NOW, WHAT IS THE PLAN?

“Don't play his game. Play yours.” ― Rachel CaineFall of Night

I have not been able to watch the last 3 or 4 episodes of #GameofThrones Season 6 but reports have it that the Lady Sansa Stark is no longer the naive girl who dreamed of marrying a prince and living happily-ever-after. Now, she has toughed up and now understands the rules of the game. Now she lives to survive because survival is key for you to actually live.

It is only fair that after this series, I recline in my favorite position, chill with a cold glass of juice and  maybe some snacks to nibble on and get lost in the world of Lannisters, Starks, Targaryen, Bolton and the others as the struggle continues for the Iron throne...... don't you think? Lol!

In concluding this series, I need you, dearest friend to understand one simple fact - YOU AND YOU ALONE CAN MAKE THE DECISION TO SURVIVE. I use the Lady Sansa Stark as an example because the old naive Sansa is no more but a survivor of all she has had to endure has been born. She now understands the rules of the game and she is out to play it. She decided that.

What is your decision?

Truth be told, it’s not going to get all rosy all at once. It is a gradual process.

  • As a first step, know that you are not alone in this and there is so much help available for you if only you would utilize it.
  • Reach out to someone you can trust in total and utter confidence. It could be your parish priest, pastor, friend or even a family member.
  • Bare your heart out to the trusted confidant without holding anything back. Do not protect the abuser in any way.
  • Take the bold step to leave. You cannot die because you want to stay loyal in an abusive relationship.
  • Stop blaming yourself and assuming the responsibility of the abuser. Even if you did any wrong, there is no moral justification that warrants an abuse of any sort. You are not a punching bag or a training tool for him to flex his muscles. There are better ways to resolve issues without the use of violence.
  • Seek professional help in counseling. This would help you walk your way through healing and recovery.
  • There are available specialized services that aid victims of domestic abuse. Seek them out and let them guide you as you begin a new and better life.

A couple of help centers in Nigeria includes:

  • Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT)
  • Another help center is the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE RESOURCE CENTER…… http://domesticviolence.com.ng/help-for-domestic-violence/
  • Federal Government of Nigeria Toll Free Number for Violation of Girls and Women – 080072732255
  • CHELD Domestic Violence Helplines – 0810 757 2829; 0813 164 3208

On your own, I want you to understand the following:

  • You are worthy and deserving of love, respect and care.
  • Healing is gradual. Don’t expect it to be immediate. Be opened to it and let it flow through every fiber of your being.
  • It’s okay to cry and let it all out but do not beat yourself up about it. Like I said, it isn’t your fault.
  • Forgive yourself and the abuser. Forgive and let the past go. It may be difficult, it may be hard but it is doable. Forgive, at least if not for him but for yourself.
  • Start small. What is that thing you are so good at that can fetch you money? Are you good with making hair? Do you have a flair for baking? Can you write? Do you like art? Do you love to teach? What is that thing you really love to do? Get a hang of it and start off.  Do not overlook or play down any skill you have. Every talent, every gift is a blessing. The money may not come rushing in at the beginning but at least you could earn something to get by.
  • Remain hopeful because there is always hope.

WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD?

For women

  • Watch your tongue: Stop making men feel you actually deserve to be battered. Watch your tongue. What’s up with the nagging? What are you trying to achieve? There is nothing a man detests more than a bruised ego. Your home is your office.
  • pic64Make it a lively, homely and lovable place and don’t push your man away with your constant nagging and insults. Never say words like “You are not man enough” “You don't live up to your responsibilities” “You are a silly excuse for a man” "Are you a man?"….. These words fuel his rage and he would be more than tempted to hit you if only to shut you up. With words like these, you are verbally abusing him. PLEASE STOP!
  • Keep fit: The fact that you have given birth to two, three, four kids is no reason for you to keep out of shape. Keep fit and stay trendy. No matter your size, keep fit. Men are moved by what they see rather than how they feel. Don't push him into the arms of another woman all because of your laziness to take care of yourself.
  • Respect your man: If you want your husband or partner to love and respect you, you ought to show him you are deserving of that. Remember respect is earned and not imposed. If you have to discuss something with him or you want to share your opinions with him, do so with respect and love. There is no point raising your voice. He is right there with you in the room and he is not deaf. He can hear. Be loving and sweet to him. Men love to be pampered. Indulge him but DON'T SPOIL HIM.
  • Love and care for your man: Take good care of your man. Feed him right. What are his favorite dishes? Prepare them for him. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, isn’t it? So pamper him. Go out of your way and learn new delicacies just to give him a treat. Learn to spice up your love life and he will never feel the need to go outside.
  • Learn to apologize: This goes without saying. Always learn to say genuinely "I am sorry" whenever you feel your man is angry most likely with you. As a woman, listen to your intuition. It is a special sixth sense God has blessed you with. Utilize it. Understand when you err or even if you don't know, once you see a change in his mood, lovingly ask him what is wrong and once you know, apologize. Don't go assuming he is fine and would snap out of it. Communication  is key in every relationship.
  • Be smart and confident: Nothing thrills a man more than the knowledge that he has a smart, confident and wonderful woman in his life and home. Men love it when women have a mind of their own. You are not a robot. You can think. You can reason. Voice out your opinions. Positively argue your point out. He loves it when you are confident even if he doesn't tell you. It makes him feel he has someone to have great conversations with. Be versatile and knowledgeable. Men love having discussions. Keep yourself abreast of happenings. Your home will always be lively as he would always look forward to having a conversation with you.
  • Insist on working: Your husband or partner is not your ATM machine. You have God-given talents. Make the most of them. You would find it more fulfilling and satisfactory giving of yourself and talents to the world than just sitting home all day long doing nothing. Even if you do not work for the money, choose to work to optimize your skills and boost your confidence level. Stop wasting away and give of yourself to others. Live a life of service.

For men

  • Spoil her: The chocolates, gifts and flowers that you would have given her after the beating, you can give her now not for any reason other than you love her. She is your baby, remember. All she wants is to be treated like a Lady, woman, child and baby. So spoil her but don't over do it.
  • Boost her confidence level: Encourage her to be the best she can be. Encourage her to work and give of herself to the world. She is a woman full of talents and capabilities, you know. Even if you have all the money in the world, she would feel a lot more fulfillment if she can contribute her quota in the upkeep of the house instead of just living off you.
  • Don’t control her: Allow her to live her life. Stop controlling her every move - who she talks to, where she goes, cutting her off from friends and family. That is you putting her through psychological torture. She is her own person and has a life to live. Stop hovering and let her live happily.
  • Listen to her: Communication is key in every relationship, friendship or marriage. Talk as the friends that you are. If she offends you, learn to tell her and don't start keeping scores. Express yourself. Help her to understand you, your likes and dislikes. She is not perfect and would falter once in a while. Forgive! You are just as imperfect too.
  • Never compare: Don't ever compare her to other ladies or women you see outside. She is her own person. Those you admire from afar also have their flaws which you would discover once you get close to them. This is your wife, girlfriend, friend. Protect her. If you see and know that she can be more than what she is now, help her to grow. Encourage her to be who she is meant to be. Guide her with gentle hands and a loving heart. Every woman responds to that.
  • Learn to apologize: Women are not the only ones that can be in the wrong. You are too because you are not perfect and prone to mistakes. Learn your lady. Understand her feelings and know when she is hurting. Apologize if you did wrong. It doesn't make you any less of a man. Instead it adds another feather of respect to your cap. Apologies is not of the weak but of the strong.

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Domestic violence cannot and should never be encouraged. It is not supported in the Bible in any way. It can never be justified. Husbands and wives are meant to love each other and treat each other with respect.

This should be a topic to be spoken about openly and always because it is a reality today. It should be addressed in homilies or sermons in the church. It should be written about in the papers. It should be aired in the news. For how long are we going to keep silent and ignore that this is a matter to be treated? It’s even so sad that some women don’t even know when they are verbally or psychologically abused.

Awareness programs and support groups should be set up and victims should be bold enough to come forward. No judgments or condemnations, just a place to find the much deserved love, healing and teachings on courage, faith, perseverance and hope.

Marriage is a beautiful thing and it is to be enjoyed not endured. It is a sacrament instituted in mutual love and respect for both parties. God is not an abusive God so I am absolutely, unequivocally, undeniably, unquestionably sure that He no way supports abusive relationships. This is not divorce staring at you in the face.

This is your moral obligation to remove yourself and your kids from harm’s way.

Remaining in an abusive relationship and doing nothing about it is you indirectly encouraging or enabling the abuser to continue the abuse. Divorce comes as a result of one party not being able to make a commitment to a sacramental relationship. Actions taken to end the abuse like leaving does not in any way disrupt or infringe on the marriage promises.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops addressed this issue in the document, “When I Call For Help: A Pastoral Response To Domestic Violence Against Women. An excerpt from it goes as thus:

"The Catholic Church teaches that violence against another person in any form fails to treat that person as someone worthy of love. Instead, it treats the person as an object to be used. When violence occurs within a sacramental marriage, the abused spouse may question, “How do these violent acts relate to my promise to take my spouse for better or for worse?” The person being assaulted needs to know that acting to end the abuse does not violate the marriage promises. While violence can be directed towards men, it tends to harm women and children more".

Again it says:

"Finally, we emphasize that no person is expected to stay in an abusive marriage. Some abused women believe that church teaching on the permanence of marriage requires them to stay in an abusive relationship. They may hesitate to seek a separation or divorce. They may fear that they cannot re-marry in the Church. Violence and abuse, not divorce, break up a marriage. We encourage abused persons who have divorced to investigate the possibility of seeking an annulment. An annulment, which determines that the marriage bond is not valid, can frequently open the door to healing".

So, my dear friend, if you are suffering abuse of any kind, please speak up and seek help. You are worth more alive to the world – your family, friends, loved ones especially your kids than dead.

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Thank you so much for reading this post. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this 3-part series on domestic violence.

I really would love to hear your thoughts, comments and contributions. Are you a survivor? Share your experiences as your story may be what someone needs to break free of those chains.

I can't wait to hear from you because I want you to acknowledge to yourself that YOU DID IT. 

Yes! You broke the chains of fear and now you are ready to start your life again.

Visit www.khuanascorner.com for more interesting, inspiring and motivating articles that will brighten your day, awaken your responsibilities to yourself and social duties, put that smile on your gorgeous face and fill your heart with happiness and joy.

Now, GO OUT THERE AND LIVE A GREAT AND AMAZING LIFE.

Stay DAZZLING!

Stay DASHING!!

Stay DARING!!!

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