Considering the current “shelter at home” order, I’m wondering if this might be the opportunity some of you have been waiting for. If you are in an abusive relationship and don’t have the financial wherewithal to leave, maybe this strange time we are living in will give you a chance to change that.
Staying in any situation where you are being hurt is not good. I get that it’s not easy to leave and your safety is of the utmost importance. But, if leaving is the only option, then I want to help you figure out how to do that.
What I am praying (and those who know me, know that I don’t bandy that phrase around lightly) is that those who are in abusive relationships will find the strength to leave before this is over.
Figuring out how to raise your own self-esteem will help you move into your power. You may need to be strategic in how you make your move in order not to aggravate your abuser. You will have to choose carefully what you can or cannot do depending on what’s happening in your situation. Building yourself up through education or finding a way to make money would be a good start.
Women are more likely to feel satisfied if their relationships are fulfilling.
Therefore, we feel like failures if we are in abusive relationships. This undermines our self-esteem even more than the abuse alone does.
Learning not to play the victim is hard, but it is essential for finding the strength to change the situation. When I figured out how to be unafraid of my husband’s temper tantrums, I finally started letting go of fear.
What I hadn’t realized was that when he was upset and started yelling and hitting things (usually walls) it was like the temper tantrums my son threw at 3. Or, looking back, maybe my son threw temper tantrums like he had seen his father do. Either way, when I recognized that it was all bravado, I could step back and not take it personally. I wasn’t the reason he couldn’t control himself, that was on him. What I could do, was not engage. Instead of raising my voice to match his, I would lower it or not respond at all. Eventually, I learned to excuse myself and get out of his way. When I wasn’t there to absorb his anger or feed it, the steam ran its course so I could return.
Taking the smallest of steps will help you build your self-esteem. If those steps also lead you to a way to bring in some income, even better. If you can figure out how to slice off some or all that income into your own bank account so that you begin to build a reserve, you will begin to find your strength.
Can you find an opportunity in this bizarre experience we’re all finding ourselves thrust into? Is there a way for you to take advantage of what’s going on to better yourself or change the dynamics in your relationship? The situation is undoubtedly bad on the surface, but is there a hidden crack in the armor that could serve as a catalyst for change?
Can you start taking online classes that will give you a job opportunity that you didn’t have before? Is there a way for you to make money working online? Or, can you start an online business? You could even sell your crafts on Etsy.
I have a friend who runs a virtual assistant firm. She employs women who want to stay home with their children. Start researching possibilities for yourself. If you are the victim and previously your abuser wouldn’t allow you to work. Maybe now is your opportunity to show your support for the family without undermining his fragile ego.
If you can find a way to start earning some money, then you are taking steps to freeing yourself from this living hell.
As strange as it may sound, this unforeseen turn of events may be the opportunity you’ve needed to find an escape route. Look for ways to build your financial acumen and improve your earning potential. If you can earn a living, even if it starts out small, the empowerment of knowing you can survive will start to grow. Figuring out how to take control of your finances will help give you the strength you need to leave a bad relationship and forge out on your own.
I believe you can do this. Stand tall and fight for yourself and your kids. Take whatever steps you can to move onward and upward.
If you fear for your safety, please reach out for professional help to any of the following:
https://www.thehotline.org/ – Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
Sherry Lutz Herrington is the owner of Sherrington Financial Fitness, a business consulting and accounting firm specializing in strategic business planning and solid financial accounting for businesses. She is also the author of Strong Women Thriving (https://strongwomenthriving.com/), a blog which focuses on empowering women to be financially savvy, particularly after experiencing financial abuse. Sherry is currently writing a new book that both shares her personal story and addresses financial abuse. She can be reached at email@example.com. Join our FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/womensurivingfinancialabuse