In one of my darkest moments in the past, I sought encouragement from an older friend. The conversation we were having was about navigating my way out of an abusive marriage. Her advice was seasoned with personal experience, life lessons and a ‘do or die’ perspective. She said, “let me tell you something girl child. If you meet a man and the vibe is right, do not be afraid to move on with him because that might be where you will find/get help.” I said “Ok.”
I got off the phone, and I thought about her advice. I thought about it for weeks. I understood why she gave that advice, and it came from a place of wanting me to be safe and eventually happy. However, I chose to not take that advice for the very reason she gave the advice. I wanted to be safe and happy – without the need for romantic involvement.
There is a danger in seeking help, protection and/or happiness from a romantic interest while you are in an abusive relationship. Especially when that romantic interest might also use violent means to pacify conflicts. Then one would be drinking poison to quench one’s thirst. One would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
You put yourself at risk of leaving one abusive relationship for another one. Sure, some people are lucky enough to jump from an abusive relationship into a healthy and wholesome one, without having to, or before they have to, undergo therapy or counselling, heal, reflect, learn from/identify mistakes and evolve as a person, but that is a rare occurrence; as rare as a triple rainbow. Instead, I encourage jumping from the abusive relationship into a relationship with yourself. Drink clean fresh water to quench your thirst. Here is why:
- When you are in an abusive relationship, you are in a vulnerable place, making it easy for others to take liberties with you/abuse you.
- Your personality is altered; your weaker side is more dominant.
- Your judgment is clouded with hopelessness.
- Your self-esteem is tampered with, putting you at risk of accepting what you wouldn’t accept under normal circumstances.
- It is difficult to recognize red flags, as you are actively desensitized to these signs.
- Desperate times call for desperate measures, and these measures could end lives.
Invest time energy and effort into healing and improving as an individual.