Happy New Year – Or is it?
Been thinking today and I wanted to share my thoughts with you all. As I took all the Christmas decorations down wondering why the hell I put them up in the first place as I am here on my own! I was thinking, work will be busy this week coming. It always is. I always feel a bit strange this time of year, and obviously, this year I feel especially strange! But that is another story!
Everyone that works in the Domestic Abuse field knows that it is really very quiet in the run up to Christmas and then from about the 3rd or 4th of January – BOOM!! It is like a mass exodus of victims and survivors leaving abusive and violent relationships. Looking for refuge spaces and trying to get non-molestation orders to protect themselves and their children. Have I written about this to you before? I probably have, maybe last year, and apologies if I have, but it does get me every year. Because the ironic bit is that I did what hundreds of thousands of victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence do every year. I waited until the New Year. I am not even sure if it was a conscious thing. I remember looking at the fairy lights on the Christmas tree and thinking I couldn’t do it now. I couldn’t take away his child at Christmas. It is a pity he did not afford me the same courtesy really isn’t it? He didn’t think, “Oh, I can’t hit her at Christmas. I can’t rape her at Christmas. I cant call her a slag and make her feel like shit about herself at Christmas!”. So I left on January the 4th. It wasn’t planned. I just woke up that morning and knew it was the time. Or maybe, sub consciously it was planned? I don’t know. But I was gone anyway. Even then, I double backed and left the bank card for him! What an idiot!
I guess my point is, hundreds of thousands of people, including me, won’t want to celebrate New Year tonight. They won’t be celebrating it because they won’t be sure there will be anything to celebrate in 2024! Some won’t be sure if they will even be alive this time next year. Many just won’t know what the next year will hold for them. And they will feel this way for so many reasons. But they will put a smiling face on and go to the pub or a party and drink themselves into oblivion and just HOPE. Been there, done it, got the T-shirt!
But a large percentage will feel this way because they are in an abusive relationship. And right now. Right this minute, they are too damn scared to walk away. I don’t like to think about THAT New Year for me. The New Year which was a matter of days before I escaped. It still upsets me. And this year, I am not celebrating for another reason!! But that is ok. I feel at peace with that. I’ve done my years of smiling and drinking myself into oblivion and I don’t have to put a smiling face on anymore if I don’t want to.
BUT, I have decided I am going to raise a glass tonight to all the victims and survivors of domestic abuse out there that are right now wondering what 2024 holds for them. And instead of saying – Happy New Year. I will be saying……
YOU CAN DO IT.