She got this wrong and you probably do, too

by Annie Kaszina on January 27, 2015

smileSo happy..   Angie is the emotionally abused woman who kept telling me how happy she was.  She was 3,000 miles away calling on her mobile via Skype, but she was so excited I would probably have heard her even without the marvels of modern technology. My face was aching from smiling so much.

Now, that’s not always the way it works in my work helping women recover from emotional abuse.  Especially, the first time that we speak.

Angie had worked through my “Ultimate Emotional Abuse Recovery Program” and this was her free, bonus 1 on 1 session with me. I’d come to the call as alert and ready to serve as I could possibly be.  You can never know ahead of time quite what kind of complex problems a client will bring to the session.

A baffled husband. Angie was talking, at speed and at length, about all the amazing changes that had showed up in her ever since she’d started working through the program. Her emotionally abusive husband had tired of attacking her because now there were no pay-offs in it for him.  Angie is SO not bothered. Emotionally abusive men don’t really like to ‘urinate in the wind’ as we say (sort of) here in the UK. Everything he’s been doing to hook Angie back in through threats, temper tantrums, promises and cajoling just isn’t working anymore.  So, he’s just sitting there, mentally scratching his head, like the little boy asking himself: “But why can’t I go to the party?”

Eventually, when she paused for breath, I asked her: “How can I be most useful to you?”

She stopped to think.. She didn’t really see how much more useful I could be.  And then she said: “What’s still keeping me in the marriage?”

What indeed?

She loved him the way he was NOT. She wasn’t laboring under any illusions about loving him just the way he was.  Like all of us, she’d loved him dearly – just the way he was NOT.  But she accepted that now.  She was disappointed with herself for not doing better.

Whoa!

We talked about how long she’d been married.  It was the best part, so to speak, of two decades. We’d talked about how long it was since she started the program: a few weeks.

I pointed out that possibly she needed and deserved a little processing time.

Shedding the Little Miss Mouse Skin. You should know, if you don’t already, that sometimes it takes a little while for transformation to bed down into your beliefs about yourself. That happened to me, too. I can still remember the moment when I first shed my Little Miss Mouse skin.

I was going to see my daughter’s Head of Year because my daughter was being bullied. The Head of Year tried dismissing the whole thing out of hand. Very calmly, and sweetly, I D-E-M-O-L-I-S-H-E-D the Head of Year under the bemused eye of the Vice Principle.  When she threw her hands in the air and stormed, impotently, out of the room, the Vice Principal and I smiled.  Her exit, at speed, stage left, was pretty funny, really.

I spent he entire journey home wondering: “Where did that come from? 

Angie was still in that Where-Did-That-Come-From place?

We talked about it, and we talked about what she needed to do to keep moving herself forward.

She’d work hard at her recovery, she said.

“Why would you do that?” I asked.  “It hasn’t been hard work for the last few weeks, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s about learning to love and trust yourself.”  That got her thinking.

Angie’s revelation. She had the kind of light-bulb moment that changes everything. She realized she really didn’t like herself much at all.

  Sure, it’s something I talk about all the time, from the pages of this e-zine, and in my program but, still, not liking yourself is so deeply ingrained in every emotionally abused woman that you do it without being remotely aware of what you’re doing… Until someone like me makes you actually feel it.

For the first time, Angie was feeling it.  There was the loud clatter of scale after scale falling from her eyes.  She looked back along her life and forward into her expectation.

So, that was why she couldn’t see a future without him. That was why she believed she couldn’t do the things she knew she was capable of doing.

She started planning a full frontal assault on those feelings of self-hate.

In my mild-mannered way, I interrupted her and said there’s a better way.  Fighting yourself – even if you’re fighting the good fight – is such hard work it usually backfires.

Angie decided she was prepared to learn how to do it the easy way.

Now, that was a first commitment to self-love.

Will she succeed?

Absolutely.

Resourcefulness of emotionally abused women. You don’t get much more resourceful than a woman who’s on her journey to recovery from emotional abuse.

But you do need someone to show you the YOU that you don’t even know about, and to teach you the basics of self-love.

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