The Scars of Emotional Abuse

Someone suffering from emotional abuse will not always been seen on the surface. If you have ever been there and done that you know that it can take time before one realizes what damage has been done. Many experts have said that emotional abuse is just as bad, if not worse than physical abuse.

As my aunt recently said, I would rather be beaten than to be beaten down with hurtful words that can destroy me.  Physical abuse may leave lasting physical scars, but scars from emotional abuse can last a lifetime while destroying a persons self-esteem, friendships, relationships, cause depression as well as suicide.

My closest friend I adore, has been emotionally abused for the last 31 years. His wife and children have treated him like a doormat and a punching bag on a daily basis. It has taken place for so long that he either cannot see that it is abuse or that he has been in it for so long it scares him to know that things can be better for him if he left.

His wife is an excessive spender. His severance package/retirement fund from his job that ended in 2003 was gone by the beginning of this year. He does not and never has had a mortgage because he built his own house on the 26 acres he has. He has never had a car payment, always paid cash for his vehicles. In 2009 his wife had possession of two credit cards, both were maxed out in two years to the tune of about $32K. She had to file bankruptcy.

Yet he continued to stand by her while she has continuously abused him and their marriage. He has asked her numerous times to stop spending. He has sat down with her to work on a budget countless times only for her to forget about it and do her own thing.

Six months ago their youngest son who is 21 graduated from college with honors. He has never had a job in his life. He had to move back in with them. His mom had mentioned there would be guidelines, which were never implemented. Typically he is sleeping while mom or dad is mowing the yard, taking the garbage out, washing clothes, grocery shopping, Paying the Bills.

My friend continues to be a doormat, believing he is the one expected to be responsible for everyone else, even though they are grown, able bodied adults. In the meantime, his health is declining. Two months ago he broke out in shingles, an obvious sign he is severely stressed. His wife laughs about it.

Eight months ago he found out his wife has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Basically, his marriage has been a lie. She has never and will never have the true capacity to love anyone else but herself. Yet he continues to be at the hands of her control.

Thanksgiving Day this year, he was in excruciating pain from his back. He had worked on her vehicle under the dash, had to take out the seat to work on things. He had been cramped in there for so long that he strained his back. He could barely walk and it was nearly impossible for him to feel comfortable whether sitting, walking or laying down even with strong pain medicine. He did not want to go. She insisted he go with her even though he was not feeling very well and was in pain. He did stand up to her and tell her he was not spending the night at her mother’s house three hours away. The whole entire time he slept. She made him drive home. The next day she had the nerve to tell me he was falling asleep at the wheel on the way home, was weaving.

One Christmas she threatened to shoot both him and her son if they did not go with her at the same time to her parents house.

His wife does not see anything wrong with her behavior. What happens to her is everyone else’s fault. Of course her husband is the main target. He gets blamed for everything, including her massive heart attack in 2010. He has told her he does not want to be married to her anymore. For a few days she will be depressed and claiming her life is useless. A few days later it is if a switch has been flipped and nothing ever happened.

My friend goes through constant periods of depression. I saved him from suicide.

It has been a challenge to pull him away from this dangerous, toxic, negative relationship. He says he feels so responsible. He is afraid of what others will say or think about him if he made her and their son move out. He would be the villain.

He is choosing to kill himself  slowly for the sake of two people who do not care, appreciate or truly love him. Everyday that he goes home he is a doormat. It is dangerous in that his narcissistic wife is like a vampire, sucking the life out of him and he cannot free himself from her clutches.

As a friend, it is like tug of war. I get him away long enough for him to recuperate and then he goes back to emotionally beaten up more.

Emotional abuse can and will kill those that cannot cut themselves out of the ropes of entanglement. They cannot do it alone. Support from family and friends are vital to one recovering from the scars of emotional abuse.

Handling Stress

Apparently my family and friends view me as a strong willed, determined, able-bodied person even when things are at the lowest point. Or so they assume.

Stress is nothing new to me although the last few years I have been able to work on handling stress better, most of the time. Some stress I can deal with, but there are times when things get  me so stressed out I get extremely anxious (which I cannot stand) to the point my whole body feels jittery. Those are the times I am tempted to break out my Cotton Candy Vodka and mix it with some Big Red I “smuggled” from Texas.

Drinking is not the answer though because it always results in some depression. It’s not worth it to cover up things that I have been strong enough to get through in the past to only temporarily bury them until they eat at me again. Instead I will force myself to start thinking happy thoughts even if it means turning on music that is uplifting, like my 80’s music.

Another thing I do is break out my spiral notebook and start writing away about the things I would like to happen in my life. That tends to put a nice spin on things that get me going in detail about the dreams and goals I have that keep me floating in the right direction. Every so often I’ll even create a vision board- pictures/collage of things I would like in my life.

My favorite thing to do that helps me relieve stress is off-roading. Unfortunately for me this year the timing has been way off for me to do any off-roading which I am usually doing about every four months or so. Perhaps this is why I have been feeling more anxious this year.

What got me back on track about ensuring I learn to be aware of my stressors as well as learning to deal with them in a positive manner is taking Abnormal Psychology. Stress can and will damage your body. As it lingers in your body when you refuse to release the stressful things in life it can make you sick. It can even kill you.

Holding on to stress is not worth sacrificing my sanity, my health, or my life.

There are so many more adventures I still would like to enjoy.


Relieving Stress Part I

As a single mom of three kids ages 14, 10 and 7 as well as a Grad Student and Pre-Nursing Student (among many other things) I deal with stress.

When things recently came to a head I knew there were things I had to do. Stress is known to affect your health, cause memory problems and alter your behavior. If it continues, stress can and has killed people. I still have a lot of life to live so changing my behavior had to start immediately.

Identify your stressors-What causes you stress?

Take some time for yourself. Even if it is taking a walk by yourself for a few minutes a day to clear your mind, Do it.

Write things down in a journal and when you do, be sure to write at least five positive things down. Positive thoughts will help you gradually change your attitude. It doesn’t happen overnight. Within one to two weeks of daily work you will see a difference! Let that be the last thing you do before bedtime. If you can, write at least one positive thing down in the morning and then try to reflect on it. Creating a positive attitude takes time and reprogramming your brain will take effort on your part. Start out small and add to it.

Talk to someone who is positive and has an optimistic attitude. You want someone uplifting who is great listener but can also give you some constructive criticism if need be.

If you feel you are beyond the basics of relieving stress, seek professional help even if it is your pastor or other clergy. If a group is available consider trying that. Make an effort to not hold things in.

Anxieties With Searching for a Car and Buying one…On Ebay

Recently I came to realize that it was costing me a lot of money to keep filling my Jeep Cherokee with gas, like every three to four days. In fact, the last 10 days I know I have spent around $100 in gas just to take my kids to and from school, band practices, doctors appointments, therapy appointments and having to go get medicine.

It was a heart wrenching decision to start looking for a car to drive daily and even more difficult to share the news with my three kids who absolutely adore “Princess.” I got the silent treatment from all three of them ages 14, 10 and 7. Their biggest concern was whether or not I was keeping her.

Of course I am!

I just explained to them that Princess does need to have some maintenance work done on her so we can take her off roading like they have been wanting to do. I even told them that there may be days I may drive Princess especially when there is snow in the forecast.

It has not been an easy time looking for the “right” car. Some I have found with the perfect body yet there is something seriously wrong with the engine or transmission and in one case, the brakes not working. I have been most astounded though at the prices of the cars.

I spent over a week and a half looking at cars locally, in our local trading post paper, newspaper, craigslist (from the local to places 250 miles away) and Ebay.  My original budget had been about $1,000 which when I look back at it was a joke. Rarely can you find a vehicle for that price and when you do there are bungee cords holding the doors closed, duct tape on the body, glass missing, key holes with no place to put the key just to name a few things.

Even when I bumped up the price limit to $1,500 I had a friend who visits car auctions often to be looking for certain cars. He warned me that chances are cars in that price range will look like they’ve had a rough life. I will agree!

Then it came to a point after talking with my boyfriend that if I wanted a decent car the way I wanted I would have to ask for some help. I had to break down and ask my grandfather for a little help with my car budget. As hesitant as he was, I believe he was very understanding about my situation with spending money on gas.

After a few days of looking and “watching” cars on Ebay and digging through ads on Craigslist, I finally came across one I “fell in love with.” Yes, I’ll admit I crumble when I see certain cars. I did it with my Jeep Cherokee which I immediately named Princess before the auction had ended…

The best thing about the car I found was that it was where I could get a friend to test drive it for me before making the decision to dive in and bid on it. I had missed the Buy It Now option by probably 12 hours by the time my friend test drove it. But, the most interesting thing about the car is that the guy who was selling it knows my friend from a place he worked at previously! Funny how things can be a small world.

For nearly a week I have been tormented by the whole auction ordeal. I missed the BIN by less than a day, then a potential fraudulent bidder got involved and bumped up the price right to my absolute limit, when, where and how to get the car, then trying to figure out how to get all the money together to pay for the car, just about all took me over the edge.

Actually, it was the final day that made me the craziest. I did my absolute best to keep my mind off the auction by cleaning, doing school work, washing my hair, going to do a few errands. For the most part of two days I figured the auction would end around 3 PM. That was a perfect time since that would be just before I had to go get my boys from school. Ummm, nope not so much. Try 3:50 PM. *Sigh*

Well, I had downloaded the Ebay app recently so that made it a little easier to keep up with the auction. At the same time I had a small auction going that I was selling some sandals I no longer needed. So every once in a while I would get an alert that either the bid price had gone up on the sandals or the car (I’d much rather know the bid price went up on the sandals). I remember sitting in line at my oldest son’s school and would check the final 50 minutes of the auction about every 10-15 minutes. I had estimated that it would end about the time I picked my youngest one up from school.

As it got down to 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes and then 5 minutes my heart was racing faster and faster. I thought I was going to pass out before the auction was finished. For a day and a half the highest bid was at $2,400. I just knew at the last minute someone would outbid me (my maximum bid was $2,401.99). Lucky for me I got stuck at the traffic light through two cycles. It was one time I just didn’t care.

I remember looking at my iPhone as it got down to 2 minutes and some odd seconds, 1 minute and then into the seconds. I could feel my heart beating intensely, my hands were shaking profusely. And just as the light changed to green the auction ended.

I won!


Now to go get the car, tomorrow….*Sigh* I have no patience to be waiting