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 

 

Maggie Currie in the hot seat

In this latest blog post, Maggie speaks to writer and presenter Clancy Walker. They chat about life, loves and many challenges along the way…

 

Maggie, you say that your life changed almost overnight when you made the decision to change your thinking. What is your life like now?

 

I am now living my dream on the beautiful Isle of Wight.  I am doing the work I love and living in a place that I love, with the man that I love.

 

It sounds wonderful, and it’s something that others can aspire to, but it hasn’t always been plain sailing for you, has it? How did life start out for you?

 

I was born and brought up in Essex.  When I was born, I was labelled as illegitimate because my birth mother was barely sixteen when I was born, she wasn’t married and had put me in a children’s home. 

 Whether this was her choice or one that was forced upon her I don’t know and probably never will know.  But that is where I was.

 

So, not the easiest of starts and I’m sure others will be able to relate to you. What happened from there?

 

I was fortunate enough to be adopted, rather than staying in care long term, and was taken to my prospective parents’ home when I was about six weeks old to meet my new older brother.  I was fostered until the official adoption came when I was around two years of age, although I really don’t remember it.  

 My childhood, on reflection, was a fairly good one.  We always had a two-week

holiday, usually on the Isle of Wight, which is why I grew to love it so much. 

 I was sent to a private school because my parents thought I would do better there than at the local comprehensive school.  I did really well and left school at the age of 16 with a GCE in Commerce and a string of RSAs in shorthand, typing etc.  My first job was with an insurance company in London.

 I then got married for the first time when I was 19 and had three lovely children.

 

It all sounds great, although I notice you said ‘for the first time’ when you talk about getting married. I’m guessing things changed in your relationship?

 

Yes, unfortunately the marriage did not last due to the verbal, psychological and financial abuse I suffered at the hands of my husband. 

 I finally woke up to the fact that this was not normal and summoned up the courage to consult a solicitor who agreed with me and I filed for divorce. 

 It took two years for the divorce to go through, as my husband refused to accept the marriage was over, but eventually, after me standing my ground, we were divorced when I was 30. 

 

So, you were 30 with three children to support – did you have much support from those around you?

 

For various reasons I had to take the children, who were aged then nine and six (I had twins), to another town and live in a one bedroom flat. 

 Thankfully it had a garden and was close to the schools and shops and we lived there for about two years along with a menagerie of two cats, a dog, two rabbits, some goldfish, a hamster, two gerbils and some zebra finches.  

 

It sounds quite tough, and hectic, but it also sounds like you were starting to find your feet and enjoying the challenges life was throwing you?

 

Yes, I think I had got used to being on my own with the kids – and was enjoying a freedom I’d not experienced before – thanks to being free of an abusive relationship. I’m so pleased I was able to find the courage to leave it.

 

And then something even more wonderful happened, didn’t it?

 

Yes, I met up with a man called Kelvin again. I had known him for some years as a friend of my brother, and we fell in love.

We married when I was 32 and we moved to a lovely Victorian terraced house with four bedrooms and a long garden in the same town. 

 We lived in that house for about 15 years, so the children grew up there, and we were very happy there.

 

It just shows how much life can change over the years, doesn’t it? You did have some very difficult times too, though, didn’t you?

 

Yes, and like many people we had family challenges that we thought were impossible to solve and would never end. 

 At times like those we had to be patient and weather the storm.  On those days it seemed that life was too much to bear.  Some very hard decisions had to be made – decisions that no parents should have to make – but we made them and life carried on. 

 

How did you manage to make such difficult decisions?

 

We made the decisions that we thought were the best at that time and would be the most beneficial for the whole family.

 But life does get better and that cloud does go away especially by thinking good thoughts and getting back on track and by not feeling guilty or giving in to emotional blackmail, which is something I can help others with through my coaching.

 

So, what happened after the children had grown up?

 

When the children had all left home we moved to Hampshire, where we lived for

about five years.  We had also bought a flat on the Isle of Wight and we took holidays in it and spent lots of weekends in it. We planned to retire into it as well, as we loved the island so much.

 While we were living in Hampshire our next-door neighbour was Maureen – who was looking forward to retiring at 60. 

 Sadly Maureen was diagnosed with cancer and died six months later, before she got to her sixtieth birthday.

 We made the decision then to move to the Isle of Wight and not wait until we retired.  A step we have never once regretted.

 

Which leads us back to where we started in this interview! Tell me a little more about what life is like for you now, Maggie?

 

Moving to the Island has opened up so many doors that would not have been opened if we had stayed where we were. 

 I have opened my mind to the new opportunities that are available and I have kept my mind open to make sure that I don’t miss any. 

 I have found that following the signs, even if I am not sure where they are leading me, can be really beneficial. 

 Some opportunities I reject, some I embrace.  I have made mistakes, learned from them and moved on.

 

But life isn’t perfect for everyone all of the time – how have you handled the difficult times in recent years?

 

There have been times when life has not been so good.  Like when my father died suddenly in 1999.  I miss him still.  He was a fountain of knowledge and wisdom and always had time and wise words for me. 

 I have learned how to bounce back and gain something from the experiences I have been through to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again.  I really believe you can do the same if you are gentle with yourself.  

 

Thanks Maggie, what advice would you like to finish with for your readers?

 

I know my coaching, books, talks and courses will help you to change your life for the better. 

 Don’t forget to open your mind to the new opportunities that lie ahead of you. 

 The choice is yours, you have the ability to create your very own future.  Your new life is out there.  Go and open the door to your new, fantastic future.

 Good luck on your motorway of life, take the right exits for you, try some you think might not be quite right, you may be surprised. 

 Be brave.  You deserve to succeed.

 

Love

 

Maggie xx

 

Maggie Currie

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Maggie Currie was speaking to writer and presenter Clancy Walker

                                                                                               Clancy

 

Maintaining energy and confidence levels

The people with whom we have the most contact and hang around with will have either a positive or negative effect on our levels of self-esteem and confidence.  We all know those people who are positive, happy and joyful to be around.

How do they make you feel?

Yes, they make me feel the same!  The positive thinking people can put zest into a boring atmosphere and can fill the room with ‘can do’ vibes that have a knock on effect onto everyone else. They are a joy to be around and bring our energy levels up and increase our self confidence.

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We also know of those people who drain the energy from a room!

It is their perception that they never had the opportunities, they are always putting people down, they don’t like others to be successful, they are jealous and are negative thinkers – need I go on?

These people have the power to drain our energy and bring us down to their level, a million miles away from the level that WE want to be operating on. But they only have that power if we allow them to.

Some family members can be a lot like this as well,  we can always choose our friends, we can never choose your relatives! We can choose what are prepared to listen to though.

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So what can we do to make sure that the people who we hang around with empower and support what we stand for, rather than bring us down all of the time?

  1. We have the power to choose who we hang around with. Ideally we want happy, vibrant and positive people. If we hang around with those types of people, the negative ones will disappear as they won’t be able to cope.

  2.  If we have good friends who are negative and yet we still want to hang around them, make a point of letting them know how it feels  – if they are a true friend they will respect this. If they are negative from time to time just acknowledge that this is what they are like and block out the negativity.

  3. The same can be said with family. Our more mature family members have behaviours that have been conditioned for years and years and from different eras. They have learned their behaviours from their parents and grandparents. Appreciate where they have come from and, as in number 2 above, acknowledge that this is what they are like and block out the negativity.

  4. Remember, that nothing has meaning in our lives except the meaning that we give it.

We are in control of our positivity and negativity, and nobody can take that away from us. 

It is time now for you to take action and to really begin to change your life.  I am helping people to become the very best version of themselves and would love to work with you.  

I have some availability for new coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates for 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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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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How do I know I am in a relationship that is bad for me?

Are you really not sure if the relationship you are in is bad for you?  Do you really think you are making a mountain our of a mole hill? 


There are many tell-tale signs of toxic relationships, but I am going to mention just some of them.  

I know that when I was allowing myself to stay in a toxic relationship that my self-esteem was non-existent; and one of the tell-tales that it really was as bad as I thought it might be was he told me that I was useless, nothing like as good as his mother and I would never be able to have a life of my own.

Here are a few of the tell-tale signs:


You are not allowed, or discouraged, to see any of your friends. So you turn down all invitations because it really doesn’t seem worth the hassle and ear bashing that will result later on. And so you lose your friends.

When you do manage to go out with any remaining friends, your partner phones your friend to make sure you are there after about an hour and makes you feel awkward.

Your partner decides you won’t wear make up because they don’t like it.

You feel like you’re always treading on eggshells around them.

You find them listening to all your conversations on the phone just in case you say something they don’t like.

Your partner moans and complains when things don’t go according to their plan; this can range from a child being ill to you not being dressed as they think you should be.

Your partner criticises your family whilst expecting you to love theirs.

Your partner puts you down not only at home but in front of other people when you are out together.

Your partner is really pleased with themselves when they have carried the washing basket into the kitchen – “look what I’ve done FOR YOU.”  They never do the washing though, that is your job.

You have begun to lose your sense of self and your self-esteem is non-existent.


Does of any of this sound familiar? Then you are in a toxic relationship, one that is bad for you. You can choose to remain in it as it is, or you can do something to change it.  You don’t have to continue living a life where your confidence and self-esteem are routinely undermined.  

You can choose to leave the relationship, or you can choose to change it.  Either way, you will have to change something about yourself. That takes courage and begins with the first step.  Seeking help. I am the help that you need. Get in touch today.

 

Maggie Currie

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Friends come and go for a reason

I was considering why it is that friends come into our lives and some of them go out of our lives again.

There are many reasons but for me I think that some people fall away because of the changes I have made to myself.   I have learned so much about myself that I was unaware of. For instance I have stuffed emotions and feelings down because I was conditioned not to show emotion or share feelings.

Four Women Friends at the Beach

When I was in a toxic relationship I had very few friends, and those I did have were not that close.  I wasn’t allowed to get close to anybody.  Getting divorced and learning to live my life as me has been a steep learning curve.

I have learned how to express my feelings, get close to people and keep others at arm’s length.  Now that I am able to express emotions and share my feelings other people may find this unacceptable to them. And that is okay. What I am comfortable with is not always comfortable for everyone else. And that may be why some friends have moved away.

The friends I have currently are wonderful. Some live nearby, some live on different continents, but I am grateful to them all for their friendship and support. I do my best to support all my friends, it may be in a big way or in a small way.

Dealing with emotional abuse

I am grateful for all the friends I have had, still have and those I have yet to meet for their contributions to my life.

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 do I love?

There was a time when I didn’t love myself because I didn’t feel worthy. I was in a toxic relationship that drained all emotion from me and left me a shell of the person I really was.

A grateful attitude helps in times of extreme stress

Today that is so very different. I have rejected that relationship, divorced, moved on and remarried. The situation now is so very different.

There are many people who I love, and in many different ways too.

I love my husband of 28 years, Kelvin, he is my rock, lover, friend, confidante and most of all my support through life’s ups and downs.

I love my mother for being who she is, for bringing me up to the best of her ability and for being there when I needed her.

I love my children, all 3 of them equally even though I have very little contact with my sons – their choice.

I love my 5 granddaughters and 1 grandson, all of them equally. I have met 5 of them, have never met one and, have no contact with 3 of them. The choice of their parents.

I love my friends in deed  who are always there for me to encourage, compliment, advise and listen.

New for 2013. From confusion to clarity – Becoming ME again

I love my friends who are there for me always. I don’t have to ask, they are just there. Even if I don’t see them for months at a time.

I love me for being the rock and support for my husband, for being there for my mum when she needs me, for being there for my children whether they need me or not, for being there for my grandchildren whether they need me or not and for being there for my friends in deed and my friends.

I love me for being me and for being prepared to develop even more into me, to take care of me and to continue to move forward in my life.

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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