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 They would have seen me crying, in bed with depression, withdrawn, sad, anxious, explode in pain, yell or scream at their father, confused, desperate, unmotivated, sensitive, angry and overprotective.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 Healthy verses unhealthy

my past versus the present

“Don’t look back”!!! is often what people will say to you when you make a massive life change and in my case I walked away from a 27 year marriage to start all over again. I do agree with the statement of not looking back, especially if it prevents you from moving forward. For myself I have been thinking lately about some of the obvious differences that are in my life now to what they were in the past. To be more specific I wanted to look backwards a little to see how far I have come in the present from just over 4 years ago.

To even consider that it has been 4 years since I drove out of the gates with my then 9 year old son is incredible. The car was full of both our clothes and not much else. With little cash in my purse I took the opportunity at the request of my ex husband to move out. It was time. All I can say is that I tried for 27 years to convince myself the marriage relationship would get better and it never really did. It was unhealthy from top to bottom. No amount of prayers or church attendance changed anything. No amount of apologising, day dreaming or wishing helped our relationship. Our relationship was tense at the best of times and always on the brink of problems.

What did my relationship look like with my ex husband:

I met him in Church as a young 17 year old girl who had no value in herself. I hated myself. I believed that I was ugly and unloved. I was always searching for love and desperate for it. As much as I was searching for love I didn’t really know what it looked like. Sadly for me I accepted less then I deserved when I said “I DO” that day in front of my family and friends.

As crazy as it sounds I had no idea what I was committing myself to for 27 years. I thought it was love. I thought it was right. I thought it was normal for two people to be fighting and having problems as we did. The arguments and problems started when we were only going out a few weeks in. Getting married didn’t change that, the arguments continued. It was messy and it was complicated.

What were we arguing about?

The bottom line was I hated myself and wanted to be loved. I thought he loved me. I thought he had all the answers to life that he was wise. I listened intently to his words as he spoke with conviction about God, The Bible, Forgiveness, Healing and Loving Yourself. Sometimes the conviction he had took him too far. Like the day we were driving from Holbrook back to Canberra which was about a 3 hour drive. He was convinced that I needed to say out loud that I was beautiful. I couldn’t get those words out of my mouth, I told him I cant say that as I don’t believe it. He then put his left hand on my knee and started to squeeze it really hard demanding I say that I was beautiful otherwise he would keep squeezing me. At first I was shocked and immediately thought why is he hurting me? He sounded so convincing that I had to do what he said and start saying out loud that I was beautiful. This went on for what felt like forever until finally he was satisfied that I had done what he had asked.

We did a lot together I went with him to lots of places and often sat for hours in peoples houses while he talked with them about his convictions. Other occasions I sat in the car for hours while he was visiting either for business reasons or personal. He lived life in his own world and I was in the background. His ideas and decisions were his. My attempts at providing input were not really considered to be valuable. My fears, doubts or concerns about our finances was unimportant. As long as God was happy with him tithing we were going to be just fine as he was convinced that giving 10% to God would mean we would never be without. It didn’t quite go that way. There was no planning or budgeting only spending. He would say to me I can earn money as fast as I can spend it so stop worrying. I worried. I lived under so much stress as debts gathered momentum, debt collectors started calling and knocking on the door. I was left to deal with that all by myself as a young mum with no help from him. It was awful.

I started to lose trust in his decisions. I felt unheard and unimportant. Money was a major area but then there was the communication. My attempts at trying to communicate with him about my feelings and concerns created tension. It created silence. It always became about me. All our difficulties were identified as being my issues. He didn’t take responsibility for his actions. The only action he took was to manipulate OR emotionally withdraw to get me to do what he wanted. This then set the scene of years of emotional abuse.

Where am I now 4 years on from leaving him:

As I got to Canberra with my then 9 year old son it was about rebuilding a new life. I had no choice but to stay here so I decided to make it work. I found myself a small two bedroom unit while on unemployment benefits. Eventually got myself an entry level job and was promoted into a new role within that company. My bank account was in my control and I had the pleasure of paying all my bills on time. Problems and troubles started to feel like a thing of the past. I was now able to live peacefully in my small unit. My safe haven.

Just over 2 and half years ago I met a lovely new man. He does what he says he will do. His genuine and very loving. His good with money and makes the right choices. He asks for my input and takes it seriously. He never wants me to feel unheard. He doesn’t cause trouble and he has respect for my family and friends. He loves to communicate. He has helped me to speak up and not be afraid. He never puts me down in front of others or in private. He supports me always. He does life with me. We walk side by side. There is never any judgement or criticism. He never ignores me. He cares about my children.

The best part about our relationship is we don’t argue.

There is nothing to argue about.

We may have had a few misunderstandings however they were resolved with no effort at all it was natural and it was beautiful. With him life is peaceful, safe and loving. We are building a life together.

The first part of my life was turmoil and now the second part is beautiful.

I cant change my past but I am certainly embracing my future. Its good to look back when you want to get a clear picture of how much you have moved forward. Let the past show you how much you can appreciate your life now.

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!

Posted in Healthy verses unhealthy

T~w~i~s~t~e~d words

When the abuser is pulling out all stops to show that he is right and you/others are wrong, his language sometimes becomes a little weird. I have observed this kind of poor English in the language of many men who abuse their wives. (However, some abusive men are so well educated and verbally skilled that they can […]

via The abuser’s word salad & weird language when he’s working hard at resisting taking responsibility — A Cry For Justice