By Nikki Navarro
Nina was abused by her partner. 32 years trying for a few months at a time to leave, but ultimately having to go back. Financial control kept her from gaining stability on her own and for her children. Her partner would cut off access to her money, he would also isolate her from family and friends.
Faced with overwhelming hurdles, Nina didn’t know where to start: shelter, employment, childcare, safety, basic needs?
Staying Seemed Easier
She could endure the abuse for the sake of her children.
When things were good, her abuser would build her up, give her an allowance, and provide luxuries that would otherwise be impossible— but within two weeks, the relationship always shifted.
Drugs and alcohol started being used as a means for power and control over Nina’s physical autonomy, and gaslighting was used to control her mind. Coercive abuse was was against Nina by her partner.
Nina Was Stuck
Years later, once all three adult-children moved out of their family home and at the time that was right, several advocate and other on-site community resources were available to assist Nina as she successfully exited her abusive relationship.
She left the Relashionship broken-and Full of Self Doubt
When she met with Nikki, she began her healing journey through strengths-based and other services. Nikki went with her to court; helped her connect to Domestic shelter’s and other programs; and supported her to regain the autonomy stolen from her.
After meeting for a few weeks Nikki did an activity with Nina called the “Marvelous Marble Activity,” where she hands a small stone to Nina and asks to name the things she loves about herself, and to name her strengths.
Together they named attributes like: strong woman, strong mother, kind, courageous, patient, and forgiving. Till today Nina keeps it as a symbol and reminder of her many strengths.
A few weeks later they checked in and talked about the stone; Nina said that she made a jewelry box and included the rock in her box—so whenever she uses her jewelry she has that reminder of positive affirmations .
Nina was able to find safety and stability. She could be her full authentic self. She could heal.
Let’s hold another victim’s hand and guide them on a healing path
Together we can make a difference