There are times in LIFE
Or in a relationship, where you feel as though you can handle anything; that there is nothing too big or too scary for you to continue to “take” … because every storm will pass, right? But, what if your storm changes you or your surrounding relationships in a way that you are not happy with? Sometimes it is difficult to identify what is normal bickering or “hitting below the belt” and what is abuse. If you find yourself questioning if you are in a healthy or unhealthy relationship, ask yourself this: “What made me ask this question in the first place?” Sometimes just saying it out loud will help you realize you already knew the answer.
Once you have identified that you are, or might be, in an abusive relationship pat yourself on the back. You have made the first step in freeing yourself. Even if it takes days, weeks, months, or years to make the next step, you should feel powerful in the sense that you have already made the first one – the one that is the hardest.
You deserve more. You deserve to be happy. Even if you took the marital oath of sticking it out “for better or for worse,” or you are buying a home together, or have children together, you did not sign up for abuse.”
So, what’s next? There are three steps you can take next in any order.
- Tell someone. Anyone. Tell your mom, dad, best friend, sister, brother, pastor, neighbor, teacher, therapist, etc.;
- Make a plan (You can make a plan with your family members, friends, attorneys, or therapist, or you can make one by yourself, but it is important that you do make one);
- Create a support team for yourself. This is the most important step. You need supportive people surrounding you to listen, be loved by, and to stand with you. This does not have to be family or friends. This can be your therapist, counselor, or people you meet in support groups.
These can be very tough steps to make because you are no longer harboring these unsure feelings, you are acting on them and taking a stand.
If you feel as though speaking to a therapist one-on-one may be too much to handle in the beginning, there are support groups you can attend with other people who are experiencing similar issues. This may ease the process and comfort you in knowing that you are not alone in your own walk.
You are not alone. You are stronger than you think. You WILL get through this.
If you are interested in attending a support group for people who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence, please reach out to Chelsea Bristow at Brightside Counseling, LLC to learn more about our bi-weekly support group. First Support Group will be on Tuesday, July 18th at 7 pm.