Feb 1, 2010

A Wilted Flower Needs to Bloom

This past weekend I watched Rhianna's interview
with 20/20 and I thought it was time for me to open
up a bit about emotionally abusive relationships...

I always have had a heart for those who are hurting 
or are in a hurting relationship.
Three years ago I was in an emotionally 
abusive relationship and I didn't understand
that I was actually in one at the time.
I thought our arguments were "normal" and 
that I was the one to blame. I had no idea
that I was not being respected nor was
I respecting myself by staying in the relationship.
It took me a really long time
to come to the point that I couldn't be blinded 
by so called "being in love"any longer...
thank God he left me for someone else.
I might have stayed in an unhealthy 
relationship forever because
I never thought he did anything wrong.
I defended him to my parents and everyone.
Little did I know that I was in an emotionally
abusive relationship. 
  We would argue 
over the littlest things and I thought 
I had to walk on egg shells. 
I remember screaming at the top of my
lungs and throwing my cell phone across
the room. I was turning into a monster, someone
I did not want to become.
He never hit me, it was all emotional abuse.
He made me feel less than who I was.
I never want to feel that way again.
I am happy to say that it has been 3 years
now. It took me a long time to heal -
once you get stuck in a repetitive
pattern of abuse it is hard to break it.
Thank God that he broke my pattern,
and the person I was with.
He later brought me to 
a wonderful man named BK.
He has a heart of gold and treats me like
a lady that everyone deserves to be treated as!
Here are some of the symptoms of emotional abuse. 

 I apologize this post may be intense for a Monday,
but it was really on my heart today. 
I think it is good that we are all aware of these signs, so we can help those around us who may be in an emotionally abusive relationship... 
  1. Does he/she refuse to discuss any upsetting issues with you, or accuse you of trying to start an argument if you bring them up? Do you feel that the issues that arise are never resolved? Do you feel uneasy, unhappy, depressed, or edgy because of these unresolved issues?
  2. Does he/she frequently misunderstand your intentions? Do you end up feeling perplexed and frustrated at his misconstruing your every action?
  3. Do you find yourself dismissing the bigger issues of your relationship, such as children, financial investments, or retirement planning because your daily lack of communication is consuming your emotional energy. For instance, do you often worry about him/her misunderstanding something he thought you said, or what you thought he said? Are the simple little day-to-day issues consuming the big picture?
  4. Do you sometimes feel like there is something wrong with 'you'? Do you sometimes feel bad and can't figure out why?
  5. Is your mate secretive? Does he rarely, if ever, share his/her thoughts or plans with you, or discuss issues with you?
  6. Does your mate almost always disagree with you? If you say the sky is blue do they say it is grey? If you found a movie to be good do they claim it was bad? Are you always made to feel like you are wrong and he is right?
  7. Are you punished when you say "No", or are you made to feel you haven't the right to say “Stop this”? Do you feel obligated to 'give in' just to keep peace? 
  8. Does your mate get angry or pretend ignorance if you approach him to discuss an issue? Do you bite your tongue and hold things in? 
Do you:
  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless? 
If you have a friend in an abusive relationship,
this is a good article to read on how to be
a support system to them: Help Your Friend Article...

Now, if you have skipped over most of this post,
please at least read this part - 

Currently I have a friend in an emotionally
abusive relationship and it breaks my heart.
One thing I have learned is that she needs
a safety net to turn to.
Once I tried telling her the truth,
she almost shut me out all together.
Avoid judging people who are hurting
Ocean Dreamers, or there will
be no chance to help them at all.
Offer support, be gentle, and show the 
person that you care.
Offer a safe harbor to them -
hopefully they will fully understand
on their own what type of relationship
they are in.
Help build a network for them where they
feel safe, being around safe people
will hopefully help them realize
that they deserve better.
I want her to bloom again 
and not be a wilted flower,
shielding herself from the pain...
Please pray for my friend, it is really hard to listen to someone's pain, especially when I have been through this myself. I know maybe this is why God brought me to her, but I wish I could just tell her the truth. However, in this situation the truth will only throw her in harm's way - back in the arms of her abusive partner.
I also found this site to be helpful - The Safe Place

I know if I can make through something difficult, then my friend can and that anybody can for that matter.  

There is hope to bloom, there is hope for each tomorrow.

Thanks for listening Ocean Dreamers, I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

XOXO,

*All images are from DeviantART.com

26 comments :

  1. Thats so strong of you to come out and talk about the relationship. I'm lucky I've never been in one (I was close, but got out quick). But I can imagine it to be so hard and draining.

    I hope your friend sees whats going one and gets out of it. I think the best thing to do is just be with her and help her understand. I guess it can be a really delicate issue.

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  2. Great post. I've never been in an abusive relationship, but I've certainly had friends who were in less-than-ideal situations. As a friend, it's a hard place to be in, but I agree with your advice totally.

    www.ramblingbrooke.com

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  3. I really admire you for opening up about your relationship. I am sure it took some guts, and I think it's great that you're so supportive of your friend and willing to educate all of us!

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  4. I am sorry for your friend, but I am also happy you have found the man of your dreams. I hope your friend discovers there are guys out there who are decent, kind, and loving and that a relationship does not have to be a painful experience, but rather something you want to wake up to every day.

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  5. Yes, and intense post, but a thought provoking and meaningful one as well. Thank you for sharing so candidly- I have also learned from an abusive relationship and make it a point to speak openly about it to anyone who asks...I think we go through it to grow, become stronger, bloom, and share/encourage others who are going through it to get out!

    Really admire how candid girl!!

    much love

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  6. Great post. I am sorry you had to go through such a thing but am very happy everything turned out the way they did for you. Hope everything turns out just as well for your friend.

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  7. Thank you so much for putting your heart out there! It takes bravery to do that and i am really proud of you! You have such a wonderful, loveing and big heart. I am praying for both you and your friend!

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  8. Such a beautiful post. I cannot say I know of any abusive relationships, emotionally or physically for that matter, but I'm still young and mostly sheltered from things like that. I do know that I can't see myself in a relationship like that, but the people who are would say the same thing! Your advice is perfect, and definitely not too heavy for a Monday. I'm glad you are in a healthy, loving relationship now, and I hope that ex boyfriend has learned his lesson since then.

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  9. Hey girl. I know we've talked about what we went through in our last relationships before and how mine was so similar to yours. I went through that. I felt especially in the last months that I was walking on egg shells. I know if I had a friend who was going through something similar I would def. want to help, but I also know about living in the land of denial. I lived there a long time...even a long time after we were over. I think the best thing you can do is just be there for them and maybe share your experience. I had great friends and family to help me. I wouldn't have made it through it. When it was over, I had no self-esteem and I was completely crushed and heart broken...but over time, I'm at a lot better place and would much rather wait until a nice guy comes along than settle for someone who treated me that way and made me feel that bad. That's so brave of you to write about your experience. I've written about mine, but kept in the drafts. It's just something hard to talk about, but if it helps others I think that's great to share. I'm sure someone who's reading that post who went through what we went through might take a look at themselves and think over what they're willing to settle for because they think they're "in love" with someone. Just because you love someone doesn't mean you deserve to be treated that way. Great post :)

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  10. I really appreciate this post. I too was in an emotionally abusing relationship for more years than I care to think about. I actually almost married him, I was that "under" everything. Luckily I got out from it! I haven't met my version of your BK yet, but I know he's out there! I'm so happy I got of all of that, but there are still times when I see friends in the same situation and want to reach out as much as possible. It's hard when you're in one to realize just how bad it is until you are out of it, and I hope other girls will start to realize it sooner and sooner!

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  11. Wow. Definitely praying for your friend and I am SO glad you're out of the toxic relationship you were in, girl. And thank you for opening your heart and sharing that. I was in a very emotionally abusive relationship but thankfully I was very young when it happened so it never got too serious. But wow.. I think back to waht it did to my self esteem. Wow. And I applaud you for this blog b/c there are so many misconceptions about women involved in abusive situations.. It can happen to ANYONE and a lot of people dont undertand that. People think you start dating someone and they say something horrid or hit you or something on date number one. Um.. not so much. *sigh* I could go on and on about this. I used to want to use my law degree to work for DVIS. Unfortunately, with the amount of my student loans, I couldnt. :( Plus.. My friend worked there and abusers would FOLLOWER HER HOME. I would like to find other ways to help though for sure.. Gosh. It just gets me so fired up.. *sigh* Good post.

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  12. i love these photos
    great interview as well, insightful
    gorgeous!
    thanks for sharing as always
    and thanks for your sweet comments, it means the world to me!

    -cma
    COSMICaroline.blogspot.com

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  13. I think it was really good that you spoke about these things here, from your experience you may be able to touch someone elses life who has similar issues.

    well done darling,
    xoxo

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  14. Really good post. Your advice is excellent

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  15. Oh, I'm so glad that you came out of that abusive relationship and found your true love. You're truly blessed. God knows, how many out there are suffering!

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  16. oh hun, thanks for being so real and sharing this with us (: xo

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  17. What an amazing and powerful post! I pray many women read this and feel encouraged and empowered!

    -Alisa Hope

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  18. You are such a strong lady. It upsets me so much to know that someone as kind as you had to go through this. No one deserves it, and I seriously wish that no human being had to go through something as devastating as emotional abuse. I feel like my mom went through it with my dad, and seeing it from that perspective really made me bitter and angry. I never want myself or my sisters to go through it as well. I don't want anyone to have to, even strangers.

    Never forget your strength. I am so happy that you found BK and that you are adored and respected by him. :)

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  19. I am so glad that God delivered you from that relationship....

    I've seen my fair share, and I just have to say, God is good.

    Because the man I have now, the life I have now, it's all thanks to Him.

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  20. Such an amazing post. I am so thankful for strong women like you because you are the kind of person who will make an impact on someone and help them to change. Even if this post reaches one person, you have accomplished something life changing. I have never been in an abusive relationship, but I do have a family member who was in one, and I wish I could have read this post to her when she was going through it. God works in the strangest of ways, and I am sure that He is using you as a shining example to those who are in need of strength, courage, and light. Again, amazing post love. xoxo

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  21. Oh Sweet Sierra, thank you for posting this. I really have been needing an eye-opener for things lately & this post kinda hit me square in the face. I think I've been in one for a while & even tho people screamed at me to leave him & to let it go I seemed to not listen. It went in one ear and out the other because I thought one more time it will be different. People I don't think are even aware sometimes what an emotionally abusive relationship is. I'm done with being put down every inch of the way & not made to feel like I'm special then he can go to hell. Awareness is way to help. Thank you. *big hugs*

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  22. You are so courageous to have shared this. And it's so important that young women especially, evalaute their relationships to ensure they are in a healthy one. Thank you for doing this.
    I am so sorry you had to go through all this. I am glad you have a wonderful man in your life now and truly treats you like you've always deserved.
    xo

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  23. Awww this was sweet Sierra. I hope a lot of girls that are stuck in that situation find this precious post. How wonderful that BK is totally the opposite from that man who hurt you. Don't feel bad for posting these things; you might be helping countless others!

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  24. this is a very important subject and i think that it is so wonderful that you were brave enough to post about it!

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  25. This is one those posts that should go viral, everyone should read that is or has been in an abusive relationship.

    Your openness is a sure sign that you have put this behind you and your strength shines through in your willingness to share your story with others in hopes that if they see themselves, they will know that they can change their situation and come out the winner.

    Bravo Sierra, bravo!

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  26. Let's just be thankful that you're not in that relationship anymore and that you learned, grew, and are a better person now because of it. Everything happens for a reason.

    Hopefully your friend will be able to repeat those words in the future.

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Thanks for the comment love! Candy sends you and puppy hello (aka barky bark)!