Sanctuary and Serenity

Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category


“Sometimes Even to Live is an Act of Courage.”

Carl Sandburg (1878 – 1976).

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What is Domestic Violence?

Abusive situations:

No one has the right to abuse another person.  If you find yourself in a situation where you do not feel safe, there are steps you can take, and help you can receive!

Definition:

Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of abuse in which one partner in a relationship controls the other through force, intimidation, or implied/threats of force.  Violence refers to physical, sexual, mental/emotional, economic, and verbal abuse/assault.

Symptoms of Assault:

* Are you scared of your partner’s temper and do you change your behaviour so you won’t make him upset or angry?
* Do you see your family and friends less and less since you met your partner?
* Have you lost a job due to your partner?
* Do you have to ask permission to do things?
* Are you afraid of expressing your opinion or of telling your partner what your needs are?
* Have you been forced to have sex against your will?
* Do you do what you are told, just to avoid trouble?
* Has your partner humiliated you in front of other people?
* Have you been hit, slapped, shoved, locked up, tied up, burnt, threatened, kicked, bitten, punched, choked by your partner?  Has your partner ever threatened to use a weapon against you?
* Have your children ever been hurt or threatened by your partner?
* When something happens, does your partner promise never to do it again?

Everyone has the right to live in a home free from violence and abuse!  If any of these things are happening to you, you might be the victim of domestic abuse.  Domestic abuse seldom gets better by itself.  In most cases, it escalates until someone gets hurt or killed.  You should seek help immediately, and have a safety plan…tell someone…get counseling!

If You Decide to Stay:

If you are not at the point where you are ready to leave, you should have a safety plan!

Here are some suggestions to help ensure your safety in an emergency situation:

* Keep a small bag hidden in a car, or at family or friends, containing a change of clothes for you and your children.
* Keep a spare set of keys, and some money hidden somewhere safe.
* Make copies of all important documents.
* Extra medications you and your children might need.
* Emergency phone numbers…police, battered women’s hotlines and shelters, friends, family, 12-step sponsor, etc.
* You might want to ensure you do not provoke the situation (This does not mean you deserve the abuse, it means that sometimes we fight back, or respond to the abuser, which may cause the situation to escalate.)
* Pre-arrange a safe place to stay, away from the situation.
* Ask the police what your options are.

Other Preparations Prior to Leaving:

* Open a savings account and/or credit card in your name to establish or increase your independence.
* Obtain a Protective Order.  Keep it with you at all times, inform co-workers, friends, and neighbors.
* Call the police immediately if the abuser breaks the Order.
* Devise a code word to use with children, family, friends, and neighbors for when you need the police.
* Ask “safe” neighbors to call police if they hear a disturbance from your home.
* Practice getting out of your home safely!
* Review your safety plan as often as is possible.

Safety During an Explosive Situation:

* If an argument is unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area where you have access to an exit.
* Stay out of rooms where weapons might be available…bathroom, kitchen, bedroom.
* Get out of your home as safely as possible.
* Use your instincts and judgment.  If the situation is very dangerous, you might have to consider giving the offender what they want, to calm them.  You have the right to protect yourself, and your children.

Always remember:

* NO ONE deserves to be hit or threatened.
* Leaving your abuser if the most dangerous time.
* You and your children deserve to be safe!!!

No one knows your situation like you do…protect yourself.  First, and foremost, your safety and that of any children.  No one can tell you that you must leave a situation, or a relationship that is unhealthy.  You must make this decision for you.  But you can find ways to protect yourself and those you love.  We all deserve respect…from ourselves as well as from others.  We all have the right to be safe.  Look after yourself, be safe.


Goddess grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

“I pray to accept with a serene mind, the things I cannot change, knowing it is futile to be obstinate about the inevitable.  I pray to be resolute, to take action in things that must be changed.”

When I say the Serenity Prayer, over and over again, I could fall into the habit of merely parroting the words without being aware of their meaning.  This would blunt one of my most useful tools.  If I think of the meaning of each phrase as I say it, my understanding will grow and along with it my capability to realize the difference between what I can change, and what I cannot.
The prayer states first that there are elements in my life which I have no power to change; my serenity depends upon my accepting them.  The more I fight them, the more they will torment me.  “Courage to change the things I can” gives me unlimited freedom to work on those elements which are my concern.
The Serenity Prayer suggests that I ask “for courage to change the things I can.”  The word is things, not people.  True, there is much room for improvement in my life, but it can come only from changing my own attitudes and actions for the better.
“In every problem, great and small, the Serenity Prayer will work for me if I keep aware of its meaning every time I say it.”
~One Day At A Time in Al-Anon.

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~ I took the liberty of making *God* interchangeable with *Goddess*…I think the meaning is still relevant!~


The Dating Women’s Bill of Rights.
( I like to think of it as the *peoples* bill of rights…some basic rights, I never knew I even had in life…)
  1. I have the right to trust myself above all others.
  2. I have the right to decent treatment by anyone I date.
  3. I have the right to refuse to date anyone.
  4. I have the right to be safe on a date.
  5. I have the right to stop blaming myself for dating abuse.
  6. I have the right to be assertive on a date.
  7. I have the right to pay my own way on a date.
  8. I have the right to mutually consenting and pleasurable sex.
  9. I have the right to refuse to have sex.
  10. I have the right to be respected as a person.
  11. I have the right to disagree with my date.
  12. I have the right to say no.
  13. I have the right to get angry.
  14. I have the right to fulfill myself with or without a man in my life.
  15. I have the right to know who I am.
  16. I have the right to know who I am dating.
  17. I have the right to determine the criteria concerning who I will date.
  18. I have the right to use my own transportation on a date.
  19. I have the right to leave any dating situation my instincts tell me to.
  20. I have the right to prosecute for battery and sexual abuse.
  21. I have the right to emotional support and understanding from others.
  22. I have the right to a healthy dating relationship.
  23. I have the right to control my own destiny.
  24. I have the right to be selfish and get the good things I want from a relationship.
  25. I have the right to be loved.
  26. I have the right to be cared about.
  27. I have the right to intimacy.
  28. I have the right to high self-esteem.

I have the right to trust myself above all others!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~By Claudette McShane~


SIGNS OF UNHEALTHY BOUNDARIES

1.  telling all

2.  talking at an intimate level at the first meeting

3.  falling in love with a new acquaintance

4.  falling in love with anyone who reaches out

5.  being overwhelmed by a person -(preoccupied)

6.  acting on the first sexual impulse

7.  being sexual for your partner, not yourself

8.  going against personal values or rights to please others

9.  not noticing when someone else displays appropriate boundaries

10. not noticing when someone invades your boundaries

11.  accepting food, gift, touch or sex that you do not want

12.  touching a person without asking

13.  letting others direct your life

14.  letting others describe your reality

15.  letting others define you

16.  believing others can anticipate your needs

17.  expecting others to fill your needs automatically

18. falling apart so someone will take care of you

19.  self abuse

20.  sexual and physical abuse

21.  food and chemical abuse


One of the things we do automatically (and take for granted) is breathe.  Think what would happen if we stopped.  Now think about breathing deeply.  Most of us breathe very shallowly, forgetting that our whole body needs to take in air.
This deep-breathing technique is a literal lifesaver.  There are three parts to it.  First, fill up your belly with a big breath and push out your navel.  Now, still holding your breath, breathe into your mid-section, and then up into your chest.  Hold your breath as long as you can, remembering to drop your shoulders in the process.  Now gradually exhale and reverse the order – begin with the chest then exhale down and out through the belly.  Repeat five times.
If done on a regular basis, this breathing exercise triggers an instant relaxation response.  It also gives us a greater ability to enjoy life.  It is a lifesaver when you are in a panic or are about to have an anger attack.  I highly recommend it!

~Angela Jackson, Celebrating Anger.


This serves much the same purpose as “beat the pillow”.  However, as the figure comes back to you, you can work up an anger response and really let your fists and body go!
~Angela Jackson – Celebrating Anger



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