If you are reading this blog we don’t think you are in denial. If you are reading this blog you are thinking critically about your relationship and searching for answers. That is not denial.
Women who are living with abusive men sometimes get accused of being in denial but we don’t think that is what is going on.
It may be true that you do not dwell on the full gravity of your situation all the time but that makes sense to us. Your situation is probably too overwhelming to think about all the time. A woman who is living with abuse is living in a war zone. Most of her attention and energy has to go to trying to keep her children and herself emotionally and physically safe. She is focusing on just trying to get through the day. It is very hard to have the mental energy to step back and look at the bigger picture.
Added to this is that sometimes your partner may be in the Honeymoon phase of the Cycle and things might not seem “too bad”. No one leaves a relationship that they thought would last a lifetime easily or lightly. It is gut wrenchingly difficult. So, of course, when you see the more positive behaviour of the Honeymoon you want to hope for the best – that this time it will last.
As well, for most women, there are a myriad of concerns and issues to think through. If you separate, where will you live? How will you have enough money? What about the children? Our guess is that you do think about these things and try to weigh out your options but it is too exhausting to think about them all the time and the options may seem really bad.
In our experience, women are always working hard to try to make life better for themselves and their children. They are doing everything they can, at a given time. You know that things are not okay right now and you are trying to make them better. This is hard work – not denial.
It might be helpful for you to know that we have learned from women that they find their way forward by taking “baby steps”. What we mean by this is that women rarely change everything in their life all at once. Rather they try to make a better life for themselves and their children one small step at a time. If you are reading this blog, that is a good step forward. You are looking for the support and information that you need and deserve.
So lift that label of “being in denial” off your back. You do not need that negative descriptor of yourself on top of everything else you are dealing with. Know that you are coping and managing the best you can and try to feel good about the positive things – even if they are very small – you are doing for yourself or your children.