The life you want will become reality if you leave your abusive relationship with an educated, clear mind. If you leave the relationship as a victim, you will find yourself victimized in your “new” life, too. You must find your strength before you walk out the door because friend, you will need every bit of your power (and some borrowed from those who love you) if you want to create a life of joy and happiness.
Falling down into the pit of the abusive cycle is long and smooth. Most of the time, you don’t feel your stomach drop as you fall because the process is so slow. But one day, during one of your abuser’s fits or in a comment s/he makes, you will hit the bottom hard. Suddenly you’ll realize you live in a hole and its walls are steep with few footholds to help you climb back up to life.
There may be someone who throws down a rope and offers to pull you out of the hole. Don’t take the easy way out; do not allow yourself to be rescued. You must climb from the pit forged by abuse on your own. You must hear your own breath, feel your own feelings and think your own thoughts as you climb. Only by taking the hard way out will you be strong enough to build the life you want after you make it out of the pit.
As you climb, you will hear the voices of those who love you at the top of the pit. They will offer encouragement, suggest where your next hold could be. They will tell you to keep climbing, and when your strength and courage wanes, they will say, “If you don’t have anymore strength, take mine! Believe that I believe in you!” And you must listen to them.
There will be times when you simply want to let go and knowingly return to the bottom of the pit. You will momentarily forget that the bottom of the pit is far worse than the climb out of it. You will find yourself looking down into the blackness and saying to yourself, “The fall would feel good. The bottom of the pit is soft and known…” When you find these thought going through your mind, that is when you must accept the faith others have in you and turn your face upwards to the light.
Amazingly, there will be a hold there you didn’t see before. You will reach for it, you will find comfort, you will secure yourself a spot higher than the one you had a moment before. Your hope and strength will return, infused with energy within yourself and fed by the encouragement of your loved ones.
As you climb higher, you will find the holds are closer together and less tenuous than the ones at the bottom of the pit. Your climb becomes easier, the light at the top becomes brighter. The thoughts of letting go and falling to the bottom of the pit leave you. Your body and mind are stronger and your faith in yourself is convincing.
When your eyes break the surface, you’ll see a beautiful life on the horizon. You’ll know you are exiting the pit of despair and crazy-making for something new and bright. Your loved ones will offer their hands, and you will take them and allow others to pull you up the rest of the way.
You’ll notice that the one who had offered the rope is no where around. She left a long time ago and didn’t even tie her end of the rope to anything solid. If you had grabbed it, you would have fallen.
The experience of climbing out of the pit of abuse changed you for the better. Standing in the light and on solid ground will feel foreign at first. But when you start walking toward the horizon, toward the life you only dreamed of before, your new confidence paves the way for you. There is nothing to stop you from being who you want to be in the world that you want to live.
Climb out of the pit the hard way, friend. Your life is worth the risk.