First off, if you live with an abuser it is not your fault. Abusers can be quite charming and masters at deception.
They may have deceived your family and friends with their charm, making it hard for you to find anyone to console in.
“He couldn’t have done that!” “He’s such a nice guy!” However, you know better…
You live afraid. Walking on eggshells wondering when his next explosion will be.
It’s only a matter of time before he erupts in a rage of anger, jealousy, threats or verbal, emotional or physical violence towards you.
No one deserves this. And regardless of whatever he says, it is never your fault.
Your friends may wonder why don’t you just leave.
It’s not that simple. You may be tied financially, emotionally, worried for the children, or scared for your life.
We understand your reasons and want to provide helpful tools.
What to do during Shelter in Place:
- Stick to a routine as much as possible. Get up the same time every day and shower even if you don’t feel like it. Imagine you are going to visit a good friend. Even if you have nowhere to go. It will give you a sense of purpose.
- Get outside every day and take 10 deep breaths. Put on your mask and walk the dog or on your own. Plant flowers or tend to a garden. Fresh air will help you feel alive and grounded.
- Meditate, pray or read an inspirational book or passage. You’ll want to keep a positive phrase in your thoughts throughout the day. It can be, “I’m going to get through this day… I know I am worthy.”. Repeat your phrase as much as possible. It’s your invisible super-power. No one will know that you are doing it and no one can take it away from you.
- Find things to be grateful for and say them to yourself. Some days are easier than others. It can be as simple as having a sip of water or breathing in and out. Don’t berate yourself over what it is. The point is to notice good things around you (even if you have to look really hard to find them).
- Have someone or something you can talk to. It can be a pet, a friend, a plant, God. Find something to tell your thoughts to and release them.
Survival skills if you feel in danger:
- If you sense an abusive incident is about to occur, avoid confined rooms or rooms without exits or with dangerous objects- like the kitchen.
- Create a safety plan. Give a copy to someone you trust so they know what to do when you need help. Keep extra money in an “emergency wallet” that he doesn’t know about. Memorize phone numbers in case you don’t have access to your cell phone.
- Create a code word to tell a trusted person without your abuser knowing. Make sure the people in your support group know the word and what to do (call the police etc.).
- Document abuse. Take pictures or videos of bruises. Be specific when it happened. Keep in a safe place where he won’t find it.
- Reach out for help. You can text 22522 for an advocate. Call 800-799-7233 anonymously 24-hours/day. Join a positive group for women, visit DaraConnolly.com.
By Dara Connolly
As always, thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We appreciate your time and support.
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