As with last week's post, everything is going to be behind the cut because I'm aware it could be very upsetting for some people. If you do read this post, and it's salient for you, make sure you have a way of talking care of yourself. With that said, building on the theme of last week's post, this post is going to be about how to leave an abusive relationship.
If you're reading this post, it's possible that you're either in an abusive relationship or you know someone who is and want to support them. I don't have all the answers, but I do know that even thinking about leaving a relationship that is abusive is an act of extreme courage. If you're used to being told that your feelings don't matter, that you don't matter, then starting to reclaim some space for yourself is incredibly hard. Here are some tips on how to do it.
First thing's first - you need to have a plan. The most dangerous time for people in an abusive relationship is when they actually leave - this is when you are most at risk of being killed. This is terrifying to talk about, but if we don't discuss it we can't do anything about it. Having a plan is really important because it allows you to plan for most eventualities and prevents you from having to return to get things that you didn't consider before you left. Within your plan, you should include the following:
There may be things that make it more difficult for you to leave - you may have children, or you might not have much money or much freedom to be able to put the above things into place. Know that there are people who care about you, and that there are people out there who want you to be safe. I want you to be safe. I want you to be able to look back on this and wonder how you found the strength to leave, and know that it was because you were always strong, you just needed a reminder. I'm rooting for you, and you can contact me if you need any further help or advice.
Other places you can go for help include:
I hope this article is helpful to some people, although I really wish it didn't need writing. If it's been useful, you can contact me or let me know in the comments.
Dr Sarah Blackshaw: Clinical Psychologist, blogger, tea drinker, interested in dinosaurs and shiny objects