I’m struck by how similar our stories about abuse really are. We all immediately recognize facets of our own horrible relationship in someone else’s telling of theirs. But the answers to “How do I get out of an abusive relationship?” doesn’t seem to have as many commonalities except for the underlying feeling of…
“…When [that event] happened, I just couldn’t stay any longer, so I left.”
When I look back on my own “that” which happened, I felt the same way in the moment that I decided to go. Yet I tend to minimize every decision leading up to it. I want to believe that Spirit suddenly struck my heart with strength and took the jelly out of my backbone because I asked It to do so. I want to think that my choice somehow became forced upon me in a way I could not ignore.
That simply is not so. If it were true, God would have forced that choice on me after the physical attack 6 weeks into our marriage instead of waiting 17+ years to embolden me.
Spirit, or God, was with me every step of the way, but Spirit did not choose my time to leave any more than Spirit made my escape possible. I did not finally learn the lesson Spirit was teaching and become released because Spirit decided I’d earned an A in that life lesson! How many other ways can I say this?
I left because I chose to leave. Period.
But that choice was the culmination of several heroic efforts of thought. I had to stay long enough to admit that
- my husband’s abusive actions were his responsibility and his alone,
- I was powerless to change him,
- coping with his abuse had changed me into a person I didn’t like,
- I was powerful enough to be who I wanted to be,
- and to be my best self, I must forgive myself for hurting those I loved and for allowing my divine, Spirit-loved self to be hurt.
If you’ve never suffered abuse, you may think that each of these admissions ranks in order from easiest to toughest, but that is not so. Each of the above thoughts was complete paradigm shifts; each one changed my fundamental view of who I was and who I was capable of being. I also believe that each shift came in that order – I didn’t skip steps.
These beliefs were hard-won only in hindsight. During the changes to my thinking, I didn’t think I was winning anything! I thought I was losing myself, and that thought terrified me because I felt I’d already lost so much of myself that I would become nothing and no one if I gave up any more beliefs.
Spirit was there whispering in my ear through those shifts in thinking. God never left my side, yet during each of the shifts I felt alone and abandoned. Even during the “good” changes I thought God abandoned me. God endured seasons where I hated It for abandoning me in my time of need. Yet the abandonment I felt was my leaving behind an old way of believing and thinking and rebuilding on a truer, sturdier foundation.
The process I took to get out of an abusive relationship included my spirituality. At the time, I was so mentally damaged that I could not rely on my thinking alone. Until step 4 at least, I needed my belief in Spirit. I needed God.
How Do You Get Out Of An Abusive Relationship?
“God helps those who help themselves.” What does that statement really mean? When you take baby steps toward changing how you react to abuse and reducing how much you allow domestic abuse to affect you, you are helping yourself. You must acknowledge that there is an exit door before you can see it. You must be willing to choose an alternative solution to your problem before an alternate solution will present itself.
Spirit, God, the Universe, your Subconscious Mind, your greater self…whatever higher power you subscribe to will wake up from the status quo and start finding ways to help you create a change after you give yourself permission to change.
You can easily signal your intentions to change your mind, heart, and life by following the First Steps for Abuse Victims. Your actions in this world trigger your willingness to let God help you. Asking for help and helping yourself while asking others for help opens doors you cannot see now.
Your path to getting out of an abusive relationship is a unique path, exclusive to you. You are an agent of change. You are the paradigm shift you’ve prayed for. You are your best hope for finding solutions to ending the abuse in your life.
If you don’t believe me, that’s okay. Just act on the First Steps For Abuse Victims suggestions. They’re designed to empower you with the ability to say,
“I just couldn’t stay any longer, so I left. I left and I never looked back.”