Contributing Author: BetterNotBroken
Let’s face it, plan B in life is not really a plan. Plan B is a strip club in West Los Angeles, but a plan it is not. Plan B is winging it, improvising, making the best of it and involves more letting go to obtain power more than carefully calculating your future through a systematically engineered strategy overseen by NORAD. My “plan” involved an excruciating amount of collateral damage due to unforeseen events, perhaps I am John McClane and a true ISTP.
Get a plan. Just leave.
Honestly, you need to give abuse victims better advice than that if you want to take on this game. Coaching women to leave and encouraging them to continue to be ruled by fear will backfire on them no matter what their plan is or what is in their safety bag.
Are you in an abusive relationship now? Let me share with the other readers what you are thinking:
What the %$#@ do you expect me to do? Get a plan? You give me a plan. I cannot escape! %$^$! your plan, it’s not a plan.
Have faith readers, you can escape and here are some things to remember:
Do not tell your abuser you are leaving.
This is the Golden Rule. Consider a Polish woman in 1940 informing the Nazis patrolling her hometown, “I am leaving you! You’ll be sorry suckers. I am getting out of here and leaving your bullshit behind!” Ill-advised to say the least, and a lethal misguided misapplication of self-assertion. Yes, you want to show them hah ha-ha hah you are going to be living without me now, you will pay for all you have done to me, you will be sorry you treated me this way, but in doing so your unconscious motive is to get your abuser to change, to declare his repentance and sorrow at your leaving change and then you can get back to Plan A without any discomfort and live happily every after. But escape from a controlling person is not a fairy tale unless you look at domestic violence as a curse and then look to break it by following the cardinal rule of power, you do not announce your plans!
Report the abuse. Get a restraining order and then another restraining order when the temporary one ends.
To reiterate, report it, get a restraining order and then do not take them back once you have reported it. Do not take them back! If they are so dangerous why are you taking them back?
Understand that the hoopla and fear about you losing custody and being a bad parent is a distraction while your abuser hides the money and lines up another gal, so get the money before you pack some stupid bag with flashlights, canned food, mace, firearms, passports, terrorist trac phones, family photos and a bunch of other crap.
Yep. There I was on the corner Temple and 1st, outside the lovely Stanley Mosk courthouse, which now has a cafe on the roof by the way, I had just departed through what my attorney affectionately called the James Brown door and she said to me, “They get the women scared about custody while they hide the money.” I stood there stunned. Where was this woman six years prior when all of a sudden after a promotion and late nights out on the town and receipts from Plan B left for me on the dining room table to balance the checkbook, MY parenting was under attack as being unfit? If you are packing a bag your abuser still has power over you mentally and you are giving it to them by acting like scared prey. I don’t deny your abuser is dangerous but your mindset should be, “This dangerous person is the one who should be packing their bags not me. I am not an abuser. I am not weak and I am not going to be ruled and controlled by fear. I am taking power back. This game of control is for rookies.”
Prepare to live without a single penny from your abuser.
Regardless of the familial wealth pre-split, in spite of any court order for support, prepare for the price and responsibility of independence. It is expensive it is worth it. Otherwise the legal system will become the next theater of your abuse and you will live every day stressed out because you are living on eggshells unable to buy necessities for you and your children. You may feel pressure to restart the abuse cycle with some man who for some miraculous reason perceives a destitute mentally shaken woman as an attractive partner and wants to fix her, rescue her, control her, knowing nothing about her but her appearance and her history of dysfunction. Here we go again . . .
Instead, accept that the money gained during the marriage or relationship was never ever viewed as yours by the abuser and will never be viewed as yours. Understand that your leaving will be used as an excuse to shortchange you and the children. Accept that that in many cases angry controlling men will liquidate all assets, quit their job and destroy everything to win at all costs. Oh well, their loss. Unless you cut the financial cord, you will spend your money on attorneys and court fees for years and continue to be controlled and endure abuse with your life revolving around the abuser which is ultimately their objective. So in other words, get a job or focus on keeping the one you have and sheild it from your familiall drama.
Before you leave, find a place to live.
Your abuser(s) taught you that you are worthless and cannot make it on your own. Charity workers teach you that you belong in shelter, you know, the same shelters that the same do-gooders feel are unfit for dogs. You are a human being and the shelter is no Four Seasons! Shelters have some kind and well-meaning people volunteering but the experience is one to be avoided. Society objectifies you by portraying you as all bruised and battered and splattered you all over the seats at bus stops. You are a person, one capable of great things and you need to put more thought into the place that will serve as your nest for recovery than dwelling on the infinite number of things your abuser may or may not do when you leave. You need a haven not a stall with a cot you will share with your kids and numerous other shaken strangers all under the pressure that you have to vacate in two weeks and find another place to live anyway! Take your time to find the nicest place you can. Prepay the rent to allow some breathing room during your escape. Do not be afraid to move out. Many people will tell you not to leave the family home so you can keep it. How will you keep it and pay the mortgage and taxes on that home?
Your focus should be on you and mindset should be to do so with as little collateral damage as possible. I have faith in you. Take your power back. Discomfort is a given but not an inevitable eternity.
While working my way through my second college degree, I had the privilege of working every weekend with a woman who left Germany in the era of the Nazis. She escaped in a truck with her children hidden under the front seat hidden pressed under the bench while a do-gooder drove the vehicle. How did she keep them quiet? How did she do it? Did they not know what the Nazis were capable of? Some people thought they were great leaders and were so impressed! There was no telling what horrors would unfold next! HORRORS!
And yet she did it, fear was not an option and the money was left behind.
Make a plan but don’t get too caught up in it. Plans fail, plans change, and just like your life cannot be perfect nor can your plan.
You have what you need to leave, the rest will fall into place.
You just need to find your power and put it to work.
I heard if Plan B fails there are 24 more letters in the alphabet and 24 more plans to go. So what plan are you on?
The photograph was taken by Sammy Williams and acquired through Unsplash licensing.
© MemeesMusings/B.L. Memee, 2015. All rights reserved.
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***** UPDATE FROM MEMEE*****
Though this piece was published with permission by an author who requested that they remain anonymous for their own safety I have updated the piece by greying out the links as they have expired. I hope this author found a way to a new life and is safe.