I’ve noticed this word combination a lot lately. “New Normal”; What is it and how does it affect your life?
That’s what I wondered! I thought about it and I did some research; “New Normal”.
Google said: New Normal is a term in business and economics that refers to financial conditions following the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the aftermath of the 2008–2012 global recession. The term has since been used in a variety of other contexts to imply that something which was previously abnormal has become commonplace.
Because shining the light on domestic abuse is my Mission, passion and focus, when I read Google’s definition my mind jumped immediately to the epidemic of domestic violence.
The term has since been used in a variety of other contexts to imply that something which was previously abnormal has become commonplace.
I don’t know that domestic abuse was ever abnormal, but today it surely is commonplace!
Within society as a whole, domestic abuse is rarely discussed. Even with the horrors of abusive tactics allegedly used by Harvey Weinstein, Rob Porter and Dr. Larry Nasser, understanding and prosecution of your neighbor who beats his wife and kids is not likely to happen. At worst, after filing charges and being humiliated in court, the wife and kids return to their violent reality … also beaten down now by the court system and society itself.
You don’t believe me? Check for yourself! I’m not making this stuff up.
What I am going to do is put a different twist on the concept of “New Normal”.
No one deserves to live in abuse and no one is responsible for her abuser’s behavior. We victims of abuse do protect ourselves by pretending the abuse isn’t real…or not so bad…or “just how it is”. A survivor of abuse I talked with described this response as pulling the wool over our own eyes. I did it. I bet you did, too. We make excuses for our abuser’s angry, hurtful, dangerous action toward us. For some reason, we make it OK. Until we’ve had enough.
It was my experience, and is now my belief, that victims of domestic abuse don’t reach the point of saying “enough” until we begin changing how we perceive ourselves and the abusive actions toward us.
At some point, most of us finally realize
- we didn’t cause his anger or his actions
- we are not responsible for how he behaves and
- we can not change him
No matter how much we love him, no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try…we can’t change him.
That’s his job.
What we can do, what is our responsibility, is to begin accepting a New Normal for ourselves!
Wrap your mind around that concept: create your own New Normal.
It does not include walking on eggshells, thinking about every word you say, being degraded, insulted, yelled at, blamed for things you didn’t do, repairing holes in your home’s walls, and hiding bruises on your body.
Your current “normal” life may include just one of those things, or all of them. Even one is validation of abuse. Decide that this “normal” is not OK for you. Not.Any.More. Begin to embrace that you do (or you really did) live in abuse.
Know that you didn’t cause the abuse, that is on your abuser.
Know that you can’t change your abuser, that is on him.
Know that you can’t cure your abuser, that is on him.
What you can do is being accepting a New Normal that YOU create.
It begins with personal growth. What is personal growth? It is learning and embracing a new way of looking at your life, how you think, what you do, what you expect.
It is work, I’m not gonna lie.
We were attracted to abusers because that was somehow normal for us. It felt like a space and lifestyle we recognize, that feels comfortable, that is where we live.
Go to the library and take out some self-help books. Here are a few:
- Why Does He Do That
- Stop Walking on Eggshells
- It’s My Life Now
- It Wasn’t Your Fault
- Deeply Wounded Hope
- Healing from Hidden Abuse
Read one … read them all … read more than these.
If and when you are serious about creating your New Normal, when you are ready to create a life that you love, begin with a baby-step. Read a book. Reach out to a MeetUp for abused women. Attend ALANON meetings.
Begin embracing who you know you are. Take your time unless you are in eminent danger. Change is not easy but it is SO worth the effort, dedication and energy.
Personal growth, development of who you are, what you want, creating a safe and healthy life … those are your responsibility.
You can do it. Millions of us have done it. Yes, it’s difficult at times and yes, it can be dangerous.
Choose one small baby-step forward. You can create your New Normal!