Thursday, September 1, 2016

Recommendation versus Reality

So I talked to a friend of mine about this frustration I was feeling watching videos put up by well intentioned psychologists and other professionals on how to get out of a narcissistic relationship.  (Or any emotionally abusive relationship for that matter.)  She was also frustrated (for the same reason I was) so I decided to write about it just in case there are others out there feeling the same thing.

Most of the videos on youtube by mental health professionals on this subject feature a well dressed, older individual who obviously has no financial worries.  In contrast, a lot of the people in these situations are living paycheck to paycheck.  Some of them worry about keeping a roof over their heads for both themselves and their children.  To hear an educated individual tell someone who's already struggling financially to "put some money away in an emergency fund until the time comes when you can leave" almost makes it feel worse.  It makes it feel like getting away to safety is an even more impossible goal because you know you have to choose between the possibility of safety and keeping your kids fed, clothed, and housed.  This is not the best way to be helpful to people with lower socioeconomic status, but I really do think these videos are coming from a well-intentioned place.  Most mental health providers really want to help people, so I think it's just a lack of understanding that many people in these types of relationships just don't have the funds for this type of escape route.

In a perfect world hahaha imagine that cuz it's sure not happening right now there'd be a system set up to help people get out of these types of relationships.  That's not ever going to happen, so here's a bit of fantasy that just might be possible.  Remember the underground railroad?  Something similar could be set up with families or individuals who have money to help out families who don't get out of these awful relationships.  Because the reality is that most of us can't just up and leave.  We don't have the income for that.  But if there was a way for us to flee safely and not have to worry about feeding, clothing, and housing our kids in the beginning, that would make it a viable goal.  And that would give us hope.  In abusive relationships it's sometimes very hard to hold onto the idea of hope.

So there's my fantasy for others like me who can't leave because of basic need issues.  If you are in an  emotionally abusive relationship and you can't leave, don't beat yourself up.  Take care of yourself as best you can just get through it one minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time.  If you have children teach them not to take this kind of behavior from others as adults.  And if a time comes when you can get it, don't hesitate.  Take your kids and run because you deserve better than this.

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