I talked a little bit about being scared yesterday. If you are reading this and are scared, even just a little scared, I urge you to seek help right now. Do not discount your fear. It is so common for those of us who have been abused to lose our ability to trust our instincts. This is absolutely intentional on the part of our abusers. But that fear? It means something. It is your brain fighting for you and trying so hard to keep you safe.
Leaving an abuser can be dangerous. As much as I’d like to share with you the safety plan I used to extract myself from James, I don’t think it’s the best idea. The dynamic of what I was experiencing is not going to be the same for you. I want you to feel safe and BE safe.
Nationally, these are two resources for you that are available 24/7:
Another important resource is a risk assessment called the S-Dash 11 which is available through Paladin, an amazing UK organization. The S-Dash 11 can be found by clicking on “Advice” then “Advice for Victims” on the link below:
In the western suburbs of Chicago, there are two shelters that have advised and supported me personally. Pillars confirmed that I was the victim of domestic violence and helped me develop a safe exit plan for leaving James. Family Shelter Service provided me with an advocate at the DuPage Courthouse during the process of obtaining a temporary order of protection (which is something I will talk about soon) when I was scared out of my mind. Here are their links:
Your abuser will make you feel crazy. This is intentional. Your abuser will make you feel like the abuse is your fault. This is intentional. Your abuser will deny the abuse. This is intentional. Your abuser will play the victim. This is intentional.
Do not be fooled by your abuser. Trust that voice, however small, that is telling you that something is wrong. And no matter what your abuser may say, there is someone who believes you. I believe you. You are not alone.