|Posted on July 14, 2015 at 8:00 AM|
Sometimes when you are in a relationship you know it is time to leave. The relationship may be over even though you are still in it. It may be time to go because of a variety of reasons:
You're tired of being cheated on.
You're done putting up with verbal or emotional abuse.
You don't want to be hit and pushed anymore.
You long to emotionally connect with someone.
When it's time to go, you may know it's time, but still feel trapped. How do you get out of it? What do you do to get ready to go? Is it really possible to leave, or will you have to stay in this place forever?
Yes, it really is possible to leave. You may feel trapped now, but you don't have to continue to feel this way. I will detail below a few ways to prepare. For a full description of what to do, how to prepare, and other information, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. You can also visit their website at www.thehotline.org.
Develop a Network of Supportive People. You need friends now, more than ever. You may feel isolated or paralyzed, but you must find the courage to act. Now is the time to join a club or a Bible study, meet your neighbors, reconnect with old friends, make current acqaintances into friends, reach out to your family. These people can support you as you prepare for your new life. You may be able to ask them for help in finding a job or a new place to live, or transportation to a shelter.
Save Money. One of the biggest concerns for many people is money. Of course there are worries about supporting yourself and your children, or whoever may be with you. Money may be a way that the person you are leaving controls you, but nonetheless, you must find a way to save up. Open a bank account in your own name. Create retirement funds if possible (Roth IRA is my recommendation, but speak to a financial advisor to verify what is best for you). You will need money to be out on your own.
Get a Job. This is, of course, a great way to make money. If you already have a job, this one may be taken care of. If it's been a while since you have worked outside the home, remind yourself of your skills. Reinforce to yourself that you have value and worth. You can do this. Look over your resume and update it, or create one from scratch based on your skills and any previous jobs or positions you have held. You can include volunteer work. One website I have used in creating my own resume is the Rockport Institute. This site also has other helpful career info about finding a career that is a best-fit for you.
Go Back To School. This is a sub-heading of getting a job. If you find you need to add to your skill set, check out the local community college or online courses to see what might be of help and of interest to you. Colleges often have career counselors who can help you figure out what you might like to do, and give you some guidance toward a particular field.
Figure Out Where You Will Go. This may be an area where your support network can help. Do you need to stay at a shelter for a while? Or is it safe to stay with a friend or family member? Maybe you are ready to rent an apartment. Whatever the case, pick this place out before you leave. Plan how you will get there, what route to take, if you will take yourself or if someone will pick you up. Figure out as much in advance as possible.
It may take some time to make your exit plan, but have courage that life can be better for you. You don't have to stay in a dead or abusive relationship. You deserve more. You deserve better.