Month: November 2014

Remembrance Day

On this day in 1918, the guns fell silent. The war was over. It however took 3 days for the telegram to reach East Africa with the news.

There is a famous poem, In Flanders Field that captures the mood really well.

There have been many wars since and they still continue.

Until the day comes where man will no longer need to take up arms against fellow man, i continue to pray for the brave men and women at the front lines and for their families left behind worrying and praying. I thank them for the ultimate sacrifice and quote James 15:3:

“No greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”

To those who continue to fight in Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq, Ukraine and many other parts of the world, we salute you and appreciate your sacrifice.

We pray the Good Lord keeps you safe and returns you to our loving arms.

Keep safe.

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Inside an Abuser’s Mind

I saw this link on the CNN website and i just had to share it and pray that it will help someone.

We have all heard the stories or lived the stories of abuse and battery from the men (and women) that we have loved or continue to love.

The abuser never looks like we would expect him to. He is always clean shaven, hair cut short, helpful, got a good and supportive family, smiling eyes, calm and self assured demeanor. Not dirty fingernails, uncouth words in every sentence, jobless, unwashed body and many other disgusting things *insert description here*

Abuse can take many forms: emotional, physical, sexual, verbal, and mental.

Abuser

This guy, ‘Dylan’ even had a power and control wheel wow!

It shows tactics a man might use to gain leverage in a relationship, ways he may behave before resorting to physical or sexual violence. These are the less obvious, but insidious, means by which men keep women down. Red flags Dylan couldn’t identify back then.

Minimizing. Coercion. Male privilege. At first, the language sounds like over-intellectualized psychobabble. But soon I realize that the wheel represents everything I’d like to caution my nieces about before they go out into the world.

Dylan was in college when he met his first girlfriend. Early on, without even knowing her friends, he told her he didn’t like them. Isolation. Controlling who she sees.

When she came to his room later at night than he wanted, he locked the door — something he never did otherwise — and made her knock. He took his time answering to remind her who was boss. Male privilege. Acting like the “master of the castle.”

Fast forward to after college. He was living with a new girlfriend, “Isabelle,” in Atlanta. She might have had the better job, but he was the one who could drive. She has a disability and depended on him to get to work. He didn’t let her forget it. Threats. Making her feel guilty. The cloud of economic abuse; she could lose her job.

His boss treated him like an idiot, but Dylan felt he had to take it. Out in the world, it seemed like people walked all over him. So at home, Dylan exerted power in the only place he felt he could. He was making more money by then, he says, and had earned the right to “act like a man.” More male privilege. Defining their roles.

He criticized how she did her hair, what she wore, even the way she filled the dishwasher. Emotional abuse. Making her feel small and humiliated.

After reading the article, i took some messages from it:

It doesn’t  from nowhere. He must have seen it somewhere (maybe with his parents or uncles and aunts or older cousins)

It is a socialization that is taught knowingly or unknowingly.

We as role models to our kids, nephews and nieces, the neighbours’ kids; if we would not want our sons to grow up to be this abuser or be the abused, we must on a daily basis strive to be that which we want them to be. Simple.

Don’t want your daughter to be abused or your son to be arrested for abuse. Don’t stay in an abusive relationship.

I can hear you already “It’s easier said than done.”

The hardest thing for the abused to do is to leave the relationship, even when they know that they have a safe place waiting for them. I encourage you to make the first step, turn off your phone and take a deep breath.

Step by step, it will get easier. The universe will give you that which you need.

I commend “Dylan” for realising that he had a problem and taking the steps to correcting it or reigning it in. For Isabelle to still be in touch with him after going through that experience is to be commended too.

Here are few lessons I learned from my experience of abuse:

Don’t blame yourself for what has happened.

When being abused, we can often ignore what the person has done to us and think we are the fault. This is not the case at all. No one deserves to be abused.

Remember, it’s not you; it’s them.

Recognize your worth and value yourself.

Think about all of the things that make you great and use those characteristics to give you strength and motivation. If this is difficult, seek out support from a close friend, confidant, or someone who knows you well and can help you believe in yourself again.

Friends and close loved ones may be your saving grace and strongest form of support, especially if you are in need of encouragement or motivation to push forward.

Remember you are a human being who is worthy of being loved in a healthy way. Abuse is not love.

Challenge fears, negative self-talk, and doubts.

Fear is going to be your #1 enemy in trying to change anything in your life. Surround yourself with positive quotes, books, inspirational messages, and people who love you to get through.

Believe.

Believe in yourself and trust that you have a life purpose here. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Be aware of who you fall in love and become friends with.

As a survivor of abuse, I found that I would attract people who had qualities similar to my parents. It’s easy to fall for and attract people who will be or feel familiar to the past.

After getting out of an abusive situation, the last thing you would think to happen or want is another abusive experience. However, this is common and happens often.

I found that intense and frequent therapy sessions helped me to identify key beliefs about myself linked to being abused. These beliefs were things such as fear of being judged, low self-esteem, and not knowing what a healthy relationship should be like.

Read more here.

Positive vibrations to you.

Depression

Depression has gotten a lot of airtime in the past few months especially because world loved Robin Williams committed suicide. Wayne Brady too has come out to share his struggle. Here is the link.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/04/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/wayne-brady-depression/index.html?hpt=en_bn3

Brave people come out and share your struggles.

A friend of mine has had a hard year. Let’s call him N.

He broke up with his girlfriend, work became harder to come by or just plain had impossible to please clients, he went to Nigeria for work just as the ebola quarantines were being enforced at the airport…..sigh…the hits just kept on coming.
To deal with all this, he has buried himself in the gym and work. He has ignored friends (by his own confession) and he doesn’t want to be near anyone he cares about because something bad will happen. He won’t even take my calls. He thinks he is toxic.
He wants to move out of the city and lose his phone.
This will help him pick up the pieces of his life.

This broke my heart.

I know exactly how it feels.

I was so depressed that i was taking medicines and praying to God every night to take my life.
I have been where he is.
I bet you have too.

I worry for people who are prone to depression. I think those that take medicines are better off than people like N, because they have taken the steps to see a doctor and be diagnosed and take medicines.

I myself am prone to depressive episodes. I get through them in my own way. I get out and hang out with a friend or two, work out and not let it go beyond a certain time period. This doesn’t work for everyone. There are times when it is harder than other times.

To you who may feel like the world is against you or everything is falling apart, i tell you this:
You are not alone. Somebody somewhere cares about you.
Seek help.
Look for something to make you smile everyday. I did the 100happydays and it greatly greatly helped me.

Have a mantra that will get you through the day. My mantra was: Just this minute, make it as normal as possible. I can do it.

To you Mr N., i am here for you. You too dear reader.

🙂 🙂

Goals and Souls and Living

The other day i was on my Google+ account and i saw a link that my good friend Sheila had put up and i thought i just had to share.

It talked to me about living in the moment and not letting time just pass me by and saying that i am a year older and wiser and…blah blah blah….

Incidentallly this is the life i have been living this year and i am so happy that a friend has been living it too and writing it (better than i have)

She wrote a post for the http://www.babylovenetwork.com/index.php/component/k2/item/113-goals-have-no-souls

Take a look too at her blog too www.yourpushfactor.com

She’s got some good stuff there too.

Happy Reading! (and do give feedback, thanks!)