Learn to give it back!

Being nice is hygiene. But being nice is not a synonym for being a doormat. It’s ok to take your tongue out for a good word lashing on someone, when someone crosses that line.  Don’t fear. Use that fantastic piece of equipment ferociously when needed.  Don’t think – let it go. NO.

Every time a line is crossed with you, and you don’t respond appropriately, you are raising the threshold level higher for people to do what they want. And you won’t even know it.

Disrespect and abuse is sometimes very very insidious and you won’t even know it’s happening to you. So you need to force yourself to respond and defend the self every time that line is crossed. It’s an important act to keep your self esteem high.

Love your abuser?

You can love someone who tortures you. There is no control over who you love. But you can be away from those who torture you. That you can control. And as torturous as that can be, to be away from the one you love, it would be more damaging to you to be with him or her.

Take that step to walk away. It might take time to disconnect or disengage. But your spirit will be intact. And you will not have a problem looking in the mirror.

Sometimes even feeling crappy is OK. As long as you get to have moments of unbruised love with the person you are in love with. You feel, those moments will tide you through life. You know what they will. But do you want to? And should you? Should you not want to feel no pain and just be happy?

Google the web and see how many many women live alone, yet lead happy lives. It’s very possible and OK to be alone. You need to get the idea straight. A man who beats you and torments you does not love you. So why would you want to be with someone like that?

You can’t fix someone else’s mess.

No matter how hard you try, you cannot fix or solve other people’s problems. Many in toxic relationships, keep hoping against hope that things will change. But they won’t. Don’t waste your life, trying to fix someone else’s destiny. That’s not your job.

This said, if you have the strength and inclination, be there for them. Be there to listen, or give support when necessary. But don’t make the woman feel guilty about staying in an abusive situation even when she has repeatedly told you she wants to leave him.

Sometimes it gets tiring to listen to the same story again and again. But that’s the best you can do. And hope, sense prevails.

Be respectful, even when going through a divorce.

A male colleague is going through a divorce. While I am not privy to many details, this is what i shared with him. “No matter what the situation in court and personal dealings is, maintain a respectful behaviour towards the to be-ex-wife”.

It’s the most difficult thing to do, especially if the wife is playing difficult. She is asking for an obscene alimony. But the priority should always be the children, and the relationship he would like to have with his children.

Children judge you based on your behaviour towards the mother. No matter what the mother does, she is the creator, genesis and everything for the children. You cannot deny the connection children feel towards their mother. As such as a father who is going through a tough divorce, your best bet is to be respectful of the mother. Not so much for the mother, but so that you are there in the next 40 years of the kids life.

I say this because short sightedness is very easy, when you can be bitchy towards the mother and get even even. But what do you lose in the process? Kids? Is that worth anything or is it worth everything? It’s a very tough choice. But being respectful of the mother, does not cost you anything. Something to think about.

You have to work hard to let go!

How do you forgive those who you believe have hurt you, tormented you, took your childhood away. Betrayed you? Even at the age of 40-50-60-80 people are unable to forgive and forget what happened to them decades ago, when they were kids. Most keep waiting for a tearful apology that perhaps will never come their way. And they hang on to this feeling of betrayal forever. Right into their own adulthood and retirement.

The thing is, you remember your bad stuff with more horror when you have less of good stuff in your life to focus on. There is an energy imbalance. Negativity attracts more negativity. If you want to forgive those who screwed your happiness, the only only way to do this is to be brutal with your inner child and make it do things that will make it happy and collect brownie points.

Collect enough brownie points and you will realise, you will think of your lost childhood with sadness not anger, not vengeance towards your parent, not rage even. A shrink will tell you, be your own parent and apologise to your inner kid. This is very difficult to do. That’s asking you to be objective and rational when you could be raging inside. Normal people cannot be so. So to expect someone who has been abused to be forgiving towards their past, is expecting the mouse to move the mountain.

So you take a roundabout route. Make yourself happy. Be selfish. This is the only way to forgive those who hurt you as a kid. Because the more you are happy, the more your past won’t matter. Those who hurt you then become irrelevant today. And so you become ok with your past, with your parents.

For all of you there, who deal with such things, letting go is a bullshit phrase. You have to work to work at it to make yourself let go. It’s a hard, hard job. And it will require you to surround yourself with people who genuinely like you and are happy to be around you.

Be assured, that what baby steps you take, will help you release your anger.  Thus  the forgiving will come automatically.

Do the George!

Insecurities and fear make you do crazy things, which can be self-destructive. If you come from fear, if you feel scared, do the ‘George’.

Remember George Costanza from Seinfeld. There was an episode when he said to this effect – ‘every time he does something he loses, so now he will do everything against instincts and do the opposite’. In the episode, surprisingly things start to work out for George.

When the emotional construct is screwed up, all your instincts are in extremes. So if you wish to start normalising, you need to begin to control the urge to go over board or under even. Practice emotional rationality.

Ask for feedback from close friend. Did i over react? Was it right I did this or felt like this? Slowly your emotional structure will straighten out. It’s a long-winded lonely road to get to normal. But what else you gonna do?

Be aware of treating your kids as adults.

An important thing for women who are in an abusive situation or have come out of one, is to NOT practice ’emotional transference’. Meaning what you should get from your husband, you seek from your children or other people.

Never ever forget, no matter how much your kids protect you, they are your kids. They are your responsibility. They may practice a few parental behaviours towards you, but they are not people you depend on. They are people who must depend on you. In this respect it’s crucial to not make them feel guilty about the choices they make.

They can never make up for the fact that your spouse, boyfriend, lover, father etc abused you and abandoned you. You must fight every instinct to expect allegiance towards you or become overly protective of them. They need to see you lead an empowered independent life, so that they can lead their own that way.

As difficult as it may be to not hold on, to not hang on, nothing will be more destructive, if they don’t live freely as children are meant to. And lead normal lives as children do. And not as matured young adults. Don’t kid yourself, if someone says your kids are too matured for their age. It’s not a complement.

Walk away when it does not feel right.

Why women, and men too, need to learn to walk away from their relationships. Our society designates women as ‘the’ person that keeps the family together. It does not matter if the family is emotionally tortured or witnesses a loveless environment or that the family members are feeling suffocated by pretenses and unending compromises with one self and with those around them.

Family ‘is’ about being able to ‘be’. The moment this ability to just ‘be’ is an everyday fight, you know it’s time to re-evaluate things. Separation, divorce is one of the extreme end of the solution spectrum.

Women and men, both, need to be able to negotiate personal spaces with one another, negotiate what they regard as being sacred  for themselves, negotiate what is ok and right to do by them and what is not. AND this right is not defined by the size of anyone’s wallet or public persona or social stature or state of career etc.

At home there are no celebrities or people who have x,y,z assets, but only two people in a relationship. This is one of the fundamental laws of equality that keeps marital or love relationships in balance and in check. The moment this law is broken and the power is misused to keep the other down, it’s time to rethink.

Walking away sometimes then becomes an extreme but only option for the survival of the self.

Happiness!

Happiness is like million microscopic, small, big points on the map of your life. Close your eyes right now and you will find one small source of happiness even when you are facing terrible crap right this minute. TRY IT.

If you are breathing, it is impossible to not find even one. Like, you just had a great breakfast or the shower was great, or the flower you saw was pretty, or your car runs just fine today, or you have not been to the doctor in months, or you ate the candy and it was delicious, or your parents called to say hello, or your friend took you out for coffee.

You get it? Small things. They are not small really. If you know what I mean!