I think Alice Walker said it best when she wrote, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” This being said, it is no giant stretch to acknowledge how easily self-empowerment slips away when you feel continually coerced, caged, terrified, and intimidated by someone who is supposed to love you. Before you know it, you are trapped in a chaotic quagmire of mistreatment masquerading as emotional taunts, financial constrictions, sexual violations, and physical offenses which occur in a continuous and increasing fashion.
Is it possible that you could manage it if you could simply decode the patterns and avoid the triggers? Do you believe that a bit more thoughfulness and caution could quell if not prevent further damage?
Of course you do. You think that the batterer behaves this way toward you because you are at least in part, at fault. It takes two to tango, right? WRONG. Abuse is not a natural consequence to your intolerable imperfections or your insolent noncompliance. Abuse is not a natural by-product of substance use or a less than ideal childhood. Abuse occurs at the choice of the batterer in a situation where there is an imbalance of power.
The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence has produced an actual Power Control Wheel http://batteredwomen.com/@page_id=319.htm which is required viewing for all women on the path to self-empowerment. It is at once enlightening and overwhelming as it seeks to demonstrate the forms of abuse with specific common examples which will resonate strongly with any one who is or has endured life in the wake of a batterer. Educating yourself on the forms of abuse is the first step, but there are also strategies and practices which will assist you in regaining control of your life and well-being:
- Confide in a trusted friend who you know will listen, but will not judge
- Commit to safety for yourself and any children involved by constructing a safety plan http://www.ncgccd.org/crime_prevention/brochures/Safety%20Plan%20for%20Abused%20Women.pdf
- Create and access public resources including any or all of the following: therapists, social workers, attornies, law enforcement, and school personnel
- Construct a log of the abusive events. Make it into a journal if that has more appeal and keep it with you at all times. Hide it in a magazine or newspaper if need be inside of a purse or a tote.
Small changes can reap large rewards. It is wise to start simply with the tools at your disposal, more specifically, the internet. Do be sure to follow the tips provided in this link http://batteredwomen.com/@page_id=319.htm following your searches but first, jot the websites down in your log/journal.
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be the captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” Mark Caine–author