Posted in Emotional/psychological abuse, Freedom, Healing Process, Healthy verses unhealthy

Pushed to Breaking Point

Most people understand what it means to be “pushed to breaking point”. Its when you reach that place of intense pressure, stress, pain or hurt. Humans are capable of so much resilience and yet in each of our lives we will at some point reach that place where we are breaking. There is healthy stress and unhealthy stress. Healthy stress keeps us going to get things done while unhealthy stress causes all types of damage mentally and physically. There are endless situations that can push someone to breaking point. What I really want to talk about and focus on is the breaking that takes place when you are in an unhealthy relationship.

There is so much awareness in todays age about all the different types of abuse that people can experience. From physical, verbal to emotional. When you have been in that type of relationship it resonates with you at a very personal level it’s no longer something you only read about. A person that has lived in that type of relationship knows what it really feels like. It can be a very lonely place in fact!! Particularly when the abuse takes place in silence. Miriam Webster’s Dictionary describes the term abuse as; to inflict physical or emotional harm upon. Physical abuse is easy to detect, there are bruises or other horrible injuries that can’t be hidden showing others or yourself that it isn’t something imagined it actually happened. Emotional abuse is the quiet/silent type, others don’t always pick it up and if they do the victim having been manipulated clings to the perpetrator to try and establish “normal life”, resulting in those “others” being pushed away and kept at a distance.

What happens when kids are involved? They are often living under the same roof where all the damage is being done. They don’t comprehend what’s really going on but they do know it doesn’t feel like a comfortable safe place. Kids are resilient, they stay busy playing with their siblings or friends, doing school and life, not quite aware that the reason its so uncomfortable is that the two people in their lives who should have it all together don’t. Sadly the kids see it all, hear some of it and learn ways to cope to get through all of the bad days. Unfortunately my kids saw me reach breaking point countless of times. They would have seen me crying, in bed with depression, withdrawn, sad, anxious, explode in pain, yell or scream at their father, confused, desperate, unmotivated, sensitive, angry and overprotective. As hard as I tried to hold everything in, at times I found it impossible to contain the emotions I felt from the mistreatment. The mistreatment was subtle, at times direct, ruthless, intentional, harmful, deceptive, dangerous, fear inducing, belittling and controlling. At each breaking point I reacted. That in itself is another clever tactic of the perpetrator as they quietly mistreat you behind closed doors creating the scene for you to explode or react in front of others so that you look like the one with all the problems. It doesn’t necessarily need to happen behind closed doors, it can happen right in front of your children. As kids are growing up they become accustomed to behaviours even when they are wrong. They don’t know any better so they think that the way in which Dad speaks to Mum (always jokingly of course) is funny and normal. Mum hears (the Joke) and feels another moment of pain on top of all the other pain she has experienced with him.

We all reach breaking points and when someone taunts you enough you will respond. Normally I am a calm person, I have not had difficulties with other people, only ever the ones that mistreat. Humans were not made to bear the brunt of other peoples mistreatment. You can ignore it for a little while but eventually its something to be faced head on. Especially if you recognise your worth and value as a person and start to see that the mistreatment is not deserved or justified. It is wrong, its abuse and it shouldn’t be happening. Emotional abuse is one of the worst kinds, its silent and damaging. After having left that relationship I have continued experiencing growth and healing. While I am not 100% (and perhaps never will be) I am a much better version of ME. The fact is, in my new life I am free to be myself, I am not questioned, I am not belittled, I am not put down, I am not disregarded, I am taken seriously and not treated as though I am a child.

I am so very grateful for my new life, I don’t take a single day for granted, I have nothing but appreciation for it as I have been through so much in the past that every single moment is a treasure to me. Anyone that comes across my path who represents “mistreatment” wont get very far with me, there will never be any form of going back to my old life now that I know my own value. I will only have people in my life that share my values and don’t take to mistreatment or bullying. Its not apart of me anymore, its foreign and unwanted. That my friend is freedom and happiness!!!!

Posted in Emotional/psychological abuse, Healthy verses unhealthy, relationships, Strength and resilience

life in reverse

The first half of my life looks completely different to the second half and so it should. It would be a concern if it all stayed the same. Frozen, stuck and stagnant would describe a life that has not moved forward. The first half of my life up until the age of 46 years old felt cold and frozen. Perhaps I had a frozen state of living, living in worry, confusion, sadness, loneliness, desperation, emptiness, disconnected from my original design. I don’t believe for a second that I was supposed to live that way. Yes I made my choices and I have no one to blame but myself for that part.

As a young person I was living in the moment, expecting that my decisions were the right ones. I truly believed it was all going to be good. That once married, with kids, each day would unfold into a bright and beautiful future. I expected that going to church living life for God was also a guarantee to a good life. Most of what I thought was good wasn’t really that good. Underneath the surface of my life was chaos. Man made chaos. It wasn’t at all what I was led to believe. The devil was blamed for most of it. The devil got all the credit for the man made chaos. It was the same old story week in and week out, that if your life was not going well you were under attack! “YOU must be doing something right for GOD if you are being attacked by the DEVIL”, he doesn’t attack Christians that are sleeping only the ones that are awake! This is what I was told, this is what I heard in Church.

SERIOUSLY……

All the man made decisions that left our household finances in shambles were blamed on the devil.

I truly regret that I walked into a church at the age of 17.

That’s the day I stopped thinking for myself and got lost in a life of manipulation and control.

The message was about sacrificing yourself for God.

Giving up on your own desires and surrendering.

I surrendered alright.

That was foolish and dangerous, it shut me off from being able to think for myself. It was sinful to think for yourself. Every decision and thought needed to be in line with the bible. This meant that being married I was not to walk away, I was to submit to my husband, pray and believe by faith that God was going to change him. DANGEROUS!

I was led to believe that the more you surrendered your life the closer you would be to God. In my case surrender meant no money, no friends, no family, a lonely marriage relationship, emotional abuse, control, manipulation and fear.

REVERSE all of that and now in the second half of my life at nearly 51 years old I don’t go to church, I have a loving Fiancé, a man that makes great decisions with finances, closer relationships with family and friends. Safety, security, peace and love. I don’t feel guilty for making my own decisions. I have never felt so content. I am in a free environment where I can choose without judgement. I understand now what it is to be respected, valued and loved.

My fiancé checks up on me regularly to ensure that I am all good. He values me so much that he never wants to see me hurt, in pain or sad for that matter. He would never treat me badly. OUR relationship is healthy, wholesome and natural. There is no striving, stress or malice. We have been together for nearly 4 years in December and don’t fight. Instead of fighting we communicate. We both listen to each other and have no intention of putting the other down. We are both on the same page, we share the same values and only want the absolute best for each other.

I truly feel like this second half of my life is filled with good things, it almost feels like I am now rewarded for all the years of heartache and pain. I still have to pinch myself every now and then as its simply amazing to live a life that is so beautiful. It’s all that I could ever ask for and more. I will never take my new life for granted! Every moment and every event on this journey is better then gold.

Thank you Life for giving me a second chance. Xx

Posted in Acceptance, courage, Emotional/psychological abuse, Healing Process, Inspiration, relationships, Strength and resilience

standing strong

To finally have the courage to break free from an emotionally abusive relationship is by far one of the most difficult steps one will ever take. It doesn’t stop there though. It requires a lot of work on your part to de-tangle all the tightly knit lies and twisted thinking that the other person carefully planted into your thoughts. Remembering that the longer you were in the relationship the more there is to de-tangle.

It is a lot to deal with and work through when on one hand you marry a person thinking they truly love you to then go through year after year of mixed messages from them that make you feel broken. They break you one bit at a time. YOU are put into situations that hurt. A person that is feeling hurt will at some point unravel and start falling apart.

As emotional abuse is so silent and undetected others watching on at times only see your reactions of hurt and may start to think that you are your own enemy. That perhaps you are reacting with hurt due to your own brokenness. The person doing the real damage behind the scenes likes to make it look like it was you all along. They not only convince you for years that your natural responses to pain are your own doing or your own unhealed parts not their actions. They also like to convince other people that you are broken, that they are not the cause of your reactions. Its so deceptive and silent.

Imagine for a moment that someone came along and hit you! Maybe they walked up to you and punched you in the face, your natural reaction to that pain would be justified. Others looking on would not question your hurt, they would say it was justified, they saw you get punched. Its out in the open, its obvious as day light. Emotional abuse is hidden in the dark, its only obvious to the person experiencing it. So you are then faced with other challenges after leaving the relationship.

There maybe people in your life that have been swept up in the idea that you are the problem. That you were not abused. That maybe you are the abuser!

This is where standing strong comes into the scene.

THE people in your life that don’t give you the opportunity to be understood will always misunderstand you.

They have a perception about you that has been weaved into their minds by a person and should they refuse you the opportunity to be understood for what you have experienced and gone through then that relationship will not move forward.

Yes that is another side effect of leaving an abusive relationship that you cannot control. It requires strength and daily reminders to yourself of what you have lived through and how your life is so much better now.

I personally have worked through so much in the past 4 plus years and am so grateful to have another chance at life to live peacefully. I write about my experiences to allow others who may be going through that type of abuse to give them strength and hope.

Its an avenue for me to communicate and share that what could help someone else.

Always stand strong in who you are and never let anyone destroy you. Hold onto the people in your life that love you no matter what, the ones that support you through thick and thin. I am so grateful for my fiancé and my family who love me unconditionally and understand my journey. I never have to justify myself to them and they see me as I am.

STAND STRONG ALWAYS!!!!!

Stop kidding yourself!

Relationships can be fulfilling, helping us to grow and develop into loving human beings. We learn to share and consider the feelings of others. We compromise as it’s not always about getting our own way. MOST of ALL it’s about a LOVE shared between two people from two very different backgrounds and upbringings. We first meet with the hope “this is the one”, the one I am going to spend the rest of my life with. We dive in deep putting 100% into the relationship with the knowledge there will be times it might get tough and that’s when you don’t quit. You keep going making sacrifices, apologising, you tell the truth, you read up on books about marriage written by professionals. Professionals who know what they are talking about, you enquire from others about what they did when their relationships experienced cracks and with the newfound knowledge you take this and make it your own. Inspired to ignite the flame within your relationship when it becomes cold and empty.

This all sounds very legit and sensible? This is how it should be and that is what I believed and stood by for decades. Trouble was it didn’t work for me long term, it may have provided some escape and breathing space yet truthfully it was a false sense of hope. I truly was kidding myself. I was in denial and could not accept the facts. Facts don’t lie they show the truth by actions. We are all good at saying what someone wants to hear but words are only words if not accompanied by actions that match.

Let me break it down for you into simple facts to demonstrate how we can kid ourselves into believing we are in a true loving and healthy relationship.

In the first row I’ve noted down a false belief and in the next row a truth bomb! Make up your own mind and seriously think about what sort of relationship you could be nurturing. Believe me no amount of nurturing will create something healthy out of abuse, manipulation and mental instability. Everything I ever read about OR enquired about only works with two people who are healthy in the first place. When one person is so broken that the behaviour is abusive whether it be emotional, verbal or physical then none of the above will work.  I could have kept going for decades and yet it would have continued to get so bad that who knows where I may have ended up?

Thank God HE my ex told me to leave,  I took that door of freedom and did just that, which gives me a clear balanced view of what I was living with and how different it looks now in a healthy relationship. I have something to compare.

False Belief #                                                                                                                    

# BE the first to apologise        

Truth Bomb#                                                   

# Constant apologies enable bad behaviour

False Belief#

# Apologise to have a healthy relationship   

Truth Bomb#              

# Mistreatment will continue

False Belief#

# Be open and honest 

Truth Bomb#                                                                

# They will lie to you regardless

False Belief#

# Ignore their disrespect no one is perfect      

Truth Bomb#                     

# They disrespect everyone consistently

False Belief#

# Good communication will sort it out      

Truth Bomb#

# Your best efforts will get twisted around

False Belief#

# Understand they are broken    

Truth Bomb#                                            

# Understanding won’t fix them

False Belief#

# They will change if I don’t say anything      

Truth Bomb#                       

# You will upset them anyway

False Belief#

# I will say it nicely    

Truth Bomb#                                                                   

# They won’t hear you; you are the bad one

False Belief#

# Be a team and plan together        

Truth Bomb#                                        

# Plans agreed on will always be broken

False Belief#

# Support them always 

Truth Bomb#                                                              

# Be prepared to live in contradiction

False Belief#

# Create respect  

Truth Bomb#                                                                            

# Doesn’t mean they will respect people

False Belief#

# Take responsibility for your actions    

Truth Bomb#                                   

# Perfect they will always say it was you!

False Belief#

# Communicate after disagreements   

Truth Bomb#                                    

# You will always be blamed ALWAYS

False Belief#

# Give people chances        

Truth Bomb#                                                          

# How many are you prepared for? Endless?

False Belief#

# Stick up for your partner   

Truth Bomb#                                                    

# Watch them hurt family, kids and friends

False Belief#

# Ask for their advice and support                  

Truth Bomb#                          

# Be careful you might be manipulated

While this list is not extensive it provides an idea of how we can fool ourselves into believing that by doing all the right things we will have a healthy and loving relationship. Generally, this would be correct if it were a healthy relationship.

People who are in healthy relationships may not make much sense of this list, but I guarantee if you are one of those people with an abusive partner or in a toxic relationship then this will make complete sense. You will relate somewhat to what I have described. Their maybe some variances and you more likely could add your own ones to this list.

The overall message is that in an unhealthy/toxic/abusive relationship your best efforts at doing your part will not change the other person. Unless they choose to make a consistent and genuine effort taking responsibility for their part then you will be living in a false sense of hope.

I’m so passionate about sharing my story as I was once this person who was kidding themselves into believing their marriage was going to get better, that my partner was going to change and respect me and the people in my world. That they would turn into that person I could truly look up to and stand beside without feeling shame or regret.

The reality for me was this did not happen!

Please note I am not saying people can’t change and get better.

The fact is some people don’t want too!

Now that I am experiencing for the first time what it is like in a healthy relationship, I can honestly say they are two completely different worlds. Communicating is not difficult, there is complete respect, trust, admiration, no manipulation, no abuse, its BEAUTIFUL to experience the true nature of a healthy wholesome relationship. This relationship has all the ingredients for long lasting happiness, peace, love and safety.

Safety is important.

I didn’t experience physical abuse however I did experience emotional abuse, and this can have long lasting effects mentally and physically. Mental abuse is said to effect people more as it’s a hidden abuse. Only the person themselves truly know how it feels as there are no physical bruises on the outside to prove it.

PLEASE STOP KIDDING YOURSELF!

What does it mean to love yourself? ♡

Is it wrong to love yourself?

What does it even mean?

We know what it means to love others and yet somehow loving ourselves can be portrayed as sinful & selfish.

Is it sinful or selfish?

Perhaps its how you define the word “LOVE”.

How can it be acceptable to love others and be frowned upon to love yourself. It doesn’t make sense?

To love others is to be there for them no matter what. To take good care of them and to do your best to protect. It means you take extra care to be thoughtful and kind. All you want for the one you love is the very best. You have there back. When the one you love hurts, you hurt. When the one you love is in trouble you are there. When you love someone you care about how they are feeling. When they tell you that something you may have done or said hurt them the most natural response is to feel awful and apologise. You make it right for the one you love. No hesitation. Its top priority!

Which brings me back to the question, what does it mean to love yourself?

As a young person i didn’t love myself i infact went the complete opposite and hated myself. This meant that i had no value in myself. This led me into making some very poor decisions. It was only natural to gravitate to people that treated me the way i thought i should be treated.

27 years worth of heartache and pain.

I married the person that matched their actions with my belief that i was not worth being treated properly.

Mistreatment followed.

Not many understood my journey except to see that on the outside i didn’t look happy.

Despite our church attendance and my occassional questions to other church going wives i was always left with the idea that i had to change and be the wife my husband needed me to be. That all i needed to do was PRAY and God would change my husband.

I prayed,  i cried, i felt hurt and angry, i was lonely, confused,  anxious,  i prayed, i cried, i hurt so much. I tried and i tried. I read books, i went to womans conferences, i asked for prayer. I was desperate. I was depressed.  I lived with so much confusion.

NOTHING SEEMED TO WORK.

UNTIL. …

I REALISED. …

That this man was never going to change and i did not need to stay in this unhealthy relationship any longer.

Over the last 10 years of our marriage i started to realise i was valuable.

I didn’t deserve to be abused and mistreated!

Abuse does not need to be physical. Its the silent treatment,  mistreatment, neglect, manipulation,  the hahaha moments when they make a joke at your expense in front of others. Rather than supporting you they leave you to take care of yourself. You aren’t their priority you are their toy. They hurt you by hurting those you love. They dont care about your feelings as its all in your head. Your too sensitive. There is no remorse to the hurt they inflict emotionally. While you are hurting they are laughing. Its hilarious to see peoples reactions they say! I love pushing peoples buttons to let the real person out that people hide, they tell you, you know their true colours.

Is that love?

Is it wrong to love yourself enough to recognise that someones mistreatment of you is wrong?

Loving yourself is knowing who you are and not letting another human being inflict harm on you. Its harmful to be manipulated, its harmful to be controlled,  its harmful to be ignored by the one that says they love you.  Its harmful to be laughed at or laughed about in front of others.

The damage digs deep.

It closes your heart.

You lose your own voice as you settle believing your feelings and thoughts mean nothing.

For me loving myself meant that i removed myself from harm. I realised my value and worth as a human being. I cant even imagine the outcome had i stayed any longer.

LOVING YOURSELF IS NOT SELFISH OR SINFUL, it is necessary in order to keep the balance and to know when enough is enough!!!