3 Helpful Reasons to Proclaim, “I Am!”
By Mickie Zada
We are taught as little kids, “Don’t be a quitter” and, “YOU’RE not a quitter!”
Those words control our minds when we consider leaving any bad situation…jobs and relationships!
Sometimes, the best thing to do is “Quit”.
I suggest this is solid and strong action, but not in an emotional fury, and not without a plan.
So, if you are in a situation that is detrimental to your emotional health (and certainly your physical safety) my current mindset says it’s OK to make a plan to quit.
What about you? What do you think?
Of course, my focus is on domestic abuse. Let’s talk about that.
I’m betting that if you live in abuse, and before you got out, you tried every single solitary thing you could to “save” the relationship. I know I did. I know the women I’ve interviewed did. I have discovered this trait appears to be Universal. Why? In part because we are not quitters. We stay and stay and try and try.
The stories are so similar. Here are a few:
- I suggested counseling (but when we got home, he accused me of making it sound like he’s the problem).
- I encouraged him to go to church with me (but he says religion is a crutch and people there are too goody-goody).
- He encouraged me to change my hair color (or cut it, let it grow) and I did, but that wasn’t enough.
- He called me fat (and losing 25 pounds wasn’t enough).
You get the picture. You have your own ugly memories of encounters like those, don’t you?
I believe in marriage. I tried everything and was determined not to quit.
Because I believe in marriage, I attempted to be a good wife and I knew he meant it when he apologized, right? He loved me.
I knew I could make it better.
Guess what? We can’t make it better.
Three important things I learned that helped me become A Quitter:
1) I didn’t cause his angry, hurtful behavior. I didn’t create it. I can’t make it stop!
2) “Til death do us part” means the death of the marriage, not my or his physical death. And, my marriage was dead. Two people have to agree to improve or change a relationship. One person can not do that alone.
3) One person can not change another person. We can only change ourselves. I am not responsible for changing my abuser; That’s his job, and it ain’t gonna happen!
When those facts were accepted by my conscious and sub-conscious mind, I realized it’s OK to be a quitter. For me, it was healthier to get out of that situation than it is to stay there.
If you’ve gotten out, an “Amen, I’m a quitter!!” at this point would be fabulous! Just type it below this post for other women to see and celebrate with you.
It’s OK to be a quitter. In fact, quitting anything is often the first step toward the fabulous opportunity to excavate your own life, live free to fear and eggshells.
“Excavate, you ask?” I describe discovering our life after abuse as excavation because we are buried deep, deep, deep inside. We have to dig through a lot of stuff to discover our Real selves.
I encourage you to fold a piece of paper, top to bottom. Label the top left “Pros” and the top right “Cons”. Now begin writing the good things about your relationship and the bad things…
- things you think you can tolerate and things you can’t, or
- reasons to stay and reasons to leave.
This instruction is vital! For this to work, you must be honest with yourself. No pretending. No head games. No lying to yourself. Only you know your Truth. Only you know what’s OK and what is not.
Hint: yelling, spitting, name-calling, threats, holes in walls, harassing you at work, being mean to your kids (emotional abuse counts!) are not OK.
Take your time with this. There is no rush unless you are in imminent danger.
Know that the most dangerous time for victims of domestic abuse is when we leave. Your abuser knows he’s lost control when you leave. That is not part of his plan.
Whether you decide to stay or go, make sure your plan is solid, sound and safe.
For real and honest reasons, you may decide to stay but quit certain actions, responses or reactions. This is your life. You get to decide what you are willing to keep and what you are going to quit.
- Is it time to draw the line about not having an outside job, to earn your own money?
- Is today the day you tell him a date night, to spend healthy time together, is a good idea?
- Do you call a counselor, coach or lawyer to move your life to a new level?
Large or small, there are things to quit doing in your abusive relationship. Determine what they are and begin, today, with a baby step. Creating a list may be your baby step.
You deserve to be a quitter. You’ve fought long and hard for this Title of Distinction!