One thing that women in abusive relationships and their family and friends frequently request is ‘help’, help to change the situation. While I understand, and can relate only too well, to their sentiment, the term ‘help’ makes me feel uncomfortable.
Perhaps I can clarify what I mean with an example. A woman I know believes she has found her big idea and her mission. She is constantly looking for people to ‘help’ her to realise her dream. (She doesn’t feel that she can take charge of realising her dream herself.) So people constantly find her who promise help, but first expect her to help them – generally by paying significant sums of money towards some ill defined scheme of theirs; in very short order.
The problem with ‘help’ is when it is a cover for dependence. By ‘help’ we mean someone who will take at least partial responsibility for what we want to do. We look for this ‘help’, or powerful intervention, when we doubt our own adequacy.
Freeing yourself from an abusive relationship is no small matter. But looking for ‘help’ to do it, can lead to further disappointment. Unless you are clear about precisely what you mean and the limits of what you can expect, you may feel that what is out there is rather less than you were wishing for.
First off, any woman will need practical advice, about how to manage leaving the relationship. It is well worth becoming familiar with the information available through domestic violence organisations, like www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/domesticviolence.html.
Then, they will need practical support of the kind provided by a Refuge or Domestic Violence Support Group.
They will also need understanding of the trauma they have been through and the effect that it has had on them. They will need to understand that the very low opinion they have of themselves is all part of the trauma and can be reversed. An understanding of the mechanics of abuse is available through Domestic Violence Support groups and books such as Sandra Horley’s ‘The Charm Factor’ and Robin Norwood’s ‘Women Who Love Too Much’.
They will need to internalise how this applies to them. This tends to be a longer process, requiring in depth work with someone with an understanding of this particular field, someone who specialises in working with survivors of abusive relationships.
Finally, they need to learn how to recreate their faith in, and love for, themselves. They have to build a strong foundation of self-worth and self-trust. This may sound like the hardest part of all, but it doesn’t have to be. Once they have access to the appropriate tools, making the shift from hopelessness to self-realisation and positiveness becomes almost effortless.
Annie Kaszina, Joyful Coaching.
An NLP Practitioner and Women’s Empowerment Coach, Annie specialises in helping women who have survived abusive relationships heal relationship pain so they can reach their full emotional and personal stature.
Email: [email protected]
Websites: http://www.joyfulcoaching.com, http://www.anniekaszina.com
To order Annie’s eBook ‘The Woman You Want To Be’, or subscribe to Annie’s free, twice monthly ezine, go to: http://www.joyfulcoaching.com.