Deciding to Not Stay Where You Are At

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (To us, this includes Pathological Love Relationship Awareness)

‘The First Step Towards Getting Somewhere is to DECIDE That You Are Not Going To Stay Where You Are’

(Anny Jacoby)

I just loved when I read this quote…it reminds me of what we have been talking about now for months—since I began the Living the Gentle Life series which has been about the recovery from PTSD and Pathological Love Relationships.

I get emails that say “I can’t leave because ________.” There are lots of reasons that people (men and women) feel trapped in pathological love relationships–finances, children, health, lack of job/education, religious beliefs, family attitude, fear of harm, and their own damage from PTSD. But the first step towards any kind of internal shift where something else might be a possibility is beginning with knowing you are not going to stay where you are.

The external reasons of ‘why’ you are still there are just that…external. The paradigm shift starts with the internal, the decision you make that you are not going to stay where you are: emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually, or sexually. What happens outside of us in recovery first starts with the shift internally before it is ever manifested in our lives. We won’t follow a path that isn’t developed internally first. We’ll end up only seeing the road blocks of the external which doesn’t help us.

Over the 20 years of working in pathology and victimology I have heard every kind of story about these relationships: from the most deviant kind of mind control to attempted murder, to actual murder. Financial hostage taking, rape, assaults, stalked, women put into comas, people alienated from their children, people medically harmed, reputations and careers ruined, people locked in their homes or psyches for decades. I’ve heard all of it. The emails

start with “But, I can’t and then (the reason).” But yet, they have read our magazine, are on our newsletter, or are emailing us so obviously something inside is shifting–somewhere they are deciding they are not going to stay where they are—even mentally they are moving and changing. Their ‘Yes, but’ might be a reason to them but I see beyond it. I think they are already deciding to eventually not be where they are.

Yes, there are safety and housing barriers–he won’t leave. But every community has DV services or DV housing most likely exists even a town away.

Yes, there are emotional barriers–you have PTSD. But every community has DV counseling services that are free, churches have support groups, community mental health counseling for you or your children is free or very low cost.

Yes, there are starting over barriers—when you leave with only what’s in your suitcase. But DV services and other non-profits offer furniture, clothing and house hold items to those starting over.

Yes, there are legal barriers–you don’t have an attorney. Self help, women’s organizations, non-profits, DV agencies have information on Legal Aid and OTHER types of pro-bono services if you don’t qualify for Legal Aid.

Yes, there are other case-specific barriers–there are so many issues to manage at once. But women’s org, DV agencies and other non-profits have case workers assigned to you so you don’t have to do it all yourself.

You only have to first decide “That you are not going to stay where you are at.” That’s the first step of the rest of your life. That doesn’t mean you leave tomorrow–that means you shift internally–that you open the emotional door of possibility that you will not always be where you are today.

The Institute is not a crisis program so we can’t help you ‘leave’ per se. You need to call agencies where you are at because it’s unethical for Cyber-Programs to be involved in that level of care when we cannot be face-to-face. However, there are lots of things we can do to help prepare you to make that move OR after you have left and are ready to heal.

October is DV Awareness Month and I stop to give tribute and memory to those patients of mine who have died because they believed they couldn’t do anything about their situation or they under-estimated his pathology (or her pathology). In honor of all those who have been harmed, alive or not, we remember you this month and send ‘possibility’ to you that your life can and will be different. I don’t say that flippantly–I too have experienced a lot of pain when I see patients further harmed so I say it from my own experience.

The Institute has helped thousands of people make that paradigm shift internally so they could evidently make it externally. We hope you’ll be next. Instead of sending us an email that says ‘why’ your external reason is for not being able to leave right now, use that energy instead to open yourself to the possibility of what it would be like to leave, begin again, feel something, grow, get your life back, love again. Take a journal and write about that possibility. Use your energy not to talk about the staying, but the growing. We believe you will get there!