So, I admit I need help. Now what?

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If you’ve never been to a counselor, you could easily have a hard time even trying to comprehend how a complete stranger is going to be able to help you in the first place.  But you finally admit you aren’t happy. You’ve been doing life on your own for quite a while and you now aren’t happy with the results.  It’s time to call in the pros.  It’s no different than remodeling your house.  A lot of times you can only go so far in the project and you hit a wall, beyond your expertise level and/or a point where it’s not going as planned.  You can continue to struggle or add some “patches” with hopes to be able to continue to get by, or you can cover over the issue and hope it doesn’t resurface later.  A better option is to bite the bullet and call in a professional and get life taken care of, once and for all.

Once you recognize you are “stuck” in a negative place and/or mindset, and decide you want to make a step towards getting “unstuck”, the next step is choosing help.  I’m not elaborating about that here, but a great place to go to find a professional is www.PsychologyToday.comEMDR Therapy is a wonderful option as type to pursue.  It tends to get to the heart of the issue quite quickly.  If you are a verbal or physical abuse victim, I strongly recommend you find someone that has the initials EMDR after their name, or offers that modality as a specialty.

Let’s jump ahead to having chosen someone and scheduled your first appointment.  At your first session you will experience an “Intake” where you will fill out paperwork and answer a lot of questions.  You can approach this as either going in to a friend’s house for a social visit, or like going to the Emergency Room of a hospital with a gaping wound.   I have learned it’s best to expedite the whole process and picture it as if I am “rushing” in to the ER and need help NOW.

It is totally expected that at your first sessions,you just aren’t sure what to share.  Not only that, but you aren’t sure how much to share either,  but then we unfortunately end up holding back.  Some of us have a fear of possibly shocking our new counselor with what we think, or have done, and at this first, and subsequent sessions want to “sell them” on what a great person we are.  So sessions can easily end up becoming a “get to know each other” format and not going in to the depth of any issues.  When we do this, we are either stalling and/or trying to surmise if they are “safe” enough with whom we can share our private self. 

Keep in mind that scenario is the typical “dance” of how relationships work with our friends.  We only share so much at a time to see if they are in agreement with us or if they can relate to what we are saying.  If not, we they just stop sharing that compartment of our lives with them.  Keep it in perspective that this counselor is someone you are paying, to offer a professional service.  They are a professional and have heard it all.  Holding back is not the best choice.  You will not shock them.  Although you will share possibly more with them than any ONE person in your entire life, they still are not acting in the capacity as your friend. 

So let’s change the mindset here and approach your therapy sessions as you truly are:  you have a major issue big enough for you consider sharing it with a stranger and give them your hard earned money.  Don’t forget this.  However, as you walk in to their office, at this exact moment you may not be in severe “pain” anymore.  You may be feeling “ok”.  This is where you need to remember back to the torment and tortured feelings that caused you to phone or email to make this very appointment.  Bring that emotion to this meeting as if you walked in to an Emergency Room.  In that setting you would end up exposing any area of pain without being asked or probed to do so.  You would share all you know about how it happened, and any details about how the wound makes you feel and what your fears are if it is not fixed.  And then you would step back and let the doctor lead.  Then the best case scenario is that you would follow what they say needs done to get the wound fixed.   In this same way, share the innermost wounds in your heart and mind with your counselor.  Don’t hold back.  This is not the time.

I believe if you can stay in the mindset that you are in an emergency situation and not trying to “sell yourself” to someone to get them to like you, you can keep your sessions moving quickly and get to your goals much faster.  They can’t push you in your sessions, they can only gently nudge, and the rest is up to our own self.  One must truly set the pace for their own growth.  I’m simply suggesting that you be aware of this and do your best to “let it all hang out” in your sessions.   Save your money and use your time wisely by deciding to be a person of full disclosure before you walk in to each session.  You will be glad you did.    

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An intimate relationship is a place where you should never be frightened

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Have you ever felt afraid of your partner?  If so, take those feelings seriously.  Notice whether you tell yourself things like:

  • “I’m overreacting — he would never really hurt me.”
  • “He gets extremely angry, but he won’t hit me.”
  • “Yes, he has harmed me in the past, but he swears he won’t do it again.”
  • “He pushed me into having sex when I didn’t want it, but it isn’t like he assaulted me or anything.”

These are all danger signs.  Women’s intuitions about their partners are crucial.  As Gavin de Becker explains in his book The Gift of Fear, those scary feelings are there to alert you to dangerous situations.

Women get subjected to a stream of societal messages saying that they’re too sensitive, that they perceive problems where none lie, and that they have nothing to be afraid of.  This cultural training tells you, “Don’t trust yourself, go ahead and walk right into danger.”

An intimate relationship is a place where you should never be frightened, no matter how furious or hurt your partner feels.  If he’s telling you that your fear is coming from somewhere else — such as your childhood experiences, or your supposed hypersensitivity — don’t buy it.  Ditto for anyone else who tells you that your fear of him is your own issue.

[Entry from Lundy Bancroft’s book, Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?* p96]
[Copied from a post from https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2016/08/25/thursday-thought-caution/]

 

THIS is NO WAY to LIVE … with a narcissist

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Do you walk on eggshells?  Keep all discussions, and even questions to a minimum because they always end up in a fight? Have you ever thought you were going crazy after talking with your spouse or partner?  I have felt all of these. Actually everything in this Blog attached titled “The 8 Most Common Narc-Sadistic Conversation Control Tactics” could have been written by me, with first hand experience. But author Bree Bonchay did a great job explaining what many verbally and physically abused women contend with every day.

I hope this article sheds some much needed light on your situation, because I believe you didn’t find these words here, right now, by accident. And then I hope beyond all, that if you are ready, you seek help, because THIS is NO WAY to LIVE, with a narcissist.  YOU are NOT going crazy.  YOU are not alone.  YOU were not designed by GOD to live like this.  There is more for YOU in your future than being controlled and manipulated by another “human being” . . . especially when that person is supposed to be protecting you.  Stop living a lie.  YOU are worth it.

READ BLOG POST HERE:  http://relationshipedia.me/2015/06/16/the-8-most-common-narc-sadistic-conversation-control-tactics/

My NEWEST Anthem Song: “Listen to me. Am I loud enough?”

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     Stumbled upon this song today. It showed up in my iTunes “hot list” of recommendations for me. With only the bare minimum knowledge of Latin, I did however recognize the word “voce” in the one song title to be the English word “voice”. Well that’s just enough of a nudge these days to peak my curiosity. So out of the four songs recommended for me, this song “Viva Voce” by The Rocketboys got my choice for a click through. One more click, entered my password, and ninety-nine cents later, I own it.

     WOW is my rating out of ten for this song.  It also gets my unsolicited vote to be THE anthem of 2015 for the Domestic Violence community.  It deeply touches on some lyrics really close to my heart also – speaking thanks to “my team”, as I have nicknamed them; those who continue lifting me up these last two plus years as I crawl out of my own silence, finding my voice …

“To all the people I know that listen
LISTEN TO ME, hallelujah!
To all the PEOPLE I know that PRAYED for me
For my safety, hallelujah!

CAN you HEAR me NOW?
I’m SINGING OUT as LOUD as I know how
But AM I LOUD enough?
I got MY VOICE and you got YOURS
so let’s make a little NOISE
ALL TOGETHER NOW!”

The Rocketboys – “Viva Voce” (Lyrics Video)

When violence is involved, it changes everything

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If you approach counseling a couple where there is physical or verbal abuse as if you are doing marriage counseling, then you have already derailed and are hurting the victim even further.  You cannot address this like you would a difference-of-opinions type argument expecting to work things out in a reasonable way.  When violence is involved, violence changes everything.   This is a domestic violence situation and its not just a disagreement.  Don’t make it worse. Get out of the way and get experienced abuse counselors involved immediately.

Thursday Thought — How to Support an Abuse Victim

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A MUST READ for ANYONE who may at ANY TIME IN THEIR LIFE have a conversation of ANY length with a victim of verbal/physical abuse. (Note: verbal abuse always proceeds physical abuse in a relationship but verbal abuse doesn’t always evolve in to physical abuse. I lumped them together to be inclusive of all victims).

A Cry For Justice

If you would like to make a significant difference in the life of an abused woman you care about, keep the following principle fresh in your mind:  Your goal is to be the complete opposite of what the abuser is.

The Abuser:  Pressures her severely

So you should:  Be patient.  Remember that it takes time for an abused woman to sort out her confusion and figure out how to handle her situation.  It is not helpful for her to try to follow your timetable for when she should stand up to her partner, leave him, call the police, or whatever step you want her to take.  You need to respect her judgment regarding when she is ready to take action — something the abuser never does.

The Abuser:  Talks down to her

So you should:  Address her as an equal.  Avoid all traces of condescension or superior…

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Abuse: Walking the fine line – Parenting

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As of today’s writing, I embark on my 25th month of counseling for myself and my children as we continue recovery from an abusive household because of their father.  I have children ranging in age from 7 to 22, all boys – five of them.  From the very beginning of this ordeal/detour/situation, I have been taught, learned and chosen to not put their father down in front of them. However, I have learned not to lie about what their father has done either. It’s a tedious tightrope act, almost daily, and it isn’t easy. I found a blog that mirrors what I am living and doing with my children. Please share the blog liberally, it might be the glimmer of hope for a victim parent right now.  Excerpts below:

http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/10/01/why-arent-you-and-daddy-married-anymore/

“You should not denigrate the children’s father because you are angry with him, or want to get back at him for what he did to you (and/or the kids). He is still their father and they will have feelings for him…They are going to eventually have to understand what their father has done and/or is doing and that will be very hard for them to reconcile within themselves….What we do need to do is be honest with them, in a way they can understand, but is not degrading to their father. We can then teach them what manipulation is. We can teach them what blame shifting is. We can call it out when we see it and help them learn to do the same. We can teach them how to treat others and help guide their character development along, as they grow…They will begin to see the tactics, and then see their father is using these tactics and when they discover this reality on their own, they internalize the truth much deeper than if we were to simply impose it on them…They asked their follow up questions. “Why did he hurt you? Why didn’t he stop?” And I told them, “I think it’s because daddy thought he could make me do what he wanted me to, by hurting me if I didn’t. But you can’t make people do things. You can’t force them to do things you want them to do or not do things you don’t want them to do.” I also told them that I prayed for Daddy. I prayed that God would show daddy that he needed to change and make better choices about how he treats people. I told them mommy leaving was not their fault. The divorce was not their fault. They were not to blame in any way.”  Author deborahmom