New Years Resolutions for the Abused Woman

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The holidays can be especially difficult because your home life is unhappy. It is not unusual for abuse to escalate at this time of year. Many abused women get even more depressed than usual because of the shorter, darker days as well as unfavorable comparisons they make of their own lives with the lives of others who have seemingly happy and peaceful families. Do the best you can and try to remember the challenges you face are not insurmountable, even if it seems that way at times.

There is good news. Brighter days are ahead of you if you commit to take action in the New Year. You are a survivor. Here’s a list of some of the resolutions that I made when I faced a very acrimonious divorce. I hope this gives you some helpful ideas. Make your own list. You deserve to be happy.

1.    I will be kind to myself this year. I release the need to be perfect and accept the fact that I am human and make mistakes. So does everyone. I try to learn from my mistakes so that I do not repeat them and that is enough. I make amends if needed, forgive myself, and let it go.

2.    I will take better care of myself.  I will do my best to get enough rest, eat balanced meals, and schedule time for physical exercise in my daily routine. I must become and stay strong for the challenges I face.

3.    I will focus on the present moment to the best of my ability. I release the need to worry and concentrate instead on making the right decision in each moment as it happens. I take one day at a time. When things get very difficult, I take one minute at a time. I do my best and remember that this is a temporary situation in my life.

4.    I will stop blaming myself for what is happening. It is not my fault.  l no longer believe my abuser’s lies and putdowns. I tune him out.

5.    I will reach out to others for support when I need it. I will try to see a therapist on a regular basis. I confide in people who are discreet and non-judgmental. I will not burden my children with my troubles.

6.    I will set appropriate boundaries with others. My energy has been depleted and I need to take time now for myself to restore and replenish it. I say “no” to other’s requests during this difficult time and say “yes” to taking care of my needs and my children’s. It is not necessary for me to explain or justify myself to anyone.

7.    I will trust myself. I do my own research, seek help and advice from professionals, and then I make the final decision. I am realistic about what I can expect to receive in the divorce. I am the best person to make the right decisions for my situation.

8.    I will disengage from arguments with my husband to deescalate conflict. My main goal is to minimize the damage until the divorce is over. I am not willing to negotiate a divorce settlement directly with my husband. I leave it to my attorney to handle the strategy that we discussed and I approved of in advance.

9.    I stay alert and take steps to protect my children and myself. If I think that it has become unsafe for us to stay in the home, I take them and leave immediately for a shelter or other safe place to stay.

10. I take a few minutes every day for myself. I reflect on the day, meditate, or pray. I say positive affirmations. I ask for divine guidance and protection for my children and myself.

11. I choose to be happy. I deserve it. My children deserve to be happy and to feel safe, too. I have to plan and take action to make changes in my life so that this is possible.

Rosemary Lombardy