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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Isolation and Hope

emotional abuse,
Let's talk about isolating.
Isolation is one of the favorite tools of an unhealthy partner because once you are alone you are easier to fool and because no one has your back.

Toxic parents do this.
Toxic boyfriends do this.
Toxic employers do this.
Toxic friends do this.

Toxic partners do this.
Toxic spiritual leaders do this.

The toxic partner will begin by teasing you about things your friends or family say or do.  This sets you up to question the true value of those people who have traditionally been your support system. The toxic person then moves on to criticizing your friends and family. Pointing out ways that they have hurt you, using your own words to paint your loved ones as negative assets. You start to wonder if those people really care about you.  You may even begin to spend less time with them, seemingly of your own choice. In reality you are just wanting to avoid the anger or the claims of betrayal by your partner.

Soon your toxic partner will get angry any time your friends or family (or hobbies, or children, or employers, or pets, or other outside contacts) are mentioned, especially if they are voicing concerns over you in this relationship. Your outside contacts take your attention away from your partner. They aren't good enough for you. They only bring trouble into this house. They don't like me. They are poisoning you against me. They are jealous of what we have. Again you limit contact and conversation just to prevent further outbursts from your toxic partner.


And finally your toxic partner will completely forbid you from having contact with friends, family, even with your own children. Contact in any form results in violence in word or action.

The steps towards isolation can seem very small and incremental when you look back on it. But, somehow, the toxic person has actually removed every person who cares about you from your life. There is one reason for this.

Because these people who care for you and who are outside of the toxic system see the game. They call out the toxicity and abuse. They want you to leave. They see the behavior clearly. They see the manipulation and your toxic partner hates that. They have no problem in calling out the things that they see.


In some cases an odd dynamic may happen with your ostracized friends or family members:  they may even move through an abuse cycle with you! From supporting and concerned to terribly angry at your powerless feelings and inaction to apologetic to supporting and so on. They are hurt and angry and feeling powerless too. They only want what is best for you but they have no idea how to help you...  What is happening is that they are compassionate people who are empathic to your pain.


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why does your partner isolate you?
To have better control of you, of course.

You know this.
You begin to recognize that who you are has been erased.
You know that you are being held captive through psychological warfare.
You doubt your own strength, confidence, security, intelligence...sanity.

All of that can change.

You can do this.
Happily, the internet IS HERE.
Start educating yourself today.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Clown Car: Stay the Path

emotional abuse
It's like being the lone human being in a car full of scary clowns...you wonder how people's behavior can be so erratic, yet no one in the rolling circus seems to notice except for you.  The big red nose, the seltzer bottle, the over-rehearsed falling down, the pie in the face, the larger-than-life face paint...you would think that the other adults in the clown car would notice, but I think that their big goggly glasses must get in the way.

Even if you seem to make a connection with one of the clowns and they seem to have some sense and clarity of mind about them, a smaller squirting flower on the lapel perhaps, the next time you look at them the water from the center of the enormous daisy is squirting right into your eye. It's discouraging, looking around the car for another person with some semblance of ...sense. Brief connections might be made with a clown one day, but the next day you are certain that the crazy mirrors have been used to confuse or trap you. It's not your eyes, it's their reflection of you that is inaccurate. 

Recently I had a conversation with someone in my family (A1) and I was certain that some points of agreement had been found. I thought that our conversation had been a phenomenal connection in many long years of crap. Of course, it was my mistake to have this type of hope. Just weeks later, after a particularly ill-conceived conversation with another extremely toxic family member (A2) that went spectacularly awry, A1 sent an email to me that was thunderous. The email told me about how I change the facts of stories and all about how I had been terrifically horrible towards A2.

Seems that, when you step away from the damaging person, you are considered mean, selfish, and sinful. They can be very manipulative, can't they?

For your reading pleasure, here is a small, tiny piece of that email from A1:

I have heard you several times tell a story that was not even close to being the truth, so you get no benefit of the doubt , I know how mean you are, and you seem to enjoy it.  I also think it's very rude the way you enjoy using your kids as pawns when It comes to seeing their Grandma, that's just very sad on your part that you treat mom like that.

Suffice it to say, I own up to all of the mistakes of judgement with regard to my conversations with both A1 and A2, especially with A1. I really thought he had come around; some of what he said was so normal when we talked!  So level-headed, savvy... 

My fault for having the hope.
The email threw me for a loop for awhile until I came to the healthier place where I again realize that these people are not able to move beyond their games and drama and unhappiness and falseness and polka dot car. I'm sad for them.  That's part of the loss, isn't it? When we move toward the light we have to forfeit any hope of any healthy relationship with these people.  I remember now, a clown car is a particularly unfun mode of transportation.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Authentically ME

healing from emotional abuse
AUTHENTICITY.
 

It was my goal, while in therapy, to reveal and to nourish that which was pure and true.
I knew that I had to face the truth, live the truth, know the truth, and always be authentically me. No embellishments, no minimizing, no dramatizing, no hiding, no compartmentalizing, no misrepresentation at all.

For it is only in reality that the self can heal.  


Are we talking about the inner child? Self-actualizing? The wounded self? Journeying to self? Call it whatever makes sense to you; just call it, nurture it, protect it, watch it rebloom.

Some people find a part of their healing in yoga, guided imagery, group therapy, hypnosis...  There are all manner of well-meaning and healing pathways out there. Each one has a kernel of truth and you are always free to explore what speaks to, you just as you are free to switch and to explore other options.

For my part, I strongly feel the need to keep it simple. Good books, journaling, supportive friends, time for activities that feed me, and good therapy. These are things that make sense to me. 



Antidepressants can have a place in good self care. Though I strongly urge people who are recovering from any emotional pain or abuse to avoid any other types of chemicals unless your doctor or psychiatrist suggests otherwise. No alcohol, no pot, no other drugs other than those prescribed by a doctor. ( except for medications for illness! ) 


Many people who have lived with a person who emotionally abuses find that they have a difficult time identifying the abuse. The emotional abuse may feel normal to you. You may even have difficulty putting your finger on just what is going on. In our next few blog posts let's look at the patterns that are so insidious that they feel commonplace. Toxic people can be incredibly artful and subtle and seductive.

It's about clarity, control, and good mental health.
As always, do what makes sense to you and keep yourself safe.


..........

Friday, December 26, 2014

Your Eyes are Open

heirloom abuse, parental abuse, emotional abuse

For many years of therapy I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for him to acknowledge what he was doing and how it hurt me. I  was waiting and trying to convince him and explaining and to seeking make it clear.

His continued response was
What about me? Doesn't what I want count? 

How can you do this to me?

I wasted many years OF MY LIFE on this one goal, a goal of getting him to understand, to apologize. Of getting him to take responsibility. Of having him see through the confusion and anger and the bewildering swirl of emotions and pain. I needed him to do this; I was the kid, after all.

He never, ever looked at me and said I did that, I was wrong, it hurt you. Let's see what you need.


Remember, they are the truly toxic and sick one.
You are stronger, clearer thinking, and healthier because you are able to see reality, to see truth, and to see the way out. In their current state, they simply cannot do what you can do.

TODAY, this very moment, recognize that the time you are wasting is your own precious time. Change your focus from I need him/her to understand to I will do what it takes to create a healthy life for myself.  Maybe you are fortunate enough to not have this particular internal struggle. But if you do, recognize it now.

Know that that goal is not worth your time, effort, emotions, energy, or focus. Know that the morass of someone else's agonizing chaos is not within your power to manage. Know that other goals are reachable. Know that your compassion and truth are wasted at this moment on someone who cannot benefit from your clarity. Other parts of your life will benefit from the expended energy.

Reclaim your life.
Reclaim your time.

You are worth it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Family Heirloom: The Toxic Parent

toxic parents, emotional abuse
It is an odd thing, having your parents treat you like the enemy. To add insult to injury they have often convinced the others in the family and friend circle that you are crazy and not to be trusted. The toxic parent may have projected a variety of things on to you, from the belief that you are responsible for the needs of others to an unhealthy degree to the feeling that you are worthless. In some ways this person may use their religiosity to feel as though they have a right to behave in such a way.

The toxic person, if they are ego-centric in some way, has a very charming and magnetic personality in public. Being in the lime light with them can be very heady. People tend to swarm to them, think well of them, bask in their glow. People enjoy their energy. Turn around and they are quick to tell others how badly you are treating them. They are almost a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in that their public persona is falsely confident, upbeat, vivacious.

This person will lie, twist words, evade questions, omit important facts, change the story, tell self-serving distortions, and make false accusations. You will think you are crazy.


Living as the mark to this parent is like being in a hideous fun house. No matter where you turn, people who believe the assbackward lies will turn on you, isolate you, ostracize you, and will believe every word your parent claims. You will find no allies in your known circles.

The befuddled, convinced people around you will not believe you and will think you are not defending yourself but being defensive, as though you have something to hide or an agenda to disrespect the toxic one. It is unbelievable. You will feel alone.



WHAT TO DO?

Educate yourself. The internet and the library are essential tools in learning how to disengage from the toxic parent and in figuring out what is going on in the relationship. Begin to identify the cycle of abuse and see how it is working in your life. Learn that it is not your fault. You did not cause it, you do not deserve it, and you cannot change the toxic parent.

Remove yourself from the situation. It is not possible to have a healthy relationship with the toxic parent. It is easier to work through to the healthier side of life if you are not sitting in the shit creek of the toxic relationship. However, if you cannot leave the relationship at the moment, still work on the healing stages.

Get help. Look outside of our normal circle of family and friends if you are unable to find anyone inside of it who is supportive. If your toxic parent has spread the news of your crazy exploits and disrespectful behavior, the people around you have been tainted and will not be able to see through their own brainwashing. Explore new circles of friends, new hobby clubs, activities that you enjoy. Creating growth opportunities for yourself will calm you, energize you, empower you.

Therapy. Seeing a good therapist can be one key to working through the issues, the self-esteem pain, and the conflicting internal messages. Talking about your experiences actually helps you to understand them better. A good therapist will also help you locate and learn good and healthy coping skills for handling events, dealing with emotions, feelings of anger/grief/sadness/rage, and will also be a completely supportive and validating person in your life who can help you to trust yourself and to find your way out of the maze. Furthermore, therapy will help you to locate those parts of yourself that you may now be doubting: your value, your talents, your virtues, your needs, your strength, your identity.

Take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods. Get exercise. Make a commitment to yourself to recognize your own worth, to bring change to your own life, to seek situations that bring light and goodness to your life. 

Journaling.  Putting your thoughts, confusion, feelings, and stories onto paper has a cathartic effect. It helps to clear up your thoughts, get the stories and feelings out, and to get facts straight. Journaling is also a wonderful way to express your uniqueness.  To remind you that you are you.

Create a new circle.  One new friend, maybe another. Find people who are completely yours. People who have never heard the brainwashing, who have never met your parent or other toxic one, who are on your side from the beginning. These people will know the real you. Doesn't that sound wonderful? 
Challenging?  YES.
Rewarding?  YES.  




My experiences were long and painful and I am still working on them in some ways. I am writing this blog so that I can find some closure to the pain. It surprises me when it rears its ugly head, then again how can I still be surprised at the insidious nature of the toxicity of my parents. An event brought up some crap for me in the last month or so. I'm doing much better now; this writing and people who have read it have helped.

This blog is a part of my continued journey to good mental health and a joyful life with my husband and children.


I do hope my journaling blog is helping you too.

The hurtful emotional manipulations that he plays on you are not truly connected in any way to your merits as a spouse or as a woman. If anything, those behaviors should actually serve as indicators to you that he is engaged in a power struggle where he feels the need to be “in charge” and is therefore trying to control you by diminishing your value as a spouse and as a person. It is almost an upside-down compliment: the aspects he attacks the most must be your best aspects!
There may be times when he will stoop to batter you with things you have shared with him in the past – insecurities, vulnerabilities, and shortcomings. Though these intimate details may be true of you or your personality, every human being has faults, and is unfair to accuse you of them in fights. Be mindful that in emotional abuse situations they are simply used as poisoned darts; items he throws mindlessly because they are within his reach and he knows they have the power to cause you damage.
Step Two: “Emotional Abuse is Control”
It is very important that you never see the assaults for anything other than what they really are: a desperate attempt to hide his own vulnerabilities by gaining power over someone else.
Battering, whether it is emotional abuse, verbal abuse or physical abuse, exists to create or maintain an unequal distribution of power in the relationship. It is, overall, a matter of control. However, this is not a new concept – surely you have already heard from associates or your own research that abuse is about power.
The important notion to learn after gaining this realization is that when an abuser feels that he is losing his grip (if it appears to him that you are usurping or taking on some of his power), the violence (emotional or physical) will escalate. In other words, the gravity of the emotional assault is directly proportional to the attacker’s sense of vulnerability.
Thus, the act of emotional abuse is not purely about control, although that is how it seems to manifest. In reality, the need for control is a way of expressing a deep-set and debilitating sense of vulnerability. Although you may feel like the most vulnerable one during an abuse attack, the reality is, your abuse is the one feeling the most vulnerable, and handling it in an outrageously inappropriate way.
Step Three: “There’s a ‘Me’ In the Assault”
This one sounds weird, but stick with us! Your healing process involves finding the “you” in the abusive assault. Finding the “you” means that wherever the assaults occur, whatever he uses against you, you refuse to be defined by the abuse. You draw on your own strength to determine your validity and self-worth. That means that when he draws to squish you down and say you’re an itty-bit blip that no one cares about, you stand up straight and remember that YOU are still here and that YOU (everything you are, love, think, feel, and can do) is still here and deserve every bit of respect that he’s trying to take away.
This is what gives you the ability to not only survive emotional abuse, but to thrive in the very face of it. Since this one is a little harder to practice, we included some exercises:
You can’t break free from an emotionally abusive relationship if you are barely remembering who you are every day. This may sound easy, as if you just needed to give yourself a pep talk in the mirror every once in awhile. However, pep talks won’t leave a lasting impression if you are not deeply connected to yourself. Imagine that you are a tree – if your roots are not deep enough into the earth, a fierce wind will easily rip you right out. So, do both!
Every day, you need to give yourself a pep talk about your rights (remember the motto up there?). Remember also to say positive words to yourself: “I like my way of doing this task,” “I’m good at connecting with people,” etc. You also need to take time for to say hi to YOU (either through meditation, yoga, exercise, or other mind-body strengthening activities).
Do you want to receive more steps and exercises for learning how to heal from emotional abuse? You can visit us at How to Heal From Emotional Abuse to get your copy of “Healing From Emotional Abuse,” an in-depth guide to getting your life back and saying goodbye to emotional abuse for good.
- See more at: http://healingemotionalabuse.com/blog/265/learn-how-to-heal-from-emotional-abuse/#sthash.XiAIQv3F.dpuf
Do you have that in your mind now, ready to whip out and display proudly in the face of abusive people? Then let’s go on to the steps that you need to take in order to heal from emotional abuse.
Step One: “Emotional Abuse is Not About Me”
Even when you are living in the midst of verbal and physical abuse, recognize that verbal, psychological and emotional abuse behaviors are not about you, you are not at fault for them. YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING TO MERIT, PROVOKE OR DESERVE THEM.
Your partner may insult you and use cruel words towards you, but understand that this behavior is a projection of the control fantasies of his sick and insecure mind; his remarks are in no way whatsoever a reflection of the person that you are.
The hurtful emotional manipulations that he plays on you are not truly connected in any way to your merits as a spouse or as a woman. If anything, those behaviors should actually serve as indicators to you that he is engaged in a power struggle where he feels the need to be “in charge” and is therefore trying to control you by diminishing your value as a spouse and as a person. It is almost an upside-down compliment: the aspects he attacks the most must be your best aspects!
There may be times when he will stoop to batter you with things you have shared with him in the past – insecurities, vulnerabilities, and shortcomings. Though these intimate details may be true of you or your personality, every human being has faults, and is unfair to accuse you of them in fights. Be mindful that in emotional abuse situations they are simply used as poisoned darts; items he throws mindlessly because they are within his reach and he knows they have the power to cause you damage.
Step Two: “Emotional Abuse is Control”
It is very important that you never see the assaults for anything other than what they really are: a desperate attempt to hide his own vulnerabilities by gaining power over someone else.
Battering, whether it is emotional abuse, verbal abuse or physical abuse, exists to create or maintain an unequal distribution of power in the relationship. It is, overall, a matter of control. However, this is not a new concept – surely you have already heard from associates or your own research that abuse is about power.
The important notion to learn after gaining this realization is that when an abuser feels that he is losing his grip (if it appears to him that you are usurping or taking on some of his power), the violence (emotional or physical) will escalate. In other words, the gravity of the emotional assault is directly proportional to the attacker’s sense of vulnerability.
Thus, the act of emotional abuse is not purely about control, although that is how it seems to manifest. In reality, the need for control is a way of expressing a deep-set and debilitating sense of vulnerability. Although you may feel like the most vulnerable one during an abuse attack, the reality is, your abuse is the one feeling the most vulnerable, and handling it in an outrageously inappropriate way.
Step Three: “There’s a ‘Me’ In the Assault”
This one sounds weird, but stick with us! Your healing process involves finding the “you” in the abusive assault. Finding the “you” means that wherever the assaults occur, whatever he uses against you, you refuse to be defined by the abuse. You draw on your own strength to determine your validity and self-worth. That means that when he draws to squish you down and say you’re an itty-bit blip that no one cares about, you stand up straight and remember that YOU are still here and that YOU (everything you are, love, think, feel, and can do) is still here and deserve every bit of respect that he’s trying to take away.
This is what gives you the ability to not only survive emotional abuse, but to thrive in the very face of it. Since this one is a little harder to practice, we included some exercises:
You can’t break free from an emotionally abusive relationship if you are barely remembering who you are every day. This may sound easy, as if you just needed to give yourself a pep talk in the mirror every once in awhile. However, pep talks won’t leave a lasting impression if you are not deeply connected to yourself. Imagine that you are a tree – if your roots are not deep enough into the earth, a fierce wind will easily rip you right out. So, do both!
Every day, you need to give yourself a pep talk about your rights (remember the motto up there?). Remember also to say positive words to yourself: “I like my way of doing this task,” “I’m good at connecting with people,” etc. You also need to take time for to say hi to YOU (either through meditation, yoga, exercise, or other mind-body strengthening activities).
Do you want to receive more steps and exercises for learning how to heal from emotional abuse? You can visit us at How to Heal From Emotional Abuse to get your copy of “Healing From Emotional Abuse,” an in-depth guide to getting your life back and saying goodbye to emotional abuse for good.
- See more at: http://healingemotionalabuse.com/blog/265/learn-how-to-heal-from-emotional-abuse/#sthash.XiAIQv3F.dpuf

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Escalation of a Toxic System or Relationship

recovery from emotional abuse, emotionally abusive statements, states of emotional abuse, toxic, escalating abuse
It starts slowly, the abuse.
In the beginning you are treated as though you are a life saver.  

THANK YOU, they will say, because that last person was horrible! You are perfect for me. That other person treated me badly and got really crazy. Aren't you something?! You have swept me off of my feet. You are amazing. I really couldn't make it without you! If it wasn't for you I don't know what I would do. I love being with you. You make me feel special. You are perfect. Here is an extravagant gift or reward.  They hurt me and told major lies about me. They were insane. It was all their fault.

I really depend on you. I've got it really good with you. I forgot because I was very stressed out; it won't happen again. Let's celebrate you. Whatever you are doing is way better than the last person; they really became a bitch. I need you. You have changed things around here. You are the best! You messed that up. Everyone is happy that I have found someone like you. Thank you for listening. The grass is greenish today. You are the only person who understands me. Why didn't you do my stuff first? Don't you love me? Just kidding. We are perfect together. I've been waiting for someone like you.

We are a great partnership, aren't we? Will you please do this work over again. Here are some treats and perks. I didn't mean to say that about you to that person. I'll pay that; you can count on me. You are my favorite. I don't like that person that you are friends with. Do you talk about me with them? And what did you say about me? You are a good one. Thanks for loving me. You've got it really good with me. Don't be so sensitive; I was only joking. You always take things the wrong way. It's you and me against the world, Baby. I'll take care of that for you because you can count on me. In fact, let go of that and let me handle it.

I feel connected to you; let's always share everything. You should hear what they said about you?! We wouldn't have fought if you hadn't seen that person again, like I asked you. Things are going great, why do you have to bring that up again? Come on, let's forget that stuff. That success of yours is a total fluke. You are wrong; I didn't say that. The grass is blue. I'm sorry, it will never happen again. Can't you take a joke? You are so forgiving and kind. I need someone like you. I found this in your car. Here is a gift; you deserve it. I'll never do it again. Why did you tell those people what happened between us? Let's just keep it private.

You put up with my moods. You're not perfect either. Why didn't you ask first? We've got something really special here, don't mess it up. You tell lies about me. I need your loyalty. Is it your time of the month? Things would go smoother if you just did as I asked. Life isn't fair, just deal with it. That is not at all what I said. I'm right and you are wrong. The sky is green. You used to be a good little girl. That other person doesn't care about you as much as I do. Why are you making such a big deal about this? You need me. It's because I'm under stress. I like you in that other dress. What has happened to you? You're a total mess. Can't we just make this work? Stick to the program and everything will be OK. I know I need help. Something bad just happened and I need you now more than ever.

I need more attention from you. Why weren't you home? I like it when you are with me. Call in sick, I need you here. It is your fault that I lost my temper. Why are you so sensitive? I found this in your purse. Things would be like they used to be if you would only stop what you are doing. Why didn't you invite me along? No one loves you the way that I do. You're ashamed of me. You have gotten so fat. Yes, I broke it; I bought it! Why do you always make things worse? The fucking sky is green and if you can't face that, well, I can't help that you are stupid. I wouldn't have messed up if you hadn't said that. Your work is suffering. Your bullshit bores me. You are lucky to have me. Are you on the rag? You really need help. It doesn't bother anyone else, why should it bother you? Stop whining about it. What about me; doesn't what I want count? Other people agree with me. 

Unless you sleep with me I will punish you. I'm the only one who cares about you. I get mad because you push me. No one will believe you. It's your fault that I did that. Where were you? If you weren't so needy things would be much better. Other people agree with me that you are crazy. Do you really think that I like that thing you did?! That is not what I said! You are remembering that totally wrong. That is not what I said. I said Do This Work, so do it! There is no sky. This other person is far better than you are, they are far easier to talk to than you and your bullshit. No wonder you were single when I met you. If you love me you will do it. Why should I apologize. Why should I put up with your crap?

Oh my god, you are so fucking crazy.


................................................................

No one sets out to become a part of a toxic relationship, work system, family system, or friend system. No one would purposely choose it. You are not to blame for becoming embroiled in a sinkhole of manipulation. This person or system has an actual system that they use to hook kind people. You happened to fit the profile of a person who is kind-hearted, open, loving, and trusting.

It happened to you, not because of you.
Use the internet, Inform yourself, remind yourself to trust your senses, seek out a good therapist, stay safe.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Gaslighting, Systematic Deception

abusive spouse, narcissist, emotional abuse recovery
Unless you have been there, it's hard to imagine.
Who would deliberately unseat another person's sanity and grasp on reality? What sort of mind is capable of methodically building a false reality, and why?

When I first heard the term gaslighting it was like the last brick finally fell into place...it seemed like the puzzle was finally complete. 


Gaslighting does not happen over night. It happens over time, in predictable and identifiable stages. Surely you are wondering how in the world you found yourself in an abusive situation...
You might recognize the steps:


The first stage is a false perfection. They need you so much and appreciate you. You become very emotionally invested because you are made to feel so special, so strong, appreciated.

The next step happens with minor lies and small bits of unusual behavior.
The behavior of the toxic person or system presents behavior that seems like small odd, anomalous moments that make no sense. You accept the odd event and you move on, wondering if, perhaps, you misunderstood or, maybe, you might be the odd one, the one who didn't get an obvious thing, or an unusual event that seems so out of place. Outbursts of violence or verbal abuse come unexpectedly. You decide that the relationship is great otherwise and decide to hang on. The explanations might be a bit peculiar, they might be unbelievable, but you want this to work out. You need it. You are willing to ignore the signs. Perhaps being alone doesn't appeal to you and you are desperate for a connection.

The toxic one now knows you can be manipulated. Their aberrant behavior was a small test; how much can they take? How much will they accept? How far can I push it? Did you drop your guard or act in a way inconsistent with good self-care? Passive-aggressive behavior comes in to play.

You change your behavior to avoid the outburst or to prevent the trigger of the anger of the toxic one. You walk on egg shells. Rather than recognize the abusive partner you feel as though you are doing something wrong.


From there on, it escalates.


It is possible to get OUT...the first step is knowing that you are in an abusive relationship, knowing that the relationship can never be the relationship that you want, that used to be...  You can try harder, do more, lower yourself more, but the relationship will never ever be what you had hoped it would be.  Truly knowing that is the beginning of recovery.

Monday, December 15, 2014

If Only They Would See...

toxic relationships, narcissistic partners, codependent, emotional abuse
When your pain and confusion is so obvious and pervasive, it would seem that an acknowledgement is in order. It would seem that the person who has had such a hand in bringing on the depression, the anxiety, the invalidation, the feelings of emptiness and disconnection, the feelings of worthlessness would be healthy and forthcoming enough and say:
I see my part in this, they might say.
I recognize how I have confused you and belittled you and lied to you and injured you. I see how my actions have undermined your sense of self. You deserve to know the truth and here it is.
I am so sorry for it!
You talk to them again and again and the apology isn't forthcoming. In fact, after this type of conversation you walk away feeling more and more beaten down, more and more confused, more and more powerless. You walk away from this conversation only after the toxic person has denied your story, laid the blame on you, and left you feeling like a fool. Confronting the toxic person is not productive. 

And it never will be. This person is completely unable or unwilling to see their part in the unhealthy system. The toxic person is incapable of knowing healthy boundaries. They do not concede to your pain or your point of view. They do not acknowledge any responsibility or accountability. Their recollection of stories is inaccurate to the extreme. Their calmness or violence takes the focus away from the conversation completely.


Do not make the mistake of waiting for them to apologize.
Do not wait for their acceptance of responsibility.
Do not waste another moment waiting for that person you used to know to reappear.
It. Will. Not. Happen.


The rock-heavy burden of change is on you.
You are the only one capable of change in this relationship.
Know that. Feel it. Accept it.
You can make the change and you will make the change.

Recovery is ahead.
You can take this first step toward recovering yourself even if you can't imagine what lies ahead of you. Although you might not be able to see where the road it headed, you can move one step toward a return to yourself, and away from feeling like a victim.

Begin very simply with good self care:  healthy eating, exercise, establish contact with caring friends, read recovery materials, and look at yourself in the mirror each day and say I deserve better. At this early point I recommend keeping this healthy step to yourself and your support system...



Always, if you are being abused
get away immediately.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Hook

toxic parents, abuse, toxic families, codependent 
At first it seemed perfect, 
too good to be true.


A person who is incapable of an honest, mature relationship must rely on fireworks and sleight of hand. 

This person is unable to care for your emotional needs. 
This person is looking to hook someone.
This person uses these early days to manipulate kind people into going along with their pattern.
This person will mention bad past relationship stories, in all of which the toxic person will have been the victim, trying to get you to feel sorry for them.
This person is not seeking an equal, healthy relationship.


This person's goal is to not be alone.
I get that.
I have compassion for that. No one wants to be alone.

The problem is that, rather than offer a grown-up relationship, equality, support, love, and true affection they offer falseness and desperation to form a connection. With someone.

The early days are larger than life where the toxic one sweeps you off of your feet with their affection, with their exciting charm and charisma, with their perfection, with the shower of gifts, with intoxicating words, with romance, with exhilarating events, with seeming to be exactly what you have been hoping for, with great sex, with their appearance of being exactly perfect for you. Most people barely notice how manipulative and false it all is.
It's a masquerade, a mirror, a deceit and you were on the receiving end of it.

You have been deeply betrayed because of your sincere efforts to form a healthy, happy relationship.  

It's not that you don't deserve a great relationship. You do.
It's that you were fooled by the short cut that this relationship seemed to offer. 

Great relationships always take time to develop.

Toxic Families and Toxic Systems, Some Clarity

Toxic families, toxic work, emotional abuse
A brief aside:
On this blog and in my life I work hard to use deliberate language. I do this for several reasons.
One of those reasons is that he used words so ambiguously and in such a manipulative manner that it became necessary for me to get very clear, honest, and careful about language. I recognize that most people aren't quite as cautious with language as I am.

 

I often refer to the toxic system.
This is not intended to be vague at all. 


It is intended to include all of those various systems out there that are unhealthy. Friendships, systems of employment, marriages, families, neighbors, religion-focused groups, online groups, ANY system of unhealthy patterns and people can become abusive and toxic

You're Not Crazy, It's There

In spite of the vast effort it takes to stay on the good side of the toxic person or system, sometimes your intellect is still able to break through the stress and to see things for how they really are. The abusive person/system does not acknowledge the skewed or false information. Instead, you are called crazy, sensitive, or a liar.
You are being gaslighted.


The lies are truly there.
The gaslighting is happening.
Things are not as they seem.
You are definitely correct about what you sense. 
Your eyes and ears and mind still function to capacity.
Your memories are accurate.

It's your survival instinct that might make it difficult to see most of the time, living within a panic attack. Your survival instinct wants to avoid drama or pain or violence.  

I remember experiencing this daily where he completely denied the reality of our shared history while I felt crazier and crazier. He looked so calm and in control. He seemed to know more than me. His quiet certainty was convincing. His unyielding denial nearly convinced me.

When I finally started calling him on it he went through several stages.
First he continued to deny it.
Then he started with elevated anger towards me.
Soon came the seething, silent angry silence towards me.
Then came the smear campaign against me.

It is so interesting how much it started making him look like the crazy one when I stopped accepting the crazy label for myself.

Took a long time, the relationship never ever got better, and still so worth it.


* I have read several different definitions or explanations of gaslighting.
  I tend to keep it simple. I think of gaslighting as Changing reality to confuse you.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Moving Into the Light

breaking up, toxic parents, emotional abuse, recovery, narcissist, lying partner, am I crazy
It has been many years since I was that young girl who was too sensitive and who always wanted to talk about it. I have come a long way and I'm living a very happy life.

...YET


Sometimes those days and the struggles still sneak up on me.
This blog is for me and for others who have had to work their way through emotional abuse from parents or other important people, groups, institutions in their lives. For me, it was both of my parents in very different ways. So yeah, that was fun.


For now, as I get started on this project, I will share a couple of memes that I created for Pinterest; you may have found your way here from one or more of the memes.

Stay tuned as I see if this blog is useful for me?  for you? 
For Moving Into the Light...