Tuesday, 30 December 2014

...thinkin' of a master plan...

So, this year, I took the "my one word" challenge and promised to let you know how I got on (see the post of the 2 January 2014). Well, in a nutshell, it started great and then kind of slid downhill after that. I've been reviewing my year (as you do at this time of year) and was about to start beating myself over the head for 'failing'. I was all set to go, with the cosh in my hand (metaphorically speaking of course), when the 'serenity prayer' popped into my head. That helped me to get some perspective, but it was only when I came across this quote by Maya Angelou, that I actually put the cosh down! She said "do the best you can, until you know better. Then when you know better, do better". That quote helped me to put my review in a whole different light.

Firstly, it reminded me, that I need to be wise enough to know the things that I can't change. My word for 2014 was health and a big part of that was becoming more physically healthy. Or at least that was what it was meant to be. Unfortunately, I slipped right back into my old mindset of equating physical health with weight loss. Since dieting in any form, makes me go completely loopy, you don't need to be a rocket scientist, to know that I didn't lose any weight! I'm not advocating being overweight, but what I am saying is that for me diets don't work. I can use fancy words to replace the word 'diet' but my head knows exactly what's going on and goes into full blown rebellion. Personally, to succeed in my quest, I am going to have to unpack what being physically healthy means to me and give up my unrealistic notions of what my body should look like.

My second point is the mirror opposite of the first. Knowing what I can't change, helps me to identify the things that I can. As I have said before, you can't change anything, if you don't first of all take responsibility for it. Much as I would like to blame it all on this pesky body, taking itself to the fridge and overeating, I know that's not true. The truth is, I have been a lot busier, more stressed and more tired recently. Instead of building time to rest, into my schedule, I have been eating instead.  I need to take responsibility for that and find other ways to deal with whatever is going on in my life, without medicating with food.

Lastly, as Maya Angelou says "when you know better, do better". Knowing what your challenges are, where things aren't working is the first step to being able to change. Taking responsibility is the next step and prepares us for taking action, which is the last step.  We often think taking action is the hardest thing to do. It is and it isn't. Trying to take action without taking responsibility is like trying to fill a basket with water ('nuff said I think) and that's when it's hardest. Taking action, once we've taken responsibility for our action or inaction is actually easier.  Still hard because we will certainly fail a couple of times, but easier than the first option.

So now that I've managed to get to this point, what am I going to do in 2015? Well I won't be making any New Year's resolutions, because I absolutely stink at those. What I am going to do, is take the "my one word" challenge again. This time I'm going back to basics with my choice. My word for this year is 'wise'. One of the definitions of wise is "having or showing experience, knowledge and good judgement". I think I've got the first 2 in hand and my hope is that the wisdom will come 
when I do better, because I know better.

Wishing you all a fabulous New Year, full of peace, joy and love.  See you on the other side.

Until next time, go well.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Got to be real (part 2)

Back in the day, when I was just starting out in the domestic violence field, I still measured success only in terms of a successful prosecution. It took me a while to realise that there were certain aspects of domestic abuse, where I was going to struggle to prosecute successfully. The two most common areas are financial abuse and psychological abuse. The law is good, but it's a pretty blunt instrument, when it comes to prosecuting cases of domestic abuse.

Below is the second part of our scenario and my co-blogger: finomics101 and I would love to continue our conversation, so please leave your comments on the blog or catch us on twitter at either @b2bbeautiful or @finomics101

Following Mrs. O’s revelations to Mrs. A about the details of her financial situation, Mrs. A extends an invitation for Mrs. O to attend the women empowerment seminar she is organising at no cost.  Mrs. A offers to provide transportation to and from the event to save Mrs. O having to explain the additional mileage on her car to Mr. O.

At the end of the seminar, Mrs. A introduces Mrs. O to Mrs. J - the women's empowerment expert who facilitated the event:

Mrs. A: “Mrs. J, I have someone I would love you to meet; Mrs. O is a good friend of mine.

Mrs. J: {giving Mrs. O a hug} “I’m very pleased to meet you! Always a joy to meet one of Mrs A's friends.

{Mrs. O responds with a smile}

Mrs. A: “ Please excuse me, I need to go and attend to that group of ladies over there, and that should give you two some time to chat.” {Mrs. A heads off in the direction of the group of ladies who have been trying to get her attention

Mrs. J: {noticed that Mrs. O seemed a little fidgety and anxious }
Mrs. A told me a little bit about your financial situation and thought it might help if we had a chat. How are things with you?"

Mrs. O: “it's just my husband. We are generally ok, it’s just that sometimes ...

Mrs. O goes on to tell Mrs. J about her current situation. Apart from the issues with money, Mrs O tells Mrs J that she doesn't really have any friends apart from Mrs A and in the past year, she's become estranged from her family. Her husband says that he doesn't want her 'corrupted' by those 'so called independent women and that he's all the family she needs. He also said that he couldn't live without her and that if she tried to leave he would kill himself.

Listening to her Mrs J comes to the conclusion that Mrs O may be a victim of domestic abuse.

Mrs. J: “Mrs O, based on what you've told me, I suspect that you are in an abusive relationship. I'd like us to talk some more, but in a more private setting. 

Mrs O starts to protest: "I don't want to take up any more of your time, I'm sure it's nothing really. My husband is just a little stressed at the moment and he wants to keep on top of things financially"

Mrs. O: "This is what I do and I am concerned about what you've told me. If it is domestic abuse, then I'd like to work with you, about keeping you safe, while you decide what to do in the long term. The first thing we need to look at is your financial situation, because it's hard to make long term decisions, when you are struggling financially"

Mrs. O {shaking her head and on the verge of tears}Thank you very much Mrs. J, I would really appreciate that.

Mrs. J: {giving her a big hug} “Don’t worry, you won’t be going through this alone anymore.

They then set up a follow-up appointment for the next week.

So back to our conversation.  Now that you know a bit more about Mrs O's situation, what do you think is happening to her? what would you say to her, if she told you what was going on with her? would you know where to go for help or advice yourself?

We would love to hear from you, so please keep the comments coming.

If you have been affected by anything in last week's or this week's blog, please contact us at the website.

Until next week, go well.