Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tips on sharing your trauma story

If you are thinking of sharing your story publically, let me tell you that I'm proud of you! It's brave to step out of your comfort zone by sharing. This is a time of allowing your vulnerability to come out for one or more persons to hear and that's AWESOME! So how can you get started?

I started by blogging. I shared posts on social media on my page and soon after I received messages from friends that were supportive and much to my surprise a handful admitted they were or had been in an abusive relationship. There were also those that shared someone close to them who was going through a tough time and would I talk with them?

I admit to being a wee bit nervous about talking with others. It's one thing to give advice in the beginning. I argued with God, "How can I talk to others when I'm falling apart?!" I didn't feel like I had it all together or all the answers to help someone else. I considered waiting to talk with people until I was healed or maybe even licensed as something. I didn't feel qualified there is a saying that God doesn't call the qualified He qualifies the called. I needed to get over myself and my ego to realize that this was BIGGER than me.

After I published my story I started to do the leg work of marketing myself, reaching out to local libraries, coffee shops, podcasts, and newspapers to share my story. I was blessed to have several organizations and personalities to reach out to me. I encourage you to decide how big you want to go when you share.

*Do you wish to tell a few trusted friends or get on TV or radio?

*What places that are local can you share?

*Are there organizations that you can speak to?

*What podcasts or blogs do you like to ask if you can be interviewed as a guest?

*Look for FB groups that specialize in your area and ask the page owner/admin if you can share by a post, video, or interview.

*Or maybe you wish to share with loved ones close to you that had no idea about your secret, or what you experienced. Don't be surprised if those close to you don't support or believe you. This happens! Prepare yourself for questions or even a backlash. Some people aren't ready to hear the truth.

*If you are sharing as an interview or speaker ask how much time do you have to speak?

*If this is as a podcast or "Live" video interview ask what platform are they using and will there be a dry run prior to the meeting so you can make sure there are no technical difficulties or maybe they are using something that you don't have downloaded and you don't want to keep a host waiting while you do so!

*Will there be questions or a script the host will ask you if so can you know what they will be asking in advance? This can help you prepare and give you an idea of how deep they wish to go. You may not feel comfortable in the direction the interview is heading.

*Give yourself a break! Do something for you to relax afterward no matter how you choose to share. This can bring out a range of emotions that you thought you had healed or it may trigger a panic attack. Go for a walk, meditate, talk to a friend, ground yourself, watch or read something funny, cry/scream/yell if you need to.

Remember this, be gentle with yourself. Schedule your storytelling a week or two apart sharing can be taxing on you. Afterward, you could feel on top of the world or like you have been hit by a truck. No matter how you choose to share this is a beautiful gift you are giving someone and yourself.
If you have any questions about this or anything else don't hesitate to message me privately. 

Stay safe!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Nightmares & Narcissists

Will the dreams and nightmares about my ex stop?!

You left your abuser and now your dreaming about him/her. It may feel like you are still being held captive. When do they stop? Why does it feel like I'm obsessed or have separation anxiety from this person?

The duration of dreaming about your ex can depend on how long you are away from this person. Take the amount of time you were with this person and divide it in half. This will be the “magic” number that will be the amount of time you notice you have made progress on your healing journey.

You are probably frustrated by this. I know I was! How can you break free from these? It can be challenging to start reprogramming your mind to see your bad dreams as a tool to heal and change this into a good thing instead. You can do it!

Know that you are safe! This person can't hurt you anymore. You may feel victimized all over again subconsciously. Stop giving this person space in your mind. The feelings of being unworthy, that your useless, everything is your fault, etc... You may go through nightmare spurts. One day you have them and then the next day you don't!
Dreaming allows us to face our abusers head-on. We can safely explore situations we went through as scary as they may have been for you.

If you sit down and think about why you are having these dreams you may be surprised. It could be you were randomly talking about this toxic person earlier in the day with someone. You could have heard a song, saw an item, went past their house, had a message from them, are you up against a deadline, or something else that reminded you subconsciously.

While you are sleeping your brain may be trying to help you or tell you something by replaying a memory or situation.

How can you start to flip the switch?

1) What unresolved hurts do you have? Those bottled up memories can trigger a bad dream. Getting things down on paper or sharing these with a counselor/therapist/friend can be very helpful!

2) Change the voice of your abuser. Replaying these experiences can be terrifying for you but let's pretend you're watching a movie of a memory between you and that person who hurt you. Change the voice to that person. Make it a cartoon voice or really high and squeaky. Kind of like a chipmunk. Does it make you giggle a little? Going forward every time you think of this person I want you to remember this cartoon voice even in real life. This can help you start to see this person in a different perspective. Most of the talk coming from their mouths is ridiculous. Even if they are trying to bring you down I want you to remember this voice.

3) Before you go to bed begin a practice of watching or reading something positive. Don't binge The Walking Dead, watch the news, or consider putting down your phone. Feed your mind something good. If you have to watch a show make it light-hearted. America's funniest home videos, funny animal videos, listen to the Bible on YouTube, find positive affirmations or Bible verses, or record your own to play as you fall asleep. Color, go for a walk or listen to soothing music. Find a hobby that you enjoy to get this person out of your head. Fill your mind with positives and things that make you happy and if you don't know what makes you happy now is a great time to learn.

All of this does take time. I encourage you to give yourself this time to get to know you. To better understand your reactions to a certain situation and how you can reprogram yourself to react in a way that shows you aren't going to be a victim any longer.

Stay safe!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Using Mirrorwork to help on your healing journey

This was from a challenge I put out here a few months back and it seems timely!

Have you tried "Mirror work?".

At the beginning of my journey, I whined, hesitated, and angrily did my soul work. 😝I couldn't help but think what was the point?!

My world was crumbling around me and I felt like crap and way too woo-woo for me. There were plenty of eye rolls, sighs, and muttering some not so nice words 🤬. Once I began my practice I felt much better! I began to feel lighter and actually started to look forward to doing it. I kid you not it was a slow practice- Baby steps!

I know you are knee-deep in 💩 right now but finding that thing that helps you begin to find yourself again is so helpful not just at this moment but as you start re-establishing old relationships with family and friends and forging new relationships with others.

Loving that person staring back in the mirror can help you recognize that you are worth being loved, respected, and cherished. 🥰If you need help with taking steps to rebuild "you" message me privately or if you are feeling brave ask the group here what they do!

Stay safe!



Monday, June 22, 2020

Green flags to be thankful for in a relationship

No relationship is perfect but there are some things to keep an eye out for when starting or thinking about a current relationship you are in this could be with an intimate partner, family member, friend, or co-worker.

  1. This person takes responsibility for their own actions.

  2. Support things you want to do or pursue.

  3. Practice self-care.

  4. Are reflective on their life or situations.

  5. They have long-standing healthy friendships.

  6. Empathy towards others.

  7. You can be vulnerable around this person or they are vulnerable.

  8. They are spiritual and don't mock your spirituality.

  9. Self-sufficient- They can take care of themselves, appointments, and needs.

  10. Communicate openly with no judgment.

  11. Has hobbies and is encouraging for you to pursue your own or to join in with their interests.

  12. Respects and honors your boundaries.

  13. Are affectionate with you.

  14. Takes interests in the thing you like to do.

  15. Supportive and positive about you even when you aren't feeling that way.

  16. Has a great sense of humor and can laugh at themselves. They don't put you down.

  17. Can help out financially if they need to with no strings or without being asked.

  18. A good listener and communicator.

  19. Has fun!

  20. Accepts your past without being critical.

  21. Doesn't compare you to others.

  22. Respects your need for alone time.

  23. Allows and encourages you to have a career.

  24. Respects your children.

  25. Knows they aren't the center of the universe.

  26. They are mature.

  27. They have confidence in themselves without being cocky.

  28. Fits in no matter what the situation or environment they are in.

  29. Admit when they make mistakes.

  30. Shares in chores or tasks around the house.

  31. Enjoys quiet time and encourages you to do the same.

  32. Willing to deal with the ups and downs in a relationship.

I hope these help you evaluate a questionable relationship you have or maybe even to evaluate "YOUR" behavior in relationships. If you or someone you know is in a toxic relationship there is hope and help. Message me privately for info on services in your area. I have a private FB group for women only that are victims/Survivors of abuse and it can be found here- Hope when there was none group.

Stay safe!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Red flags you should look for in any relationship

Are there warning signs you should be on the lookout for in a relationship? You betcha! Here are a few to keep watch for! This applies to any type of relationship! Not just with an intimate partner. Honestly, I wish I would have known these were a thing. What I know now... I'm sure you feel the same way! So here are some things to look out for. 

1) Is there a history of violence?

2) May have a mysterious reason why they don't like people.

3) Wants to get serious real quick.

4) Is this person overly possessive and jealous?

5) Begins isolating you from family and friends.

6) Doesn't listen to you or your opinions.

7) Bossy and inconsiderate.

8) Dictates where you go, what you wear, and what you enjoy.

9) Monitors your calls, texts, and/or social media.

10) Blames you for all their issues even if you had no part in whatever the situation.

11) Puts on a display of affection and caring for others but behind closed doors talks poorly about them behind their back.

12) Makes fun of you.

13) Manipulative.

14) Ignores your boundaries.

15) Doesn't include you with friends or family outings or gatherings.

Of course, the HUGE red flag is if the person uses intimidation, threats, demeans you, or violence against you.

These are just some of the red flags that are out there. I've included the video that you can also listen to. If you need to talk don't hesitate to message me or find me on FB at https://www.facebook.com/melinda.kunst.58. Stay safe! 



Friday, June 12, 2020

Part 2 Tips for coping with loneliness after a toxic relationship

I'm back to share some other ideas for beating loneliness. 

Reach out to support groups in your local area- shelters or church groups. These don't necessarily need to be related to abuse recovery. If you can't get out to do so find a group virtually!

What are hobbies that you enjoyed in the past? What are things you like to do or have always wanted to do? What were you not allowed to do in the past?

Can you have a pet at your new residence? Pets can give you unconditional love, fill a void when you feel lonely, and be a good companion!

Have you thought about writing your story? Now is a good time to write that story, write a letter to that toxic person, or at least get past experiences on paper for legal purposes but also to help you heal. What have you been holding onto? What are your fears? List the good, the bad, and ugly. Don't judge yourself. Just write! If you are typing this out I know it's tempting to hit the delete button but don't! I encourage you to handwrite your thoughts

If you don't wish to keep these writings down burn them! Burning these can be very therapeutic. Burn this letter in a fire-safe vessel or in a safe place.

Remember your past, those negative emotions/thoughts of sadness, bitterness, anger, fear no longer serve you. Whatever is deep within you let it come out. Any feelings that bubble up during this time allow them to come. Acknowledge them and let them go. You can read this letter aloud or say a prayer releasing the past, the energy, or the situation. Don't keep the ashes allow them to go into the garden or the garbage (after they have cooled down!). Ask God to heal this situation and to bring light out of the darkness. You can repeat this whenever you feel the need.

Anytime you feel stressed out or panicky bring yourself to the present. This is your new beginning.

When things are going wrong- Shift! Trade those negative vibe thoughts with positive thoughts. Easier said than it's done but taking your power back can make you feel wonderful. Ditching the past is setting you free. It's freeing to cut that experience or person away from you.

Put the brakes on the news (even social media), negative or sad movies/songs. Watch or listen to positive and empowering things.

Will everything is rainbows and glitter? No, it may be a challenge but keep going up that hill. I know you can do it!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Part 1 Tips to cope with being alone after a toxic relationship

It has been ages since I've posted! I'm sorry! I haven't forgotten about you! I have jumped into vlogging and haven't come by here in a while. I have a bunch of things that I will be sharing over the next few weeks or so to catch up! You can find the video here- facebook.com/hopewhentherewasnone.

A tough topic for many victims and Survivors is loneliness. 

First off, it is very brave of you to stay alone right now! I'm proud of you! This is a time of being on an emotional roller coaster filled with drama. You may feel like tapping out or giving up. Please don't! Consider talking to a counselor or therapist. This can be a dark time and talking with a professional or trusted 3rd party can help.

One of the most common experience among victims and Survivors of a toxic relationship is feeling lonely. Personally, I can totally understand! This is a critical time when many jump back into the relationship or start a new relationship before addressing the junk from the past.

It isn't uncommon for this new super loving person to end up being abusive as well leaving you feeling like you are a failure in love or all you attract are losers, no one will ever want me or you may wonder what's wrong with, “ME?!”

If you miss your abuser you are not a weirdo. Even if this person caused you physical pain you loved this person. There were some good times and comfort. You may have been with this person for months, years, or decades, and know that it's okay to grieve. There is no shame in longing for this person back. You knew what to expect, it's familiar and in some ways not as scary as starting over.

After you leave you may notice different physical symptoms- Anxiety, depression, mood swings, nightmares, bedwetting, panic attacks, insomnia, and more. These are probably not “new” symptoms you may have not given these things much thought before. You may not have had a chance to really “feel” your own emotions. You may have had to hide these or brushed them off. Now they seem like flashing lights going haywire. Signs PTSD after a toxic relationship happens often!

Remember, we are no longer living in the past. The past now part of our memories and you are safe. That trauma is no longer happening to you. You are free even if you don't feel like you are.

Right now is the time for growth!

Being alone gives you space and time to rediscover or get to know yourself. Learning to reprogram your mindset, past hurts, figuring out likes, dislikes, dreams, and goals.

I know you may not feel like doing this and honestly, I have no clue about what you experienced. I can tell you that giving yourself the gift of time to begin a new journey will be healing for you.

Start creating boundaries, journaling, create a ritual for you such as rising early to read your Bible, pray, exercise, or creating a positive routine. Do something that gives you a positive feeling. This can be for 5 minutes, a half-hour, or longer! Don't hesitate to find time throughout the day to do something to recharge your spirit. 

What is something that you have done to help you on your healing journey? I'll be back tomorrow with more suggestions. Stay safe!