I haven`t written lately, I don`t seem to get around to it as much as I feel I should. I have enjoyed this month, particularly where people are concerned. As anyone that knows me will know, I am particular about who I get close to and those I don`t but that family means everything to me. I have a very large Irish side to my family, some I wrote to when we were children. As we grew we had lost touch, years passed, we grew older, got on with our lives, had children and so on. I was over the moon recently to be back in touch with some of them again and re-connect and see how their lives had gone on. The internet is especially good because I can see how they are all doing in pictures as well as words, it feels like we are only next door, despite the sea between! I have also got back in touch with friends from long ago, via online. Now i`m a great one for thinking the past is the past and leaving it there, but also sometimes thinking things through and see a series of events for all the shades of grey between. Many years ago I wasn`t the person i am now, so why should they be? I was young, so were they. Things happen for a reason sometimes and from that we grow, and I did. I was hurt but over time I wasn`t the only one, and I suffered less because I moved away, changed my life, and myself and the path I was on. I`m not perfect, far from it, who is? So I`m getting to know them as the people we are now. After six years, my mind is now open to a new relationship if one should come a long. I am fed up of evenings alone on my sofa, and really would like someone to come a long and share a life together. I am still wary, but i`m choosing positive thinking over, “What if this happened, or that?” I know the signs of BS and control and now know how to avoid them, i don`t see me getting abused again………….I`ve come a long way since those days. I have been in both a physical/mentally abusive relationship and then a mentally abusive relationship, both were controlling and suffocating, neither would i ever get into again but they don`t just last for the relationships lifespan, they remain for far longer, mostly because they chip away at your self esteem and self worth. It impacted on how I allowed myself to be treated in my last relationship, despite the fact he wasn`t abusive, but he was secretive and dishonest and for a long time i allowed it to continue until I grew strong enough to speak up and no longer allow it, and this was part of why it ended; I was no longer the meek submissive woman.
What does a healthy relationship look like?
When someone really likes or loves you, they treat you with respect and you’re free to say no to things you don’t want to do. You feel like you can truly be yourself – even if you are different to the other person. The most important thing is that you’re free and safe to do as you like.
This doesn’t sound like my relationship…
If any of the following things are happening to you, you could be in an abusive relationship.
- Physical abuse – Hitting, punching or kicking you; pushing you around; blocking your way, or locking you in.
- Emotional abuse – Constantly putting you down and criticising you, calling you names, dictating and controlling what you wear, controlling your behaviour, making you feel bad about yourself, playing mind games, humiliating you.
- Sexual abuse – Forcing or pressurising you to do sexual things you don’t want to.
- Financial abuse – Making you feel guilty or like you owe them for things they have bought you, stopping you from getting work, making you depend on them for money, or taking your money.
- Intimidation – Making you afraid by using looks, actions and gestures, sending nasty phone calls or text messages, or using their physical presence to scare you.
- Isolation – Controlling what you do, who you talk to and where you go, or stopping you from seeing your friends and family.
- Blaming, denying & minimising – Denying any abuse or problems, making light of the abuse, saying it was nothing, blaming you for the abuse, or blaming use of drugs or alcohol for the abuse.
- Using threats – Making threats to hurt you, themselves, your family or your pets if you dump them; threatening to destroy your things, or threatening to spread rumours about you.
When someone who is supposed to love you treats you badly, it can be very hurtful. They might not always treat you like this – so you might think, “It’s not that bad”. But if someone really likes or loves you, they should treat you with respect, always. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/advice/factfile_az/abusive_relationships)
I`m still studying, still passing to my amazement! I`m still enjoying it and find that i`m without it surfaces. I watched two `Horizon` programmes, one on Autism and another on perspective, and I recognise a lot of the psychology and could name some of the terms unnamed, such as theory of mind and Uta Friths theories.
I have a 3.5 hour exam in the summer in my psychology course, so I`m very nervous about that as it will be in front of an examiner!
I continue to be a volunteer telephone befriender. I found it difficult at first, as it was difficult to open up a conversation with a total stranger over the phone and knowing their troubles. Over time I have learnt to overcome that and just breezily wade in with a “Hello, I`m so n so, your befriender,” and go from there. Some people come and go, and some i`ve had a while now. Some I find easier to get on with than others, and some I have become friends with because I understand or because our conversations flow for one reason or another. The more challenging ones find me turning to my course knowledge more and using it to help me, but mental health comes in many forms and so do people, their backgrounds, their experiences, but our needs are similar; Love, friendship, acceptance and not to feel alone.
One of the saddest things in the recent news was of Peaches Geldof, only 25 and found dead with her baby beside her. I don`t agree with mass hysteria and false grief over someone unknown on a personal level. However, some you feel you`ve got to know over history, as a person you feel familiar with seeing, or have a interest in; in Peaches case it is through the passage of time. I grew up in the 80s, I was a big fan, and still am, of Bob Geldof, from the Boomtown rats to Live aid. I was a avid `The tube` fan where Paula Yates swanned round in dresses I would have loved myself. I remember seeing them in the newspaper when Fifi was born. I remember Paula interviewing Michael Hutchence on the Tube when they first met; I remember thinking him sexy myself as he sang and spoke. Then all that followed so sadly, and the tragedy for the children. Now we grieve Peaches, who herself was a great personality and has left two beautiful boys without their Mum, so sad but a time to celebrate her short but very full life.