Category Archives: PLQ Survivor Journey

Just Call Me Lolli – Good Relationships

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Good Relationships

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5 Love Languages

A while back I discovered the ‘five love languages’ phenomena. I felt quite out of place due to my lack of awareness. “What a funny thing” I thought. My curiosity outran my ignorance, so I looked it up online. Turns out it’s actually a well known book. Not only that, but it also has a website. Furthermore, you can indulge yourself in an interesting study of your own personality by taking several quizzes. The most popular one is obviously discovering your love language, but more than that it provides an apology language quiz. The second one may be very useful for married couples. Just saying! I don’t want to give everything away when it comes to this resource. However, I do want to point out that by taking this quiz, it won’t make you a better person magically. It’s just a means to understand yourself a little bit better. The results may or may not be accurate. I would say to just go for it.  Click the link below.

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

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Impact

There’s several misconceptions that I want to address when it comes to relationships. mInd you, I am no relationship expert or a matchmaker. However, I found extremely misleading some ideologies that pop culture profess. The first one is this phrase: “You complete me.” To imply that another person completes you equals a bad business transaction. Don’t judge me! I see business and marketing in everything. After all that’s my major. If another person completes you, it is therefore inferred that someone is full but the other party is empty. It’s like putting gas in your car. The “pump” station will still have gasoline for the next customer. It will not become empty just because you put some in your car. I find this too stressful. People make mistakes and they are not perfect! To put all of your hopes, dreams, expectations, emotional stability, and future in one person is not wise. If you make a person your god, you will be disappointed. Another misconception is this: “My other half.”  You see it’s not about finding the “one”, it’s about becoming the one. Two single individuals who are whole will have better results when they come together. Another person cannot make you whole. Because if they did, they would be perfect. When it comes to relationships it’s not about what they can give to you, it’s about what you can give. It’s about impacting others in the best way possible, while growing at the same time.

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Ask before Assuming

I am not married! However, you don’t have to be married to understand the human dysfunction. We all mess up. But we also put ourselves through unnecessary pain, just because we are too prideful to confront the other person with our questions or concerns. People are not mind readers, therefore if you are experiencing an unmet expectation, it could be that you never expressed your expectation in the first place. Instead of assuming what others are thinking, studying you, or even treating you, wouldn’t it be better to get all doubts out of your head? Hard conversations are the best, because they help you understand people. Maybe it will help you tremendously to sit down with your spouse, friend, or partner and address your hurts and other things that you haven’t been talking about. You know, sometimes people hurt us and they are not even aware that they did. We hold a terrible vendetta against those who may be uninformed of their own actions. If you ask before assuming, then your relationships will become stronger and better. Sometimes people act out because they have been stressed or are going through things.
And remember…you are beautiful!

Loren Ruiz

PLQ Survivor and Ambassador

Just CAll Me Lolli – PLQ Survivor On Warning Signs

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In this article, we will be discussing warning signs that communicate the possibility of you being involved with a toxic person. Absolute denial and fantasy like idiosyncrasies are just two normal characteristics that spring up from an individual that has been in an abusive relationship for some time. Keep in mind that there are many warning signs or ‘red flags’.  Also, may I emphasize the fact that this article is in no one way, shape or form to ridicule the victims or survivors reading this. PLQ understands that you have been through much shame and condemnation already. We just want to pull the curtains aside, for you to take inventory regarding relationships.

A HEALTHY HUNCH

We have a national frog in my home country called the coquí. (Pronounced: koh-kee) These cute and small creatures sing only during two occasions; at night and before it rains. When the thick humid air collides with the already warm tropical climate, you will hear them sing. And if the sky hasn’t been painted by hues of black or blue while they’re singing, you know it’s going to rain a lot. I leave you this picture in your mind, in hopes that the next time you decide to open your heart you will be alert enough to hear them sing. And by them, I mean the warning signs. It can be incredibly hard to decipher whether or not an individual has abusive tendencies after the first date. The reason why is because most abusers are very good con artists. Unfortunately, the only way you will be able to know if a person is like that is by getting to know them for a while. It wouldn’t be fair to label someone as an abuser after the first date. But of course every situation is different. There are those who are terrible actors and you can see right through their smile. Please don’t let your emotions get in the way, be alert at all times. Especially if you’re interested in being involved with another person.

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PSYCHOLOGICAL SIGNS

At the core of each abuser is insecurity, pride, and rejection. They will project these hurts unto people in subtle ways. An insecure person will be extremely needy, push you to become dependent on them, and rush the normal stages of a relationship. When it comes to the prideful aspect of the persona, they will talk a lot about themselves, especially about past accomplishments or their current achievements such as career trajectory. As far as describing their last relationships, he or she will always be portrayed as the victim. There is a lack of ownership when it comes to this. The rejection issues will be show-cased whether it’s over complimenting you, idolizing you, or subtly ignoring your needs. An example of the last thing I said is the following. My friend told me that on the first date with her husband, they agreed to grab coffee. It was cold and at night. At one point my friend and the individual were outside for a long period of time. She was very cold, and he didn’t make a conscious effort of moving to a warmer place. It’s the small things you have to pay attention to. I’m telling you…

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TOXIC TACTICS

So what are the techniques these individuals use? I’m glad you asked. Before I list several mannerisms, I need to expand on manipulation. Abusers will manipulate you, remember they are con artists. The only way of getting their way is by controlling situations. They will figure out how to get a first date from you even if you say no countless times. They will also figure out  how to configure your feelings to the point where you are no longer an administrator of them, but a puppet. Oh, but we don’t want you to get to that point of ghostly customs; where you have no control over your own Google calendar. This is why you must be alert. If the person you are with wants to get to know well your friends, it’s to analyze your interests, likes, dislikes, places you frequent, and to ultimately have their phone numbers. Why you ask? If you don’t answer your phone calls or texts, he will call everyone that knows you. Does this sound too familiar? Maybe the list below will.

  • Wants to know where you have been and what have you been doing.
  • Silent treatment.
  • Proceeds to curse you and then apologize.
  • Abrasive physical movements around your personal space. (Example: Arm around you, but it makes you feel uncomfortable. Hand gestures close to your face.)
  • Passive aggressive behavior.
  • Hides information that is essential for relationships. (Job, family ties, etc.)
  • Compares you with other women or men.
  • Makes you feel guilty.
  • Show excessive immature emotional behaviors.
  • Calls you denigrating nicknames.
  • A strong feeling of apathy towards your needs or wants.
  • Buys you many things at the beginning of the relationship. (If the person is wealthy, then this is of no harm.)
  • Pressures you into going out and doing things you don’t want to.
  • Extremely jealous and possessive. (Wants to isolate you from relatives and friends).

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MY PERSONAL STORY

I will try to summarize as much as I can when it comes to my own personal experience. I want you to know that you’re not alone. Mind you, I have been abused for a long time since childhood, but when it comes to an abusive relationship the best example I can give is the following. I never felt safe with him. Which is another red flag. If you don’t feel safe, something’s not right. He used to compare me with other girls, as well as completely disregard my needs. He barely talked about his family. He never once talked about having friends. That honestly scared me. How can you expect to be healthy with an isolated person? When I visited his house (at high hours of the night…I should not have!) he said his roommates were sleeping. Never did I see another soul in that house. How disturbing is that? Anyways, he made little efforts in talking to me throughout the day. Our second date was at a barbeque joint. Not really my style. I only ordered water because I wasn’t that hungry. The first date was also questionable. It was at a park. Not bad. However, on the way back to my place he expressed inconsistent values that further confused me. The thing that most disturbed me was the fact that he stated how he liked to argue, just for the sake of arguing. That’s a heavy characteristic of a prideful person. The third date we went to the movies. When we got there I stepped out of the car. He told me: “You almost impressed me. Most girls I go out with let me open the door for them.” His words hijacked my enthusiasm. It reduced me to small pieces of shame. But the feeling of being pursued and wanted fueled me to get past two dates.  What is beyond me is the fact that I kissed this person. At first he told me he wanted to kiss me, but I declined. We were in a college dorm parking lot. I didn’t want an audience. How disrespectful right? I eventually did, but we went to another place. I know that’s private, but I don’t  want you to ever make the mistake I did. Don’t go as far as I did. I beg you. He broke up with me and we stopped seeing each other, I didn’t get depressed. In fact I was relieved. I danced around the house and I was free.  I am free.

And remember…you are beautiful

Loren Ruiz

PLQ Survivor and Ambassador.

JUST CALL ME LOLLI – PLQ SURVIVOR ON SELF LOVE AND PATIENC

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The Pressure of Pearls

Have you ever wondered how real pearls are produced? Its process is less than glamorous and quite interesting. Pearls have to undergo a certain level of pressure in order to perfect its unique characteristics. From their underwater environment, layers upon layers of nacre and goopy elements, pearls are a rare and beautiful result of patience. Besides patience, it’s also a reflection of solitude. Pearls are made in oysters. Oysters are typically away from human exposure. It makes me wonder whether that’s why pearls are a symbol of solitude…Or so I have been told. I know you’re reading this, maybe in a coffee shop or at a bus station. I don’t know your name or what you have been through, but remember that being a pearl is not as bad as you think it is. Pearls are beautiful, not only because of its dainty appearance, but its “behind the scenes”. I know it’s February. Depending on where you are from or your culture, Valentine’s Day may be celebrated differently. Don’t get fooled by believing that people who are in relationships or married are always happy. You may not feel worthy, but you are. The way life shaped you, the circumstances you’ve been through, and all the tears you cried were all features that decorate your persona. Even if you do have a diamond ring on your finger, it doesn’t mean you are valued because you own it. I don’t know if you’ve noticed the picture, but the ring contains diamonds and pearls. They are often placed together in jewelry. Remember that pearls and diamonds are friends, but they don’t depend on each other to shine. You shine by yourself, regardless of who’s beside you.

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You Are Enough

You may have a million of comments rushing through your head. Rushing like a furious and attention demanding newsfeed. “I don’t even know who I am.” “I’m not used to being by myself.”

“My identity is found in the things I do.” “I know myself.” “I don’t need this.” May I submit under your consideration that it’s never too late to invest time in getting to know yourself. You may be hardened because of what people did to you. You may not even see why you’re so special. Well, let me be your friend now and remind you that you are. You are enough. You are special. You deserve to have a happy life. Focus this time in your life to meet new people and start new friendships. Maybe it’s time for a vacation! Maybe starting your own business is your calling. Don’t let what happened in your past, determine your future. If you were rejected, I understand. That really affects any person’s self esteem, however, don’t fret. Rejection is actually protection. You could be way worse now. Be thankful for where you are right now, because it’s better to start new chapters with wisdom, than with ignorance.

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The Pressure of Diamonds

Second question. Have you ever wondered how authentic diamonds are made? The pressure they have to go through is even more severe than diamonds. Diamonds are made out of Earth’s carbon. They are heated in 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, squeezed in 725,000 pounds per square inch, and then resurfaced from the depths of the Earth. Diamonds had to experience, fire, pressure, dirt, and darkness, before being polished to shine. If you’ve had abusive relationships in the past it is because there’s patterns in your life you need to change. You might have let your radar rest unconsciously, let your guard down, or maybe you were just plain deceived. Whatever you do, please do not stay in the depths of the Earth. Rise up, shake the dirt off, and shine. The wait may feel like a path made out of pearls, but the wait is not a disservice. It is life saying to you: “Take this time being on your own, to learn who you are and to love yourself.” You are a marvelous person. In fact, I believe you should take yourself on a date.

And remember….you are beautiful!

Loren Ruiz

PLQ Survivor

https://www.livescience.com/32289-how-do-oysters-make-pearls.html

https://www.livescience.com/32266-how-are-diamonds-made.html

JUST CALL ME LOLLI – PLQ SURVIVOR One Step After Another: Setting Goals

 

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Intention

Happy New Year! I hope you have an excellent year filled with laughter, growth, and new adventures. You’ve probably heard about this thing called New Year’s resolutions. Am I correct? I bet you at some time have made a list of things  you wanted to change or put your focus on for the following year. It doesn’t matter how many things you can fit on a piece of paper, your life won’t magically change when the clock changes to midnight. Yes, writing your goals down is good and beneficial because it reminds you what to work on every day, but it is your intentionality that counts the most.

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Getting Serious

Nothing will change this year, until you have made the decision to take things seriously. In midst of trouble and seasons changing, take your goals seriously. Your friends, family members, or co workers, won’t do it for you. That’s okay! That’s exactly why they are your goals, not theirs. I believe once you have made the decision about  taking your goals seriously, you will find a way to reach it. “Where there is a will, there’s a way.” So it doesn’t really matter if other people don’t understand your vision for this year or if some walk away from your life, that’s part of life. Find books that talk about weight loss, opening a business, writing a book, or whatever it is that your goal may be. Also, surround yourself with people who are experts in the topic. Whether they can be found in your community or not, remember there’s always YouTube. YouTube has the ability to connect you with thousands of tutorials, reviews, personal experiences, and information.

Protect your dreams

One of the things I’ve painfully learned throughout the years is that not everyone has your best interests at heart. In fact, if there’s something that you should be careful of, is who you tell your goal and dream to. This is because people are quick to discourage you, even your family members. Be careful not to sabotage the vitality of your future with surrounding you with people who secretly envy you. Those people won’t help you obtain your goals, rather convince you that you  can’t and always find something negative to say. Another thing friend, be wise to look advice in proper places. If your goal is to land at a certain position in a company, don’t ask advice from someone that has changed jobs multiple times in a short period of time. I understand it is human nature wanting to obtain validation from others, but sometimes seeking that affirmation from people that really don’t consider you as a friend will do you more harm than anything.

Blocking negative things

What used to work then, won’t work now. Whether you have to change the music you hear, the language you use in conversations, the places you frequented, the friends you used to hang around, something has to change. Maintaining a sense of purpose will keep you motivated.  Truth is you won’t ever reach your goals if you think long term. Take it one day at a time, because if you start viewing the big picture all at once, you will be overcome with stress and intimidation. And while you’re at it, sit in a quiet place and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I want to reach this goal?
  • What do I need to do in order to obtain it?
  • What things do I have to change in order to see it manifest?

 

A Final Thought:

Don’t feel discouraged if things don’t go as expected the first time. During the journey you will find that you have to make changes in order to reach your destination. This is all part of the process of learning and growing. Maybe putting a corkboard in your bedroom, sticky notes, or a whiteboard will remind you of your strategies. Maybe your phone will be a better alternative. Whatever works for you, my friend. I believe 2018 will be filled with many great moments of you reaching milestones. Hopefully you will be looking back every now and then, remembering how far you have come. And also don’t forget that PLQ is here for you!

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And remember… you are beautiful,

Loren Ruiz

PLQ Survivor and Ambassador

Just Call Me Lolli- PLQ Survivor Mindfulness and All Of Its Benefits, Childhood Sexual Abuse

 

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Identify Triggers

If you bypassed the picture above, I would suggest for you to look at it again in more detail. As you can observe, the picture does not have a lake, sea, swamp, marsh, or a pond. Those are rapids alright! Not even the most skillful river rafters can control the powerful currents. However, they’re  trained on how to navigate the boat before, during, and after an interruption in their journey. I don’t know about you, but I would never ever get on one of those boats till someone more experienced than me tells me what I am supposed to do when the force of nature comes. This is my question to you: How can you fight a battle if you don’t know who is your enemy and how it operates? In the case of many survivors, flashbacks are a perfect depiction of what an antagonist looks like. Second place, behind the abuser itself. For some of you identifying triggers will come naturally to you. For others not so much, and that’s okay. The person who sexually abused me used to wear clothespins on her clothes. Therefore, I try to stay away from sewing sections in stores. Granted there are many other triggers that I yet have to discover. This is why I would suggest keeping a Trigger Log in your planner, journal or smartphone. Live in the present and identify your triggers if you can. It will help you become more mindful.

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Trigger Log

Remember, what we are doing is undoing the knots of things that seem so difficult to decipher in everyday life. It is a process, so I suggest for you to stick to it and eventually you will see the results. Let’s say you’re a train passenger. You see someone get on board that is wearing a strong male cologne. If the smell makes you uneasy and deeply troubled, then that may remind you of the person who did you harm. This is a format that may help you in situations like these:

Trigger Log Format:

(Date, Time, Place, What Triggered you, what were you doing when you felt that way)

Example:

(December 27, 2017 1:35 p.m., train, strong male cologne, looking out the window)

This technique can help you greatly if you are not in tune with your triggers, but it can also benefit those like me that are very aware of what seems upsetting. Because I already made a list and know what triggers me I often abbreviate the thing.

Example:

(December 26, 2017, 9:17 pm, bedroom, P, studying)

Every week, take inventory and look at your log. Were you triggered most of the time in a certain place or when you were doing something specifically? Because I felt triggered while I was studying, I immediately took a break and prepared a snack. The simple act of doing this helped my mind remember the benefits of being mindful. So every time I write in my Trigger Log I try to set my mind on something else. You can always write Trigger Logs on your phone, and people won’t even pay attention.So, if the smell of that cologne gets near you again, you can apply lotion, change the song you are hearing to something more positive, look away, or text a friend a funny emoji. (I usually like to send the smiling poop one to my sister).  

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Create Body Memories

Another way of being mindful is by creating body memories. Body memories is a term often used by abuse survivors. If someone hugs you or touches your hair in a certain way, you may not like it because your body remembers the abuse. You are not weird or not friendly, it’s just that your body still remembers what happened. Your body has a mind of its own and you must train it. Don’t let your body control you and by all means your emotions as well. In order to create body memories, you must be intentional. No one can do it for you. This is a discipline that will help you long term if you commit to the process. When flashbacks come we are tempted into welcoming toxic thoughts and dark emotions. For most, this is a difficult pit to get out from. Let me give you another personal example on this. The person who abused me ( by the way, I don’t like referring this person as “my abuser” because there’s no worthy property title in this.) used to buy me scented soaps and other inappropriate items for my age.This is why now I always buy my own body gel for showers. I go to the store, choose the scent I want,  then pay for it. This gives me a sense of control and stability. I don’t have meltdowns anymore after showering. I don’t go into spells of anger fueled by shame. I smell nice and I smile. My body no longer remembers personal hygiene as a form of humiliation, but of self-care. I don’t know what you need to do in order to create body memories, but it’s possible.  Whether it’s taking a walk every Monday (most people don’t like Mondays) or going for a massage after a work presentation or difficult exam. Write it down and put a date on it. Chances are you’ll never get to it if there’s no date on it. Retrain your body when you are under stress and face challenging triggers. You can do it!

 

Don’t let flashbacks intimidate you. You can do this. It will take time. You cannot expect a pattern of behaviors to be successful overnight. If you are feeling hopeless in this area, I would suggest for you to listen to a song called Try by P!nk. You’re welcome. Also, check out this article: Mindfulness for Adult Survivors Victim of Childhood Sexual Abuse

And remember you… you are beautiful,

Loren Ruiz
PLQ Ambassador

 

Just Call Me Lolli- PLQ Survivor The One Person You Need To Love

 

 

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The Heart of the Issue

Abuse survivors have a tendency of putting others first to the point where they are in a constant state of depletion and emotional exhaustion. How can the dynamics of your household and relationships function properly if you’re not taking care of yourself? Yes, you may have kids. You may have a daunting list of responsibilities that seem endless. However, remember that you cannot expect to give the best of you to others if you’re running empty. I believe the heart of the issue of this repetitive issue is that we secretly hate ourselves. We’re not up to par when it comes to other people’s standards. We may not have the lives others portray on social media. We have believed the lies of our tragic experiences and carry that around to everywhere we go as if it were a heavy backpack. The one you need to love is yourself because you matter. If you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to love others.

What are you listening to?
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One of the things I discovered during the early stages of my healing process is that I would constantly listen to depressing music. I can guarantee you that during that time, the songs served as a great tool for validating my emotions, but it didn’t help me mature as a person. I had to make a drastic decision in order to see better results in my everyday life. Therefore, I proceeded to say goodbye permanently to certain bands and songs. Forever. Now, this may seem way too hard for you to do right now because you might not be ready. Perhaps, you think it’s very difficult or that it’s not even possible. It is possible. Remember that you don’t have to repeat toxic cycles now. You are not a slave to your past. If you often feel lonely at home, I recommend for you to put on good music while you clean and do your chores. Lately, I have been listening to this: 【STUDIO GHIBLI JAZZ- 24/7 Chill Out Cafe Music Live Stream and it’s been helping a lot.

Invest in Yourself

Chances are that if you were abused as a child, you were either controlled on every aspect of your life or neglected. Your needs were never important and your self-esteem decreased each day as people around you diminished your value. Do not feel ashamed if you have needs. If you have a skin problem and need skin products to heal your skin, purchase them. If you have been wearing the same clothes for many years, then I’d suggest you go shopping. This is not about vanity, but rather self-perception. If you feel good, you’ll see how you’ll grow in confidence. Dress for success, not for others but for yourself.

Create a relaxing environment

If you are allergic to many things, this section may not be for you. Hopefully, it is! I don’t know what it is about scents, but they’re able to create a stress-free environment. Treat yourself and buy a new candle or an air diffuser with some essential oils. Now, I know what you may be thinking if you’re a guy. “This is not for me!” Well, there’s always scented free lotions. I want to share with you some of my favorite scents for lotions. They are all from the brand Bath and Body Works.

  • French Lavender and Honey
  • Cucumber Melon
  • Paris Amour
  • Violet Lily Sky
  • Wild Honeysuckle
  • Pearberry
  • Tahiti Island Dream
  • Tutti Dolci: Golden Honey Praline (Body Cream and Body Gel)
  • French Lavender Shea Butter Hand Cream

I always try to keep a bottle of lotion next to my workspace. It reminds me of comfort and self-care. If the stress level is off the charts then I make sure to listen to ambiance videos such as these:


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Date Yourself

This may be awkward for quiet personalities. Do not fear! It’s not as bad as it seems! Go by yourself to a beautiful place and enjoy reading a good book. There are two books that I would recommend you. The first one is a book of poems treating the subject of self-love and celebrating your uniqueness: I’ll just save myself by Nidhi M. Jhaveri

The second one is focused on our destructive thoughts and how to overcome the lies that we believe in ourselves. Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick

If you don’t like to read, you can always go to a movie theater or a restaurant. The restaurant situation may become uncomfortable for you if you’re not used to going out by yourself, let alone in public. However, don’t pay attention to people’s stares. You don’t need to have a date to have fun. You matter. You deserve a nice dinner once in awhile. I know social anxiety is a real thing. I’ve experienced it too many times and sometimes still struggle with it. However the more you partake in this practice, the more confident you will become. If you do choose to go by yourself or with a friend, make sure to stay safe!

 

Taking care of yourself is a form of self-affirmation. It’s declaring that you have value and that you deserve a better life than what you were told.

 

Best regards friend!

And remember…you are beautiful

Loren Ruiz
PLQ Survivor Ambassador

 

Just Call Me Lolli- PLQ Survivor Exit Sign: Your Guide Towards Freedom

 

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Facts First

Within the dark thoughts of intimidation and fear, there’s still space in your mind for this audacious question: Is it possible to leave? The answer is yes. However, before you do anything out of impulse, let’s review important things before making a customized exit plan for the crisis.

  1. There is help for you.

Visit http://www.thehotline.org/about-us/contact/ for more information about resources, connecting with a live operator, articles, and much more.

  1. Keep in mind the tactics.

The main tactics of abusers are the following: self-pity, manipulation, and intimidation or threats. In some cases, abusers suggest they will take their own lives. If the person threatens to do this, please contact the police immediately and notify the situation. Please click the following link. It contains truths that victims face when trying to leave abuse. https://web.law.asu.edu/Portals/38/Documents/50%20Obstacles%20Lvg%20Art.pdf

  1. A weak plan is dangerous for your safety.

You need to consider how to leave. If you have children, you need to think about their safety first. Consider not leaving a trail for the abuser to find you. Think about it as a game of chess, you must be three steps ahead in your plan. Is your intention to get away or to leave this person for good? Many victims want to leave, but they are not serious enough about cutting off all communication with the abuser. If you are very serious about leaving, it is more likely that your plan will be more effective.
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Secret Passages

As a victim, you have learned how to operate in secrecy. Secrecy is a powerful weapon in leaving. If your intention is to start accumulating information to leave in a few weeks, a couple of months, a year here are some useful tips for you to get ready. These tips may sound unconventional at first, but they may work for your situation.

 

  • Finances: Keep a secret stash for cash.

 

If you have a trusted friend let him or her keep your secret stash at their residence. I suggest two options for secret stashes. The first one you can order online:
Diversion Stash

The second option is to take a large stuffed animal, (preferably one that doesn’t belong to your kids) cut the seam at the back, place your cash in a plastic resealable bag and then sew the back again. Consider how much you put inside, you don’t want the abuser to be suspicious about it. If you can’t have it at your place, let your friend have it.

  1. Personal Belongings.

Do you want to move to another city, neighborhood or country? Do you want to schedule the movers to come to your residence while the abuser is working in order to get all of the furniture in the rented van? Remember you have options. Plan a specific day on when to leave. If you don’t put a date on it, chances are you will never leave. Once you have identified a good date, then you will think of everything that involves personal belongings.

  1. Community

Who is around you? Your kids, friends, or coworkers? Maybe you have been so isolated you don’t have anyone. It may be possible that you have to rely on strangers working at a shelter or organization. I can assure you that they only want the best for you. It may be shameful, but this is a time where you have to push your pride aside and see how beautiful your future can be.

  1. Children

If your children are small, you may not want to tell them your plan. Why? Because whatever information you give them, they are likely to give away innocently. Also, if the abuser senses that the child knows something, they may be manipulated into releasing the truth. Be wise.

  1. Do not leave a trail.

Try to avoid as much as you can to stay in nearby hotels or near towns. If you have to please be cautious about every step. I would suggest for you to sell some belongings Ebay on  or save money to buy a cheap smartphone with a prepaid plan. That way you can leave your phone behind once you leave. Try to avoid relying on the abuser’s family members or friends for help. They may be a decoy and betray you in the long run. Be wise on who to trust. When going to another town or city, make sure to research where the basic places are located such as supermarkets, hotels, transportation etc.
pasted image 0 (1)Photo by Ray200260 on Visualhunt / CC BY-ND

I wish I could get your screen and give you the warmest hug. My friend, you are not alone. Research and be wise. Be strong and courageous. Your dreams are on the other side of fear.

The PLQ team is rooting for you. We love you.

Sincerely,

Loren Ruiz

PLQ Ambassador and Survivor