Dealing with emotional and psychological abuse

I discovered that emotional abuse came from several directions.  It came from my first husband who, for years, told me that I was not clever, no use at ironing his shirts, not like his mother, not good enough to be part of his family….. and so on, and on he went.

It also came from my parents who encouraged me to stay with my first husband even though I was plainly unhappy and the marriage wasn’t working. I was told that I was far too young to know my own mind and that divorce was out of the question.

My parents-in-law agreed with my husband that I wasn’t good enough for their family and therefore I should learn how to be a good wife and do everything that I was told to do by my husband.

I dealt with this in the only way that I knew how at the time. I kept my head down, did as I was told and just plodded on through life.  I was unhappy and I couldn’t see any end to the misery that I was enduring.

 

I did, however, find a way out in the end. I was more and more unhappy, the marriage was just not working. My husband was diagnosed as being schizophrenic but he would not accept this.  He refused to be treated in any way and accused me of being the instigator of his supposed illness.  He was unreasonable and unpredictable and became obsessed with the idea that I was having an affair and would tell me that because I had taken five minutes longer to do the shopping than he expected I must have been meeting a man.  This was plainly ridiculous as I had three small children and the shopping to carry. I had neither the time, the energy or the inclination to do so.

This emotional and psychological abuse went on for 10 years.  In the end something clicked in my head and I couldn’t take it any longer.  I realised that this was not normal.  I had assumed that every marriage was like this.  I was wrong.

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I plucked up the courage to consult a solicitor who, after hearing my story, agreed that this was not normal and that I had grounds for a divorce.  I filed for divorce and it took nearly 2 years to go through as it was contested.  We all lived in the same house, but separately for that time.  After 2 years I was granted divorce and I took the children and left.  I received enough money to buy a small flat where we could live in another town twenty miles away.  A new start, in a new town, with a new flat and no emotional abuse day after day.

The feeling of relief was immense, though it took some months before stopped being overwhelmed by it all.

I am now a much different person and I won’t tolerate emotional abuse from anyone, not from my children, my parents, friends – whoever.  My husband now of 31 years would never emotionally abuse anyone and I am so very happy now.

Looking back I do realise that I allowed this to happen to me.  At the time I didn’t realise it, but now I understand. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

20 ways to increase your confidence after divorce

So to deal with emotional abuse can be difficult and it can become impossible. If it becomes impossible for you then you have to choose whether you deserve better or not – I think you do.

So what can you do to get out of this place where you are emotionally abused?

  • Get some help from a qualified coach or therapist – make sure it is someone who understands what you   are experiencing and can relate to what you are telling them so you can begin your healing process.
    •Look online for some blogs that refer to what you are going through. Read them, make comments on them.  Open up a dialogue to help you get some answers.
    •Buy a self-help book and take some action to change the way you think about yourself.
    •Make the decision to not be emotionally abused any longer.

Get in touch today to find out how my inspirational coaching can transform first you – and then your life

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Coach, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me and my ‘Why’ on my website 

 

Your wedding day – do you have to conform?

I have spent many years helping my hubby out at weddings and wedding fairs.  He is a mobile DJ and does a lot of work at weddings, besides all the usual parties for 18th, 21st, 50th birthdays and of course anniversaries. I have been to hundreds of weddings over the past 10 years.

The wedding industry is huge and caters for everything you could possibly think of to help make your day the best day of your life.  There is something for everyone at the wedding fairs – wedding dresses for brides, suits for the grooms and their entourage, dresses for bridesmaids, outfits for page boys, dresses for mothers of the brides.  There are venues, photographers, videographers, photo booths, florists with fresh flowers, florists with silk flowers, decorations for the tables, balloons for arches, makeup artists, hairdressers, barbers, lingerie suppliers, marquees, tableware, furniture, caterers, waiting staff, bars (either dry or wet), dance floors, bands, discos, karaoke – to name but a few.

And one thing I have noticed over the years is that there is a huge amount of pressure on the brides to conform.  I say the brides, although it could equally be the grooms at a same sex wedding.  In general, wedding fairs are organised and aimed at the brides and the mothers of the brides.  Often it is the mother of the bride who has the expectations for a wedding for her daughter.

There is pressure to have the right wedding dress, the right venue, the right wedding breakfast, the right buffet, the right music, the right wine/champagne, to invite the right people and so on.

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I have attended many weddings where everything is just the same as the last one.  It all happens in the same order –  a bit like a conveyor belt.  Bride and groom come in one end, perform all the ceremonies, appear at top table, make speeches, cut the cake, do first dance, party and then go off on honeymoon.

And the pressure is on for your wedding to be better than the last one you went to.  Or better than your best friend’s or better than your mother’s best friend’s daughter’s wedding.  And so on.

If what I have described is exactly what you want for your wedding, go ahead and do it.  It may be your dream wedding, the one you have been yearning for since you were five years old.  If that is the case, enjoy your day safe in the knowledge that it is exactly what you want.  After all it is your day.

 But does it have to be that way? No it doesn’t. What if you want something more relaxed, lower key, less pressured, more simple or just completely different?

Go for it!

I have attended a couple of weddings where the whole thing was relaxed.  At one the bride and groom wanted to emulate a beach party.  They hired a hall with a piece of land outside.  The bride and groom wore ‘beach wear’ – she was in a smart, summer dress, he was in casual trousers and Hawaiin type shirt.  The men on the top table had straw hats and light jackets.  The rest of the guests were in smart, casual beach wear.  The table decorations were simple with a circular mirror on each which had pebbles and sand on them, a little candle and that was it.  The table names were all referred to something to do with the sea or the beach.  The food was a hog roast outside, the bar was a trestle table stocked with cans, bottles etc., which the guests helped themselves from.  They all had a great time and were relaxed.

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At another reception, the bride wore a very smart, short dress and the groom wore smart trousers and a jacket.  The guests were all in casual clothes, the food and bar were organised by the family and a great time was had by all.

There was no pressure to conform, no pressure to look the same or better than someone else, no pressure to provide the best food.  They had a perfectly relaxed and enjoyable day.

At another wedding, the couple each had children and grandchildren, they wanted them all to be involved and invited them all to be bridesmaids, ushers, page boys and the day was loosely planned, but they went with the flow.  When the little grandchildren wanted to play, they played.  Once the wedding ceremony was completed, the reception carried on in a way that was good for everyone.  All the formalities were completed and the rest of the time, the party went on with everyone involved.

If you want to be married in the forest by a friend, you may have to do the legal bit first in a Register Office, but you can have the ceremony you want, where you want, with whom you want without the need to compare yourself or your wedding to anyone or anybody else’s.

Why not spend the weekend at a vintage caravan site, hire a small marquee, hire some sound gear and speakers, put on the music from your ipod, get some deckchairs, a barbecue and your friends and have a party outside.  Be relaxed, really enjoy the day and the company.

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Invite the people to your wedding who you really want to be there.  If you don’t want Great Aunt Vi to attend, then don’t invite her.  If you want to have a small wedding with only a handful of guests, do just that.  It is your day. No matter what sort of wedding you have, there is bound to be someone you don’t to be there and who you fear you will offend.  Let them be offended.  It is your day – have the day that you want.

Some people go off to another country to get married on the beach.  The couple go without any guests and enjoy the ceremony on their own terms.  But then they have a party when they come back and invite those they want to help them celebrate.  Do that if you would like.  The reception can be as large or as small as you want.

Remember it is your day.  Have the wedding you want, not what somebody else wants.  If you are happy on your wedding day and everything is as you have planned, you will enjoy it so much more, the memories you create will live with you forever.  Be yourself, have what you want and don’t have what you don’t want forced upon you.

If any of this resonates with you, and you would like some help building your confidence and gaining the courage to stand up for what you really want, get in touch with me and we can have a free 15 minute chat.

 

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Coach, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me and my ‘Why’ on my website 

Why do people stay in abusive relationships?

There are many, many reasons why women and men don’t leave an abusive relationship.  Often it is because they don’t realise that they are being abused.  They think it is normal.  I know from experience that I believed the emotional, psychological and financial abuse I suffered was normal.  I thought everyone’s relationship worked in this way.  It wasn’t until I literally woke up one day and thought ‘this is n’t normal’ and started really looking at other people’s relationships that I realised I was in an abusive relationship.

I went and consulted a solicitor who agreed that not only was this an abusive relationship but I had grounds for divorce.  Unreasonable behaviour. And so I took my courage in both hands and filed for divorce.

What is an abusive relationship?

One where you are treated in one or more of these ways:

Manipulated – Have their will imposed on you so you do as they say without realising it

Controlled – told what to wear, what to do, where to go, where you can and can’t work, who you can and can’t speak to

Insulted – in private and/or in public

Treated as a possession

Told that everything is your fault

Deprived of money – only allowed so much a day not allowed your own income

Deprived of friends – not allowed to have friends

Only allowed a mobile phone as long as you only call the abuser and they control the bill

Psychologically mistreated – made to feel worthless

Emotionally mistreated – constantly told you are useless and nobody wants you

Physically – beaten, burned, tortured

Sexually – raped, made to perform acts you don’t want to, made to be part of a threesome

Verbally – shouted at, berated in front of other people, made to feel small and inadequate

Held prisoner/locked up

Made to have meals on the table at specific times and threatened with various consequences if they don’t appear on time.

Interestingly in 1995 a national survey showed that just under 50% of abusers are in fact female.

I believe that most of the reasons that people don’t leave abusive relationships, once they realise what it is, stem from fear.

Most of the fears are understandable, but often irrational.  For instance, fear of having no money if they leave.  Because women are generally at home looking after the children, they don’t have any income of their own.  The fear of financial ruin builds in the mind until it becomes ‘I can’t survive if I leave’. And so they stay.

Fear of losing the children. If a man has been abused he may find it very difficult to leave with the children.

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Most of the fears are understandable, but often irrational.  For instance, fear of having no money if they leave.  It may be they don’t have any income of their own.  The fear of financial ruin builds in the mind until it becomes ‘I can’t survive if I leave’. And so they stay.

Fear of what other people might think.  There is often a social stigma that labels people as failures if they dare to leave their partners.  Usually nobody outside the home realises what is going on which adds to that stigma.  This leads to feelings of insecurity. And so they stay.

Fear of what might happen to them at the hand of their partner if they did leave.  Often people believe that their partner will come after them and kill them and/or their children. The threats are made to them over and over again, until they are ingrained in their mind.  And so they stay.

People often fear that they are the reason that they are abused.  That it is their fault. And if they were to change their ways their abusive partner would be different.  A false supposition.  And so they stay.

Of course, the abuser will tell their partner that they will change, they won’t do it again. But they do. They never change.

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I know how difficult it is to leave an abusive relationship.  I was verbally, emotionally and financially abused by my first husband. He would belittle me in front of the children and other people, always tell me that I knew nothing, that I was of no use and he would do anything to stop me succeeding at anything.  Add to that the fact that my parents believed that I should make the marriage work because I was too young, in their opinion, to know what I was doing, and I was financially dependent. And so I stayed.  I stayed 10 years.

I did, eventually, wake up to the fact that it was not normal to be treated in this way, and found the courage to leave and take the children with me and started a new life in a different town.  The feeling of relief was immense.  Although I was threatened with all sorts of things, such as having the children removed, losing my flat etc., I discovered that the threats were empty.  And this is probably true of most abusers.  They are cowards and when someone actually stands up to them, they generally back off.

There are ways out of this horrendous situation.  There are both men’s and women’s refuges who will help you so that you can get yourself out of the abusive home.  Once you are out and can think about what options there are for you, there are counsellors and life coaches who can help you see yourself as you, the real person, and not a punch bag.

There are various organisations who can and will help you to start your new life. Social Services and the Police will work together to ensure that you are safe and help you to move on with your life. They will give you respite and guidance in a safe environment. There are solicitors, the Samaritans, Citizens’ Advice, Relate and they can all point you in the right direction for help. Schools will have contacts if you are worried about your children. There is a whole lot that can be done for you once you are out of the abusive situation and in a safe place. There are protocols that can be introduced and put into action for you.

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There are trusted friends and family who may be able to help you too.

If I had known about life coaching back then I would have been first in the queue.

There is no reason good enough to actually justify staying in an abusive relationship.

It can be hard to admit that you are in an abusive relationship.  But if you think you are being abused and you are unhappy, get out of that relationship as soon as possible.  Take your courage in both hands and make the leap.  Often men find it much harder to admit to being abused than women do, but I believe they are just as justified as anyone else.  There is help out there for everyone.

Do you want to remain stuck and miserable? If your answer is no, find your way to get out and start your new life on your own terms.

Remember, the relationship has failed, not you.  You are not a failure.

If you would like to chat confidentially about your situation, contact me hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me on my website.

 

 

Are you being emotionally abused?

If only I had known there were questions to ask myself thirty years ago, I would have been asking them of myself daily.

I spent many years being emotionally abused by my first husband, my parents, my in-laws.  At the time I was totally unaware that it was happening.

For instance I was advised by my parents to stay in a marriage that wasn’t working because they felt I was too young to make a decision on divorce.  I was treated as a possession by my husband who was obsessed with the idea that I was having an affair whilst out shopping with my three small children.  My in-laws constantly told me I wasn’t good enough to be part of their family.

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But now, after working so very hard to find myself and who I really am, I have thought about what was happening to me and how it affected me.

If I knew then what I know now I would be asking these questions of myself:

  • Am I living my life for me or for someone else?
  • Am I really happy with the way I am treated by other people?
  • Is this all there really is for me?
  • Why do I always feel so miserable?
  • Why don’t people listen to what I have to say?
  • I am doing my best to please everyone, why aren’t they pleased?
  • I have no self-esteem, why doesn’t someone appreciate me for being me?
  • I am going through life in a daze, is there more to life than this?
  • I didn’t sign up for this, why am I being treated like an idiot?
  • Am I invited along just to make up the numbers?
  • Is there a way that I can make my life better?

Do any of those questions have some relevancy to your life today? If they do, even if only a couple of them, then you are being emotionally abused.  You are allowing other people to run your life, and you are allowing them to judge you and make decisions on your behalf.

The answer to the last question is yes, there is a way that you can make your life better.  Start living your life for you.  Don’t allow other people to judge you, you are a person in your own right and deserve to live the life you want.  There is nothing at all wrong with disagreeing with someone who you feel is wrong.  The world won’t end if you move away from people who are causing you misery. If you feel you are being invited along to make up the numbers, then politely refuse the invitation.

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You will find that when you change your attitude to other people, they will also change their attitude towards you.  It will take time, but you will notice the difference and start to live the life you want to live and stop the emotional abuse.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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Who is the real me?

What does finding the real me really mean? Well to me it means I have uncovered the real sense of my self. I am able to make my own decisions without being manipulated by other people. I am an individual person in my own right and not a clone of someone else. I have re-established a connection my inner self.

For years I was conditioned to not feel, to not show emotion, to not question, to do as I was told. Therefore I hid my feelings and emotions very well.

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I have survived a toxic relationship where I was emotionally and psychologically abused.  I wasn’t allowed to be me, I had to be who my husband thought I ought to be.  I had to subservient, obedient, not talk to other people, be his possession.  Fortunately I gained the courage to divorce him after 12 years.

I have learned through working on myself that is totally not me. I have burrowed deep down inside me and brought out those suppressed feelings that were stuffed down for so long. I do have feelings, they can be hurt and then they hurt I am now able to acknowledge the hurt, feel the hurt and work through the hurt to get to a place where I have dealt with the hurt.

This works for a whole range of feelings, joy, happiness, surprise, sadness etc. I have learned to acknowledge and recognise those feelings, to embrace them and work with them.

I have learned that I do have emotions and it is okay to express these emotions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me when I express my emotions. I am allowed to cry, I am allowed to let people see my cry. I am allowed to laugh, cry, scream, shout, whatever my emotions dictate. That is me, the real me.

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My conditioning is being slowly changed and I am constantly learning. I am no longer disconnected from the sense of myself, I can make my own decisions and not feel guilty about doing so, I am an individual and proud of it.

I have discovered that I am not average in any way whatsoever. I am a successful businesswoman who has set up and is running two successful businesses. I am an exceptionally intuitive and good coach. I am a successful author of two books which are selling worldwide and changing lives.

I have discovered that I do have a voice and that it is heard. I am seen and heard, I am learning to express my feelings and emotions and I am continuing to learn.

I have a place in this world, and that place is to help people to change their lives, to be able to be confident and able to live their authentic lives and to learn to love themselves and others.

I am on a continuing journey and learning more and more about the authentic me as I go. There are a lot more layers to unveil I am sure.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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My journey for me as a coach working with my coach

A lot of the work that I have done  has been on my emotions.  These could have been those that I am feeling now at this very moment, or at some time in the past that I have yet to acknowledge and deal with.  One of those emotions was that of guilt and/or shame and it was connected to meals I was served up by my parents.

I can remember being aged about 7 and I was sitting at the dinner table with my parents and my brother, who is three years older than me, and we were having Sunday dinner.  It was a roast with roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy.  I didn’t want to eat all my dinner for whatever reason.  So I was told by my mother that if I didn’t eat my dinner there was a child in Africa who had no food at all and who would be very grateful to get my dinner.

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Now being 7 years old I didn’t dare answer back so I gradually stuffed all the dinner into my mouth and eventually it was all gone.  All the time I was thinking to myself how on earth do they intend to pack up this roast dinner with all the vegetables, roast potatoes and gravy?  Are they going to put it in an envelope and post it to Africa?  How will they know which child will get the dinner?  What state will the food be in when it gets to Africa which is trillions of miles away? How will they know if a child in Africa has eaten it? What if that child doesn’t want it, will it be sent back to me? And so the thoughts went on.

All the while I was feeling guilty for apparently wasting food and shameful because I was depriving a child in Africa of a dinner.  And these emotions and feelings were left undealt with until I worked through them and wrote about how angry I was that they had made me eat all that food I didn’t want and resentful of that child in Africa who wanted my food.  I was hurt that this emotional blackmail was used on me.  I was afraid that if I didn’t eat all the food my parents would not love me any more and this led to me feeling insecure.  As I said I felt guilty for wasting food. But I loved my parents and I understand now that they were doing the best they could and I can now forgive them and I want them to know that I love them still and always will.

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Part of this learning for me was writing my thoughts and experiences in my journal. Something I was quite resistant to at first, but I have benefited so much and learned so much about me that I love it now and enjoy writing in it every day and noting my continued progress.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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