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The Storms of “Staying-Home-Staying-Safe”

The Storms of “Staying-Home-Staying-Safe”

As we embrace the declaration to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” ‘are we aware that there’re those out there whose homes are ‘Far From Safe? ’emotionally, physically and otherwise? But then, it seems they have no-other-choice. . .

They are stuck in uncontrollable toxic or abusive homes, thanks to the current Covid-19 pandemic!

Is it just a mental-note of outburst at alert? ‘or there’s an obvious spike in the silent-cry out for mercy and help from various families, on the verge of collapse?

Those who are vulnerable and stuck at home where they don’t feel safe or free to be themselves? ‘like being locked in a cage with the very animal that torments them with no way out? 

Sadly, for many people in households across the world, their daily livelihood and busy schedules has been their saving escape zone, secret hiding place from the ever present crisis at home!

‘A reason to get up and away from the madness at home, the liberty to open the front door and get lost for hours in the distraction of business the outside world provides!

‘To get buried under the weight of office politics & multiple school projects! ‘joyfully dress up for team meetings! compile paperwork to sign at long IEP meetings! or watch kids skip happily away to the cafeteria and so much more. . .

‘For some, it’s the energy behind the commute and the power to change the world, the zeal to create something new – always outside their home! a short escape from walking on eggshells at home! ‘a break from the storm of undeniable emotional abuse within the home. . .

While for some families, it’s dropping off kids at daycare/schools so early and usually meeting at dinner table to briefly discuss boring cuts and bruises during gym class or calls from school about upcoming teacher conference as an already overworked Mother tries to maintain balance while a distracted or absent minded Father looks on but lost in the affairs of the events of who-knows-what!

The agitation of the memories that come with the ‘Abuse’ behind closed-doors, as a stressed-out mother and her children drive home in panic.

“What will tonight hold for my Children and I? ‘Another round of beatings? Sexual Abuse? Emotional Torture? Physical Attack? Spousal Intimidation? Disability Disparity? The burden and pain of an empty house, when the other partner walks away… 

“What mood will He be in today? ‘What mood will she and her young kids find her husband today as they walk into their home? Will he be drunk or angry? He’s lost his job again! Will the neighbors hear their cry and call the cops? 

“She’s crying as her 5 kids gather around her to comfort her, ‘I won’t let him hit you again momma’, I got you! He won’t hurt you again Momma, ‘I promise, says the eldest son, He’s only a 14 year old. And He has Down Syndrome.

Well, they must experience it more now! 

They must all walk into the house to keep away from the virus outside and face the virus inside… 

Abuse or being abusive might seem like harsh words. No one wants to have to admit they’re living in an abusive home or being an abusive person. But when there’s negativity, there’s abuse! We could become selfish and manipulate other people to get our way. 

That’s why it’s important that we come together and pray for these homes and the people in them.

Abuse is defined as to “use or treat in such a way as to cause damage or harm; to treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly; speak in an insulting and offensive way to or about (someone).”

No one is immune to the virus of abuse. It’s only through God’s love that we can truly love one another and move forward!

Here’s How to Help Those Stuck in Abusive Homes…

Pray for Calm During this Storm!

The whole world is feeling an overload of anxiety and uncertainty, which causes people to be stressed. When certain people can’t control the world around them, they become angry, full of rage, and say or do things that harm those closest to them. Pray that God calms the hearts of the anxious and angry.

Pray for the Sanity of those in Homes that are not Peaceful or Emotionally Healthy.

For those who live in a home with an easily-angered person, there can be unrest, even when there is not rage. As the rest of the family waits and wonders if this is a calm day or a day they will see the rage.

 Pray for patience and endurance, with no safe place to go when the abuser starts raging. 

We are asking a lot of abuse victims right now to endure the abuse and/or rage, with no way to get out. Some victims at least get a break for work, or while their spouse works, but with most businesses closed, all family members may be home sharing the same space for 24 hours per day without a break.

Pray for those who are being financially abused.

Financial abuse is when one person in a committed relationship controls all the money and doesn’t equally share to provide for basic needs and the necessities of the family. This means, not only are people dealing with cruelty and abuse, they are told they can’t purchase what is needed or anything extra right now at a time when limited trips to the store for more supplies is beneficial to everyone’s health, and money may be tighter than normal.

Pray for the lonely because living with an abuser can be a lonely experience.

Life after separation or divorce is much less lonely, even without a partner, than living with someone you know doesn’t love or care about you. There is no intimacy (being known, loved, and safe) in a relationship with an abuser because of the fear that the victim is always doing something wrong and not worthy of the abuser’s love.

Ways to help an Abuse Victim (now and in the future)

  • Believe the victim.

Usually the abuser is confident and secure looking while the victim is confused, shaky, emotional (sometimes even angry), and uncertain if abuse is what they’re experiencing. Because a victim might fight back, or return evil for evil, expect that it may look like both parties are abusive. Sometimes, it only takes one person to make a relationship toxic. 

  • Listen without judgment or exception of leaving.

Experts say it takes seven times for a victim to attempt to leave before they leave for the final time. Validate their feelings (of course they’re going to feel that way) and allow them to process through what they’re experiencing. They know their abuser better than anyone else, trust them to know when they’ve had enough and are ready to leave for good.

  • Encourage victims to reach out for help.

Pray that someone points them in the right direction towards safety and security.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Reach out for help.

While people are encouraged to stay at home, you may feel isolated from your friends and family. Even if you are isolated, try to maintain social connections online or over the phone, if it is safe to do so, and try to stick to your daily routines as much as possible.

For any victims and survivors who need support, we are here for you, 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. 

Para información en español, visita la página “En Español.”

You are not alone.

Yours in HOPE

Yinka.

 

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Dangerously living in a fool’s paradise.

coolio 1

It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you are going outside to take a walk and enjoy the brush of the heat on your skin. You change your mind, head back inside. Suddenly, you remember that you forgot to take your cell phone with you. But, you want to spend quality time with yourself un-interrupted, like meditate as you stroll around the neighborhood. You don’t want to be reminded of that heart ache you’ve been trying to bury, or that disturbing message you’d received that got you twisted and confused.  The back lash from the grapevine!

Instead, you go back inside, grab a bottle of water and sacrificially bury your cell phone inside the kitchen closet and walk out of the door; chin up, chest out, feeling proud of your little courage. You are certainly on a roll! Phew!

Wait-a-minute! ’Congratulations! Awesome bravery…but, for how long?

I remember in 1995 when the song “Gangsta Paradise by Coolio was just coolio 3released. Every house party in Port Harcourt then played it like they dined and wined with Coolio himself! I didn’t understand the content of the lyrics much, but we all just hummed to the chorus and showed off our hot steps.

Apparently, until much later when I sat down to watch the movie it featured in: “Dangerous Minds” Starring Michelle Pfeiffer as retired U.S. Marine Lou Anne Johnson, who took up a teaching position at Carlmont High School in Belmont, California, in 1989, where most of her students were African-American and Latino teenagers from East Palo Alto, a poverty-stricken, racially segregated, economically deprived city at the opposite end of the school district., the film was released to a mixture of mostly negative critical reception, but became a surprise box office success in the summer of 1995, leading to the creation of a short-lived television series.

At the end of the year, the teacher announces to the class that she will not continue teaching at the school, which prompts an unbridled display of emotion from the students who refuse to let her leave. Overwhelmed, she decides to stay. Hmm!  Yeah…’stay back with the same students who had wickedly crawled up her skin into misery! Who does that?

So, our life is filled with twisters – indecisions, contemplating over lifelong struggles, overcrowded schedules, impossiblecoolio 2 demands from friends and families, unrealistic expectations, emotional bankruptcy, and physical exhaustion. During those turbulent times, how did you handle it?

Growing up, I would run and hide under my blanket or just bury myself in a good book and block the world out until the storm passes over! But now, my blanket is consciously pulled off by my 3 wonderful children reminding me that  (1) Homework needs to be reviewed (2) Dinner needs to be served! (3) Mom! life goes onjust step out of that blanket and get-it-together!

So, I have come to two realizations; first, there will always be another storm and second, what I must do is learn how to prepare for storms before they hit or deal with the storm and move forward!

As we approach the end of the year, let’s think back to the past months and review the reasons why we have been stagnant, stuck or suppressed? any reasons why we just need to bury some hatchets and start afresh?  Have we embraced solitude after a storm?

‘Are we sincerely seeking God’s face for direction? how about how brave Michelle Pfeiffer was in the movie as she dealt with challenges that made her stronger and daring even at the face of death? Or Coolio’s heart rendering concerns on how we live our lives in false declaration?  ‘are we still in tune with personal goals to do better? Are we addicted to social praise? Craving for recognition or acceptance by a confused world itself?

Why do we still always end up hurting each other, with our bashful words and resentful attitude? Even as we portray such magnitude of holiness, while our personal mirror sees us as Pharisees? ‘Aren’t we still living in that hooded paradise? Hopefully, by the time we begin the countdown, our hearts will take us to places our emotions dare to thread; so that our mind, body and soul will be renewed for 2016.

Yours in HOPE as I share one of my favorite Coolio’s music/Dangerous Minds soundtrack: “Gangsta Paradise”

Yinka.

 

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