Taking out the trash for 2024
After years of taking hit after hit in my relationship mentally, emotionally and physically, I’ve made up my mind that it’s time to heal and leave. Without getting into details, I am in a toxic and abusive situation, and I want 2024 to be the year that I heal. Can you give me some tips for letting go and moving forward? I am an older woman — 54 — who has been married since I was 19, for context. I am excited about this new path for my life.
You’ve apparently endured tremendous hurt for many years. It’s absolutely understandable that you are ready to leave. A question many might ask is, what made you endure for so long? However, it’s good that you’ve said “I’ve made up my mind”.
Suffice it to say, if you’re losing yourself, your identity, and your ability to function, then that’s a dealbreaker situation. Intervention is critically needed.
Remain determined: It’s time to look after YOU. Certainly your best years can be ahead of you. You deserve respect, kindness and love, remember that. It’s good that you’ve said you want next year, 2024, to be the year that you heal. Settle it in your mind and be absolutely determined about it. This will be the starting point for your breakthrough and healing. Also, do consider how you can secure yourself financially as you move forward. That will be important.
Find a safe place: Consult a trusted colleague or colleagues if you must, but find a place that you’ll be safe from your former partner. And “safe” means physically and emotionally, where they’re not able to hurt or manipulate you. Be strategic in planning where you might relocate to and who will know about it.
Get further help: You can always call Woman Inc for their Crisis Centre for more advice on what to do. Their hotline is listed as 876-929-2997, or in Montego Bay, 876-952-9533. They should also offer counselling services, which you’ll need. Also note, you’ll need meaningful counselling sessions to unearth why you remained in the relationship as long as you did. And also, you’ll need to secure a healthier self-image, before you attempt another relationship.
Surround yourself with support: It will be important to have trusted family and friends around you. Chances are you may eventually feel compelled to return to “the familiar”. Good friends and helpful family members can stand with you to help keep you on track for your healing and transformation. Figure out trusted persons you can get in your corner.
In the Bible, in the book of Genesis, angels told Lot and his family not to look back at the ruin of Sodom and Gomorrah. And in Genesis 19:16 it mentions Lot’s wife looking back and becoming a pillar of salt. A lesson: “looking back” can ruin us irreparably.
I pray that this is truly the beginning of a new, happier and healthier season for you.
Get on The Counsellor’s Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to email@example.com.