Posts Tagged ‘abuse survivors’

High Profile Domestic Victim

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Self-Belief in New Relationships

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Half the battle when developing great relationships is taking enough time to develop a strong relationship with yourself first. Do you have self-belief?

Are you growing yourself as an individual? Do you believe in your ability to be successful? Do you believe in your ability to make good decisions? Do you trust your instincts?

If you don’t believe in yourself how will you maintain strong relationships with others?

It is relatively easy to say “I believe in myself.” It is harder to live life each day with self-belief. It is difficult to stand by an opinion when others disagree but if you sincerely believe in your opinion why go along with others if in reality you don’t agree with what they say?

Solid relationships develop over time. Starting out a new relationship without self-belief makes you vulnerable to accepting and believing that your partner’s likes wants needs and opinions  are exactly like your own even when they’re not. Say your new friend loves red meat and eats it regularly. You on the other hand don’t care for it and rarely eat it. Are you more likely to say you love red meat even if you don’t or admit that you don’t care much for it? Say he loves science fiction movies and has a collection he watches over and over again. You on the hand love comedies and only occasionally watch anything else. Do you hide that difference or bring it out in the open?

Owning up to who you are won’t make or break a viable relationship. Standing by your true self and believing in your abilities will enhance your relationships with others. Sure, we want to respect individual differences in others but not to the point where we disregard our own. Who we are and what we think separates us from the pack.

Pivotal Moments in Destructive Relationships

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

When you think about the pivotal moments in life the big ones come up first—graduating from high school, getting into college, graduating from college, getting the first job, meeting your life partner, marriage, buying a home, having children.

Those are definitely big moments but there are others happening daily which lead us toward or away from who we are as people. We can choose a path that leads us in a direction where although not perfect, we feel good about. It’s a place with people, choices, daily life, events, and opportunities that are in line with our values. Movement on this path may take on a two steps forward one step back characteristic. Instant gratification isn’t typically part of the landscape but when followed this path usually produces satisfying results.

We also have the option of a path which is more exploratory and quite different from what we’ve experienced. This is a tricky path to navigate because on one hand it is unfamiliar, on the other it is exciting interesting and fun. It can even feel like we’ve hit the jackpot and can’t believe our good fortune.

Relationships we develop down this lesser known path initially seem good. They start quickly and appear to be all we could hope for.  Yet after a little time we discover things we may have overlooked at the onset. We may experience a sinking feeling thinking we’re not good enough or exciting enough for a new partner who is suddenly restless. We don’t know what we did or didn’t do to get to this point but we’re scrambling to figure out what we can do to make things right. We might observe questionable behavior–like ranting or off the wall rudeness toward us or others. Decisions are made which don’t make sense.

When we question circumstances in these relationships we’re doing something good—we’re recognizing pivotal moments and it’s up to us to figure out what we’re going to do with the information we’ve been handed. Do we ignore it or do we take action by asking questions, listening, stating our feelings, and if necessary, leaving.

If you aren’t sure about a current relationship think about the following:

Question why you feel uneasy

Decide if you are willing to compromise your values to meet those of your partner.

Determine whether or not you can continue to live with the situation and the person. If you know you can’t let them know and exit.

Recognize if you’re saying you’re okay with things as they are but know deep down you’re not. It is not wise to accept the unacceptable to keep a relationship going.

Give yourself credit for knowing when a relationship is and  isn’t right for you.


Being Where You’re Supposed to be and Knocking on Doors

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Have you ever wondered if where you are is where you should be?

I mean, we can wonder about everything we do and the decisions we make as it relates to us and the truth is we’ll probably never know for sure if we’ve got it all exactly right. So if we weren’t where we are now, where else would we be? What would we do? Who would be in our lives? What would life look like?

We all have times when we question our direction. Yet if we are spiritual (and that is certainly different for everyone) have faith in that spirituality and are moving forward by living life in a way we feel good about, we’re most definitely on a positive path.

If I were homeless, with no means of support, no friends or family near by—I would have serious doubts about whether or not I was in the right place. In fact I’d make a point of doing whatever I could to change my situation by coming up with a plan and working on it daily.

There have been times in my life when I’ve faced setbacks and have struggled economically, emotionally, and spiritually. Each time has been frustrating primarily because I didn’t know for sure if the smart move was to stay on my current path or choose a different one.

Sometimes we are fearful or uncertain no matter what we do. The goal at this point is to move forward every single day by gathering information setting goals and eventually getting our nerve up to knock on a few doors. We might get to the first one and it slams in our face. That’s okay, we just try another one. If we get the same result we continue to try again and again and again.

Some decide it’s too discouraging so abandon knocking on any more doors. Others keep trudging on. Not giving up is the American way, right? Sure staying the course despite rejection builds character yet at some point it’s a good idea to step back and consider whether it’s possible we’re trying to open the wrong doors. (more…)

Stinking Thinking, Rules for Being Human, & Risking

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

I was looking through some of my online favorites and ran across this website. I think there is some interesting reading here, I hope you agree.

Say What You Think

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

In a new relationship it can be tough to be upfront with views and opinions if they’re different from that of a new person. The first thought might be to stay neutral. There’s no reason to come off as harsh in any way but don’t be afraid to say what you think either. I once met a man who was a serious motorcycle rider. He told me he didn’t ride much in the winter but spent a lot of time riding during the summer. He asked me what I thought about motorcycles. At the time I remember thinking–I could tell him I love them but that wouldn’t be entirely true. Instead I told him it depends on the rider because motorcycle safety is an issue for me.

I didn’t hear from him again. He most likely felt I wasn’t going to share his enthusiasm for bikes and riding was important to him.

Be honest with people and tell them what you think. It isn’t always pleasant but it doesn’t have to be awkward either. You’ll feel more confident when you tell people how you feel because you’re letting them know who you are. Being authentic is a wise thing to do. You won’t have the same interests as every potential partner you meet. Besides, having the exact same interests as a partner isn’t necessary; we’re all different! By being honest not only do you let people know who you are, you tell them what you like, and what you don’t which is a good idea.


Loved Ones Taking a Back Seat to New Relationships

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

This should never happen but it happens every day. It happened to me once and although it took longer than it should have I shook myself out of the daze I was in and woke up.

Those of us who find ourselves in relationships we become compulsive about talk ourselves into believing these relationships are healthy and good for us. We can’t see or refuse to see that we don’t have our priorities straight.

We think about what we want right now.

We think we must make our new relationship partner our number one priority or we’ll lose them.

If the only way to maintain a new relationship is to put everyone else in our lives on the back burner we’re preparing a recipe for disaster. It’s not necessary to let a new person monopolize our thoughts and time and if this is what we do we’re not ready for that new relationship.

We’re off balance. We’re looking for companionship at the cost of our loved ones. We stand to lose respect from our children, parents, siblings, friends, the new person, and us.

When I experienced this and forced myself to pay attention, I could feel the despair in my heart and see it in the eyes of my children.

If you have experienced urgent intimacy you know it’s a tough spot to be in but at the same time you also know you don’t have to be there. We make this choice and we can just as easily decide to take our time rather than  speed up the process.

New relationship partners worth having will respect us if we respect and value the relationships we already have in our lives. There’s no need to create urgent intimacy. There is a need to nurture our current relationships and grow new ones over time.

Have you experienced urgent intimacy? What are your thoughts about this?

The Power of Words

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Children learn from adults to say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” These words are taught in order to lessen the pain inflicted on them by other children.

Children can be hurt deeply by words! A school or community playground can become a place to dread where the young can be left permanently scarred by spiteful or mindless chatter.

Words have the energy and power to heal or maim; to comfort or destroy. A few choice words can start or end a friendship. Arguments, fights, divorces, feuds, and wars start because of words. Sometimes we carry pain with us throughout life because of words spoken to us that we never forgot. The way words are said makes a difference too. They can soothe or attack. We can direct pleasantries toward those we like and curse words toward those we don’t.

Children and adults alike are hurt or helped by the words we speak. We can absolutely and positively make or break another person’s day. We can build them up or tear them down with just a few choice words.

Choose your words carefully.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Your current comfort zone might not be all that comfortable but it is familiar. How do you get outside it?

Do one thing different each day. It can be something simple like taking a different route to work, the store, to school—wherever you go daily. If you park in the same spot every day, try a different one. The next day change something else. Try a new cereal for breakfast or try a different place for lunch. If you pack a lunch or eat lunch at home choose something you’ve always wanted to try but still haven’t. If you usually eat lunch alone try eating with a friend occasionally.

Do you write in a journal? If not, why not start one? Each day write a sentence. When you feel ready expand to a second sentence and then another and keep adding to the number you write. Write your sentences about anything.

When you discipline yourself to think creatively about doing one thing differently each day you open up new possibilities.

Is there anything you’ve been mulling over? Why not take the next step in the process? Get more information, make a phone call, request information. Take an action.

Say for example, you want to buy a new camera. I mention a camera because I’ve had conversations with several women who have talked about how much they want to buy one but haven’t yet. I asked each of them why and they all said they’re afraid of choosing the wrong one. They also fear that even if they got the right one they wouldn’t be able to figure out how to use it.

So if you want to buy a new camera you could take these action steps:

1.) Go to an electronics store and view the selection.

2.) Find three brands your curious about.

3.) Investigate these brands. Ask the salesperson for information about each one. You might also check out each brand online or ask a trusted friend or relative what they think.

4.) Give yourself a deadline to make the purchase—a close deadline, preferably within 48 hours. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of buying something we want and have planned for.

5.) Once you’ve bought the camera practice using it over and over. If you have trouble understanding how to get started ask for help. Go back to the store for assistance or ask a technically savvy friend. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. There are often classes or tutorials online. The camera will likely come with instructions and a website or number to call for assistance.

There is always a learning curve when trying new things. It may take a day, week, month, or more but if you stick with it you will gain new knowledge and feel great about yourself as well as the new skill.

When it comes to developing skills as they relate to new relationships it’s the same way. Some of us have been out of touch socially and so can’t expect to just jump into social situations like a pro. Start slowly as you would with learning any new skill. Circulate. The more you incorporate new people and situations into your life the easier it will be.

Be patient with you no matter what change you want to make in your life. Do something small each day to build up to the change. Set target dates. Scan the newspaper, internet, and local community resources. If you find yourself faltering or putting what you want on the back burner—start again. What you need and want is attainable with conscious effort.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Thursday, October 28th, 2010