Emotional abuse and letting go.

I am not going to delve into much detail in this post. I think the more detail this post has, the more triggering it can be for someone with similar experiences. I think that’s important (for me) to remember when I write about things that have affected me in a negative way. On one hand it can have a profound impact on someone’s current or past circumstances, on the other hand, it can remind them of the trauma they have experienced and be a trigger. I never want to be responsible for the latter. (In saying that, I do want to provide context when explaining things.)

When we talk about abuse, we don’t always talk about emotional abuse. I feel like there is still a social stigma around this. And although there is more awareness now, there is still a lack of awareness for what it is and the trauma it causes.

I am not perfect. And as I pride myself on self-awareness, I know that I have made some really big mistakes when it comes to relationships. I have lied, I have said things I shouldn’t have and I have been demanding. When I look back on a past relationship, a lot of the time I can see my faults. In my mind I can almost go back to the day and time of day of my mistake and if I could rewrite the script to avoid hurt for the other person I would. I think its normal to feel this way, healthy even, to want to treat people with respect and ensure that whatever I do I don’t cause another person any pain (even though sometimes that is unavoidable).

@NARCANDEMPATH

Emotional abuse causes psychological pain. And I don’t think the abuser stays up at night wishing they could go back in time and undo their behaviour to protect the one they love from any suffering. In fact in my case, I’m almost convinced they wouldn’t give their behaviour another thought. Sometimes they didn’t even have to use words or actions to emotionally abuse. Sometimes it was the silent treatment that gave them ultimate control. The thing about the silent treatment is that it is a mass form of manipulation, essentially denying the other persons existence as a form of punishment. For me, they would wait until I gave up trying to make things right. They would wait until they hadn’t heard from me for a while, they would wait until their ‘silent treatment’ worked. But sometimes this would last months and each time my mind would go bonkers. I would constantly re-trace my steps, and try to figure out where I went wrong. I felt completely powerless. It wouldn’t matter what I said, how I said it, it wouldn’t matter if it was in the form of a letter or a text, I would get no response. Experiencing this type of abuse numerous times has affected me well into present day. I am still re-training my mind to learn boundaries and the reality that we do not control people. That every person has the right to not respond to a text message, an email, not answer a phone call and when they ‘behave’ this way, it is not a form of punishment at all and has nothing to do with me.

You know, at times I was shocked that I could be in love with someone who would say hurtful things to me, hurtful things about my family, but then cook me a nice meal. Someone who could say hurtful things about me behind my back but then tell me how much they appreciated me. I was shocked when they would yell at me, scream in my face, or tell me to get out of their house, but then apologise and praise me for always being there for them. I was shocked when they would remind me how to behave or compare me to other women. The thing is, I would defend myself. Defend my family. I would yell back. I would ask nicely not to be compared to others. I would explain how things made me feel. I would ask nicely if we could approach things differently. But an emotional abuser has an award winning talent in gas-lighting. And when you are told enough times that you are ‘crazy’ or ‘being ridiculous’ or ‘that never happened’ you really start to believe it and you start questioning yourself not them.

Telling someone you love them while treating them like shit … is abuse.

@poetsandwriters

People don’t really talk about the pain that comes with letting go. Letting go of an idea of someone – a person you built up in your head for so many years. Letting go of an idea of love, the idea of a romantic relationship, the idea of a future together. Letting go of all the good memories you had together. Sometimes love is forgotten after all of the pain endured. Sometimes all the good things a person has said and done, all the good memories you had together and everything you thought you would be together … just dies when the abuse continues. Sometimes all you are left with is trauma. But other times love is the only thing getting you through. Personally, I chose to rename the love as co-dependency. From a young age I had a beautiful representation of love in front of me and I knew that what I was experiencing was no longer love. The more I renamed it, the easier it was for me to make decisions for my future. I didn’t want this person to destroy my idea of love. I didn’t want this hurt to shape my future relationships.

But when I would tell close friends that I am letting go, that I am moving away, that I am going no contact, that I have blocked this persons number, social accounts, that I am starting fresh. It was so easy for them to say ‘YAY’, and so easy for me to then doubt the process. Because it wasn’t ‘YAY’ it was heart breaking. My body hurt and my eyes would well up, my throat would ache and I just wanted to scream. Letting go is a process. It isn’t as easy as lighting a candle that smells like sandalwood or diffusing essential oils that smell like lavender and saying a prayer. It’s not as easy as just saying daily affirmations and exercising and keeping busy. It’s not as easy as eating healthy and making sure to exfoliate your skin to feel good about yourself physically. It’s not as easy as finding someone new and saying ‘YAY’.

It’s constantly sitting with your pain, crying, and telling yourself you are doing the right thing for your future. It’s constantly unblocking them on social media and blocking them again until you have the courage to promise yourself they will remain blocked. It’s being brave enough not to go back to what became so normal for you. It’s reading self help books and holding on to the words like gospel. It’s seeing a therapist time and time again and not speaking about the one thing you went there for. It’s learning to believe in yourself, quite literally though, believing that the words that come out of your mouth are true. It’s learning to have faith in yourself. It’s allowing pain to slowly leave you, allowing yourself to cry and then cry a little less. It’s learning how to set goals again and achieve them one by one. It’s learning the difference between connection and attachment. It’s re- naming, re-training, re-learning, re-thinking, re-loving yourself. and letting go. Letting go is so hard.

@justalittlebitofpositivity

This post has no ending. I don’t know how to finish it. My experience is far from unique. The mental health consequences I have sustained as a result is minimal compared to the trauma other people have endured. When I look back over those years, some friends would try and reason with me. They would try and explain what was happening right in front of me in hope that an intervention would encourage me to walk away and start fresh. But it wasn’t until I gave myself permission to leave, that I actually did. It was when I realised I wanted more and possibly deserved more that I walked away.

Ef xx

Let’s talk about it baby

TW: sexual experiences, dry spells, masturbation.

I know that no one really ever talks about their lack of sex. I mean, your friends might say ‘omg its been like 3 weeks since I’ve had sex’ …and for some reason this dry spell has negative connotations. So when someone goes without sex for A LOT longer than that we just don’t know …because we don’t talk about it. But why not? Sex is such an important part of our lives so why aren’t we having conversations about why …we …aren’t…getting …any…

I’ll go first. From age 17 to a couple of years ago I thought my sex life was pretty healthy. I mean, the people I was having sex with weren’t always the most healthy people to have in my life and some were a little toxic but my attitude towards sex and how it benefited me was positive. and then something changed. I think I came to a point where I started to find my feet and ground myself a little you know? I stopped chasing ‘feeling good’. I started to practice the art of just sitting with my feelings but then this led to reflecting. The thing about reflecting is it can bring up a whole lotta crap if you dwell long enough. I reflected on some really shit past sexual experiences, ones that I think may have shaped (or at least helped shape) my poor self-image and self-worth. And it was like a switch…one day I had feelings of confidence, I felt ‘sexy’ and shameless then the next day I felt violated, fragile and my confidence sunk deep into my stomach. I guess after that I became closed off. I was always somewhat a private person but this was different. It was as if closing myself off and becoming emotionally and sexually unavailable… gave me back control. Yes, I was restricting people’s access to me and yes I have every right to do that. But it just makes me sad the way it played out.

Anyway, that’s the back story. I guess my experiences affected how I feel about sex, what it means to me, and how i’ll approach it moving forward. Learning to take care of my needs, accept myself and love myself has been a massive theme this year. I feel like it’s been a running theme for a while now but I’ve been putting in the work in 2020. So in saying that, there’s a few things that contribute to how I’ve been thriving.

Masturbation. I cannot stress this enough, masturbation is a fun time. I was recently reading a post on Insta that asked women why they don’t masturbate. Responses came in such as ‘I can’t be bothered peeing afterwards’ and ‘I live with my parents so it’s awkward’ and ‘I get sad that I am all alone, I would rather just not be reminded of that’ and ‘It’s triggering for me’. I think all of these responses are relatable on some level. I’ve always been one to get myself off just never so much since I haven’t had a sexual partner. Masturbation requires no justification BUT I’m in this habit now of doing it either when I wake up or before I go to sleep at night (ps. not every single day, no) because 1) it feels good, but 2) building a strong relationship with myself is number-one. Understanding what I like and don’t like, what feels good, what really doesn’t, what positions I like, what kind of hurts, is important to me. I get there’s only so much you can do alone but when you’re with someone else it’s not just about you… in-fact from past experiences it’s hardly ever been about me and I think that’s why this is so essential to me. Also sex toys. I do find spending that little extra on a vibrator, like a silent one to take away any awkwardness if other people are home, a water proof one to use in the shower, one that I really love the feel/ look of… makes a big difference. Also the thing about a vibrator is that it genuinely takes pressure off your body. I mean maybe some people like feeling as though they are doing an ab workout while masturbating but I personally cba.

So exercise became a massive way for me to get that similar high. Honestly exercise releases endorphins for real… I started off a while ago with weight training and then moved onto power lifting, but tbf I wasn’t getting that mental clarity I needed after a session. If I’m doing it for my mental health then I want to feel mentally good afterwards (not in physical pain thanks). So I moved onto cardio sessions and it clears my head so much. I feel ‘happiness’ afterwards, like actual joy.

One more thing, SKYPE SEX is still a real thing babe. Or face-time or zoom or snapchat or whatever. When there’s something stopping you from physically having sex with someone (be it fear of intimacy, past sexual experiences or Covid-19 etc…) video sex is so helpful. I met a guy at the gym last year (and who knows what is going on with us, that is a story for another post) but during Covid lock-down we spent a lot of time having video sex. And I won’t lie, this whole set up really worked for me. I mean, we didn’t really have a choice because of the virus but we could pleasure each other without being in bed together. Different but fun.

I don’t think I have much more to say but I know sex is important to a lot of us, so when there is a lack thereof.. it can be really upsetting.

Here’s to the process ❤️

Ef xx

Thirty

It’s been over a year and a half since a post has been published on here so thank you for reading <3.

@positivelysparkly

When this blog first began I was 27 years old, nearly 28. Which inspired the reason for this site because I was turning ’28’, apparently that was HUGE to me back then. So much time has passed and passed quicker than usual, I turn 30 next month. I promise not to write a long list of all the things I’ve learnt up till now (maybe), or to give some long lecture on how to live life in your 20’s. To be honest – aside from this eye twitch I get whenever I’m on the screen too long, there is nothing about me that feels 30 years old. I am starting to realise that age really is just a number and timing is everything.

I got into the habit of telling people I am a lot younger (appropriately younger) than I actually am whenever they would ask my age and not because I genuinely look like I am 23 years but because when you are pushing 30 other questions follow.
‘OOO are you married??’… ‘Do you have children?’ …‘What do you do for work?’… ‘Where do you live?’ And when your questions fail their standards of a 30 year old, they want to fix it. ‘WeLl We nEeD tO FiNd yOu a PaRtNeR AsAp’ or ‘oh dear YOUR body clock is ticking!’ or ‘oh…so you’re a MATURE AGE student? BRAVE!’ And then there’s the other people (you know the nice ones) that say ‘oh WOWSERS you look so amazing for 30, like soooooooo amazinggggg!!!’ As if at 30 they expect you to suddenly get wrinkles and sagging eye lids? what…is …that? And friends are not excused, once they find themselves in their dream job or find their life partner or fall pregnant its always ‘You’re next babe!!’ with a wink.

The thing is I get these overwhelming feelings of failure on my worst days and they are usually triggered by people with the best intentions saying things like the above, or triggered by my mind creating competition with people I don’t even know on social.

A year ago I started seeing a therapist (like consistently) and in my first session I remember saying ‘I just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with me, like I need you to tell me that I will be OK …’ I guess I have struggled for years with how old I am and where I’m at in life compared to others my age. It’s no lie that a lot, if not all of the kids I grew up with in school are married with children now, are in a successful career now, own property and dont shy from flaunting their achievements on social. From the outside others seem to ‘have it together’. I just needed someone to tell me that the path I am on is just as important or just as post worthy. Then again, that’s the devil inside SM, you become an illusionist, you can portray only the best side of your life if you want to – you can quite literally filter out the rest. On one hand, it’s good because your life behind the screen is nobodies business. But the power one session of lurking false realities on Instagram has…is scary. And please tell me it’s not just me because I know I am not the only one that spends an hour looking through story after story and slowly feel my mental health go from 97 to 7 real quick. But that’s the thing I was reminded of that day in therapy, like who am I to say those perfect profiles don’t have struggles behind the screen and to think their lives are picturesque compared to mine? but its not only that, its more than that right? like lets say some people genuinely have it all… timing is everything.

@DaylightIllustrations

I spent my late teens and most of my 20’s having fun. I didn’t think about my future self, I was living in the moment. I mean, for five years I was living overseas and I knew that had to come to an end at some point but I really had no plans for when I returned, even when I came back home it took me a couple of years to find my feet again. And still, I can’t say I wish I did things differently. I don’t wish I settled down earlier. I had so much fun, some days I still think of summer 2014, it was– the best summer of my life. Of course with fun and games comes heart ache and debt and loss and grief and pain, I get that, but so does marriage, babies, careers and success. Like we may all be 30 now and some may have their dream lives but no one is exempt from the struggle. You know?

What A Time To Be Alone’ by Chidera Eggerue

I recently went away with my parents for a few nights to stay near the beach and as I was practicing gratitude, I felt like…I have everything I could possibly ever want, right here, right now. I have my family, my health, I have good friends and my goals, my motivation and drive. I have my self and she’s on my side not only that but I love who she is becoming. These feelings of failure may be triggered by what other people say or what other people post and maybe it’s always going to be my battle but at the end of the day I have to own my life, my choices and where I am now.

Anyway, I promised not to lecture so here is my pre-birthday vent … to 30 yeah? ❤

Ef xo