Healing from abuse

The sad thing about healing from abuse is that many people who haven’t themselves been abused, can’t possibly understand the survivor’s journey.

Healing from abuse is unique to each individual who has experienced it. The survivor will be emotionally damaged and/or physically hurt and unfortunately this damage is sometimes irreversible. Abuse leaves behind scars unique to each survivor’s experience.

Although healing means that your mind and body are able to recover, this doesn’t mean that the person can return to being ‘normal’.

The aftermath of abuse is usually permanent.

There might be long-lasting Complex PTSD for those who suffered child abuse, human trafficking, kidnapping or other severe types of abuse.

For some individuals abuse might be all they have known. They don’t have a pre-trauma or pre-abuse identity. They might not know what it is truly like to feel safe.

To all survivors of abuse or trauma,it is very important to remember this:

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Love Athina ♥

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How to detect whether you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship.

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When a relationship starts off with subtle signs of possessiveness or teasing that undermines the partner, this may then escalate to full blown domestic violence.

When one partner is trying to control the other partner in ways that are sometimes confusing and feel uncomfortable, then this may then escalate to complete and utter isolation from family and friends.

Sometimes the signs in abusive relationships are so subtle, that it is difficult to tell if someone is going to end up being abusive or not. Abuse can only be emotional and mental in some relationships. It doesn’t necessarily have to be physical and sexual. In other cases, it can be a combination of mental, physical, sexual & financial abuse.

The video I did today is important for those of you who know someone you suspect may be in an abusive relationship.If you suspect that it is actually your partner that is abusive, then please get in touch and I can put you in contact with the appropriate charities and organisations that can help 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.

How does codependency start?

Hello to all of you 🙂

I hope you are all well or at least trying to be.

Thank you to those of you who have recently followed my blog and youtube channel.I am very grateful. Tomorrow I have the morning off my German class so will be catching up as much as possible on all your posts and comments.Despite my busy schedule at the moment, I have still been managing to upload videos to Youtube every week and luckily the topics I talk about are still helping a few of you.

The Q & A videos have been a success and I still have quite a few unanswered emails to sort through, so please bear with me.

The Christmas break (although most definetely not my favourite time of year) will give me the opportunity to do more videos in response to your questions.

Today’s YouTube video focuses on the cycle of codependence and how is starts & worsens over time.

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Codependency is very real and is a result of living in a home with an alcoholic parent, an abusive parent or a parent with a mental illness. Codependency develops when you put your own needs & feelings aside as a child, to care for & comfort a sick parent. Not everyone agrees with this point of view, however I have been through it and know the challenges associated with it.

Reaching out to all of those who struggle with their mental health means the world to me, especially to those who have suffered trauma and live with the result of this trauma.

I know how it feels to be invalidated.

I know how it feels to be called too sensitive or to just get over it.

Stigma towards mental illness is very much alive.

By sharing your experiences and spreading awareness in any way possible, this helps others understand better what it might be like for those who struggle.

If you can relate to this video, or think it will help someone you care about, then please share it with love ♥

Hugs 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.

Happy Monday!

Dear readers,

This post today is only a quick one. I thought I would share this week’s Youtube video which will also be shared on my Child Within blog, so it reaches more people. It is a Q & A  video on narcissism and in this case, one of my viewers wanted to know whether narcissists are paranoid.

This is something I have had first hand experience with and I know how detrimental it can be to those that surround the narcissist. My father’s paranoia was incredibly magnetic and my husband and I, as well as his friends and colleagues, all got sucked into his overly paranoid outlook just before and after his suicide attempt.

If you have had to deal with narcissistic family or partners who were overly paranoid, please feel free to share your experience.

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 video- Rules children follow in a dysfunctional (narcissistic) home

Just a quick post with my newest video.

I hope it helps those of you who need validation.

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.

Recovery is not a destination

I wanted to write a quick post on the topic of recovery. I have embraced and accepted my own journey of recovery but not without many difficult years of wanting to see big changes, too soon..

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I know there are a lot of you battling with the struggles of mental health daily and wishing that you could achieve more.

I also know how disheartened you must feel when you don’t seem to reach your destination of being ”recovered”…This is where the problem lies..Recovery isn’t a destination..it is an ongoing, changing process with ups and downs..

Recovery doesn’t mean you will reach a day where you are recovered completely.What it DOES mean is that you will reach a point in your life where every struggle is much smaller and you will be able to feel better on more days than usual. If you suffered child abuse or neglect, you will most likely have ongoing mental health issues but this doesn’t mean you will suffer in the same way, as you grieve and progress in your healing. If you are a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, you will also know how much of a challenge it is to stop yourself from returning to the one thing that was able to numb you in the past..You are aware that your recovery from the drug of your choice will always be a constant in your life.

Before you are too harsh on yourself and have huge expectations on where you think you should be in your recovery, just remind yourself that everything is unfolding exactly as it should..that there are many small positive shifts happening in your mental health and that no matter how awful the tears, flashbacks, triggers, depression and anxiety are, that there are better days to come..Remind yourself of this when you are particularly low!

If you are recovering from any mental health issues, then this post is for you.

Be self-compassionate, give yourself a pat on the back and keep moving forward in your journey of recovery..Keep looking for resources that may help you along  your journey, seek out a therapist or coach who is experienced and validating and keep all abusive & toxic people away from your life.

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.

 

Intolerance to vulnerability is NOT OK!

Intolerance to vulnerability is everywhere.

Dysfunctional homes have this at their core.Children don’t feel safe to express emotions of sadness or pain..Children are taught that it is not ok to have sad or angry emotions..that they will be a burden if they dare to express these emotions..

This is not acceptable..This is emotional abuse..

Physical vulnerability is different to emotional vulnerability..When someone is physically disabled or physically ill, he/she seems to have more understanding from others..because you can see his/her illness physically..When a disability is emotional or mental however, people are quicker to dismiss it..This is where the stigma of mental illness comes in..Every single person out there with a mental disorder, is vulnerable..If they suffer with anxiety or depression, this makes them vulnerable..Just as much as someone who has a heart condition, or cancer or any other condition..

A vulnerable person is someone who struggles with day to day life.

Vulnerability refers to the inability to withstand the effects of a hostile environment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulnerability).

People with mental illness frequently become vulnerable and easy targets of physical and mental abuse.

People with mental illness can have poor boundaries, emotional dysregulation and many other extremely debilitating symptoms. They deserve the same compassion as those with obvious physical disabilities. They deserve the right to be able to talk about their struggles.

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.

Grief

Although grief is a huge part of life, it is something that none of us want to experience.

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We can grieve over the loss of a loved one or beloved pet.

We can grieve over the loss of a job or home.

We can grieve whenever a new change happens in our lives, such as the loss of personal freedom when we have children or the loss of certain abilities when we become physically or mentally ill.

Sometimes the reasons we grieve are very subtle.

In general though, the journey through grief is a long one and it is important to give oneself time to grieve and to endure the overwhelming emotions that often accompany grief. Everyone moves at his or her own pace and along this path there will be circumstances which hinder one’s progress and circumstances which assist one’s progress. It may even take a lifetime to reach the desired goals of acceptance and inner peace.

If you are someone who grew up in an abusive & invalidating home, you will experience a more complicated type of grief. You will go through a grieving process which can take several years and will sometimes never completely go away. To not have had a nurturing & safe childhood means that you never experienced yourself as feeling nurtured & unconditionally loved. You will never, ever know what it is like to have healthy parents because this only happens once in your lifetime.You might only get glimpses of healthy families from friends that are lucky enough to have this and this will deeply hurt in its’ own way. If you were fostered, you might have finally managed to experience unconditional love later in your childhood but this still doesn’t completely undo the damage you have already experienced.

There are many ways to deal with grief. Ways that most of us have experienced to be healthy, such as allowing ourselves to cry and deeply feel our emotions of despair & unfairness.Crying doesn’t make us weak, it can actually strengthen us emotionally and physically. Crying stimulates production of endorphins which are the “feel good” hormones in our body.

Other ways are to turn to friends for support, write a journal or blog online. Exercise is also a great antidote to grief, no matter how hard it feels to actually do any.

The thing about grief that is important to remember is that it can feel mentally and physically exhausting. Practicing self-care during periods of grief is crucially important.

Rest & healthy eating are paramount during times of grief and reducing things like alcohol & drugs is also very important, as although you might feel like numbing yourself, this will only prolong the process of grieving.

If you are spiritual or have another faith, then this will also help you when you are feeling at your lowest.

It is also very important to try and avoid other stressful situations, especially at the early stages of grief.

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What are your experiences with grief?

If you are currently grieving, then please feel free to use this page as an outlet for your painful emotions at the moment and for support.

Comments are always welcome..

Much 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.

 

Trauma bonding

Trauma bonding is the reason people choose abusive partners time and time again.

Trauma bonding is also known as Stockholm syndrome, something that is mentioned a lot when someone has been abducted.

Trauma bonding is something that starts in a person’s childhood, if they have suffered abuse or neglect.

If you are someone who keeps choosing emotionally unavailable partners or abusive partners, then this is why.

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.

Courage

Today’s post will be short and sweet as unfortunately my internet is playing up and keeps having long disconnection periods. I have barely been able to post anything today due to this, so my apologies if this blog post is a little short. I think short and sweet, will be the theme of this day! 🙂

I wanted to write a little bit about why I chose Courage as the name of my Coaching business.

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First of all, courage is very important when challenging ourselves at times where we need to make big changes in our personal life, our work or our health.

Courage is necessary when we deal with grief, physical & emotional pain or overwhelming fear.

As survivors of abuse would agree, courage is crucial for getting through the trauma and emotional pain that starts with the abuse, continues throughout the abuse and then unfortunately becomes a part of the long journey of recovery after the abuse.

For those affected by war & overwhelming grief, courage is what keeps them going every day, when all they want is to stop feeling so frightened & devastated.

Courage is important for survival, for better quality of life, for the ability to self-reflect and for getting through adversity.

Below are some definitions that I found online when I was deciding on COURAGE as a name for my business.

Courage is:

  • The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.
  • Strength in the face of pain or grief
  • The choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.
  • The power or quality of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, etc..
  • Courage, also called fortitude, is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. It can be divided into “physical courage” — in face of physical pain, hardship, and threat of death — and “moral courage” — in the face of shame, scandal, and discouragement..
  • The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

 I also selected a few of the most inspiring quotes about courage, in my opinion.

”You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along”.
Eleanor Roosevelt
”I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”.
Nelson Mandela
”Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”.
Dale Carnegie
”You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor”.
Aristotle

 What is it about courage that inspires you the most?

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.