Practical Steps to Free Yourself

Table of contents for Freeing Yourself from Abusive Relationships

  1. Practical Steps to Free Yourself
  2. Spiritual Guidelines to Stay Free

Reading Level: Gratifying

Have you ever wished for a plan of action to get out of the abusive relationships in your life?

There is a step by step plan in an exceptional article written by Dr. Joseph Carver, Psychologist, explaining how to free yourself from controlling people and/or abusive people. Dr. Carver says that most people fail trying to get out of abusive relationships because “they leave suddenly and impulsively, without proper planning, and without resources.” Dr. Carver is a reputable psychologist whose articles on Love and the Stockholm Syndrome and the article we will discuss in this post are used by counseling groups across the globe.

Dr. Carver says that there are 3 necessary stages in freeing yourself from abusive and controlling people: The Detachment, Ending the Relationship, and the Follow-up Protection. These are only brief, paraphrased excerpts from Dr. Carver’s article. Please use the link here or below to read his article in full so that you have all the practical steps, information, and confidence you need to free yourself and start over on a new healthy path to a life that fulfills the God-given destiny for your existence!

Stage 1: The Detachment

-The abuser will have caused you isolation by methods such as controlling the finances, modes of transportation, etc. Pay attention to methods the controller is using to isolate you from freedom and help.

– Gradually become more boring, talk less, and share less feelings. The goal is to lessen the abuser’s emotional attachment to you.

– Quietly contact your family and friends to determine who can provide a place to stay, protection, financial help, etc. [An added note, only contact those who will keep your plans absolutely confidential.]

– If you fear violence or abuse, check local legal or law enforcement options.

– Slowly remove your valuables from the home. You may lose some personal items.

– Stop arguing. Stop defending and explaining yourself. Express that you are too stressed or confused to know why you are doing anything anymore.

– Drop hints that you are burned out and confused about your life. The abuser never takes responsibility for problems in any relationship and will feel better about ending it if they can put blame on you.

– Don’t start another relationship. The controller will quickly find another victim and become attached if you “lay low.”

– When the abuser/controller questions your new behavior, continue to confess confusion about your life in as boring a manner as possible. This sets the foundation for getting out.

Stage 2: Ending the Relationship

Since the abuser or controller does not take personal responsibility and would respond with anger to any criticism, your new behavior described in the detachment must continue while ending the relationship.

– While continuing to act burned out and confused, Dr. Carver says to express that “I can’t feel anything for anybody and I want to end the relationship for your benefit. I’m not right for anyone at this point in my life.”

– If “The Loser” panics, and responds acts of appreciation, react to each with a boring word thanks. If you overreact or give in, you’ve lost control again.

– Focus on your need for time away from the situation. Don’t agree to options for negotiating. The controller will contact you as long as they feel they can manipulate you.

– Realize the abuser/controller will try to make you feel guilty for a large variety of things. Again, do not be moved. Respond in a boring manner.

– Do not waste time trying to explain your feelings. Your feelings are irrelevant to the abuser. Explaining gives more opportunity for him to cause guilt and manipulation.

– Don’t fall for sudden changes in behavior by the controller. You know how he or she is normally and they will always return to the abusive behavior.

– Seek professional counseling for yourself or the support of family/friends. You will need the assistance but keep it confidential from the abuser.

– Don’t use terms like “someday”, “maybe”, or “in the future” with the relationship. The controller will put more pressure on you. Dr. Carver gives the example of how a slot machine that gives a small winning keeps a person hopeful. Stay stern, stable, [and boring] about ending the relationship with no hope of reconciliation. If you waver at all, the abuser will continue pressure. If there is no “pay off,” he or she will move on.

Stage 3: Follow-up Protection

Remember that the abuser or controller never sees himself as having a problem. He or she may think you are going through a phase and contact you after the relationship is terminated.

– Never change your original position that it’s permanently over!

– Don’t agree to meetings to discuss old times. This is his or her way to upset you.

– Do not discuss any personal information about your new life or relationships. Only mention unimportant talk, as one would with any person on the phone that you don’t want to talk to. Say that his or her life and your life are both private.

– If you start feeling guilty during a phone call, get off the phone fast. More people return to bad “Loser”, provide only a status report, much like you’d provide to marriages and relationships due to guilt than anything else.

– When the abuser or control says how difficult the breakup has been, share general thoughts only, such as, “Well, breaking up is hard on anyone. I’m sure we’ll eventually find someone that’s right for both of us.”

– Keep all contact short and sweet – the shorter the better. Always be “on your way out the door” or cooking something, etc. Wish the person well but again in a boring, emotionally detached manner. Gadgets that produces about twenty sounds – a doorbell, an oven or microwave alarm, a knock on the door, etc. – are a great way to keep the conversation short.

Each of us need relationships that provide us with life-long love and security.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Carver’s concluding remarks in his article. Again, please use the link below to read his full article.

In all of our relationships throughout life, we will meet a variety of individuals with many different personalities. Some are a joy to have in our lives and some provide us with life-long love and security. Others we meet pose some risk to us and our future due to their personality and attitudes. Continuing a relationship with “The Loser” will result in a relationship that involves intimidation, fear, angry outbursts, paranoid control, and a total loss of your self-esteem and self-confidence. If you have been involved in a long-term relationship with “The Loser”, after you successfully escape you may notice that you have sustained some psychological damage that will require professional repair. Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors are available in your community to assist and guide you as you recover.

Please click here to read this excellent, life-saving article in full, Detaching from Controllers and Abusers, by Dr. Joseph Carver, Psychologist.

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