Combating negative self-talk


I wanted to address this topic, as I think it is a huge factor in how abuse survivors heal. It’s also major in the general populous, as negative self-talk keeps people from achieving their dreams, fighting for what they believe in and so-on. As I begin this post, I think about all aspects surrounding habitually negative, self-talk. Where it begins as children, continues throughout adolescence and on into adulthood. I believe we learn to cling to it, through conditioning, from the beginning of our lives.

It’s our own self-flogging ritual.

Negative self-talk is pure poison. It’s decrepit in it’s design, implementation and is highly toxic to individuals, as well as society as a whole. It robs us of our dignity and  self-confidence, while keeping us from thriving in an, otherwise, wonderful existence. It’s addictive, paralyzing and highly contagious for many around us, including our own children.

With all of these things, why in the world to we cling to it? It’s so very difficult to shut off the repetitive drones, going off during the calmest and quietest of times. It’s imperative for our own well-being, to fight to resolve it and overcome.

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Above all, BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!


I’m going to try to keep this relatively short..

What happens when you decide to try again, giving another relationship a shot after a few years? Your previous fiasco(s) are probably, very prevalent in your memory and psyche. Even though the new guy seems to be very sweet and sincere, you may start noticing some behaviors that echo those from past relationships.

Gas-lighting comes to mind here. Lets say you have an argument. He doesn’t let you get a word out, without countering. He says something mean and spiteful, which is pretty common when we are all angry. When you immediately call it to his attention, he exclaims, “YOU MADE THAT UP!” or calls you, “LIAR!”. What if he places you on “ignore” for a few days? When you come into the room during that time, you find cruel behavior meeting you at the door. Again, you call his attention to that behavior (something that no one else will see, but he wouldn’t do it to any one else, such as blocking the door so you can’t come in..). When you mention it, he again accuses you of making it up. “I wouldn’t do ANYTHING LIKE THAT!” “You’re making it up”… You think to yourself, “really?” You know better. You aren’t the type to make anything up. After surviving a psychologically abusive relationship before, you are very careful to make sure your thoughts, accusations, and even your perceptions are VERY accurate. In short, you know what you know. Though you might still question your perceptions, you still are certain that you, in deed, witnessed his behavior toward you.

It’ll happen again, and he will deny it again and accuse you of lying or what-have-you.

Let me make something clear… In relationships, we are all prone to these very malicious cycles, just out of anger or embarrassment. Gas-lighting isn’t just for the disordered. We are all human, and therefore are all manipulative creatures. We learned to manipulate others, starting with our mothers when we were infants. Toddlers, in turn, hone in the skill to test boundaries and limits of our parents. We are not immune to being ones who choose to use the very same tactics as our once, would-be abusers. We like our lives to be predictable and controllable. That includes our significant others. Before you gather your pitchforks and torches, think about this…

Do you pout, even cutely, to get your way? That’s manipulation. Do you point out the other’s faults, to take the focus off of your own? That’s still a form of gas-lighting.

My point in saying all of that, is to remind all of us that we aren’t perfect. Even as enlightened, former victims of insidious abuse.

Knowing this, it will help to define abusive tendencies in a new relationship or just an insecurity that person might have. Make no mistakes… Abusers use these tactics EVERY SINGLE TIME! If it’s an ingrained insecurity or fear, you will witness the other party making very strong attempts to change. He/she will listen, validating you and your emotions.

As in both the case of the abuser, or the insecure… you MUST REMAIN TRUE TO YOURSELF!! Do not back down from the truth! You know what you know. You know what was said and/or done. Don’t allow them to back you away from the truth. When that person claims, “You made that up!”, be sure to place a VERY strong boundary! The person needs to know you won’t stand for that type of treatment. Be unmistakable and unquestionable, when it pertains to those boundaries. The disordered and abuser will continue, unwaveringly, to beat down your boundaries and your perceptions, never validating you! They only seek to bring validation to themselves.. Period. The other will validate you as well as themselves.

Beginning a new relationship after abuse, is challenging though very possible to succeed.

Don’t like dresses? Don’t let the other badger you into changing your personal style of regular dress. Don’t like red meat? Don’t let the other guilt you into changing. Be true to yourself, your beliefs and your boundaries.

Mr. Right will appreciate this about you.

After the whirlwind


For whatever reason, this has been heavily on my mind, lately..

I remember many things about what transpired after leaving my x-psychopath. The most prevalent being; the drive to discover just what it was/is about myself, which precipitated every abusive relationship I have ever been in.

A little history: I divorced my childrens’ father back in 94′. Ours was a pseudo-normal relationship, with a pseudo-normal ending. It ended due to infidelity on his part. I chose to stay for the following year, trying to work “it” out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand the bastard any longer. I divorced him. Following the divorce, I got involved with his friend. We were together for 5 years. Ours was a wonderful relationship. We almost got married. During our relationship, his sister-in-law and niece were murdered. Prior to the murder, his children and friends were held at gun-point and threatened. People were dying all around him, and I panicked. My girls were little, then. He wouldn’t move from the area so I chose to remove myself and my girls from the situation. From then on, I found myself getting involved with drug addicts, alcoholics and abusive pricks. Each attempt to find a good man, was met with further worsening situations. Each boy-friend was worse than the one prior. There have been a few…

I wasn’t a drug user in any way. I drank rarely, and rarely to excess. I was a proud  person, raised to be a particular way, with very stringent standards for myself. I was a good person, who strove to be everything for everyone. My drive was to make others happy, avoiding negative anything. In doing so, I continued my childhood conditioning; putting myself, my personal wants and needs, behind others. I thought I was doing this for them.. As it so happens, I was doing it out of fear of negative emotions of any kind. I still struggle with that, to this day.

Meeting abusive men was becoming commonplace. I didn’t give up hope, and kept on trying.

The thing is, I always thought I was the poor little good girl, who was being mistreated. Though this was a fact, I always looked at myself as, “Poor little me, doing everything right”, If that was the case, then why the HELL was I continuing to be mistreated in relationships? Why was I ALWAYS finding them, instead of the wonderful relationship I deserved?

Enter my life with the worst of all… A psychopath. After this particular point in my life, I was faced with the overwhelming desire to NEVER go through THAT ever again! I went through the turmoil of trying to rediscover myself. I was in pain, and growing again from nothing short of ashes of my former self. I went through panic attacks, looked over my shoulder whenever I left my home. I questioned everyone around me, and went on my own personal “psychopath” witch hunt. After all, the disordered were all around me, right? Yet I was still struggling with the “whys” of it all. Of everything for the last 25 or so years. Every abusive relationship, or every bad one that wasn’t necessarily abusive, but I was miserable in them. Every break-up and every heart break. Why, WHY, WHHYYYYY???

A friend of mine said to me, “I just think it’s weird that it seems to be all you can find…” That statement hit me and caused me to start thinking. He was right. All the different guys, with the same characteristics. I compared myself to other women currently in wonderful, fulfilling relationships. They were confident women, who didn’t “settle” for anything less than they deserved. I, on the other hand, was NOT confident in myself, and placed myself in EVERY relationship, as the door-mat. I was always the accommodating one, who never said “no” or “I don’t deserve THAT”. I was stead-fast, even in the most unhealthy of relationships. I tried to “fix” them, the relationship and every bad thing that was there. I was patient, kind, loving and very much a jelly-fish. I always broke up with them, eventually, being tired of being mistreated and miserable.

I was abused severely as a child, starting from before I can remember. I found out this year that my collar bone had been broken. Several years before, I found out that I had had my nose broken. I don’t remember any of it. I just have the messed up, high-set shoulder with a protruding bone, and a crooked nose, that I thought was just “me”. What I do remember is the sexual abuse, beginning as a young child and ending as a teenager. This may or may not have some significance in my relationship troubles. I will never know this, but I DO know it has significance in my ongoing struggle with the fear of confrontation and anger.

Back to the original topic… Why was I continuing to find ONLY bad relationships, or abusive men?

I am analytical. I back-track. I introspect. I extrospect. I look at the end result after a series of choices, or scenes. “I’m miserable today. What caused me to be miserable? He yelled at me. What caused him to yell? He misunderstood something I said. Why is he so sensitive, that he get so upset?” and so-on. I’m a chronological thinker, but only in retrospect. I can usually pin-point the causes, only after the result. The statement that my friend posed to me, caused me to do just that. I mulled over every failed relationship and abusive situation. Something was perpetuating this to become reality for myself. To become so commonplace. What was the common denominator?

MYSELF!!!!!

DAMN!!!

I was causing it!!!!!

Let me explain a little. No, I don’t blame myself for becoming a meal to a psychopath, per-say. I don’t blame myself for being abused as a child. I don’t blame myself for the fuck-head choosing to throw me across the room. I don’t blame myself for my ex-husband, choosing to screw my best friend, oh so long ago. However, I DO blame myself for CHOOSING to STAY when those tendencies were screaming all around me. I DO blame myself for not standing up for myself, while they were showing their true colors. I do blame myself for not exuding more self confidence. I am the only one to blame, for not expressing and standing behind my own personal boundaries. I am the only one to blame for having little to no boundaries what-so-ever. I had them, don’t get me wrong, but I was placing myself in such a low light of importance, that I may as well have had no boundaries at all. If I don’t stand for them, they don’t really exist in reality. If I don’t express them, they stay secretive.

It’s a hard day when you find yourself, looking in-ward. When your life has gotten so bad, that you are forced to learn WHY.

We are all, generally, hard-knocks learners. We make the same mistakes, over and over again, until something happens which forces us to take the steps we needed to take, over our whole lives. Why can’t we see these things before they get SO bad that we are forced to see?

For me, I DID SEE THEM!! I saw the signs and the red-flags. I experienced mistreatment, yet gave it a different name. I called it, “TIRED”, or “insecurities”. I called it, “trust issues, stemming from bad experiences”. I called abuse, “Poor baby”, and chose to stay. I chose to stay silent, and to love it away. I called myself, “worthless” or “less-than”. I called myself “good-girl” and “victim”. I chose to stay because it was familiar to me, to remain stead-fast, ignoring atrocities, blaming all of it on the other person.

If, during the mistreatment and abuse, I chose to accept it and stay, whose fault does it become, really, that it continues for years? Yes he knows it’s wrong to hit, throw, gas-light, manipulate and over-power. He knows how he’s treating you is WRONG! SO DO YOUUU!! You know it’s wrong. You know it’s something you don’t want for your life. I understand what it is that makes you stay. I’ve been there several times, myself. I don’t blame you for anything. I don’t blame you for staying, yet I am trying to get you to think and view things differently.

I had to think about the hard things, too, in order to free myself. I’m not out of the mire, yet. I’m still struggling with the same issues and problems that caused me to be stuck in abusive situations. However, I am aware now. I know that the root cause of being in abusive situations was myself.

Other women, who we precariously compare ourselves to, are those we see in seemingly good relationships. Do those same women ever encounter abusive men? Of course they do. No one is exempt from dealing with the disordered, just the same as we have. No one is holding that golden fleece which shields them from any atrocities or unhealthy situations. What is the difference? They don’t stay long enough to BECOME abused! They trust their own instincts and recognize bad seeds when they see them. They WALK AWAY from them, never to look back, before it becomes a problem for them too.

Not all bad relationships are abusive. They just aren’t right for YOU. Not all dealings with any men have to become abusive. They don’t start out abusive from the beginning. They BECOME abusive, later on. What do those same men show you in the beginning? Sweet gestures? Flowers? Loving behavior? What about that night that he yelled at you for no real reason? How about that time that he expected you to go against your personal boundaries, just to “be sure” it’s really what you wanted? How about the second and third times? How about those instances that you are walking on egg-shells, being buried in fear and anxiety? Is it time, yet, to start paying attention? Will it be time for you to reconsider the status of your place in that relationship, when he pushes you the first time? When will you stop making excuses for his behavior? When will you stop making excuses for yourself, for staying so long? Will enough ever be enough? When is it time to look inside, and find the real reasons for allowing anything less than WONDERFUL for your life?

You see, though I thought I was doing everything right…I was doing everything WRONG! In my attempt to be the loving door-mat, I was allowing for the abuse and condoning it. I was crying real tears, being placed on anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants. I was considering suicide too. I was (and still am) very insecure. I didn’t trust myself to be smart enough to believe in myself. I didn’t trust my own perceptions. It was easier, and more familiar, to allow myself to be hurt, just to save myself from their anger.

Once upon a time, i would hear the phrase in regard to arguments or bad relationships, “It takes two”. I would think to myself, “I didn’t do anything wrong to deserve it” and “It was all HIM”. Though I didn’t deserve the mistreatment, it didn’t mean that I didn’t do anything wrong. If I had stood up for myself, the abuse would never have happened. If I was confident in myself, I would have called a duck, a duck, and left before it ever became an issue. Sure, you like the guy and believe he’s “the one”… If you find yourself making excuse after excuse for his (or your) behavior, it’s time to reassess things.

 

 

Baiting


The other day I had an incident with my most recent ex, at work. I have to get the key to my vehicle from my manager’s office, every morning. My ex was flippantly standing in the doorway, preventing me from just walking past without needing to be cordial. I said, “excuse me”, as he stepped slightly to the side, letting me pass him. He said, “permission to speak?” I said, without hesitation, “NO!”.

That ended that, or so I thought. I delivered to my boyfriend’s shop, directly after that. I told him what happened. I didn’t see it as that big of a deal until he informed me, “I got a call from your ex a few mins ago.” My ex told him that he wanted to let him know about it, before I had the chance to talk to him about it. He (my ex) told my boyfriend that all he wanted to do is offer condolences because of my dog’s passing away. My boyfriend told me, “I think his intentions were good…” I let him know, “No, they weren’t.”. My boyfriend let me know later that he called my ex back. He told me, “You’re right. His intentions weren’t good, since he already knows you don’t want any contact from him…” He let my ex know that I don’t care about his well-wishes and want no contact from him, whatsoever. He threatened my ex that if he didn’t leave me alone, he would be the one to take it to corporate.

I love this man!

Chum. It’s meant as a lure to bait in fish. The bait is meant to ensnare and capture. Chum causes the consumer to drop their guard, and potentially trust the person again. Chum. I recognized it as soon as my boyfriend let me know what was said over the phone, to him.

My ex didn’t even like my dog..

Chum.. even as a nice caring gesture, it’s still meant to lure you in. If it is to offer condolences, it’s still chum. I mean as it is presented by a Narcissist or Psychopath. They don’t care about your feelings. At ALL! It’s meant to cause you to drop your guard again. Most people mean it as a caring gesture, to be nice and empathetic. We all know that the disordered individuals have no REAL empathy!

Don’t fall for it. Don’t take a bite. Walk away. It’ll seem rude to others around you. Still, don’t fall for it. Stay away, and stay safe from the already WELL known cycle you have personally seen from the individual. Recognize it for what it is.

Will Dr. Love save your marriage?


I can’t tell you how tired I am, of the MANY comments I’ve had to trash (gleefully), about Dr. Love, shaheed ramadan (forgive me if I sound horrible) “the ‘spell-caster’”, and the likes of them. I woke up irritable this morning, and after winning the battle against my stupid, annoying alarm clock, opened my comments and here was, yet, another lengthy comment about another spell-caster.

i’m sure that many of you have seen these too, especially if you comment on or follow my blog. It’s slightly amusing to me that they choose to post these advertisements/testimonials directly in the comment section of my entry, “When a psychopath, narcissist, cluster-b, ASPD won’t leave…”. I don’t want to set any comments to be moderated before posting, because others might need to read what you write, even if I can’t respond right away. Nine times out of ten, it’s on this particular entry.

This is BEYOND IRRITATING! If you haven’t already noticed, I do NOT BELIEVE THE TESTIMONIALS OR THE HYPE!

If you are being emotionally, psychologically or physically abused.. If you have been devalued and discarded… If you have been physically or psychologically abused by a Psychopath, Narcissist or just a flat out ASS-HOLE, why would you WANT to keep that relationship? No spell-caster, or person into demonology is going to be able to change the NATURE OF THE ABUSER!

Unfortunately, in the beginning of healing, when you are contemplating leaving the abuser and the horrible situation you are in, you might be fighting the urge to go back to him or stay. “Maybe I am just being unreasonable..” or, “It really isn’t that bad…is it?”. You are in the middle of second guessing yourself, your emotions, your anxiety and fear. This is due to the abuser’s ability and necessity to control you, your emotions, your thoughts and make you BELIEVE YOU ARE ACTUALLY CRAZY!! To some of you, just to read someone else’s words, just might vindicate you. You are probably shocked that some one else said exactly the same thing YOU ARE THINKING, RIGHT NOW! Why? Because I have been through it. Many others, who’s blogs I follow (or follow my own) have been in EXACTLY the same place, with the same thoughts that you are having. It’s an excruciatingly emotional whirlwind you are in, isn’t it? I remember being in exactly the same place, myself, all too well.

You might, in your desperation to cling to your “lost love”, try to enlist the assistance of a supposed “spell-caster”, to try to save your relationship. There are several women (especially) who, regardless of the abuse they are suffering at the hands of the perpetrator, want to have the same cloud-9 feeling that they got in the beginning of the relationship, before the abuse started.  That’s what they see when they look at the one who is, now, belittling them, hitting them, causing such anxiety and fear, and are walking on egg-shells around them, and so-forth. These “spell-casters” prey on people in these situations. They are scam artists and liars. They intend to keep you stuck in your situation so the “spell-casters” can manipulate YOU into falling for the hype. “I’ll give you what you want…for a price”. Hmmm…that is the same M.O. the psychopath uses to get you HOOKED, to begin with! Amazing, isn’t it?? Think about this.

This is the abuse cycle.. it applies in abuse of all types. If you are experiencing this, it’s a clue that you need to get AWAY FROM THE ABUSE AND ABUSER!! The cycle won’t change. The abuser won’t change, and neither will your circumstances, regardless of how much you “believe” in or “love” them.

PhyVio

What it fails to mention are the “Honeymoon phase” and sweet gestures that come in the middle of the cycle, which is used by the abuser to keep the ABUSED, STUCK!!

They don’t want anyone knowing what he is doing. In order to keep the secret alive, you are made to stay SILENT out of fear.

Why would you want this for yourselves? The only way to break the cycle is, to remove YOURSELF from it!

Period.

Now, to the idiots who are leaving there unwanted “testimonials” on my page: YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!!! Stop helping the abuser and the scam artist, by keeping women stuck! What would happen if someone read, and believed your stupid testimonials, and wound up being killed by the abuser as a result? How would you feel, to know you HELPED KILL ANOTHER WOMAN??

Spell-caster testimonials do not belong on an abuse-help BLOG!

If you, who are professing the hype (I assume you are being told to do this, to aid the spell-caster, at his/her request. You are probably being told that it will give the “spell”, power.) This is utter BULL-SHIT!! You might actually be abused, yourself. If this is the case, talk to me. Talk to someone for help, but PLEASE stop pushing this unwanted crap in sites meant to help women OVERCOME ABUSE!!

For the rest of you, I do hope you have a blessed weekend.

Stay strong and keep MOVING!!!

Back to living life


Wow! What a ride!! That’s what I think, when I reflect back to the beginning of hell, itself, and everything I’ve had to endure, to recover from it. No, not the biblical notion of “Hell”, but the life I lived and had been living for the past couple of years. This August will mark the 3 year anniversary of ridding myself of vermin. When I compare “then” to “now”, it’s amazing I’ve lived through it. The relationship itself, lasted only a year. The effects have lasted, and are still present, even today..

I’m resilient. I’m stubborn. I self-analyze, horribly. I do not accept defeat. I hate complacency with a passion.

As early as this past summer, I was still battling the effects of the monster’s abuse, though I was stronger. I was still in a bit of a minefield…or should I call it a “mind-field”… I wasn’t as paranoid as I was the previous 2 years, though I was still horribly distrusting of everyone I met or associated with.

When I moved into my house 2 years ago this summer, I was still fighting the need to look over my shoulder when I left my house. I still had to have every lock, locked, and every window opened only a little bit, so as to allow some protection from outside individuals. However, when I allowed myself some peace and fought to overcome the obvious affects of the abuse, I became stronger and more self-assured. The locks are still locked, but only because it’s safer that way. Not because I’m still ever vigilant to protect myself from pending doom, as it had been before.

I take a decided look around me, today, and think, “What a wonderful place I’m in, today!” It’s a good day.

Changing my conditioning is going to be a long and grueling process. I will make mistakes and trust the wrong people, as I had done before. I will be hurt again. It’s part of the human condition. Today, I accept my own humanity, and human frailty. I include emotional frailty, in that. I accept each day as it presents itself, FINALLY without fear.

I approach people with caution, now. I used to hate that part of the changes in me. Now, I embrace it, because it’s how I should have been from the beginning of my life. As a child who was taught to be wary of strangers. I have a healthy caution of strangers, now. I’m glad for that particular change in me! When fear changes to caution, it’s a good day. When distrust and paranoia changes to healthy boundary implementation, it’s a good day.

I will never be glad for any abuse I have ever suffered. Being victimized and abused, is NEVER EVER something to be glad for. However, I am grateful for the jaunt with the Psychopath of my past. Not for the abuse suffered, but for the drive it created in me to take a needed look inward, to the areas that needed overhauled. This journey began because of fear and a need to change. Period.

Those of you who are new survivors, you must remember that each phase you will go through is like a stepping stone. You have to climb up, step onto each one in turn, and then pass each stone, before you can take on the next. Do NOT attempt to take anything on, before experiencing the grueling parts of each step. Your journey is necessary!!! Every horrible step, muck, and thorn you experience, is NECESSARY TO HEAL!!! And most importantly, to become WHOLE! To grow to a place where you are making needed changes, which will better the rest of your life, the journey (whatever that will become for you) is NECESSARY! Don’t strong arm your way through it. It just doesn’t work. It’s a natural process, and important to live each day as it comes. Experience it. Allow yourself the time you need, to process each phase.

This morning, we are closer to the first day of spring. It’s getting warmer outside, and in some places of the country, the grass is beginning to grow again. I hate mowing, by the way :D..

Spring… life begins again..

Fitting.

There are so many


This morning, as I tend to do quite often, I’ve been reflecting, analyzing, comparing data (my own observations) etc. and I see everyone on wordpress and other forums, speaking up about the abuses they have suffered. Many of these have had dealings with a sociopath, narcissist, psychopath or any other cluster-b personality. I am included. I speak privately to other women who are too scared to be public about their abuse or recovery. I see countless women. Just women, though I know there are male victims as well. My question, when thinking about the throngs of survivors around us, is; why is this type of abuse still so unrecognized by the status quo?

With so many victims, now survivors, you would think just “word of mouth” would spread awareness of psychological abuse and the devils among us. The fact remains, however, that it stays in the realm of the “unknown” in the great expanse. Unless you are a psychological professional or have lived through the trauma associated with these deprived individuals, chances are you just didn’t know they existed outside of Hollywood’s over-exaggerations, made movies. I know I sure didn’t.

When I walked (ran) away from my abuser, over 2 years ago, one thought stayed ever present in my mind: “I couldn’t possibly have dreamed this type of person existed, in my wildest dreams. There’s no way I could have possibly made it up. I just don’t think that way…” I was in complete shock and disbelief. I so remember that, even now. I remember how crazy it FELT to me, just to make sense of the type of person I encountered. Honestly, even now to think about it, I can still feel the same shock. Some things are just best to leave where they lay.

So, back to my question: Why is it still such an unknown type of abuse? Even more so; why is just the knowledge that this type of human walks among us, still so uncommon? They aren’t ALL in prisons, and many lead productive, successful lives, as it appears. They don’t only exist in movies. They are among us. Statistics say, 4% of the population. One out of every 25 people you encounter, has a cluster-b personality, according to statistics. Pretty freaking common, and their mere existence is completely foreign to most people.

I have some ideas as to why this knowledge is still so unknown, except for psychological professionals or victims. One of which is; victims are still silent around the regular individuals we associate with. Friends and Workmates. We are open to talk to other survivors, because they GET IT. They understand. The rest of them we think will never understand. we don’t want to take the chance of sounding crazy to them, because we are afraid of the stigma associate with psychological abuse. This type of thinking keeps the abuse a secret, among the society who needs to be made aware. We are, most often, silent about it in public.

Another reason, I think, is that most of these cluster-b types are such chameleons, that they aren’t recognizable to the people around them. They skillfully fake normality and emotion. They stay hidden in the masses. That is, except for those who are closest to them. Lovers, closest friends, etc. What do the psychopaths do when they are discarded? They fight, ruthlessly, to keep their victim quiet, through fear. Their greatest weapon is SILENCE!

What are your thoughts?

The ongoing learning curve: Boundaries


When a victim makes the wonderful transition to ‘survivor’, it’s a great day indeed! That day holds different meanings, events and revelations for every person. Every person heals differently, and cannot be placed in a pre-defined mold. We are individuals, entirely. What might work for one particular survivor, will not work for every survivor. That includes: steps taken to rid ourselves of the abuser, overcoming the effects of the abuse (which will most likely take years), deciding whether to enlist the assistance of a counselor, or just strong-arm your way through the process and so-on. The fact remains, however, that we ALL go through the SAME stages and phases, over the course of many years. Some might not take as long to heal as others. I have been going through the process of healing for over 2 years, now, yet I’m still working through some difficult things. I know of women who are 28 years into the process, and are still working through the effects. Don’t be disheartened, though! There comes a time that the healing process isn’t so invasive or cruel-seeming. Once you break through the first signs of severe PTSD and start to become more like yourself, the rest of the process isn’t so bad. Just remember to breathe through those hard days, and keep moving your feet. 

Part of the process of healing is, boundary setting. We all believed, throughout our lives, that our boundaries were firmly placed. Too often, however, it becomes apparent that those boundaries were weak, only after we have lived through an abusive relationship. The abuser does break down our initial boundaries but, in order to have enabled the abuse, those same boundaries were weak to begin with. No, I’m not blaming anyone for the abuse that was suffered at the hands of another. 

I was one who, as a child, was never taught how to set firm personal boundaries. In fact, in some ways I was taught to have shaky ones. My needs, both physical and emotional, were always second to others’. I had my wants. I wanted to be treated nicely and decently but, in the face of hurting someone’s feelings or by being the “lesser sex”, I was taught to let those same wants and needs go, for the benefit of another. Does that make any sense? That left me to have to define for myself, what my personal boundaries needed to be. I had to learn how to enforce those same boundaries. Age-old lessons, intended to be firmly taught as children, had fallen by the way-side. Intentionally or not. 

Just the fact that I had suffered severe emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of another, alerted me that I definitely had to do some SERIOUS deep-down introspecting. Soul searching. I have been through other abusive relationships and experiences, throughout my life. It was only after my dealings with a Psychopath, that I was alerted to that necessity. I thought I was fine, in all ways. Exemplary in others. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The lessons I learned as a child, taught me how to enable and survive abuse. Not to avoid it. Lesson #1. Not a fun lesson, but necessary. 

So, what are some boundaries that are needed in order to avoid abuse? This was my first, personal question. One that I had to decide for myself. You need to make this decision, as well. 

I wanted to be treated nicely. Period. Something that I realized I had not been, repeatedly. I needed to take a step back and remember those particular times. What was I feeling when someone was mean or rude to me? How did I respond? What did my inaction or lack of response, create? This is the root cause of ALL ABUSE I ever suffered. The inability to respond and stand up for myself, enabled more mistreatment. I was silent about mistreatment done to me, or those times that someone spoke rudely to me. I didn’t let that person know my needs or any sort of boundaries, which enabled further mistreatment. Does that mean the abuse was my fault? NO! But, it does mean I enabled it to continue. Making sure my boundaries aren’t crossed is my own, personal responsibility and no-one else’s. Making sure your boundaries are respected and recognized, is YOUR responsibility as well, but first, you need to decide which boundaries are the most substantial and important to implement. 

Our first responsibility to ourselves, as well as those people we associate with is, to express our personal boundary when that line has been crossed. How can a person respect our boundaries if they don’t know about them? The level of mistreatment should decide the level of expression. By that, I mean whether we nicely let the person know, or are more forceful about it. If you grew up without this skill, putting it into place in later years, can be quite challenging. First, however, you need to learn how to SPEAK UP! This includes things that make you unhappy or uncomfortable.

If someone assumes you like flavored coffee creamer and puts it in your coffee for you, for instance, when you prefer black coffee. It’s not that important, right? Will you hurt that person’s feelings, if you let them know? Believe it or not, my inability to speak up throughout the years, was just this ridiculous. It’s a no-brainer. You would express to that person that you don’t like coffee creamer. It’s that simple. But, for me, I would be petrified of hurting that person’s feelings and would, in turn, choke down the flavored coffee to save potentially hurt feelings. Is it that person’s fault for making me unhappy? No. They were just doing something nice. It was my OWN fault by not letting them know my preference. 

Another example: If someone is bossy toward you, telling you what to do and how (I am talking about a friend here, and not an employer); it results in your feelings being hurt, offended etc. What happens when you are silent, just “taking it” to avoid making waves? Yep, that person continues to boss you around, and you become more and more offended. Eventually a blow-up could result when you have had enough. Or, that person will continue and you will be miserable. What could happen if you express your discontent, letting that person know how you would rather be treated? Chances are, that person will take steps to avoid treating you like that, in the future. That is, if they are a decent, empathetic person. Others just won’t care. The thing is, once you let them know, you have done your part by letting that person know your boundary and it then becomes THEIR responsibility to respect it. If you don’t speak up, they can’t possibly know. Most people aren’t so empathetic, that they can read emotions or thoughts. If that same person doesn’t care about your boundaries, and continuously violates them, you need to re-evaluate that friendship and leave it. If you don’t enforce that same boundary, once you have alerted that person to it, that also enables mistreatment and can turn into a severely abusive situation. 

Our boundaries are meant to protect us. When misused or invalidated by another, we need to re-evaluate the situation. If you deem a particular boundary as ESSENTIAL to your well-being, you need to learn to stand your ground or leave the situation completely. If abuse is present, that is a blatant violation and should be seen as such. 

This new knowledge left me with also learning how to speak up, nicely, about my wants, needs, discontent and so-on. When, in my case, you have never learned how to speak-up for yourself, but instead, learned to go silent, the implementation of this lesson does prove to be challenging. It doesn’t mean the old fear of hurting feelings, embarrassment, etc. doesn’t just ‘go away’. I still have to deal with the fear of speaking up. Yet, I need to do just that. What does that create? If a subject is difficult, but needs to be talked about or mentioned, I just blurt it out. That means I come across as sharp, or rude as a result. Not what I want. I have to learn how to communicate my needs, wants and boundaries, without hurting another’s feelings. Another thing I need to learn. 

I am aware of others who make this seem effortless. I compare myself to them, and am aware of the skill they have. I try to learn from them, as well. 

    

 

 

Trusting yourself


My road to healing…becoming more self confident in every area…has been a real challenge. I still struggle with trusting myself. I know I’m not the only person who struggles in this area. When a decision will directly affect someone else, causing notable anger and potential harm as a result, I REALLY struggle. The situation I am facing, requires me to stand up against a family member in defense of a little girl, legally. I filed the initial papers, over 2 months ago. This person has not been served her copies of the papers due to the fear, guilt and uncertainty I have as to whether or not this is the right thing to do at all.

In the past, it’s exactly this same problem I have, which has enabled great atrocities as a result. This time, I see very clearly that my indecision and fear could be the detriment of that little girl. But what if I’m wrong? What if my action against this family member causes THAT person’s undoing? Even harm? There is no easy route or ending. There are several days that I feel trapped in my own life.

The only person who can fix any of this is myself..

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