Today I am pleased to introduce a Bristol mum called Lucy, who, like many women in the UK, has experienced domestic abuse.
However, Lucy is also a survivor of domestic abuse and has used her experience to offer advice to other women in the same position that she once was.
Lucy has set up an organisation called Im_Possible, which offers prevention, support and recovery to women in Bristol and South Gloucestershire who are experiencing domestic abuse/violence through wellbeing, empowerment and feel good sessions.
If you are a mum who has experienced domestic abuse, here are some tips from Lucy for recovery from domestic abuse.
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So we are sat in a coffee shop, one little one is crying because I said no to a packet of sweets….about three shops ago. The other one is crying because his sibling is crying…..as clearly just one of them making a noise is not enough! Then I give in, I go and buy them a biscuit, there is silence within the second of them spotting it. Ahh at last I get to sit down and drink my much needed coffee…with a caramel shot for extra energy!
I didn’t want to go back home to him, but where was I going to go, I had nowhere else to go, I had already stayed at my mum’s this month. I knew I would have to go back soon, I have been trying to bide time for hours now and I am not sure the little ones would take much more wondering round. I do hope he has calmed down by the time we get back.
The first part is normal (whatever normal is) – kids can be very hard work, when all you want is a coffee!
The reason for being there – is not normal. It is NEVER alright to be scared of your partner…not once, not once every month, not once a year….not ever.
Tips to Recover from Domestic Abuse:
Recovery can take TIME, so allow yourself time.
If taking a day at a time feels too much then take an hour at a time. This is not a sign of weakness but means that you have a lot going on in your mind and like a washing machine it will not work properly if it is too full! Your human and not a machine, don’t be too hard on yourself.
You are UNIQUE, you are special, important and valuable.
Each week buy yourself something, however small, just a token to help you remember that YOU are important, YOU are worth it!
EXERCISE is key for your physical and mental health and both are very important.
From dancing round the room with your favourite happy tunes on to going for a swim or a run. At first it may be difficult to get the motivation, but once you get past that (and you will!), you will start to enjoy it and feel the benefits.
Allow yourself to FEEL your emotions, deal with them rather than sweep them under the carpet.
If you feel like you need a cry then CRY, if you find it difficult to cry, try watching a soppy film which may help you along! If you have had a rough day, end it by watching a favourite funny film and have a good LAUGH. Find a way to express your feelings in a positive way.
Think about YOUR FUTURE.
It can seem daunting to be taking a different turning in your life that you may have imagined, but change the way you are looking it. Turn that daunting feeling into energy and ‘umf’ into the drive behind what you want for YOUR life. If you do not know what you want out of life, then find things you enjoy and take it from there. BEING happy is at the top of your list and not just searching for happiness.
Take time out to RELAX.
Think of yourself like a butterfly. Before it becomes that beautiful flying creature it has a long REST. You will in turn then have the physical, emotional and mental energy to get up and fly your wings.
I was once a victim, I am now a survivor, there is hope, and there is happiness after violence / abuse.
Womens Only Closed Group:
There is a separate group for men.
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If you are currently experiencing domestic abuse please remember that you are not on your own.
There are several Bristol organisations and domestic abuse support agencies which can help and support you, including Bristol Against Violence (BAVA).
Many thanks to Lucy for sharing her tips on recovery from domestic abuse. If you have an experience that you would like to share on Bristol Mum, please contact me (Hilary) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org