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How to Overcome the Effects Of An Abusive Relationship

If you’re like me, you have had the tendency to seek out things that are not good for you. Maybe it’s the challenge of it all, maybe there is a slight immaturity to want what you can’t have like a toddler in the candy aisle, or maybe it’s to seek validation from someone who won’t give it.

Either way, here we are. Trying to figure out how to deal with the outcome. First, I think it is important to talk about what you SHOULD look for in relationships, whether platonic or romantic:

1). Respect.

What you want, baby they better have it. Without respect, your relationship will never be what it could. I mean this in all aspects. You should not be around someone who is constantly trying to find your flaws or doesn’t genuinely support your dreams without judgement. These people are toxic.

2). Trust.

You guys, I cannot stress this enough. If you do not trust someone, do not be around them. The amount of mental energy it takes to be around these people is simply not worth it. The never knowing if they mean what they say, the curiosity of how often they talk about you behind your back while saying the opposite to your face….again, toxic. This applies to your romantic relationships as well. If someone is not respecting the fact that you have a s/o and is trying to make sexual advances, they also are not respecting you. Time to say peace out to them whether it’s easy or not.

3). Honesty.

This kind of ties in with trust, but this is important enough to get it’s own section. I don’t know about you, but gone are the days that I am willing to wonder if someone isn’t talking to me anymore because of something I said or did, or if they “were asleep”. That is such a small, seemingly unimportant example, but it starts there and just continues to grow. However, I will put a disclaimer that if you expect honesty, you also have to be 100% honest yourself.

The road to healing:

If you have been in an abusive relationship, you view the world differently. Where previously there was a lot of restriction on personal expression, now there is not. And not only is that okay, but that is wonderful.

At this point you were taught to feel invalid. You were constantly broken down to the point where your self confidence is all but non existent. This creates a chain reaction to other areas of your life where you are afraid to try new things, you develop a belief that you have to keep feelings to yourself, and when it comes down to what you want to do with your life, you’re faced with uncertainty.

Here are my top tips:

1). Find someone you TRUST to talk to about how you’re feeling. In your previous abusive relationship, your emotions were probably often dismissed and you need to get that out.

2). Take care of yourself. You have to respect your mind and body to be able to heal. Drink water, get enough sleep, develop a workout routine. This will create a belief that you do deserve good treatment from yourself and from others.

3). Reflect and forgive. I’m going to be honest with you, I am still working on this. To be able to reflect and examine your past, you almost have to relive it and sometimes that is too much….but this MUST be done to move forward. If it helps, I recommend setting aside a time of day to allow yourself to think. This way it doesn’t become a constant battle throughout the day and you are mentally prepared to do what you have to do.

4). Let yourself feel everything. YOUR EMOTIONS ARE VALID. If you don’t eventually let yourself feel them, you will never let go and you will never grow. Let yourself cry, talk to that person you trust, or write it down. Writing has been my favorite outlet out of all of these.

“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

Have you been in an emotionally distant/abusive relationship? What helped you?

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The Moments That Define A Woman: A Thank You Letter.

It was every time I was told to change my clothes because I was showing too much skin.

Every time I tattooed something on my body and got disapproving comments.

Every time I got a piercing.

Every time someone made a comment about my shorts being too short.

Every time someone told me my butt was small. Or my breasts.

Being told to wear lipstick at work.

Being told to wear tight clothes to interviews.

The guys that told me they loved me when all they wanted was sex.

Being told how I should handle my pregnancy.

Men touching my bump and asking if I was married.

My friendliness being taken for being flirtatious.

Being blamed for sexual advances.

These moments defined who I was, caused me to not value my self worth. Thank you.

These moments have shown me that our society is broken. Women are expected to be quiet and polite. To cover up and be good wives and mothers. We are taught that we are our roles as a gender, not individuals.

I can not tell you how many times I have been put in uncomfortable situations and conversations and have been afraid to speak up to stop it. Not anymore.

This year, I decided to take back who I am. To be who I am without societal pressures, without other’s opinions.

“Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business” – Rachel Hollis.

I decided to take hold of my happiness.

Before you jump to conclusions, I believe most men are wonderful people. The good men in my life have helped me become stronger, more confident, and resilient.

What I challenge you to consider is this: who would you be if you weren’t under the societal pressure of conforming to what is normal?

When you look in the mirror, do you put makeup on for yourself? Are you wearing those tight jeans for yourself? Did you change out of the low cut top because YOU wanted to or because you weren’t sure how people would react?

My instinct is to question how I’m viewed. I don’t want to put makeup on, but what will my customers think of me? This year, every time that happens, I will fight to do what I WANT. If someone makes me uncomfortable, I will let them know. I deserve this.

I challenge you all to do the same.

#everydaysexism #effyourbeautystandards

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How Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I Always Have to Be the Best.

I have been in a constant state of self reflection lately. New experiences and new levels of relationships often test you in ways you didn’t realize were necessary. I am writing this in hopes that nobody can relate, but realistically knowing that a lot of you will.

On the outside, I seem like a very put together person. I have a husband/partner of 8 years, a 1yr old daughter, we own our home, and both have good jobs. I always did well in school. I made the Dean’s List in college, I always made A’s in my classes. I have always excelled at any job I wanted to. I’ve been able to do these things because of anxiety.

In my mind, I am incapable of failure. Anything less is simply unacceptable. It’s to the point where I refuse to participate in things that I think I will not be good at. When I see a problem at work, I spend hours playing with all possible solutions and scenarios until I come up with the right one.

Nobody is surprised when I succeed. Actually, I would say that people expect it.

You may ask why I’m implying that anxiety is negative. After all, it drove me to success in all areas of my life.

My mind doesn’t stop. It is exhausting. My husband gave an example a few days ago: “You’re always analyzing. I can touch your hand, and you’re wondering why I did that at that moment.” So accurate.

I have tried to downplay anxiety’s role in my life, but not acknowledging it has actually caused it to grow. I second guess every decision I make. I question my own character. In the name of complete transparency, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve told myself “I hate who you are” in the past few months.

Lately, I have wanted so badly to get out of this mindset. I want to just not care about anything FOR ONCE. I want to not feel an incessant desire to always be perfect. I actually would love to just completely screw up and not care. I want to sleep until noon, I want to not care about my exercise routine, or how I eat. I would love to be late to something and not have my heart racing the whole way there.

What’s more annoying is that I realize it when it’s happening. I can rationalize with myself and tell myself that how I’m feeling is unnecessary, but all it does is cause another mental battle. Problems go unresolved and if I’m not thinking about them, I’m dreaming about them.

I say all of this because I am slowly realizing a few things.

1). I probably need to seek professional help.

2). I need to remind myself more often that it is OKAY to not be everything to everyone.

3). I need to be kinder to myself. We are what our thoughts are and I’m not always good at being positive.

4). I need to rely on the people I trust. I keep so much to myself and it’s unhealthy.

This year I am choosing to grow. I need to stop thinking that I have to be self reliant. I refuse to hold myself back and I insist that I find balance.

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5 Ways Confident People Live Differently

world peace printing paper
Photo by Alizee Marchand on Pexels.com

This has been weighing heavy on my mind lately. The fitness world is a hard place to exist in. It is easier now than ever to see what your ideal body would look like or to compare yourself to others. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty.

As someone who has always struggled with self confidence and body dysmorphia, you may wonder why I would be the one that is able to talk about this. But here’s the thing, I have the inside scoop. As a classic Virgo, I internalize and over process everything. Though this can be exhausting, it also makes me extremely self aware.

It is normal to have moments of doubt. Everyone goes through ups and downs. In my mission to become the best version of myself, I first have to ask “what is holding me back from being truly happy?”

I’ve been reading “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. Within the first two chapters, she says:

“If you’re unhappy, that’s on you.”

That hit home for me. I am not in control of what people say to me, but I am in control of how I react and process other’s words and actions.

So what now? If I truly want to be my best self, that means being 100% comfortable with who I am, so what am I missing? I’ve done some research on the difference between confident people and ones who consider themselves…well…less than. And here is what I’ve found.

  1. An article on Lifehack explains that highly confident people do not make excuses. They don’t blame traffic for being late to work, they were late to work! They take ownership of their actions.
  2. They don’t let fear control their lives. This is a big one for me. I have let anxiety get in the way more times than I would like to admit. I even got a tattoo to remind myself to “live free”, but let’s be real, that tattoo doesn’t make me want to ride a rollercoaster or have a confrontational conversation.
  3. They don’t obsess over other’s opinions. Someone made a comment that your boobs are small? Um okay, guess what? YOU CAN’T CHANGE THAT. And you shouldn’t want to. I would love to spend years talking about women taking pride in their bodies, but that’s for another post. Your grandparents don’t approve of your choice to not go to college? SO WHAT. It is your life, you need to live it. Confidence comes when you are comfortable with the choices you make. You should not make choices for other people, you make them for you. Which brings me to my next point…
  4. Confident people do not find joy in pleasing others. Listen to me, I do not mean that you need to be selfish. I’m talking about the kind of people pleasing that gets in your way. The kind where you put aside your own happiness to make someone else have a better opinion of you. The kind where you let people change your mind! The kind where you won’t choose a place to eat, you accept any invitation, or you are constantly working hard to prove yourself.
  5. Lastly, they don’t make comparisons. I want to say first that social media makes this very difficult. It is so easy to make it appear that you have a perfect life when nobody knows what is going on behind the scenes. As far as fitness goes, it can get unhealthy so fast. I recently have decided that I will unfollow people who I compare myself to. I may love their page! But our lives are too different for me to aspire to be what they are.

What are your thoughts? What is one thing you can change today that will help you become more confident in the future?