So you're going home for the holidays. But home is where you reunite annually with the person or persons that abused, misused, and/or manipulated you. This blog is for you!
A few things to consider if you're going home and home is where the perpetrator(s) is.
1. It's ok not to go. If you decide at the last minute or very early on that you are safer where you are and you can, then stay put.
2. You survived and other people may not think that is a reason to celebrate but we celebrate that you are still here to tell the stories.
3. Loving from a distance is still love. It is unnecessary to sit on the perpetrator/harmdoer(s) lap. You do not have to give a detailed account of your life's story with the person(s) who assaulted you. It is not wrong to participate as family from a distance.
4. Take a break. Go for a walk, sit in your car or grab the keys to the car of a trusted family member to get away for a moment.
5. The abuse was not your fault. If you have to write THIS down in your journal, type it in the notes section of a calendar appointment and put that appointment on repeat ever hour, then do it!
6. Love does not hurt. I don't care what anyone says - love is (1 Corinthians 13). People hurt people but love does not hurt.
7. Come & go. If it is helpful for you to come, say your greetings be out. Then do it.
8. Pray for peace of mind, safety, and comfort before you go. Pray for joy, the presence of a safe person and peace of mind while you are there. Pray that you not be harassed by the enemy (satan) when you leave.
9. If you can don't go alone. Consider bringing a friend, colleague or classmate home too this year.
10. Consider a safety plan. Think of an intentional plan that you can execute regardless of where you are. Consider your resources. Your safety plan may involve an escape route, a self care activity during and after the visit, and/or your timing for the visit.
11. Call a Hotline. Here is a list of 24hr hotlines. Advocates are waiting to hear your voice, to support you where you are and encourage you to be safe this season and every season.
NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE 1-800-656-4673
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE 1-800-799-7233 1-800-787-3224(TTY)
NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE 1-800-273-8255
GOD bless you. Be encouraged.