There are many people today who are in a dysfunctional or abusive situation. Much of that abuse is physical, but make no mistake, emotional and mental abuse makes scars that are just as deep and actually harder to heal.
I have many clients who are in relationships that are not good for them, and they struggle to get out of them. When I say to "have a healthy relationship", you need to be able to live totally independently, it is important for your emotional health. it is also very important to hold on to that, and to not give that ability up. This doesn't mean that you get to go out every night to 3 AM and party. It means that you have the emotional, financial, and social ability to stand alone. It means that if things go wrong in the relationship, you can get out. You can find a place to stay, you can pay your bills. It also means if the person gets ill, hurt or dies, you are not both on the street.
Abusive people make their victim either feel guilty about not being with them, or restrict them to the home, or their presence. They don't like outside influence, or for the person to see that there are healthier ways of doing things. They crave and need control. It can go from "if you leave here I won't be able to survive" to "if you leave this house I will break your legs". Both are just as bad, they are controlling another person's free will through threats, vague or clear. They don't want the person to be happy, but miserable like they are. They need control, and will tell you where to go and when.
If you are in either one of these situations, get out. When you are not independent enough, and there are no friends or family, there are places to go , including battered woman's shelters.
Many abusers use the holidays as pressure and holidays are a treasure trove of guilt to lay on a partner of family member. You do NOT have to buy a gift, visit, or even call ANYONE, including family members , who try to make you feel guilty, try to make you do things you do not want to do, talk to you in an abusive or nasty manner,or tell you that you need to do something. This is mental and emotional abuse. Do NOT stand for it.
There have been several callers the past couple of weeks complaining that they do not want to go to their dysfunctional (and in one case psychotic), family member's house. They have been staying away, and still the calls come. I tell them that they need to lay things on the line, saying something like "until you get help and change how you treat me,and apologize, I will not be back". One lady even had to change her phone numbers and email to keep a very disturbed family member from contacting her. One even had death threats from her father, she had to call the police.
When the people in question are doing things like taking drugs or getting nasty drunk while you are in their home, and this is not part of your lifestyle, don't go! When you have children, do not take them into any of these situations, PERIOD. I don't care if the abusive people are grandparents, sisters, or uncles. Keep them away.
Many courts are trying hard to "break the chain". Abusers ALWAYS abuse. They may not physically lash out and harm, even though that happens many times, but they also are dysfunctional enough where they sometimes go to the opposite extreme, and make people feel guilty for not staying and loving on them. They are also known to put down everyone and anyone. They sometimes do that to feel better about themselves, and sometimes to isolate the person so that they will only focus on the person who was abused. Locking them into a dysfunctional relationship. Many who have family members who were abused always feel guilty, and many times suffer from depression from dealing with the person who never healed, swimming in that dysfunctional energy will wear on anyone after a while.
The chain needs to be broken becasue it effects generation after generation. It creates either more abusers, or people who are depressed, guilt ridden, and even physically harmed.
It is hard to walk away from a friend, lover or family member, but unfortunately it is the only way to break the chain when the person will not go for help. Sometimes it is still the only way, even when they DO go for help. Never allow anyone to abuse you. Ever! That includes people who make statements like one made to a client last week...."if you do not come to dinner, you are no longer a son of mine, I love you, but you are out of my life." This man had been through this so many times, and had given in, this year he said " I don't think you ever really treated me like a son, because a loving mother would never say a thing like that. I forgive you and wish you well, but I agree, that I am no longer in your life." He thought he would feel terrible, but as each day went by (and he called me after 6 days), he felt lighter and lighter. He had reached his breaking point.
There also seems to be a tendency now for people who are abusers to use on line dating. There are also many who prey on people for money on these sites. I do not recommend on line dating sites. The horror stories I have heard......
No one says it is easy, it is in fact very hard, but God did not put you here to live an abused , guilt ridden life. Go out and live and leave the people who are abusing and mistreating you behind. They will be fine, as fine as they have always been.
Enjoy your holidays with the people you love, not the people who abuse you!! The number of callers being handed the guilt card these days is sickening. So when someone hands it to you , hand it right back!
We are not meant to be attached to people who treat us badly. Not our bosses, friends, or family. Don't take from a close person, what you wouldn't take from a stranger.
These clients have agreed to allow me to discuss these situations.
(C)2010 Triple Moon Goddess Gina, May not be used, copied or reproduced without prior written permission.