Pick your battles

CitizeshipThis was taken the day I received my US citizenship. I barely remembered the woman I was when I arrived in LA 11 years before. Like Sue says, “Recovery is a journey not an event.” But it’s at events like this that it’s marvelous to look back at our journey and celebrate our recovery.

Once women move past the denial and shame they are either afraid or outraged. They always ask, “what must I do now?” Please don’t do anything dramatic yet. There is a lot of work to be done but acting rashly is the worst action you can take.

  • Unless you have fully understood the abusive relationship you are unprepared.
  • Unless you understand why he chose you and why you chose him you are unprepared
  • Unless you have replenished your failing self-esteem you are unprepared

Please do not under any circumstances enter a battle for which you are unprepared. All that will happen is you will prove your worst fear that you are nothing without him.

Philippa said she felt like a pendulum swinging from one side to the other. In one moment her impulse was to leave, get into her car and drive away as fast as possible. A block later, the realization that she might be single landed like a bomb and her impulse was to drive straight back. “After one of the regular beatings I got into my car and roared off. Given that I had left so many times before I didn’t want to go to my family. I felt stupid and ashamed. Here I was again with not even an overnight bag and no plan B. I drove straight back. In a block I had l formulated a plan. I could never confess to him that I was scared and terrified of abandonment, so I decided to claim that the only reason I was there was that I needed a sleeping tablet. The potential added benefit to this fabulous Plan B was that he would understand that he had traumatized me and he would be sorry and take me in his arms and comfort me. He let me in. With hindsight I understand that my arrival was certainly no surprise to him. Like a dog with a tail between its legs I crawled into bed. The relief of being back in the bed overshadowed the fact that I had been physically assaulted. I lay in the bed with the welts around my neck, my body ached, my torn clothes were in the trash and all I could feel was relief.”

I have just been describing this to Sue, sitting at my dining room table in our pyjamas in the Berkshires. We have woken Osho with our laughter. She’s horrified and laughing because I’m laughing at how completely ludicrous my behaviour was. I have come such a long way. My laughter reminds me of just how recovered I actually am.

Author, foodie, political junkie and currrently writing a series for children, giving bible stories a much needed makeover, free from religious dogma. Author of Hot Cuisine, a book written on men and food and co-wrote When Loving Him Hurts and The Affair.

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Posted in abuse, codependency, cooking, domestic violence, food, healing, relationships, Uncategorized
3 comments on “Pick your battles
  1. Hi, I really like this post. I am a family doctor currently doing my PhD on partner violence in young people and your words just remind me of what all the women who help us with interviews are saying. Just wanted to say it is really inspiring to hear a beautiful success story. All the best =)


    • Thank you so much but I’m even more grateful that you responded and introduced me to your blog. I couldn’t stop reading it. Our manual will be available in November. I’ll send you a copy and if you think it will be of benefit to your patients we’ll be more than happy to give you some.


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