How to Escape an Abusive Relationship
If you’ve found yourself in an toxic or abusive relationship, which is not serving either of your highest good, it’s time to cut chords – physically and emotionally. If you didn’t get a chance to read my previous article on determining whether you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, you can read it here.
I am all for working it out after a fight, argument or disagreement and not running away as soon as things get a little tough, however there is a difference between normal relationship niggles and settling because you don’t believe you’re worth more (or because you believe he/she will change).
Firstly, I will ask you one question:
What’s it going to take for you to put an end to this relationship?
A black eye?
Further depression and anxiety?
Hearing again and again all your downfalls and imperfections?
Suppressing your real emotions?
Losing another friendship?
Lying to your family?
Think of it this way:
Leaving is not easy. But if the thought of staying is far harder, then you know what to do.
If you’re ready to take the leap and step out from your silent suffering, I have 6 tips for you:
1. Tell someone the truth
I hadn’t shared with anyone about what was going on in my relationship, a) because I was too scared he would find out and if so, what he would do and b) I didn’t want the added pressure to leave the relationship (I already had enough of my own pressure without added stress from others). However once I shared with someone close to me – my Aunty, who is extremely intuitive and could sense something was going on – it planted a seed of hope. Opening up and telling someone is admitting something is wrong. It brings you out of denial and creates another path available to taking, i.e. leaving. It creates a tunnel to walk though (and find the light) rather than just being stuck in a swamp of doom.
2. Devise your escape plan
It took me about 3 months to plan how I was going to leave. I had to ‘play the game’ so to speak, which was hard because a) he was my boss b) we had a holiday booked together c) I still loved him. In these situations I have figured out that love is not enough. I loved him, but I didn’t love how he was treating me, and I knew I deserved more than that. I loved myself more and I knew I was not born to suffer and relationships were NOT meant to be this way. Little by little, I began to fantasise how I was going to end the relationship, move office and set myself free. Note, it’s best to keep this plan in your head and leave no paper trails. And the following points help in creating this action plan.
3. Recruit your friends
On the day I broke up with him, I had asked three of my best friends from interstate to text me to loving messages to show their support. When you’re in the thick of a messy situation it’s hard to see clearly, so you need reminders of what you’re doing and why. Logically, you know you’re in an unhealthy, toxic, abusive f*cked up relationship however all your brain wants to attach to is ‘but what am I going to lose??’. I had one very close friend (from work and who ideally lived around the corner from me) who I recruited to ‘protect’ me. Her and her mother took me under their wing whilst I was going through the worst of it – they drove me to work and she let me sleep at her house in case he tried to come over. Friends are EARTH ANGELS when it comes to break ups and ending bad relationships. And often you have pushed them away because he wants to isolate you. Don’t let him. Keep your friends close!
4. Call the police
When it comes to break ups, there is never a good time or place to end it. Seriously.
I called in sick to work and phoned him to tell him how I felt….next minute he is banging on my door. I let him inside as I heard he was crying and four hours later after yelling, screaming and him not getting off me (literally), the police arrived. This was such a relief! Turns out my mother called them as she had panicked because I’d not called her back. The police took one look at me and then asked him to leave. This was enough for him to see the severity of the circumstance. After this, if he became obsessive or behaved psychotically (which they often do) I would have taken an AVO out on him, however I decided not to go this route as we still had to work together.
5. Have somewhere to go
After the break up, he wouldn’t stop calling my phone or texting me mammoth long text messages. He abused my mother over the phone. He also threatened to kill himself on numerous occasions. He was aggressive, dramatic and had completely lost his mind! Because of this psychotic behaviour I got on a plane and went to Perth for the weekend to remove myself from the situation and gain perspective. I fled to the safety of my family and after witnessing the state I was in, they couldn’t believe I had suffered as long as I had. They had no idea how bad it was as I had always talked it down as I didn’t want them to not like him. It’s crazy the lengths we go to in effort to not cause confrontation and to make sure other people feel comfortable.
6. Hire a coach
At the time I didn’t know how to go about finding help as it wasn’t as available as it is now (and that’s only 4 years ago!). In fact, I felt it was too risky to hire a coach or counsellor because then he would get on my case about it. Essentially, I didn’t feel safe, therefore I couldn’t make empowered decisions. I was completely out of my power centre and at the time my focus was on getting through the day. In saying this, today is different to then. You’re in the NOW and if you’re reading this and the red flags are going off in your head, then voila – here is a coach for you! Hiring a coach means you’re ready to take the first step: talking about it. When you coach with me, I don’t put any pressure on you to leave your abusive partner. Rather we simply talk about what is going on. I support you no matter what decision you make and I am here as a cheerleader on your team to get you from A to B.
Whether you follow all of these steps, or none of them, it’s OK.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
I love you.
There is help available, if you ask for it.
Seek and you will receive.
You have the strength within you to accomplish anything your heart truly desires!
Keep following your truth, your inner light that flickers, and remember this…
You are NOT a victim.
Be your own VICTOR.
Your abusive relationship is simply reflecting your own ‘inner abuser’ and a deeper issue within you, which needs processing and uncovering in this lifetime, essentially to…heal. Your external abuser has been assigned to you to help you GROW and transform you through this pain. Allow this experience to be your GOLD; your resistance to bounce back.
You are not a victim.
You’re a victor.
Love Rosie X