As we say goodbye to Christmas for another year, I’m sharing some tips to help you wave a heartfelt farewell to your abuser.
“Thank God I found the GOOD in goodbye” Beyoncé Knowles
DAY EIGHT if you are living with your abuser
Have you made up your mind to leave your abuser? If you have, congratulations on making the decision to reclaim your life. Now, the next decision you must make is to NOT tell your abuser yet.
As the adult in this abusive relationship, you feel like you are always doing the decent and responsible thing. It may have crossed your mind, then, that you owe it to him to tell him your intention to leave. Stop!
WHY NOT do this today?
Don’t say goodbye. Don’t plan on a heartfelt conversation where you get to lay it on the line for him. In the best case scenario, he will use it as an opportunity to manipulate you into staying. In the worst, this will trigger an extreme reaction as his need to control you and force your submission goes into overdrive.
For me, each and every time I told my abuser that I couldn’t bear any more and I was leaving, I got the same result. I stayed put. The abuse got worse.
When making your escape plan, leave the grown-up goodbye out of it. You don’t owe him a farewell. Letting him know what you plan will change nothing, and it will cause your risk to sky-rocket.
The only time I ever successfully left my abuser, I did it with stealth. With my essentials already discretely ready-to-go – I waited until I knew he was at work, took the baby and our things, and got out of there. I informed him hours later by text message. Yes, I worried that it was callous. But, I also reminded myself that the safety of my child and I had to come first. And anyway, hadn’t he already smashed away any lingering niceties that would ordinarily require a heart-to-heart first?
DAY EIGHT if you have escaped your abuser
If you’re anything like me, your festive cheer has been punctured by frequent flash-backs to happier times. These nostalgic images hit me like turkey-induced heartburn, leaving me breathless and wondering – if only temporarily – if I shouldn’t have given him that one last chance after all.
WHY NOT do this today?
To beat back my Ghost of Christmas past, I found my Memory List absolutely priceless. If you have one – grab it now and refresh your memory about what life was really like with him. Not all kisses under the mistletoe? My point exactly!
If you haven’t already done the (painful) legwork to prepare a Memory List, now is a great time to do it. Check out my post, Staying out of an abusive relationship, to get started on binning those rose-tinted spectacles along with the Christmas trash.
Check out my post, An Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Christmas, for more tips on keeping safe and happy this festive season.
© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14