Self-evolver

Over the last 9 months, I have been lucky enough to connect with Kayla on her brilliant journey of self-evolving. Kayla is a counsellor who very much enjoys supporting her clients in becoming the best version of themselves, as she also does for herself.

Kayla has created this brilliant brand which celebrates those of us who keep evolving and growing in our mental health journeys.

Kayla’s website is brilliant and deserves celebrating.

You can read about 3 self-evolvers’ journeys and also buy some brilliant clothing and accessories that are inspiring and mental health promoting.

You can also become an ambassador for the brand, if you think this is something you would enjoy.

Kayla’s brand is empowering and positive.

Click on the link below to check out it out

Thank you, Love Athina

http://www.selfevolver.co/about

NEW E-BOOK on amazon- DEALING WITH CPTSD TRIGGERS IN RELATIONSHIPS

After the success of my Assertiveness PDF Course, I have decided to release my first E-book/Guide ‘Dealing with CPTSD triggers in relationships’-A helpful guide for both partners.

E-book Cover

This is something I have been working on for awhile and especially because so many of you have reached out to me struggling with your partner’s triggers.

This ebook is available on Amazon Kindle and I am selling it for £5.06 but I am offering the first 15 of you the opportunity to buy it for only £2 by sending payment to my PayPal at athinalarios@yahoo.com.

If you are in need of support in your relationship, then order your discounted copy NOW!

Email me at courageisallyouneed@gmail.com confirming that you have made payment and you will receive your discounted copy!

If you support me on Patreon, you will get this e-book for free 🙂

I will be creating a video on my YouTube channel to promote this e-book but I would very much appreciate a reblog of this post, if you think this ebook would help anyone you know.

I want to help as many people as possible as this is something that I have personally struggled with in my relationship.

To buy the Kindle version on the UK Amazon click below!

Thank you!

Love Athina

Oversharing

Oversharing is something that I have also been guilty of on more than one occasion.

Why do many of us overshare whereas most people only share what is necessary when meeting new people?

In the video below, I explain a little bit about oversharing and why we do it.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

 

The importance of being emotionally intelligent

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

Emotional intelligence is the one part of the human psyche that we can develop and improve by learning and practising new skills.

  • People with higher emotional intelligence find it easier to form and maintain interpersonal relationships and to ‘fit in’ to group situations.
  • People with higher emotional intelligence are also better at understanding their own psychological state, which can include managing stress effectively and being less likely to suffer from depression.

My newest video on my youtube channel, talks about emotional intelligence in more detail.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

How to heal from childhood abuse

A lot of my followers on this blog and also subscribers from my youtube channel keep coming to me with the same question ‘How do I heal from childhood abuse?’.

Although this is something I have already addressed previously, I have decided to actually explore this in as much detail as I possibly can.

I will address this with reference to my own recovery journey and also by looking at research done by psychologists, psychotherapists and trauma specialists such as Pete Walker, Wilhelm Reich, Dr Bessel Van Der Kolk and many more.

Healing from childhood abuse isn’t a simple process. It takes a huge amount of courage, inner strength & resilience. It requires a willingness to become more self-aware of our own dysfunctional coping mechanisms, that we may have learnt from our primary caregivers.

If our parents were high on the narcissism spectrum, we will have endured years of all or some of the following:

  • neglect
  • hypercriticism
  • parentifying
  • infantilising
  • pathological envy
  • blaming
  • patronising
  • mood swings
  • pathological lying
  • aggression or passive aggression
  • gaslighting
  • controlling behaviour
  • emotional blackmail
  • scapegoating
  • silent treatment
  • shaming
  • invalidation
  • isolation
  • intimidation
  • verbal abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • physical abuse
  • engulfment

Living in a household with abuse, causes the child to develop Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Complex post traumatic stress disorder is a more severe form of PTSD and has the following 5 features:

  1. Toxic shame
  2. Self-abandonment
  3. Emotional flashbacks
  4. A extremely harsh inner critic
  5. Social anxiety

Emotional flashbacks are the most characteristic part of CPTSD. They are sudden and sometimes prolonged age regressions to the overwhelming feelings of being abused or neglected as a child. Emotional flashbacks don’t have a visual component. These flashbacks do however include an overwhelming feeling of fear, shame, alienation, abandonment, depression and emotional pain. They can range in intensity from subtle to unbearable.

Toxic shame is the when an individual has an overwhelming feeling that they are flawed, loathsome or stupid. It completely destroys a person’s self-esteem and causes the person to abandon themselves emotionally. This creates a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.

The inner critic is the internalised punishing voice of our abusive parent. If we had a parent who was a bully and constantly called us names such stupid, pathetic, too sensitive, ugly etc, then we will have this voice within us, even if our abusive parent isn’t in our life anymore. It will be a habitual inner bully that punishes us instead of supports us.

Other symptoms of CPTSD are:

  • Feelings of loneliness and abandonment
  • Fragile self-esteem
  • Attachment disorder
  • Developmental Arrests
  • Relationship difficulties ( Fear of forming relationships or forming relationships that are too dysfunctional)
  • Hyper-arousal / extreme flight/fight response
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Oversensitivity to stress
  • Dissociation
  • Exhaustion
  • Body armouring  (which involves tensing of muscle tissue whenever stress or emotion is experienced. To protect itself, the body takes a defensive, tight, and stiff stance. On a tissue level it enters into a muscular holding pattern that resists change and release. Unexpressed emotions such as anger, fear, and grief are common causes of this phenomenon. This was first described by psychologist Wilhelm Reich).
  • Impulsivity
  • Inappropriate anger

 

The stages of recovering

To recover from abuse and trauma, we must first educate ourselves on a cognitive level. We must understand that we most likely suffer with CPTSD and that it isn’t our fault that we are suffering. We have to put the blame where it belongs – to our abusive primary caregivers.

Secondly we must find a qualified therapist/specialist coach that will help us with the very difficult task of shrinking the inner critic. The inner critic can be a very difficult part of recovery to tackle, as the negativity from this critic has become automatic over our lifetime. It may take a long time to stop the inner critic from affecting us. Constant awareness of when the critic is present will help us stop him in his tracks and try and replace the negative criticisms with positive affirmations and self-compassion.

The next step in recovery is verbal ventilation and the very painful process of grieving our childhood losses. Verbal ventilation is when we speak in a way that releases our painful emotions with a safe person. Grieving our childhood losses means that we actually allow ourselves to cry, be angry and really feel the deep pain of not having had healthy parents. Grieving can take a long time and can sometimes last for a couple of years. In grieving, it is important for us to also grieve our loss of self-esteem and safety.

Once we have successfully grieved, we then must deal with the feelings of abandonment via somatic healing and via learning how to become self-compassionate in moments of depression or anxiety.

Lastly, we will need help with dissecting all our defences, especially those that no longer serve us. We may have picked up defences and behaviours from our abusive parents that are dysfunctional and we will now need support in stopping these defences and practicing more healthy ways of coping.

A very important part of recovery is to learn how to be patient with our progress, as sometimes it isn’t straightforward. Recovery is a journey and self compassion is crucial.

A great mantra according to Pete Walker, is

‘Progress not perfection’

Expecting perfection in recovery isn’t going to help us move forward..

Progress however is key!

Thanks for reading!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Relocation back to the UK and new Youtube video – ‘Signs you are dating a narcissist’

After a long absence, due to my recent relocation back to the UK from Germany, I am ready to start working again and embrace the world of change and healing.

I have just created a new video for my youtube subscribers and I am very grateful to be back home, so I am able to take on more face to face clients. Although Germany was very international, not everyone I encountered spoke English well.

Now that I am home, it is truly lovely to be able to communicate effectively and clearly and to not have to worry about the language barrier. There are many more opportunities for me in the UK and I am very much looking forward to getting involved with charities that support narcissistic abuse survivors.

In this new video, I talk about the most common signs that you are dating a narcissist.

If you have had experience dating a narcissist, then you will relate to this video. If you are currently in a relationship and feel undermined and confused, then this video might help answer some questions.

If you need support, then please feel free to contact me or another mental health professional. Leaving a relationship where the other person may be a narcissist, is not the same as leaving a healthy relationship. It has to be done very carefully, with reliable support and a clear plan. Victims tend to develop signs of C-PTSD and can suffer greatly with depression & anxiety.

Some narcissists can become dangerous and physically abusive.

The relationship dynamics although similar in most cases, can have unique circumstances, where the abusive partner may also be physically or sexually abusive. In worst cases, the abuse is so severe, that the narcissist may even kill their partner.

Last but not least, trauma bonding makes it very difficult for the victim to leave their abuser so the right support is absolutely necessary.

Please share this blog post or video, if you think it will help someone!

Thanks for reading and watching!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Vulnerability & the dangers of predators

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There are countless times in my own personal life, where my own vulnerability got me into trouble.

At times where all I wanted was genuine comfort & love, I met people who took advantage of my vulnerable state of mind. Those people in particular had narcissistic traits and I only realised this of course when it was a little too late!

If you are in the middle of grieving, or fresh out of a bad relationship, be sure to tread carefully.

If you grew up in a dysfunctional home and now live with Complex PTSD, then you will always be vulnerable to the wrong person. Unless you have had a chance to work through your childhood trauma and come out of therapy healthier, choosing the wrong people to associate with, will be familiar but dangerous.

The trauma bond is what makes survivors of abuse more susceptible to predators in sheep’s clothing. Especially when it comes to romantic interests or intimate encounters.

A lot of survivors of abuse will settle for sex when in reality they really want love and a sense of acceptance.

Narcissists are experts at hiding their true colours at the beginning. They are also attracted to empaths & sensitive people like magnets.

If you have had an experience like this that has affected you, then please feel free to share it in the comments below.

Feel free to re-blog this post, if you think it will help others.

Thank you

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

New youtube video-I have discovered my parents are narcissists.What now?

It is important to know the steps of what to expect after realising your parents are abusive. It is crucial to finally understand why and how you were & are affected by narcissistic abuse. Giving what you have been through a name, is the beginning of your healing journey. It allows for validation of your feelings and to finally KNOW that it wasn’t your fault – It was your parents fault!

To actually work through the emotions, the acceptance of not having had healthy parents and the grief that goes with it, is a whole different challenge however. To reach a better state of mental health, you have to dig deep and allow a lot of painful feelings to come to the surface. Only after working through these painful emotions, will you then have the opportunity to look at your life through a different lens. To look at yourself with more self-compassion & understanding and to learn to set boundaries, takes practice and you need an experienced therapist on your side.

A psychological coach, which is what I have trained as, can support you in changing self-defeating thoughts or behaviours and can support you in the present to move forward with goal setting. A coach is not qualified to guide you through your grieving or acceptance in depth. That is a therapist’s job.

I have had a lot of teenagers watch my youtube videos and I am very much aware that I have to post videos carefully and support these children appropriately.

With empathy & unconditional positive regard, a child can feel a little bit better.

I know that if I had had this support as a child, it probably would have made a world of difference to my mental health.

This is the main reason I am passionate about supporting young people. They need someone to have their back with no strings attached. With narcissistic parents/step-parents, there are always strings attached. There is always some nasty remark waiting to be used against their child/step-child.

Children deserve unconditional love, acceptance, validation of their feelings and a safe environment to call home. This has to become a priority in our society.

Thanks for reading/watching!

Love Athina ♥♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.