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Avoiding Abusive Relationships for Teens

When you are a teenager, or a preteen, you are learning about yourself and also learning about what kinds of people you like to be around. You are hopefully living a happy, healthy life, but I realize that many of you are not living a home life that is mentally healthy.

Some of you have supportive parents and others of you have abusive parents. Whether they abuse is physical, sexual or mental / emotional , any kind of  abuse will affect your judgement about selecting friends and boyfriends / girlfriends.

You have to know who you are. You are on a path of self discovery. As you learn about yourself, you also need to believe in yourself.

You are still developing your self esteem and your value system. You are still developing your personality and how you present yourself to the world. You are learning how to interact, how to attract others and what to do with them, once you attract them.

Here are some important things for you to remember, when you are dating.

1. You matter ! Your feelings and your thoughts matter.

2. Trust your feelings and your intuition. If you feel like something is wrong with w certain person, or a certain relationship, then listen to that intuition. It is there as an alert system for you.

3. Do not let others choose for you. People think they know who you are and who would be a good match for you, but they do not. You know what you want and need. NO one else can pick someone for you.

4. Do not choose someone, in accordance with  what the social group wants you to do. Not only will individual people want to “set you up” , but the social group itself may have rules about who you can and cannot date.  Be careful to think for yourself and not to let others think for you.

5. If you do not like being with someone, you never will. Do not try to force yourself to like a guy that you do not like, just so that you can have a boyfriend / or girlfriend. You are better on your own than with someone who you just do not like.  Do not think that you can Make yourself like them, by hanging out with them.

6. Relationships Should be Balanced. There should be give and take in relationships. It should not be one-sided, where one person gets their way all the time. One person should not be dominating over the other person.

7. No Abuse!  The No Abuse Rule Cannot be Broken. No one can abuse you for any reason that makes it okay. Abuse includes being physically rough with you. This includes talking you into sex that you do not feel comfortable with. 

Abuse is also any emotional or mental torment. If anyone is manipulative with you, by making you feel bad (guilty, shame, sad, scared) then that is abuse.

Abuse can be mental abuse, which could be trying to make you into someone you are not. Making you feel stupid, making you feel embarrassed in front of other people. Being nicer to your friends than to you. There are many mentally and emotionally abuse behaviors and you can read about them in some of my other posts.

8. Your Parents Can Not Choose for you.  Your parents may thing they know someone who would be a good match for you. Most guys will act a certain way in front of your parents, that does not allow your parents to see everything about them. There is not enough information that your parents can get from any girl or boy that you like, in order to know how they will treat you.

PLEASE NOTE – If you have good parents that are not abusive, they will be looking out for you. I did say that they cannot choose someone for you, however they can WARN YOU if someone seems to be abusive or a very bad match for you. When you have feelings for someone, it is easy to miss red flags, but your parents may pick up on them.

9. Communication is Very ImportantYou should be able to communicate with the person you are dating, You should be able to talk about your thoughts, opinions and your feelings.

If they shut you down, and do not care about your feelings, then you should move on and let them go.

If they always have to be right and do not want your opinions or thoughts about things, they are a potential abuser and you need to get out.

10. It is okay to be on your own. It is okay to not have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. You do not have to be with someone all the time, or at all. If you have recently come out of a break up, then it is good to wait a while before jumping into a new relationship. Your emotions need to heal before you will have a good perspective to make good choices.

It is ok to be on your own. You do not need to be with someone, in order to be cool. You do not need someone in order to be happy. In fact some people will make you miserable.

It is ok to be on your own, just because you want to. You have a  lot of things to do, with school, family and activities. Relationships take time and you may not have the time right now.

It is okay to be on your own. It is okay if no one has asked you out. There are always some girls who seem to get asked out all the time. You might be the one that no one seems interested in.

This is probably because you are a real person. You are not all fluff and puff. You have depth and intelligence. There will be someone that will really respect and love you for that. But the “click” people and the “popular”  crowds do not like independent thinkers.

Be yourself. Do Not Change to fit in. DO not change to get a guy. be yourself and the right guy will come along. You would not be happy with these superficial people anyway. You would be frustrated and bored.

You need someone with some depth and intelligence. You will have to wait patiently until that special person comes along, because there are not as many independent thinkers as there are “crowd pleasers”

Guess what? This guy is also wondering where you are ! He is somewhere with people that he does not fit in with. He is the one not getting asked out,  because he does not fit in with the group. They are waiting to meet you. 

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Let Go of What No Longer Serves You or Supports You

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image by Steven Aitchison

I saw this today and I thought it was really great. We need to let go of the things and the people that are bringing us down…keeping us from blossoming and reaching for our dreams. You can surround yourself with people who support you and do not ask you to change to suit them. 

Your dreams matter and you have been through enough pain. It is time to listen to that inner voice that is telling you what is best for you. Emotional pain is telling us not to go in certain directions…and to get away from certain people. 

Listen to your pain…and listen to your passion. No one has a right to crush your dreams. If you feel lead to do something, you should do it. 

Love and Peace,

Annie

gentlekindnesscoaching.com

Discount offered on coaching , if you mention this blog. Just go to the web site and send me a message from the Contact Page . You can have 15 dollars off of one month of coaching (regular price 75 dollars

 

 

abuse, acoa, battered women, child abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence, health, healthy relationships after domestic abuse, mental abuse, mental illness, narcissist, PTSD from domestic abuse, women abuse

Abuse and Insomnia

People that are in an abusive domestic household are very likely to develope insomnia. There is a tremendous lack of feeling safe. In order to sleep, we have to feel comfortable and safe.

We are aware that we are vulnerable when we are asleep. We are vulnerable to physical attack. We cannot see someone coming towards us. We also cannot protect our home, our possessions, our cash and credit cards, etc while we are sleeping.

For those people with children in the house, they also can’t protect their children while they are asleep.

People in these situations are forced by real safety issues to adjust their sleep routine. They may sleep in the living room with the lights on. They may create some kind of makeshift blockade for the person to be slowed down by , on the way to the bed.

I used to hide my purse in a different place each night before I went to sleep. I also used to pile things in front of the couch I was sleeping on to create a barrier. I always slept with the light on.

These behaviors become a routine that makes us feel safer. It is not surprising that the routine will be carried on, even when we have left the danger behind us.

To this day, I sleep with my purse right next to the bed. I cannot sleep if it is in the kitchen, even if I am alone in the house. It causes me too much anxiety to sleep, even though I rationally know that no one is going to steel my money.

The feeling that my money could be stolen and my personal items thrown out all over the floor, is an extremely unsafe feeling.

I spent an entire winter in New Jersey with no heat once, because of financial abuse of a domestic partner. He thought his beer and cigarettes were more important than filling up the oil for the heat.

These behaviors are not something you should feel ashamed of or stupid about. Of course you are an intelligent person who knows that the abuse is in the past.

You know that these behaviors are no longer needed. Or are they? If you still need these routines in order to feel safe to go to sleep, I would say go ahead and leave the lights on, sleep on the couch or whatever. It is more important that you sleep.

You went through an extreme trauma and your brain needs to heal. Your brain is trying to protect itself from more trauma. If forcing yourself to put the purse in the kitchen is going to traumatize you, don’t do it.

If you still have the feeling of being unsafe when you sleep, try to think of ways that you might feel safer. I don’t care how stupid someone else might think it is.

The therapist might tell you to force yourself not to keep the same rituals you had when you were being abused. It really depends. It is the lesser of the evils.

If the behavior is not hurting anyone or yourself then it is ok to continue it for as long as you need to. The need for sleep is far more important than forcing yourself out of safety rituals before your brain is ready to handle it.

Sleep deprivation is dangerous to you. It is far more important that you can sleep than almost anything else, including what some therapist tells you.

Insomnia causes severe sleep deprivation. Your sleep cycle is disturbed. You will eventually not be safe to drive. Your job will be in harm’s way because you will be in danger of oversleeping and cannot focus at work.

Give yourself a break. First things first. Your brain needs to heal from the trauma. You need sleep to heal.

Sleep first, feel better, feel safe, then worry about having odd behaviors.

Find ways you can feel safe. Keep someone on the phone with an open line while you are going to sleep, sleep with teddy bears, sleep on the couch or in your child’s room with them. Buy extra locks for the doors.

Talk to someone at bed time about how you feel about sleeping. Write your feelings down on paper or on wordpress. Sleep with your clothes on if you need to. God knows , I slept with all of my clothes on for months after I got out of my abuse house.

I slept in everything but my shoes.   Keep in mind, I was sleeping all alone in my room .

There was no one dangerous or abusive living with me anymore. But my need to feel covered was a strong need of my brain in order to feel safe enough to sleep.

These things can’t be rushed. Your brain has the job of protecting you by alerting you of danger. When the brain becomes traumatized by being on alert too long, it gets kind of sick.

It can’t just shut off. It still feels the need to protect you by letting you know you might be in danger. Let it slowly get used to the idea that you are ok now.

Trying to force yourself out of trauma will cause you more trauma. Be kind to yourself. Do the best you can to make yourself comfortable and safe, so you can sleep.

If you still can’t sleep at night then try to get some sleep during the day. Sleep deprivation will inhibit the brain’s ability to heal from the trauma.

abuse, battered women, domestic abuse, domestic violence, healthy relationships after domestic abuse, how to have a healthy relationship after domestic abuse, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, narcissist, PTSD from domestic abuse, relationships, self esteem, women abuse

Love Your Partner Because You Want to…relationships after domestic abuse

Living with narcissistic abuse has an effect of making us feel unworthy. Many of us leave abuse, only to repeat the behaviors we learned from the abuser. The narcissist taught us that we had to give and give in order to be loved. We were not worthy of love simply based on who we are.

The narcissist taught us that we had to give unreasonable amounts to them. Unreasonable amounts of effort, unreasonable amounts of time and unreasonable sacrifices of our own lives. We were expected to give up the people and the things we loved, in order to prove that we loved them.

Constant sacrificing to the point of your own personal detriment is not love. Someone expecting you to sacrifice your dreams and the the things you love, is not love on their part.

We are worthy of love. It is not our actions and sacrifices that make us worthy. It is the person that we are. A partner should find value in just being with us, being close to us, being loved by us. There is no need for constant demands from someone. We should not have to give so much more to them, than they even come close to giving to us.

There should not be a balance scale or a meter that they hold up against us, to measure how many things we have done for them today. They should not compare us to ex girlfriends on how much we give. They should not compare us to other women in other relationships.

Narcissists are masters of deception. Make no mistake, they twisted the truth around in their favor. When they compared you to an ex girlfriend, they were not telling you the whole story. When they are telling you to be like “So and so’s ” wife, they are making that situation up too.

They demand not only for you to be perfect, but to be more than perfect. They do not want a perfect woman; they want a slave. The narcissist wants a slave that will be there at his beck and call.

They change the rules on us as we go. As soon as we think we have the perfect routine down that will please them, they change the rules. It is all about domination by lowering your self esteem. They do not want you to feel good about yourself, or ability to be a good wife or a good girlfriend to them. They want you to feel inadequate and worthless.  That is how they control you.

Once you have self esteem, then you realize that you do not deserve to be treated in the ways that they treat you. They wold lose their power ti control and rule you, if you were to recover your self esteem. The narcissist game is to constantly crush your self esteem down.

So, what does this mean for us once we are out? We still carry those feelings of being inadequate and worthless. We still feel that in order for someone to love us, we must be at their beck and call 24 hours a day. We must give more to our partner than they give to us. We must constantly measure what we have done recently for them.

In a new healthy relationship, we need to feel that we are worthy to be loved. We can do living things for our partner, but that is what they are…loving acts. If we do a loving act for our partner, it does not need to go onto a list. It is simply something we did because we love them.

When our new healthy partner does something for us, we need to feel worthy to receive it. They should be doing it for us, out of love. If they show us care and love, by doing something for us, then it is because we are worthy of that love.

Little by little, we need our self esteem back. It will allow us to be truly loving to our partner. We will be able to show them our love, because we want to, and not because we are afraid not to.