Are you looking for some inspiration?

Going through divorce is at the best of times, tiresome and exhausting.

  • Are you feeling:
  • Depressed or unmotivated?
  • Like your in a pit and falling further into it?
  • There is no light shining at the end of the dark tunnel?
  • Desperate?
  • Crying with grief?
  • Angry?
  • Bitter?
  • Wanting to move forward but you feel stuck?
  • Then I would say you are needing some inspiration and motivation and a reminder about who you are?
  • Don’t worry it’s quite normal going through what you’re going through or have been through!
  • We all need help at times.
  • You are not alone.

So that’s why I’m sharing this link:

http://bit.ly/FemMAGIC

Recommended by: Aspire Magazine-Inspiration for Women

http://www.aspiremag.net/

I hope I see you there: It’s a five-part, five-week, Tele-seminar Training Program worth $997-00 for free. (Can’t be bad) Click on the link for further details:

http://bit.ly/FemMAGIC

If you manage to listen to any of the teleseminars, I’d love to hear what you thought of them! What did you learn?

Posted in Self-esteem | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Abusive Relationships:Stepping out of your comfort zone.

Many years ago as a young volunteer in a battered wives shelter in Jerusalem (unfortunately domestic violence is no stranger in the Holy City) The women would arrive with horrendous bruises, most had been sexually abused and all had been psychologically battered. I was astounded how these women felt guilty for leaving their husbands and found a safe place away from the abuse.  I would ask why they felt guilty and their answer was usually “because he loves me”!!

No matter how many times they were told that a man doesn’t beat his wife black and blue if he loves her, it made no difference. These women would only focus on the odd small, kindnesses and nice words  shown to them by her abuser.

The following are some of the symptoms of Battered Wife Syndrome: The new terminology is now: Battered Person Syndrome (BPS) Seems women beat up their husbands too.

When Battered Person Syndrome (BPS) manifests as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  it consists of the following symptoms: (a) re-experiencing the battering as if it were recurring even when it is not, (b) attempts to avoid the psychological impact of battering by avoiding activities, people, and emotions, (c) hyperarousal or hypervigilance, (d) disrupted interpersonal relationships, (e) body image distortion or other somatic concerns, and (f) sexuality and intimacy issues.

Additionally, repeated cycles of violence and reconciliation can result in the following beliefs and attitudes:

  • The abused thinks that the violence was his or her fault.
  • The abused has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere.
  • The abused fears for his/her life and/or the lives of his/her children (if present).
  • The abused has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.

Due to constant and severe domestic violence sometimes  involving physical abuse by a partner, the abused becomes depressed and/or unable to take any independent action that would allow him or her to escape the abuse. The condition explains why abused people may not seek assistance from others, fight their abuser, or leave the abusive situation. Sufferers may have low self-esteem, and are often led to believe that the abuse is their fault.  The abused person may feel so much gratitude to her abuser when a small amount of kindness is shown.

Most of us who are going through or have gone through divorce may not have gone through such terrible, physically abusive marriages, but many women have suffered a mental battering, leaving us with feelings of  guilt, low self-esteem, depression, and confusion.

It doesn’t matter if we’ve arrived at a battered woman’s shelter or we’re left to pick up the pieces of our broken lives, it’s a matter of stepping out of our comfort zone. It sometimes just feels  more comfortable staying in familiar circumstances, no matter how bad, than escaping to an unknown future. If we take this step of leaving everything that is familiar,  life is, from here on in going to be very different.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is difficult, but there are people who can and will help you. Please understand, there is no shame in asking for help. Coming out of an abusive marriage to find safety for you and your children is your first priority. You have to protect your children. Believe me they will thank you for it later.

  1. They will feel that at last they are being protected by you.
  2. Children need to feel safe.
  3. They will have more respect for you.
  4. You will be showing them, that what their Father does is not Okay and it is NOT OKAY.

Having read these concerns about your children, at least  start to consider that you have to make a decision. That is if you or your kids are not in physical danger.

If you are in physical danger, especially if there is  drug or alcohol abuse involved, call the police or call the number of any hot line in your area and they will be able to put you in contact with the right people to help you.

Here are some considerations once you’ve made the decision.

  • If you’re escaping an abusive addict or alcoholic, if necessary call the police and through the court you can get a restraining order so that he is not allowed near you, your kids, or your house.
  • Seek out supportive friends, relatives and/or support group.
  • Can they offer you a place to stay for a while if need be?
  • If you have access to money,  put some into your own account, if you don’t have one, start one.
  • Try to put into the account enough for three months rent and utilities, kids, travel etc, at least, if you have it.
  • If you’re working try to save some money.
  • If you haven’t worked whilst you were married get any job you can, even if you feel you’re over qualified for it.
  • Keep thinking about what is right for you and your kids.
  • Get help with a counselor or therapist to help with any denial, self-esteem/co-dependency issues. Don’t feel bad we all have those issues.
  • Coming out of our comfort zone means taking a leap of Faith!
  • If you have a Higher Power pray for help, clarity, courage and strength.
  • There will be good days and not so good days. It’s just a day!
  • Take each day as it comes trying to accept your new reality
  • Sometimes your new reality might seem unfair and it sucks.
  • Try to accept that you are stepping into a new life. You will become the owner of your new life, sometimes it’s lonely, sometimes very challenging, but I found most of all that it was my chance to grow into the person I was meant to become and all that it involves.
  • I personally feel as a Mother I owed it to my kids, so that the cycle of dysfunctional behaviors would come to an end once and for all.
  • We all have the power to become who we are meant to be and only we can stop ourselves, by staying where it’s comfortable.

 **************************

This is the serenity prayer which has become famous through 12 step programs. It’s a very powerful prayer and has helped thousands of people.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things, I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Posted in Abusive Relationship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Have you been married to a Narcissist

I belong to a very good on-line support group for divorced women. To have on-line support is great, either in addition to, or in the absence of a regular divorce recovery support group in your home town. It’s really essential to have good support whilst going through the process of divorce and to help you to discover your new life ahead of you. Sometimes life really does begin after divorce, but we have to take responsibility to make that happen.

Many of the women speak of  being married to a Narcissist, sometimes a counselor has diagnosed the disorder from their description. However many women find it harder than most to move on with their lives after their divorce. not surprising, living with a real narcissist can sap the very soul out of anyone. For anyone who has been living under the same roof with a narcissist for any length of time will tell you how devastating it can be for the whole family. I know of one woman whose husband definitely showed many signs of this disorder and would say how “I have two children and an infantile” It really does seem that the narcissist gets stuck in childhood.

Here is an explanation of what I mean;

In children, inflated self-views and grandiose feelings, which are characteristics of narcissism, are part of the normal self-development. Children are typically unable to understand the difference between their actual and their ideal self, which causes an unrealistic perception of the self. After about age 8, views of the self, both positive and negative, begin to develop based on comparisons of peers, and become more realistic. Two factors that cause self-view to remain unrealistic are dysfunctional interactions with parents that can be either excessive attention or a lack thereof. The child will either compensate for lack of attention or act in terms of unrealistic self-perception.

NPD can take on many forms, characterizing specific disorder traits, but the following is a general short description.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. This condition affects one percent of the population. First formulated in 1968, it was historically called megalomania, and it is closely linked to egocentrism.

Narcissism, the condition, was named after a mythological Greek youth named Narcissus who became infatuated with his own reflection in a lake. He eventually died there because he couldn’t tear himself away from the admiration of his image.

Symptoms of this disorder include, but are not limited to:

  • Reacts to criticism with angershame, or humiliation
  • May take advantage of others to reach their own goals
  • Tends to exaggerate their own importance, achievements, and talents
  • Imagines unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
  • Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
  • Easily becomes jealous
  • Lacks empathy and disregards the feelings of others
  • Obsessed with oneself
  • Mainly pursues selfish goals
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Is easily hurt and rejected
  • Sets goals that are unrealistic
  • Wants “the best” of everything

I believe women who marry these men (women can have NPD also) may show personality signs of co-dependency.  What better partner for a narcissist than a people pleaser. He’ll feel like he’s arrived in hog heaven.

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From Crappy to Happy

The other night I watched the film ‘Eat Pray Love‘ starring Julia Roberts. I’d heard different reviews about the film, but my own thoughts were of total appreciation for what this young woman was going through. I remember asking myself those questions: who am I, where am I going, and what am I doing!

Anyway in one scene, I saw that Liz was in a book shop and picked up a book called ‘Crappy to Happy‘ I thought “well yeah, that’s a pretty good name for a, how the hell do I pick myself up and get back on the road to what?” kind of book,  So hence the name of my blog too!

http://www.amazon.com/Crappy-Happy-Small-Steps-Happiness/dp/1590030257

When I was in the throe’s of my divorce, everyone kept saying  “just have faith” everything will work out for the best. I knew somehow that it would, but how can I just have faith? Easier said than done, right?

Most of my life I’d been going through the motions and rituals of my religion. I went through life struggling, fighting, debating, wheeling  and dealing, begging to get what I wanted from God….Needless to say that didn’t work…. besides why should I have faith and trust in a God that seemed to be constantly punishing me? Heck NO!!

Then one day a good friend and very wise person said that “I should think of  God, a Higher Being, the Universe, H/she, Good Orderly Direction, whatever name I wanted to use,  in terms that I can accept and understand. So I started to make my list of human characteristics, that was my only compass, that I would accept in a Power greater than myself. The list of course, no matter how complete, would be incomplete or my understanding wouldn’t be of an infinite being.

The bottom line was that the God of my understanding became loving instead of punishing. That was a revelation! A great weight was lifted off me, as I suddenly realized that I wasn’t in charge or in control of the world,  not even most people in my own little world, places and situations.

In my last post Why We Should Live Like Water and Live with Ease, so succinctly written by: http://lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.com  it describes how we go with the flow.

Instead many of us will try to manipulate a situation through perhaps dishonest, self-seeking ways. We need to begin to go with the flow of the river, the flow of nature, the energies of the universe.

That doesn’t mean we’re left without choices, after all we have free will, but we can choose a path, walk the road to the best of our ability and leave the results up to our Higher Being. If we don’t get that fantastic job that we’ve always wished for, believe me it’s for a reason, maybe something better is planned for you, or you are being saved from some pending disaster.

Now it’s time to set aside ALL of your old ways of thinking. To be aware of our  character traits that can lead us into trouble, by being dishonest, manipulating, arrogant, impulsive, self-seeking, and intolerant. We can learn to use our better traits, such as honesty, tolerance, loving kindness, patience, learn to sit back   go with the flow, and above all have faith. Become aware,  begin to see the truth in all that happens to us and around us to be in the place where we’re meant to be.

None of this happens overnight: it takes practice like riding a bicycle. Ask yourself, if the way you have been living your life is really working for you? If the answer is “it’s not”  then what have you got to lose. We have to do our part to the best of our ability, and leave the outcome to God.

Believing in God is not enough! To gain acceptance, strength and courage to move forward and reach our goals, we have to have faith and trust in God as we would in a good friend. These feelings build over time, as we seize opportunities with courage, as we see the results of how our life progresses. Any feelings of loneliness and despair will start to disappear.  Fear of people and insecurities about ourselves change too.  Our whole outlook on life changes as we see God of our understanding, working in our lives.

After all, as human beings, we’re not just made up of physical matter but a huge part of us is made up of the spiritual. Without spiritual fitness we can all fall into  the darkness of despair and hopelessness. I call it the ‘Abyss.’ Traveling our  journey from a living hell, to a peaceful serenity is very simple, yet very challenging and scary in itself, but you can do it. I did, and if what I share with you here, what worked for me, then it just might work for you.

Pray or meditate to keep focused on the power that’s helping you. Just do your best, keep asking for the courage and strength to do what you need to do!

I’ve seen many people come through the most horrendous tragedies, illness, addiction, accidents, death of loved ones, and divorce. They are all recovering and continuing their journey through life feeling happy, joyous, and free and most of all they share a feeling of  peace and serenity.

Serenity comes when we can enjoy each moment with gratitude, secure in the knowledge that we are being taken care of.

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I had to share this wonderful little post so succinctly written by: lessonsfromtheendofmarriage.com

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

It is so easy to toughen under stress, to tense and tighten to carry the load.  Perhaps it is time to learn from the water around us.  Water is a most powerful force, able to carve mountains into great valleys, move enormous loads, and traverse even the most inhospitable terrain.  Water is able to this without rigidity, without tension.  It flows around obstacles, slowly wearing them away rather than getting stuck behind the barrier.  Let your inner ice thaw, relax and flow, and you may find the journey to be an easier one.

Why We Should Be Like Water & Live With Ease.

The Water Is Wide

View original post

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Interesting How We Punctuate our Thoughts.

Does the sentence above mean that all the female students in the class were feminists?

Does the sentence above mean that all the male students were chauvinists?

How much does it depend on our state of mind as to how we view situations?

Does this feeling of superiority of the sexes continue on into our marriages to be the very downfall of the marriage?

When I was a student in the late swinging sixties, my answer would have conformed with the rest of the women students. After all, we had become liberated women. The world was at our feet, so far as men allowed us to be, in those days!

Today women have taken leading roles in the world. We’re able to work side-by- side with our male counterparts as scientists, politicians, doctors, lawyers, soldiers, and women even fly F15 airplanes in combat (at least in my country they do).

Women nowadays are respected for what they can do but are they respected for who they are? If not, why not?

Do women really respect men for who they are? If not, why not?

Today in a world of lesbian or gay marriages  the obvious answer for needing the opposite sex is for reproduction only and the couple can find a fulfilling relationship with each other. Now with artificial insemination and surrogates these couples can reproduce children too. Many of these same-sex marriages work,  even tho’ they may bring their own particular problems and some of them fail as in many ‘normal’ marriages.

Most of us are not gay or lesbian and so we search for the opposite sex, fall in love and conform to marriage for the security of the children we instinctively desire.

We think we’re going to live happily ever after and life will be wonderful. Then comes the crash of  divorce. Disaster has struck! I make this statement as if it’s going to be fact because the statistics show that in 2011 49% of marriages failed in the USA. There are less or more divorces around the world depending on religious beliefs, economic, and educational circumstances.

I’m faced with tearful men and women asking the age-old question of what went wrong.  “After all we’re two intelligent people, my wife/husband is a good mother/father, how have we  come to this?”  Yes we can have great careers, we can be successful financially, we are wonderful parents,  but are we successful in who we are ? If we don’t know who we really are then how do we know what we need in another?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re contemplating divorce,  separated, or divorced and have to face life alone bringing up your kids or sharing custody with your ex, relationships still continue in every way.

We were all created with our natural instincts, gifts, and talents. We don’t live in the dark ages any more where the cavemen would drag his wife around by her hair and the woman was dependent on him for her very livelihood. But our female instincts still remain for wanting to be  loved and cared for. The man’s instincts tell him he needs to provide as the head of his household.

As intelligent people we realize in this day and age that our roles are not so clear-cut.  On the other hand, we are usually wanting to be  in an honest, open, sexual relationship, sharing and caring, enjoying fun times together, or wanting someone there during not-so-fun times.

It’s been my experience as I’ve come through my own divorce  that the more I know myself  my relationships have improved, especially with the opposite sex, friends, and my children. My relationship with my kids was the most important as I’ve become a role model for them, being emotionally loving, supportive, honest, and open and helping them to make their own decisions. 

This can only be done by looking at ourselves!  Life, marriage, relationships, and kids are far more existential than what we do. We’re human beings not human doings!

Yes we can have great careers, be successful financially, be wonderful parents,  but are we successful in who we are ?  Do we respect ourselves?

This is a list of questions to start asking yourself. The first one I found the hardest because I like to run away from reality and I knew that unless I faced the dark truth of my reality, I would be stuck with all my baggage of resentments and I didn’t want to be carrying that into any future relationships.

 Some of the following questions are difficult to answer.  I strongly suggest to anyone who is contemplating divorce or have come through the  divorce court doors, to find the right support. This can be through a support group, religious counseling, or divorce recovery counseling/coaching. It’s also important to have supportive friends, too. However, please remember they will tire of your stories long before you get tired of telling them.

All of the feelings that you have now are normal and please don’t feel that you are weak because you need help. Divorce is one of the most traumatic times in a person’s life next to the death of a loved one. Here are the difficult questions:

Am I:

  • Being honest with myself?
  • In denial?
  • Accepting reality?
  • Being egocentric and self-centered?
  • Being fearful? If so – of what?
  • Feeling intimidated?
  • Feeling jealous?
  • Being judgmental?
  • Accepting?
  • Controlling?
  • Able to receive love?
  • Trusting in myself? ( If not then how can you trust another?)
  • Still carrying the sentence “A woman without her man is nothing

In reality we have to discern who we are to know how to punctuate this sentence…..I think both ways are true!

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The Past is the Past

After my own divorce I kept

thinking of that old Beatles song..

The Long and Winding Road

All at the same time, I felt numb, I felt pain, I felt bitter, I felt angry, I felt hatred, I felt blame. I constantly replayed in my head things from the past, how I’d lost my life time of investment, lost my house, car, belongings. I felt grief, I felt a failure, and I felt violated.

Why could I not get that damn song out of my head? because I knew from my training as a counselor that to start over would be a long process. It is for anyone! As I counsel women with similar feelings to the ones I had, and these feelings are very common, their recovery doesn’t really start until they can forgive, even if they can’t forget, the past.

To forgive someone for their wrong doings doesn’t mean that what they did to us was right.  No… By forgiving we are not condoning their behaviour but we are hurting ourselves!! Forgiveness of ourselves is also essential. We mustn’t forget that we are co-creators of the marriage. A pancake is flat but there are always two sides to it!

Think about it, perhaps your resentful that your spouse may have got remarried, or he’s not burdened by having to be a full-time parent, he’s got time to spend with his friends and the list goes on. If we can’t forgive our ex for the past then these resentful feelings we have of the present will only be increased and add to our unforgiving feelings of resentment.

But the past is the past. It cannot be forgotten, edited, changed or erased, it can only be accepted and that only comes with forgiveness  for ourselves and our ex to enable us to move on to accept the reality as it is.

We need to accept that we are not in control of our ex, and from now on, what he does is not our business. (Unless it seriously involves our children) I learned a little saying years ago.  Acceptance is the pathway to happiness… In my experience and the experience of others, I’ve found this to be true.

We all have many assets to start us on that road to becoming fully recovered.

Our lives revolve around the physical (body,) the mental(mind) and spiritual (soul or spirit) in everything we do. Who we are and who we are to become, sometimes means making big attitude adjustments and learning to live certain spiritual principles which are real assets for any human being.

  • An asset is Honesty (not being in denial)
  • An asset is Willingness/openness
  • An asset is Hope
  • An asset is Courage
  • An asset is having Faith (in God, Higher Power, Universe, Buddha etc; as we  understand him )
  • An asset is Prayer
  • An asset is Gratitude
  • An asset is Perseverance
  • An asset is having  Support from family, friends,  group
  • An asset is knowing we’re not perfect but we try our best
  • An asset is knowing we deserve to move forward
  • An asset is helping others
  • An asset is Forgiveness

Nobody can go back to start a new beginning, but anyone can start again today to make a new ending!

It’s really helpful to have a journal. Try to write in it everyday about all, some or just one of these assets that you feel would benefit you today.

                                                    ***********************

Here is a letter I want to share with you, about a woman who talks about her forgiveness, faith and finally letting go of her ex.

I stayed together in my marriage for too long. We were together for 20 years and my home became a combat zone for many of those years. I didn’t want to listen to anyone that I was an abused wife. I truly believed if I kept my faith in him and in my marriage vows he would change but he didn’t, instead emotional, physical, mental and even sexual abuse escalated.

He would always make me and everyone around say it was my fault and never took fault for himself. He still does to this day. We’ve been separated now for over a year and my life has never been better. I finally found my peace of mind by keeping my faith, but instead of keeping my faith in a man, I found my faith back in God. I stayed for many years because of our 3 children. I never thought a broken marriage was better for the kids than to stay together and weather out the storms, but you are so right. It’s better for the kids to see healthy parents striving for their goals than a house of horrors.

I spent the last year trying to forgive much of what he did for 20 years to me. I do take blame for my part, since after 15 years I started into marijuana abuse and then into alcohol to kill and numb the pain. All it did was make things worse as time went on.

I’ve been clean and sober for a year and my kids see how healthy my lifestyle is and how happy I am doing on my own. My ex and I tried to be friends but I realized recently when he continued to try to smooze me,  all the while he’s living with another woman and then sent something that reminded me of the toxic times we had,  and made me realize I can’t be friends with someone who will still not take responsibility for his actions.

He never spoke all this smoozing with me for 20 years so why now? I know he’s trying what he would do whenever I was close to leaving many times in 20 years, he would make me believe he cared and was somewhat sorry just to reel me in then wham, the cycle started again.

So now I decided to keep my relationship with him to just if must need, about the kids and my kids are teens and an adult so not needing to much communication between us. He still can’t see his wrongdoings and this is why I can never look back and be ‘friends’.

I do pray for him and wish him well, I just know I can’t be a part of his life or I’ll never move forward. As long as my kids are happy and well-adjusted that is all that is really important to me.

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