I am writing my first book now. What is the book about? This book is about how a woman survived Domestic Violence applying the concept of Emotional Intelligence. The woman was me, and for a long time, it has been my dream to spread the message about how Domestic Violence happened to me and how I survived it, to all the women who experience or have experienced this destroying problem and are in need of empowerment and inspiration.
Did you know that in the United States of America, a woman is being bitten up every nine seconds? On average, 24 people per minute become victims of rape, physical violence, or being stalked by an intimate partner in the United States, according to new findings released in December 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story – more than 1 million women are being raped in a year, and over 6 million women and men become victims of stalking. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are major public health problems in the United States.
The main reason why I am writing this book is that I know that many women in America and worldwide do not realize what Domestic Violence does to them. They are unable to recognize Domestic Violence. They think that emotional and physical abuse, mental and sexual assault, intimidation and threatening are normal, and for some even essential part of a family life. Some time ago, I was one of these women. I truly believed that my husband had the right to yell and coerce at me, call me names, threaten me, push me, hit me, not to mention texting and calling me over 80 times a day asking about what I do, where I am at, whom I am with, when I will be home and why at the time I named and not earlier (regardless of what time I named). I thought it was normal for him to stand behind my back and watch whom I e-mail to, and ask me what I say (as I would write in Russian), how I know this person, why I gave this person my e-mail address and so forth. I was considering all this “true love”.
The day I realized that all that is not normal was the day my husband almost killed me.
I called the police. I actually hung up on them, but something amazing happened…. the woman from 911 called me back! My complicated journey had begun that very day – April 9, 2009. I was taken to a shelter for victims of Domestic Violence. My life was saved, and I now had to survive. At the time, I spoke no English, had no legal documents, no money, no job, my car was repossessed as my husband stopped paying for it, my Driver’s License was expired, so was my insurance and tag registration. In addition to being scared to death, lonely and depressed, I had five traffic tickets to pay as well as serious health problems. I had lost 6 lb out my 116 lb. I had no friends or family, I did not even have my own thoughts as I was used to following my husband’s opinion on everything (of course, how would I have my own opinion with no English skills, being isolated in a house all the time?!). But I still had a hope. Besides, I had two eyes, two ears, two legs and two hands. I had the most important person in my life by my side – myself. And that was who helped me to restore my inner strength and rebuild my life. Besides God, of course.
What does Emotional Intelligence have to do with Domestic Violence? It is my strong belief now that the possibility of becoming a victim of Domestic Violence has a lot to do with one’s Self-Perception which is the first component of Emotional Intelligence and refers to one’s “inner self” determining how aware you are of your emotions and feelings, how you feel about yourself, and how satisfied you are with what you do in life. Here we look at one’s Self-Awareness – the ability to recognize your feelings, differentiate between them, realize why you feel the way you feel, and know how the emotions you’re experiencing affect people whom you interact with or your decisions. Emotional Self-Awareness is the foundation on which the majority of other EQ components are built, as if you are unaware of what your emotions are and how they make you feel, you can’t understand why you act in a certain way and how it affects others. We also look at Self-Regard – the ability to accept yourself the way you are and respect yourself. People with healthy Self-Regard know their strengths and appreciate them while accepting their vulnerabilities and successfully managing them. This subcomponent is usually associated with the feeling of security, inner strength, self-assuredness, and self-confidence. And the third important factor here is Self-Actualization – the ability to realize your potential capacities. This component of EQ is manifested by your becoming involved in pursuits that lead to a meaningful, rich, and full life. It is a dynamic process, a commitment to lifelong development in order to be your best self.
Now you probably understand why people who tend to need others more than others need them will more likely forgive and dismiss so-called red flag of violence. A person with low self-regard will be more likely easy to blame. For example, persons with violent behavior are very good at turning faults around: “YOU made ME mad because YOU did this and that. It is all YOUR fault”. Or “I said I won’t hit you but YOU just really pissed me off this time”. And now YOU feel responsible and guilty for HIS abusive actions and so YOU try to make up with HIM. Ridiculous? Maybe. But I lived that reality and know that many women, unfortunately, live it right now.
Action Plan for you:
- Know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and don’t let others blame you for something THEY are responsible for!
- Be aware of “red flags” of Domestic Violence, pay attention and don’t neglect them!
- Try to be independent: have your own everything – a car, a cell phone, an immigration status, an income, a bank account, money, of course, and don’t forget to have your own friends! Ask yourself: if I go on my own, can I survive without HIM? If the answer is “No”, do everything possible to overcome all of your obstacles and become independent!
- Try to make your life as meaningful as possible become a member of a church, contribute to the community through volunteering, build an army of support of your own so that YOU do not need HIM as much!
- Take control over your finances: do you know where money in your family comes from? what bills are to be paid monthly? what is your credit score and what is it being used for? what are taxes and how and where are there to be paid? do you know how to renew your car tag yearly? do you know where your insurance documents are? etc. Do not count on HIM to take care of you. Take care of yourself! It will make you more confident and you will have more security in life.
- Love yourself and don’t let your “honey” call you names or tell you that you are “fat, ugly and stupid”! You are important! You are worth! You are a human being, a beautiful creation! God put you on Earth to experience love and freedom! Love yourself!
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