Stop Making Excuses…

Image

 

I came across this gem on Instagram a couple of days ago. I like it because it brings humor to a very serious issue. I find all too often  women, much more than men, make excuses for the way their significant other acts. And this very issue is at the heart of an abusive relationship. Bottom line is that nobody, man or woman, should ever verbally, coercively, sexually, emotionally or physically abuse you. There is NO excuse for people who are abusive. These are some of the excuses I made for my ex boyfriend:

  • “He’s really tired, I should have had dinner ready on time.”
  • “He just had a serious concussion, he’s still recovering.”
  • “He just got fired from his job, it’s only natural for him to take it out on me.”
  • “He’s working way harder than I am, I shouldn’t have brought up that issue that was bothering me.”
  • “It’s selfish of me to go out with my friends when he can’t because he’s so busy.”

 

These are only a few examples of the excuses I made for my ex. I made these kind of excuses every day. What are some of the excuses you previously made for you ex? If you are currently in an abusive relationship, are you able to recognize the excuses you are making for your partner and what are they?

Happy Tuesday

~DIVA~

xo Hope ox

Kellie Jo Holly – Survivor, Advocate, Mentor

Seeking counsel after you leave an abusive relationship is something I highly recommend. Speaking to someone who is knowledgeable about the issue can provide sound insight when you’ve been left confused, hurt and, broken.

Recently, I was fortunate to connect with Kellie Jo Holly, advocate against domestic violence and the founder of AbuseJournals.com. I was seeking advice on how to cope with lingering loose-ends, so to speak, of my former verbally abusive relationship, which I had been struggling with for months.

Kellie’s insight gave me the strength I needed to push forward and break the barriers I was imposing upon myself. Being a survivor of verbal abuse and an educated counselor in the field, she was the best resource that I could have found during my time of pain and confusion.

That being said, Kellie has been mentoring for some time now and is growing a base of mentors to help victims of abuse. I encourage you to explore this resource, especially if you’re in need of answers to what may seem, countless questions.

Further, if you want to share your story and hone your counseling skills, be a mentor! There are also opportunities to join her amazing team.

Thanks for everything, Kellie Jo. Keep up the fantastic work! ❤

The DIVA Team

Christina xo.

The Voice Of Confidence…

The past six months have been SUCH a journey for me. Six months ago I was living in Montreal with by verbally abusive boyfriend. I didn’t have a job, I had VERY few friends; I felt isolated, depressed and lonely.  I spent the majority of my social time with my ( now ex) boyfriends family members, especially his mom.

The day I left my ex boyfriend, I went back to Connecticut to live with my parents. It’s been a challenge. I’ve been here for 6 months practicing yoga, going to weekly therapy sessions, and soul searching…LOTS of soul searching. My goal was to heal and find work in Manhattan…

I just accepted a job offer in Manhattan. And my mind is going bonkers! I’ve been taking the time to listen to my mind, body and soul to make sure that everything is in sync. I have gone through SO many changes in the past 6 months, it’s mind boggling. I don’t even know how I did it… My tenacity never ceases to amaze me.

I’ve made it my life’s mission to listen to my heart and go for whatever it is that I want and need. I’ve done it time and time again throughout my life and because of it I am a strong, wise, and resilient young woman who has learned many of life’s lessons early on.

I can tell you that today I am so proud of myself. Proud of the growth I’ve made while being in Connecticut. Proud of myself for doing the (sometimes agonizing) work that I needed to do to move on to the next chapter in my life. Most of all I’m proud that I let myself feel every emotion necessary in order to get over the man I tried to save by being his doormat, verbal punching bag, and catering to his every request.

Thank you for all of your support, encouragement, and kindness  I feel so lucky to have such an amazing virtual support system.  Your comments and “likes” have gotten me through many of the off days I’ve had. Today at my 430 Hot Baptiste Hour of Power class, I will be dedicating my practice to each and every one of you. For love, happiness, healing and strength. I found it within myself and it’s there, inside you, waiting to be nurtured.

Namaste

 

~DIVA~

xo Hope ox

The Initial Signs

My ex-boyfriend and I had exchanged stories regarding our most recent break-ups when we first met. He told me that his ex girlfriend had broken up with him because he was “too negative” – BIG surprise there!  He seemed so charming and supportive; “negative” just didn’t make sense to me at the time.

However, there were lots of little signs that I didn’t pay attention to because I was infatuated. The key in identifying an abusive individual is being able to hone in on those RED FLAGS at the beginning that might predict escalated abuse in the future. I remember reading the following list months into my relationship, when the verbal abuse had peaked, and I had then put the pieces together. All of these signs were present even at the beginning, just to a lesser degree:

  • He seems irritated or angry with you several times a week. When you ask why he’s mad, he either denies it or tells you it’s in some way your fault.
  • When you feel hurt and try to talk with him, the issues never get resolved. He might refuse to discuss your upset feelings by saying, “You’re just trying to start an argument!” or claiming he has no idea what you’re talking about.
  • You frequently feel frustrated because you can’t get him to understand your intentions.
  • You’re upset—not so much about concrete issues like how much time to spend together, but about communication: what he thinks you said and what you heard him say.
  • You sometimes think, “What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t feel so bad.”
  • He seems to take the opposite view from you on almost everything, and his opinion isn’t stated as, “I think …” but as if you’re wrong and he’s right.
  • You can’t recall saying, “Cut it out!” or “Stop it!”

Excerpt from: The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Patricia Evans. Adams Media Corp 1992, 1996, 2010

Get to know the person you’re dating VERY well. Be curious, ask questions, see how they respond, make note of their inclination to address any topic – are they genuinely forthcoming or do they simply blame their ex’s for failed relationships in the past? Are they coming on too strong?  This could be a sign that they’re trying to control and take ownership of you. Are they constantly speaking highly of you and very lowly of others? They might be idealizing you and this will lead to constant criticism down the line. Full-fledged verbal abuse takes time, but the signs are there right off the bat.

Always respect yourself, speak up when you’re being mistreated and trust your gut. DON’T settle! Once I’m ready to date and start a new relationship, I’ll be taking my time, making sure that respect and healthy communication are priorities for both.

~DIVA~

Chris xo.

Day #5: Consequences of Verbal Abuse

Feelings of depression: You bury your feelings, walk on egg shells and work so hard at keeping the peace that every day becomes an emotional chore. You feel depressed and have even wondered if you are crazy.

Feelings of isolation:You feel confused and alone as you become more and more insecure from being subjected to verbal abuse and psychological distress. You may also feel ashamed of discussing these issues with friends or family, which leaves you even further isolated.

Feelings of helplessness: You cannot get your point across and are not sure how to overcome verbally abusive characteristics. You become helpless as nothing you do or say seems to stop the abuse. You feel helpless in your relationship and in your decisions.

Day #4: Signs of Verbal Abuse Continued

Undermining: Undermining is also verbal abuse. The abuser not only withholds emotional support, but also erodes confidence and determination. The abuser often will squelch an idea or suggestion just by a single comment.

Sarcasm: Sarcasm refers to the use of humor to mask belittling or threatening language. Thus the information is delivered in such a way so as to provide two distinct messages. The superficial message is that the intention is humor or levity while the deeper message is one that belittles, demeans or threatens. Because the deliverer uses humor to mask the message, the deliverer will try to deny the deeper message if confronted, thus leaving the receiver somewhat disarmed and unable to defend against the deeper message. Typically the person using sarcasm denies the deeper message so as to absolve him or herself from any wrong-doing and more insidiously try to infer there is something wrong with the receiver for their misinterpretation. This obfuscation of the receiver’s reality in this scenario is also a form of psychological abuse.

Forgetting: Verbal abuse may also involve forgetting. This may involve both overt and covert manipulation. Everyone forgets things from time to time, but the verbal abuser consistently does so. After the partner collects herself, subsequent to being yelled at, she may confront her mate only to find that he has “forgotten” about the incident. Some abusers consistently forget about the promises they have made which are most important to their partners.

Ordering: Ordering is another classic form of verbal abuse. It denies the equality and autonomy of the partner. When an abuser gives orders instead of asking, he treats her like a slave or subordinate.

Denial: Denial is the last category of verbal abuse. Although all forms of verbal abuse have serious consequences, denial can be very insidious because it denies the reality of the partner. In fact, a verbal abuser could read over this list of categories and insist that he is not abusive.