Climbing Out of The Darkness


 Delicate as a Butterfly

Even though you may no longer be in an abusive situation, the emotional scars can linger for years. Learn how to shed the negative programming and start healing.

Letting go of the victim mentality can be difficult to shed.  For many people, the emotional abuse they’ve endured has stripped away their self esteem and left emotional scars that linger for years.  It’s not uncommon for victims to feel responsible or even feel that they deserved the abuse they received.

It’s this type of thinking that allows the negative thoughts to keep their hold on the victim.  Learning to face the past so that they can move forward in a more positive direction is key.  The victim needs to understand that what happened is not their fault and that no one deserves to be treated badly.

Look at the situation from a different perspective.  Would you allow your best friend to be treated in such a manner or to blame themselves?  Of course not.  You’d try to show them that, like you, they are a person of value and should be treated as such.

 

Climbing Out of the Darkness

You may not be able to control the thoughts or actions of those around you, but you can control how you respond.  Declare to yourself that you are a survivor and then lift yourself to that higher level.  No one can keep you down unless you allow them to.

It takes a conscious effort to decide to stop wearing the label of victim, but somewhere inside is a happy, functioning, vibrant person just waiting to break free.  It just takes some direction and perseverence.

Follow these tips to start rebuilding your self-esteem and get on the road to recovery:

  1. Talk to a counselor or support group
  2. Avoid negative people and situations
  3. Stop dwelling on the past and look toward the future.  Set goals for yourself
  4. When you find yourself focusing on negative thoughts, remind yourself of your positives
  5. Make new, positive friends
  6. Join a group activity and become involved in it
  7. Indulge in humor
  8. Learn to accept compliments
  9. Read a book on building self-esteem and follow the examples
  10. Don’t allow yourself to be labeled

Healing emotional wounds takes time.  Each person must progress at their own speed. Keep reminding yourself that other people have made it through and became better people for it.  Focus on your positives and leave the negative thought patterns behind.

By letting go of the past programming and becoming a survivor, you are taking control of your own life.  Learn to have faith in yourself and your strengths.  As long as you continue to focus on rising above, you will achieve your goal.

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Four Little Words: I Don’t Have Time!


How often have you uttered the words, “I don’t have time?”  Were they ever conveyed to you?  Life can be challenging though manageable.  Inaction however harbors fear and fear breeds errors and inaccuracies.  William Shakespeare said, “Defer no time; delays have dangerous ends.”

I once worked with a manager who presented this type of problem to her team.  After shrieking “I don’t have time” an inordinate number of times to her team members, their work became fraught with errors.  They became fearful of making decisions on their own.  If they decided differently than she wanted, they dearly paid the price and no one wished to become jobless.  What she was left with was a team who lost creativity, excellence in problem-solving and their resourcefulness.  What the manager gained was a resentful team laden with distrust and trepidation of her.  A good manager is one who isn’t worried about his/her own career but rather the career of those who work for him/her.  Rather than accept what she had done, she shifted the blame to them presenting nails in the fence of life caused by abuse.

And parents who respond to pleas for their time from their children have done likewise.  Both moms and dads have become too busy and stressed out themselves with work demands, they no longer having sufficient time to know what their children are up to these days or who they’ve become.  Those parents do not realize what their children are going through with peer pressure of their own.  Bullying has become prevalent in schools, along with drugs, guns and other threats.  Life should not have to be this cruel.

If we don’t do something about our lives and relationships with our family, our friends and loved ones, then who will?  Ask yourself how you want your life to be.  Remember that we all have the same amount of hours per day as did Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Michelangelo, Albert Einstein, or Helen Keller.  They didn’t seem to think about time.  They took action when needed.  Which brings me to the following.

We have all heard or read about the epidemic of suicides in the United States.  Nearly 40,000 Americans commit suicide annually.  Almost 1,000,000 “attempt” suicide in American annually that we know of.  That figure could be higher.  And according to suicide statistics, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationally.  The latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 36,909 suicide deaths were reported in the U.S. in 2009.  That figure is rising annually and is the highest rate of suicide in 15 years.

Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable.  Blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness and isolation, a suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief except through death.  But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives.  They wish there was an alternative, but they just cannot see one.

Don’t let yourself, your family, children, friends, or loved ones become a statistic.  Make time for yourself and your family and friends.  Be there for them.  There will be difficult decisions to make from time to time.  We can choose what path is best for us and have loving relationships.

 

I speak from some experience on the subject.  It’s difficult to leave a job, or speak up about the abuse whether at our employment or in our household or in school.  Yet we need to be strong and take action.  We need to confide in someone who cares enough to listen try to help.

My husband suffered from major depression, yet he hid it from everyone until the end.  I cannot tell you how many “what ifs” and could have or should haves I have suggested since that fateful day.  I’ve found what’s important is not the past, however, but how we react to it and create a better future.  Or even more important, what “action” we take to prevent further unnecessary acts going forward.

I chose to write and share my thoughts, experiences and the information learned with everyone I can reach.  I still have moments of pain and tears, though I’ve learned how to live through it.  But you don’t have to – not if you take action now.  What I hope for you is to see the world around you again as the beautiful, happy place it can be.  Life is NOT all pain and suffering.  That’s optional.  We can learn to fill our life with love and joy again by choosing what is most important to us and making improvements.  Much like a house, our life can become cracked from stress and abuse and needs rebuilding.

No matter what has happened in your past, remember it is the present and the future that matter most.  Everyone can start over.  It’s just a matter of deciding to do so.  Nothing stands in the way of you and your future happiness.