take your car, your children, get on the bus, meet your friend or relative and never look back. Sometimes abusers may surprise you, they may actually give you an out - my late husband did. He allowed me to leave without incident – I consider that a God act. If they do, go and don’t look back. Don’t hesitate, get in the car and leave!
After you leave you will have to stay on your toes, and here is where the unexpected and unpredictable comes in. You do not have to take (e.g. answer) your abusers nasty phone calls or texts – keep all texts and phone messages as evidence for protection and any divorce proceedings. They will not expect you to not answer – as you have always felt compelled to before. This sends a “you don’t control me anymore” message. They won’t expect it and they won’t know what to do. I used this with my late husband who would text barrage both me and my parents. It worked. Silence can be your best weapon of all. If you receive death threats via text or phone message, take those threats to the police and the police alone. During this time, be very careful who else you talk to besides your trusted friends or family. Your abuser will have people he or she can use to get to you – be vigilant and be wise. File any restraining orders if you have not already done so. I know some of you may see these pieces of paper as a joke and to some extent they are but you are building a legal paper trail – one he or she will not be able to escape come time in court.
I would also suggest you change up your work routine if that is possible. You can change your route to and from work and if possible your hours. Your boss and the security at your work place also need to know what is going on. No one else needs to know. The fewer people who know outside your trusted friends and family, the better – they won’t be used against you. Again this will be unpredictable and unexpected from you – you abuser is counting on you to be predictable and do the expected behavior you have always done - that is the only way they have power over you.
And last but certainly not least, if your abuser comes to your work or your new residence, immediately get somewhere safe and call the police – no exceptions. It is best if you are not alone at your new residence if that can at all be arranged. Never be alone if you have to confront an abuser if at all possible! I don’t care if he or she is crying and they want to “talk and work it out.” I have yet to see that not be used as a manipulation tactic and a lie. My late husband used that tactic, it was a lie. I have never seen fake tears dry up so fast! I’m going to step out on a limb here and say this – if you have or can defend yourself, do so. Safety is again paramount here! Do not do anything that could put you or your children in further harm! I am in no way saying, grab a gun (if you own one) and shoot him or her without provocation or reason! What I am saying is they do not have the right to be violent or verbally abusive to you or your children – defend yourself and your children in the most lawful, legal way you can. Your abuser will also not expect that – that will be very unpredictable on your part – someone who has not “fought back” will not be expected to “fight back.” They are expected to “lay down and roll over” like a good little slave. You are not a slave anymore!!
More than once, I put a piece of furniture between myself and my husband when he would bow up or throw things, ball his fists up and yell and scream. I put a piece of furniture between us and I told him, either he calms down or there will be no discussion. I also told him several times I was not the name he was calling me and I did not accept that. I told him after he hit me the first time, if he ever did that again he was going to jail and I’d see he stayed there for a long, long time. I was fortunate in that standing up to him usually deflated him, at least for a short while. I was probably taking a huge risk here but I was tired of the evil! I also did not have children to consider. I want to emphasize here that you must know who you are dealing with – this may not work with every abuser. What worked in my situation, may not work in yours so be cautious and be wise! Do not put yourself at risk or your children at risk of death to stand up to an ultra-violent abuser. You need to be alive to get out of your situation. Staying alive is paramount! Again, never confront them alone if at all possible!
My hope today is that you see there is always a way out. We must be wise as serpents. We must have courage like a lion. We must have strength that only God can give for ourselves and our children. We must make a plan of escape and execute that plan and not look back. We must take the first step and decide that enough is enough! I hope you will take that the first step if you need to today. Life is so much better on the other side and you are worth it!
Courage, dear heart! – C.S. Lewis
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, Fear not, I am the one who helps you. - Isaiah 41:13
With the courage of a lion,