Until we know the positive and pro-active steps we can take to remove un-health in our lives…we rely on coping. Coping outcomes are learned behaviors that we all do in order to deal with hurt, hardships, mistreatments, trauma and abuse. It’s our way of getting through the day. Pushing down the pain and disappointments. When people are mistreated they have to deal the big range of emotions and feelings as well as the negative outcomes that spring from the harm and hurt put on them. When people experience repeated mistreatment, it is even harder to cope because it has crossed the line into the world of abuse. To help make it more easy to recognize, I define abuse as, “Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.”
Here are some insights and examples of coping.
* Before a mistreated or an abused person gets the professional help they so richly deserve, they often suffer silently for years or a lifetime. Often a mistreated person moves through life believing the abuser’s lies and take them on as truth which greatly limits their ability to reach their best-self life and worse, they self-sabotage.
* Many go down a path of masking their pain with addictions of alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex/prostitution/porn and less obvious ones of food/overeating for emotional comfort and overspending/shopping for a hit of short-lived happy feelings.
* Many follow a different path of taking their anger, hurt and resentment out on others through violence, shootings and more abuse…the cycle continues and grows by harming another person and the next generation.
* Many people feel alone and believe the mistreatment is their fault and struggle with depression, mental illness and attempt suicide rather than speaking up.
* Feeling hopeless and worthless often produces lifestyle choices that lead some victims of abuse to criminal behavior. Often criminal behavior is done as a financial means to pay for their coping tool of addictions. By some statistics, more than 1/3 of inmates reported being abused as a child. I believe this number is much higher!
* If someone you know has an addiction, depression, mental illness or thoughts of suicide, please let them know they are not alone and you care. Those healing and supportive words can save a life! Then follow up by having them get in touch with a counselor, hotline, crisis center or 911 if it is an emergency.
* If YOU are feeling any of the above, you can always call 911, a crisis center, suicide hotline or if not an emergency, please know you can contact me. I care about you. You are not alone! We have a network of talented folks who we partner with on the topics of addictions, suicide, PTS, and more. I want you to get support from quality professionals. You deserve hope, happiness and health!
I am committed to working with organizations to create healthy lives for all people. My goal is instead of reacting with coping…we learn the skillset for responding with healthy behaviors for positive outcomes.
Please contact me to learn more through our workshops, training and consulting!
Protect with Awareness…Education…Action. First step is awareness and recognizing what abusive and unhealthy behaviors look like, sound like, feel like and their negative impact. Second step is education on how to safely end the cycles. Third step is action to prevent future forms of un-wellness in yourself and the relationships around you by speaking up, looking within, and taking positive action. Here are more insights…
* Learn to spot unhealthy behaviors when they are small…BEFORE they turn into big and repeated acts/words of abuse.
* Recognize different forms of unhealthy behaviors. It is easy to be confused about what abuse is, especially when we hear different terms in the news. This over-arching topic takes on many forms including child abuse, stalking, bullying, sexual harassment, domestic violence, neglect, etc. The names are different but the actions are the same: Repeated Mistreatment.
* Know where to look for abusive behaviors and language. Abuse happens in everyday settings that most of us would assume are safe for everyone including homes, companies/work, schools, athletic teams, elderly care facilities, religious institutions and doctor offices. Long story short…it can happen in any location where there are people! That’s why it’s so important that we are well informed and don’t make assumptions that we or those we care about, are always in a safe environment. Keep your eyes and ears open.
* By sharing a common understanding of abuse and a united goal of safety for all…we can and will protect each other.
Please consider a private coaching session with us to create your personal in-depth awareness and empowerment in creating an abuse-free life for yourself and those you love. Workshops are also available.
ENLIGHTEN. EMPOWER. END.
When you don’t know the codes and cycles, all forms of abuse (sexual harassment, verbal mistreatment, child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, bullying, etc.) are very complex, confusing and hard to see…even when they are happening right in front of you! Here are some ways to recognize and understand abusive behaviors.
* Abuse grows when abusers use tools of manipulation (isolation, fear, shame, brainwashing, etc.) to assert their power and control while keeping their victim scared, silent and stuck in darkness.
* The abuser makes the victim feel alone, afraid, “crazy” and unable to leave the relationship.
* As a society, we are often fooled by the outward, successful image projected by the abuser.
* Plus, we don’t want to talk about such nasty deeds so we chose to not believe it. It’s almost too much to bear thinking this is happening to our innocent children, elderly neighbors, close friends, sports heroes and beloved family. It’s why society doesn’t openly talk about abuse, and worse, puts the doubt and shame on the victim.
We have the ability and responsibility to understand the codes and cycles to prevent and end them in our own lives as well as in those around us. I can teach you and your organization how!
By learning and joining together, we create a pro-active and positive community of caring people. Let’s end the un-healthy cycles and create a healthy and happy environment for everyone!
Learn more about our positive and pro-active workshops, coaching and speaking events.
ENLIGHTEN. EMPOWER. END.
Our Voices Matter: I experienced Domestic Violence, the awful aftermath including PTS and the arduous climb out of the deep, dark pit so I could stand strong on the solid ground of Authentic Health. Creating awareness on all forms of abuse, including DV, is so important to me because I care about people and want healthy lives for us all!
Being scared but knowing my voice matters and is helpful to others, a year ago I publicly told my story for the first time. With the attitude of “go big or go home” I shared it with over 300 people as the keynote speaker at The Crisis Center’s Gala.
October is Domestic Violence awareness month. Please consider how you can help create awareness, prevention and ending the cycles of abuse. Here are some ideas:
* Donate TIME or MONEY to a Crisis Center/Shelter and other organizations who focus on health and well-being.
* Be a SAFE PERSON for others to openly share their relationship concerns and problems. Being safe means you are not judgemental or finger-pointing or disbelieving their experiences. You don’t have to have the answers. You just need an open ear and a kind heart. Feeling alone and afraid of other’s negative opinion/ judgment are the top reasons why the abused don’t reach out and get the support they need and deserve. Consider this…strong people don’t like appearing or feeling weak. Insecure people can’t risk hearing “you should have” statements because they are already beating themselves up. Please make it safe for all personality types to confide in you.
* Be BRAVE. Share your hurt, abuse, hardships with someone you trust. Trust is key and built over time with shared experiences that you work hard to secure and safeguard. I teach that trust in our relationships is where there is mutual: Truth. Respect. Unity. Safety. Transparency.
* Find RESOURCES and gather KNOWLEDGE on the warning signs. DV is a clear cycle that experts can identify. Abusers are predators who look for easy prey. None of us ever think we are easy prey, however we all can be preyed upon. We all have our own definitions of what’s accepted as “normal” based on our life experiences and influenced by our wounds and insecurities. We need to heal and address those issues so we can move into the security of being Authentically Healthy and protect ourselves and those around us.
Your voice and life experiences truly do matter! You deserve to be healthy and happy!
I care about you and want to be of support to you and those you care about. My workshops, speaking events and coaching explain how to identify and pro-actively become our best-safest-happiest selves. For more information or to bring our programs to your work/life, please contact me.
ENLIGHTEN. EMPOWER. END.
MEET ME AT THE SUMMIT! I’m delighted to be one of 45 speakers sharing our insights, research and empowering tips to make this a better world. The summit is to help everyone with Emotional Abuse Recovery and Resilience. Monday, September 3rd my interview airs. “Finger-pointing: No Room for Blame or Shame When Building Authentic Health”
Starting 9/1, all interviews are FREE daily when aired. Permanent All-Access Pass purchased by 9/2 is $197 and increases to $397.
Click the link below to take advantage of this amazing savings and powerful information!
Have you tried stand up paddle boarding? I’ve done it on small lakes, a large ocean and even through some Colorado river rapids…that got my heart beating fast! The acronym for stand up paddle boarding is SUP, which is about as straightforward of a name as you can get! You literally stand up on the board and navigate on the water by using a long handled paddle. You need to be aware of what’s around you because trust me, you don’t want to fall into Lake Dillion where the water is 46 degrees by the warmest part of summer. Brrr! However, with very little instruction, I’m confident everyone can stand up and feel the rush of self-empowerment as you glide over the water.
Why don’t we stand up more often in other parts of our life? For example, when we are in an unhealthy friendship or see a friend in a rocky romantic relationship, why don’t we stand up and say something? As a SHINE Girl community, you have created a strong tribe by sticking together and protecting each other. So, why are there still unhealthy situations in teen dating and relationships? I think it is because we haven’t had enough instruction to “SUP” and once we do, all of us can all stand up for ourselves and each other.
In the world of relationships, SUP stands for:
Safety. Unity. Personal Responsibility.
Safety starts with recognizing what is unhealthy or abusive behavior. To make it easier to understand and recognize, I describe it as “Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.” These are the dangerous rapids we have to recognize so we can successfully navigate and avoid them. Rapids can look like one person treating the other with: Continue reading Stand Up & Say Something
I love chatting with people to get their perspectives on life. Recently one comment by a colleague surprised me when he said “You shouldn’t use the word work because it will deter and discourage people from trying.” (You shouldn’t….always a winner of a way to start a conversation…not!) When asked why, he replied “I don’t like the word work because work is just too hard.”
It has my gears turning. We all get caught up on words and our individual interpretation of them based on our life experiences. Work for him meant drudgery, oppression, being bossed around, and something to be avoided. I could only imagine how many times he sabotaged his own success by having a mental block about the word work. As a kid when he heard “do your homework” his walls instantly went up. As a budding pianist he was told it will take a lot of hard work and practice so he eventually quit playing. Throughout his adult life, he dreaded five days a week of putting on a suit to go to work or in his mind, the dungeon. For him, work is a dirty word.Work for me has a very different interpretation. I was raised by two parents whose strong message was no matter what you do, you’ll never be good enough or worthy of my love. Being an optimist I knew this couldn’t be true. There had to be some threshold of where I cleared the highest of bars and won their love, or even their approval, or if neither of those, at least they would stop their ridicule of me.Work has always been my fighting survival skill and emotional protection to say…maybe I’m not there yet but I’m going to be! A little relentless voice that says…I got a whole bunch of good stuff inside of me just waiting for the right opportunity for it to come jumping out. For me, work is a hope-filled word.
Work results provided the internal, positive cheering for myself as I overcame exterior, negative brainwashing.As an athletic kid, I knew how great it felt to stand on the podium. I started gymnastics at age three. With both joy for the sport and a commitment to be the best gymnast I could be, I conditioned, stretched, practiced and dedicated myself. That meant I woke up early and went into the cold, dark Chicago winter mornings to run so I would have extra endurance. I wasn’t a state champion but I saw how my diligent work and big effort paid off by teaching me a life lesson that I have ability to create a better tomorrow than today.
Because I was a forthright kid who often stood up to protect my sisters when my parents were being harsh, I learned speaking truth is more important than suffering silently. I worked at my speaking skills, earning a double major in Communications and I now speak up for other abused, neglected, bullied and poorly treated kids and adults. I won’t ever get my parents love or approval, but it’s a magical feeling to hear how my voice has positively changed someone’s life. My heart overflows when I hear their commitment to work on how they think about themselves, how they allow people to treat them, and how they are going protect themselves and others. Call me a sap but that makes my eyes water every time! For me, that’s love in action. The hard work I do to create awareness on what is Authentic Health so together we can prevent and end all forms of abuse…is well worth it.I don’t like work, I love it!ENLIGHTEN. EMPOWER. END.Please contact us for workshops, training, speaking and coaching.
As a country, we celebrate our independence on the day we DECLARED it and not on the day we ACHIEVED it. I find our history intriguing and very telling of the power of unified commitment and uncompromised conviction. It says a lot to me about the spirit of our ancestors and what lies in our own DNA.
The background story is on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of the Declaration of Independence and the historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson was adopted on July 4th. It wasn’t until seven, hard, cold, costly years later, on September 3, 1783, that we signed the Treaty that gave us our independence from Britain. We were clearly the underdogs and absolutely inferior from a military perspective but there was a driving force uniting individuals, leaders and communities to band together to face their adversity and stand up for what they believed was right.
With every written word in the Declaration of Independence, they let the world know…freedom is our united truth. With every action they took, they demonstrated they would face any risk, overcome any fear and get around any obstacle, in order to achieve their vision of freedom.
Maybe the key to obtaining Authentic Health is backwards to how we normally approach problems. What if we STARTED with celebrating a shared declaration that each person deserves to be healthy and happy. Then with insights and support of our families, communities and co-workers, we buckle down and do the hard, often scary and challenging work it takes to remove the unhealthy words, actions and behaviors so we all can reach our best-self vision.
When we claim our independence from unhealthy and toxic people, we are no longer inter-dependent on them and we are free to have power and control of our lives.
When you make a declaration of freedom from abusive, traumatic, harassing, bullying and other unhealthy behaviors in yourself and others, like our ancestors, you change not only your life but the lives of generations to come…and that’s something to celebrate!
Enlighten. Empower. End.
In the next series of blogs I will answer the most commonly asked questions we receive. Most people find it kinda scary to ask about abuse and mistreatment but are grateful to learn. I want to remove that fear and offer helpful insights. I truly care about you, your well-being and your questions and concerns…and always love hearing your ideas on how we can make this a healthier world. So, let’s get started!
Question #1: WHO IS BEING ABUSED?
Abuse (by our definition “Repeated mistreatment where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person” applies to all forms of abuse including childhood, bullying, sexual harassment, neglect, domestic violence, financial abuse and more) happens to all ages of men, women, and children. It is a silent epidemic occurring right under our noses in all demographics regardless of: race, religion, occupation, income, gender, education, housing, location, socio-economic and marital status…in all countries. Hard to believe…but 100% true!
I often get told “This doesn’t happen in our community or school or work!” but the truth is…yes it does.