Being part Texan, I would joke about this dragon being home, home on deranged - if it wasn't such a serious and potentially violent, and sometimes life-threatening, issue for so many. If your home contains the deranged, that is probably the first problem you need to solve before you can find any path that might possibly be a real Happily Here & Now for you.
One of the most heartbreaking discoveries from my interviews with the Tens of Thousands of people about their relationships was how horribly pervasive abuse is in our society. It is such a severe problem that you probably can't even guess at its magnitude. And, to those who suffer the terror daily, to those who have given up on all dreams of any kind of Happily Here & Now, it can appear they are trapped in such a deep, dark, inescapable pit, Ever After.
But you CAN escape abuse.
Start by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at their confidential, toll-free number at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or go to their web site for more information and resources that are available to you. Their Hotline offers, in both English and Spanish:
- Crisis intervention - Helping you to identify the real problems and possible solutions, including making plans for safety in an emergency.
- Information - About sources of assistance for individuals and their friends, families, and employers wanting to learn more about domestic violence, child abuse, *** assault, intervention programs for batterers, working through the criminal justice system, and related issues.
- Referrals - To battered women's shelters and programs, social service agencies, legal programs, and other groups and organizations willing to help.
Because this issue is so critically important to the happiness of so many, I asked a friend who is both a renowned psychotherapist and university professor - and one who personally suffered this kind of terror herself - to contribute her recommendations here about this dragon she knows all too well.
- “Be a survivor - not a victim. A survivor is one who knows it takes more strength to leave than to stay; one who says ‘I will no longer be disrespected, abused, neglected or harmed by you. ’ Do YOU have that strength? Absolutely - because you've already survived a Hell that far too many know. How do I know? Because I got out - and so have thousands of others. I used no special gifts, words of wisdom or hidden secrets - I just finally said, ‘No More, ’ and went to the police and took my life back. A man OR woman who abuses has a very specific profile. As much as life feels unpredictable, there is one thing you can count on: it will get worse. Regardless of whether you stay or leave - they will escalate the abuse. Not based on your actions - but based on how their sickness progresses. So, leaving becomes a positive option.
- “You're not alone - and you do not have to go through it alone. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline or get help from local agencies.
- “I now help others, expecting nothing in return - just freely giving away what was given to me. It's ironic really, as long as I give it away I get to keep what I have - peace of mind and a life free of violence which has allowed the room for love and warmth to encompass all that space.
- “One other suggestion: If a man or woman has a history of violence - don't even ponder a relationship of any kind with them.
- “As Robert would describe it: Consider it a DEAL-KILLER!!
- "If they have gotten help through treatment and therapy and you are willing to consider the possibility, consider with caution - and only with proof of their progress in a positive direction.
- “This is, in no way, only directed toward women who are abused by men - abuse goes both ways!
- “Abuse is abuse!!!"
By taking that first step, my friend, Madam Professor, did what she had to do to stop her own terror. As a result, she took complete charge of her own destiny and has enjoyed very major successes in every part of her life ever since - and is now enjoying her own version of Happily Here & Now the way SHE wants to.
You can do the same with your own life.
If you are in an abusive relationship, do as my friend did - and take that first step. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at their confidential, toll-free number at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or go to their web site at www.ndvh.org for more information and resources that are available to you.
It really is that simple.
You don't need me to tell you - you can't find the path to your own Happily Here & Now until you get off the oppressive path of Horrible Here & Now that will never lead you to any kind of Happily Ever After.
Do whatever you have to do, now, to get this dragon out of your life forever.
Start with one simple phone call. Now.
Bonus: For more articles on this same topic and posts on love, relationships and finding your own perfect-for-you Hero or Heroine, I invite you to visit my blog. . . and ask your own questions. . .
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