Category Archives: Dare to Create

Dare to Create – 5 ways to support someone who’s experiencing abuse

DCB7C710-0D82-4B76-ACCD-E69A1C8335A3Alexas_Fotos – pixabay.com  

Hello survivors, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and where you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.

This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. PLQ continues to explore the topic of emotional abuse this week. Today’s article focuses on how we can help someone affected by abuse. You’ll find more about this below the challenge.

Dare to Create – the challenge

939488F6-BE98-4EF3-B086-4236B406A8CA.jpegImage source top and bottom left – typorama.com

 

The challenge – write a poem

* Write a poem expressing how as a survivor of abuse, others could support you better.

* Share with us what experience has taught you.

* Help us to better understand.

Remember, the poem doesn’t have to rhyme to be poetical. Just think about what it is you wish to express, jot down words and feelings then pull the words together to make us feel it. Help us to feel empathy and understanding for your situation. Teach us what we can do to support you more effectively.

Please share with us. Don’t forget to tag @projectlifequality #plq.

pexels-photo-629586Image – Typorama.com

How to support someone you care about

The scenario

A friend or relative confides in you that the bruises on their wrists were caused by their __________ (Insert the relevant relationship ie girlfriend/ husband/grandparent/ uncle/mother…)

You are frightened for their safety.

You want them to leave the situation.

What can you do?

It’s never easy to learn that someone you care about, is trapped in an abusive situation. It can be tempting to tell them they must get out straight away, but this can make an overwhelming situation even harder for the victim of the abuse.

The first thing to know is that you can never make someone leave. This is a decision the victim of the abuse must take – but it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do.

5 ways to support someone you care about

1. Listen without judgment. It’s very hard for someone who’s never been a victim of abuse to understand why a person may remain in an abusive situation, but there are many reasons this might happen. Listening is both supportive and the only way to learn about the reality of their situation. Build trust and understanding so that you can help them.

They may not recognize the relationship they’re in as abusive if it doesn’t normally include violence and physical harm. Do your research so that you can help them to see the abuse for what it is when the time is right.

  • Financial or material abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect and acts of omission
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Organisational abuse
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Self-neglect
  • Domestic abuse
  • Modern slavery

Click the link below for more on this.

http://safeguarding.dudley.gov.uk/adult/friend-relative-carer/types-of-abuse/

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Elizabeth R. Lombardo, Ph.D. – psychologist and author.
Image  – Typorama.com

 

     3. Offer to store their important documents in a safe place. Make copies if it’s not possible to get the originals. Failing that, take good photos of them.

  • Birth/adoption certificates for them and any children/dependants.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Financial paperwork – details about house ownership, mortgage, bank account and life insurance. Bank transaction records. Receipts showing significant outgoings or items paid for by the victim. Wage slips, incoming amounts, and details on benefits they’re receiving personally or on behalf of their dependents.
  • Store clear photos of the victim, dependents (adults and children), and the abuser – for identification purposes.

4. Keep a record of incidents, injuries, and actions. 

  • Take photos of injuries,
  • Store texts/emails received from the victim of abuse and abuser/s.
  • Make note of anything relevant, that may help if a solicitor, paramedics, police or abuse support worker are needed. Details such as significant dates and medications prescribed for depression, anxiety or injuries.

5. Help them to create a safe escape.

  • Devise a code word system whereby your friend/relative can alert you if they need immediate help. Make it simple, easy to remember and be absolutely clear about what it means. I know firsthand, how important and helpful this can be.
  • Help them create an Escape Plan. Plan the best time and way to get out fast. Rehearse it. https://www.womensaid.org.uk/the-survivors-handbook/making-a-safety-plan/
  • Help them create an escape bag. This contains medications, a spare phone and top-up card, money, clothing, the essentials they’d need if fleeing to a refuge or other safe place. This must be stored where it will not be found by the abuser. I stored a friend’s essentials in our loft, so they’d be available when she got out.
  • Encourage them to set up a new bank account in their name alone, so the abuser is unaware of it and has no access to it.

http://carolynhennecy.com/domestic-violence-awareness/2011/victims-of-domestic-violence-do-you-have-a-safety-code/

Remember to get the consent of your friend/relative, before taking photos or removing documents. Explain why you believe it is necessary, in advance.

In an emergency, always call 999!

 

Considering this week’s subject and creative challenge, I’d also like you to take a look at the following.

Further information

  • A TEDx video explaining the cathartic value of writing poetry from Daniel Tysdal.

 

Be the person you want to be!

Sincerely

Rebecca Goldthorpe
PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist

Dare to Create – Recovery isn’t a linear experience

 

ebf57993-7435-4c32-8a5f-a6e61cc3fd88.jpeg– pixabay.com

Hello survivors, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.

This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. PLQ continues to explore the topic of emotional abuse this week. Today’s article focuses on the impact and aftermath of abuse, and we look at how we can help ourselves recover. You’ll find more about this below the challenge.


Dare to Create – the challenge

This week I would like us to gently explore our personal abuse timelines.

Challenges like PTSD have a tendency to raise their ugly head unexpectedly, so just remember to look after yourself, take as long as you need to do this challenge and do only what you feel ready for. I hope you find great healing through this.

18626D0B-1153-47C9-8C03-E55891698A17Image source top and bottom left – typorama.com

The challenge – Paint a timeline of your emotions

* Consider your emotional journey of abuse
–  Before the abuse
–  During abuse
–  The present time

Now Consider the phrase

“Recovery isn’t a linear experience.”

It is neither a straight line nor the same as the next survivors,

so what does your timeline look like?

Think of methods and unusual tools with which to your draw lines.
(Cotton buds, your fingertips, fingerprints, your feet, a chopstick or cocktail stick, a garden twig… The list of options is limitless! Can you use something specific to your story? Whatever it is, remember self-love first and foremost.)

Use words in your artwork                                                                                                                                                                            – these could be significant dates,

– feelings or a specific memory,

– a poem you’ve written about abuse.

This is about YOU and YOUR journey, so what does yours look like?

Please share with us. Don’t forget to tag @projectlifequality #plq.

 

B57AC9E0-A89E-4773-8246-154C6C7BB2F8.jpegSource of background – Typorama.com

The impact and aftermaths of emotional abuse

“We can’t heal within the same environment that made us sick.” It sounds pretty simple when put like that, doesn’t it? But when in the abusive environment, it’s easy for us to not see it – or not wish to see it. I certainly identify with both, and perhaps you do too.

For me to grow and heal I needed to remove myself from the person. An analogy I think of when I revisit this experience, is gardening. Plants give me a lot of pleasure and orchids are one of my favorites. But orchids are fussy eaters and if I feed them with… Let’s say, tomato ketchup, I am certain they would rebel! They won’t even tolerate tap water! For them to look their best and flower their little hearts out, they must be happy and cared for – just like us. For me, that meant no contact followed by finding my true identity and confidence again.

The damaging effects of emotional and verbal abuse

Staying in an emotionally or verbally abusive relationship can have long-lasting effects on your physical and mental health.

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So how do we move forward?

The benefit of healing affirmations for victims of abuse

The attack on a person’s character, appearance, interests, job, friends/family… and everything else of importance to them, can emotionally break a person down so that they no longer trust their own judgment or perspective. The consequence if this is that they can find themselves trapped by the lack of confidence. After all, if told frequently that “No one else would put up with, what I do.” or “You can’t even cook, so how on earth would you survive without me?” it will eventually make a person so confused that they may start to believe the lies they hear.

How do we combat those voices that still live in our head?

Last week’s article explored emotional abuse looks and feels like, plus a little about how science has proven the arts can heal trauma. (If you missed it, click the link at the bottom.) And this is a fundamental reason behind Dare to Create challenges. Healing affirmations is another tool we can use to assist our healing.

Considering this week’s creative challenge, I’d like you to read the following. It’s from an article called 7 Healing Affirmations For Victims of Narcissistic Abuse. Link to their page

2DE62860-8187-467E-A6BC-5FE42CF117D8– 7 Healing Affirmations For Victims of Narcissistic Abuse – http://www.aconsciousrethink.com

It is important to remind yourself that the healing process is a continual one. Depending on how long a narcissist was a part of your life, it can take months years, or even a lifetime to fully come to terms with it.

What’s more, the path is not always a straightforward one; you may take forward steps, backward steps, and even sideways steps. Just remember that every step is a part of the journey and that it is neither a waste or a failure to have setbacks.

This simple confirmation that you are healing can provide the energy and impetus to get you through the challenges you’ll face along the way.”

~ A Conscious Rethink

If you found this useful, try saying the affirmation out loud daily. Visit the website for six more.

Further reading

Dare To Create – The benefits of Recovery Through Arts

Be the person you want to be!

Sincerely

Rebecca Goldthorpe
PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist

Dare to Create – emotional abuse – the benefits of recovery through the arts

005A1E33-6943-421A-B7EA-0DC9EB98D068

– pixabay.com

Hello readers, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.

This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. PLQ begins exploring the topic of emotional abuse this week. Today’s article focuses on how to recognise the signs and also how we can help ourselves recover. You’ll find more about this below the challenge, but first, offer to this week’s challenge.

 

Dare to Create – the challenge

This week, I dare you took try something new that’s also creative. Here are some suggestions.

9DEC5CC5-9014-452D-B3CE-DE057C0A947B.jpeg

Source top and bottom left – pixabay.com

The challenge – Do something new!

Not everything you might want to do is free, but with a bit or searching online, it is possible to find cheaper ways to do things – many options are even free, so don’t fret if money is an issue.

Useful tip: Look for voucher codes, use an online marketplace, recycling and free gifting sites like www.helpfulpeeps.com

  • Join a singing or drama group.
  • Redesign your garden.
  • Join an online or local photographic group.
  • Download a new creative app to your phone – mandalas, drawing, music, colouring
  • Maybe you’ve been wanting to learn an instrument. Why not look into how you can do this?
  • Treat yourself to a colouring book and art equipment.
  • Book tickets to the cinema, a gig or theatre.

Please share with us. Don’t forget to tag @projectlifequality #plq.

 

What does emotional abuse look  and feel like?

Emotional abuse is prevalent within all groups of society. It can be experienced by men and women, children, young people and the elderly.  It’s recognised to be as being as damaging as physical abuse and this is reflected in the UK’s Serious Crime Act 2015, which makes behaviours which are coercive or controlling towards another person in an intimate or family relationship, punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years. You can learn more here.

https://www.relate.org.uk/relationship-help/help-relationships/arguing-and-confkict/what-emotional-abuse

The summary below which I found at https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk , is very useful too.

 

“PATTERNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Emotional abuse falls into three patterns:

  • AGGRESSIVE: which includes name-calling, belittling, blaming, accusing, yelling, screaming, making threats, degrading insults or destructive criticism.
  • DENYING: this includes sulking, manipulation, neglecting, not listening, withholding affection and distorting the other’s experience.
  • MINIMISING: this can include belittling the effect of something, isolating, accusations of exaggerating or inventing and offering solutions or ‘advice’.

 

SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Increased isolation from friends and family
  • Fearful or agitated behaviour
  • Lower self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs
  • Escapist behaviour

Emotional abuse can damage a person’s confidence so that they feel worthless and find it hard to make or keep other relationships. Secrecy and shame usually maintain the abuse.”

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Jerzy Gorecki via pixabay.com

 

How can we assist our recovery?

In researching for this week’s Dare to Create article, I came across many blogs and studies about the positive and healing changes that can be experienced through participation in the arts. One example comes from an online document by the Start initiative. Start is an arts-based mental health service, in Manchester, UK and is part of the local Mental Health and Social Care Trust.

C30F8FB2-4B69-4BE0-82F1-8CB4FDE2AB59– Start, Manchester MH & SC Trust

Their team of artists work with Occupational Therapists. Activities provided enable service users to experience the powerful benefits that the arts can bring.

But why is creativity so important? 

This is how Start describe creativity.

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F8DD5999-83F0-4C87-9E28-A59D464EA2EB– Start, Manchester MH & SC Trust

But what if you don’t think you are “naturally creative” or hate the idea of painting or drama for example? Personally I’d run a mile of if it was suggested I try acting! Well I have good news, everywhere gathered in the studies shows you don’t even need to be hands-on to feel the benefits. An example Start gives in their document entitled The Importance of Creativity for Health and Wellbeing – Evidence Base for Start, complied by Wendy Teall and Tamzin Forster, says that a person can feel improvement by just appreciating a piece of beautiful art. Imagine that! And by practising creativity, it will improve our well-being and general health by building many of our most essential skills, such as those below.

 

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– Start, Manchester MH & SC Trust

Imagine how useful it would be to develop these skills, as a survivor recovering from abuse! Pretty inspiring, isn’t it?

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– Start, Manchester MH & SC Trust

 

Further reading

You can read more about Start and the science behind it, if you follow the link below.

http://www.start2.co.uk/files/downloads/Start_MC_downloads/Reports_on_Starts_work/Start_evidence_base_March_2015.pdf

 

Be the person you want to be!

Sincerely

Rebecca Goldthorpe

PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist

Dare to Create – emotional abuse and why it can be more harmful than physical incidents

CCF90780-0FC6-4873-83D2-91370485B93FImage by Alexas_Fotos – pixabay.com 

Hello readers, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.

This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. PLQ begins exploring the topic of emotional abuse this week. Today’s article focuses on how to recognise the signs. You’ll find more about this below the challenge.

5107C6D1-B76D-4967-95E0-58B8C32475BB Image by Rebecca Goldthorpe

Dare to Create – the challenge

We have probably all experienced critical comments from others that have damaged our confidence, made us insecure or doubt ourselves. This week I challenge you to write a letter to yourself which reminds you of your attributes, your skills and your gifts. The things we have put aside for others. We all have them. Still let’s tell ourselves we are good enough and why we matter.

54332D32-0CCA-4DA0-836F-6AB2EC4DB8C4Image top and bottom left – Typorama

 

Ask yourself

  • What your gifts, abilities and skills are – we all have them.
  • What you were like before the abuse, if this is your situation.
  • What you miss doing and wearing. Why did you stop?
  • What words you would use to describe yourself and if these have changed.
  • If  you feel less positively about yourself nowadays, why do you think that is?

Please don’t forget to tag your photo with #plq and #daretocreate. The team at @projectlifequality loves seeing your participation!

 

D8DF759A-58EE-4A54-B807-488D1F63F313pixabay.com 

What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse comes in many guises, but what it often is, is difficult to spot. It’s subtle, coercive, manipulative and those around you are therefore much less likely to see it for what it is, unlike in cases of physical or sexual abuse.

6DA56D8D-F392-4AF0-A8DB-245D71B9DCE3.jpeg

Why?  Because wounds and broken bones  are visible and will eventually heal or scar, but for a person who has had emotional trauma, particularly early in life, it shapes who they are as an individual. It scars too, affecting the brain’s development and it’s ability to process emotions and stress, only it’s hidden. Read more about this at –

https://www.avoicefortheinnocent.org/emotional-abuse-brain/

This BuzzFeed video “depicts the devastating reality of being in an emotionally abusive, unhealthy relationship.

Written by and starring Ali Vingiano and Brittany Ashley, the 15-minute film tells the story of two couples — one budding hetero couple and one lesbian pair — who go away for an overnight trip together.”

According to Vingiano and Huffungton Post, this video collaboration came about because she and Ashely “…hadn’t seen emotional abuse honestly depicted much in TV or media”, especially “a story showing it within a lesbian relationship…”. Though fictional, the actors drew on personal experiences and in particular “the often overlooked traits that make a relationship an abusive one.” Vingiano went on to say this, “Unhealthy Relationships” captures those hardly noticeable moments that are so often excused – like constantly monitoring who a partner is texting, demeaning a partner in front of their friends and being generally passive aggressive and controlling. “We wanted to show how hard it can be to realize you’re in an unhealthy relationship, and how abuse isn’t always physical,”

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/short-film-exposes-how-subtle-but-dangerous-emotional-abuse-can-be_us_57727bffe4b017b379f744b9

Further reading

This article by the Relate, the relationship counseling organisation, is particularly useful.

Relate – What is Emotional Abuse? 

https://www.relate.org.uk/relationship-help/help-relationships/arguing-and-conflict/what-emotional-abuse

 

Be the person you want to be!

Sincerely

Rebecca Goldthorpe

PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist

 

Dare to Create – Could Prince Charming be too good to be true?

 ADB4C6C5-2633-4C6D-ABA8-49F995A41053.jpegImage source – skitterphotos.com

Hello readers, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.

This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. In January PLQ began exploring the topic of Self – A Fresh Start, and we continue this theme in February. Todays article focuses on the subject of good relations.

Following on from last week’s article and my personal example of an unhealthy relationship, we are diving a little deeper this week and asking ourselves what good relations look and feel like.

I’m writing this on the international day of love – St. Valentine’s Day – ironic, I know. I have found myself thinking about the contrast between my first ‘boyfriend’ and my supportive husband of fifteen years and the songs played on our wedding day. With that in mind, today’s challenge and survivor story is a musical one.

Dare to Create – the challenge

This week, I challenging you to help me create a list of go-to music which can help us all find strength at times when we feel lost, unloved and without control. We have far more ability to change our situation than we often believe.

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The challenge – share your songs with us

  • Which songs remind you that you are good enough or strong enough?
  • That you are beautiful and powerful?
  • Lift your mood or give you courage?
  • Remind you that you can walk away?
  • Remind you what a good relationship looks and feels like?

The most popular suggestions received, will be added to PLQ’s Spotify playlist. 

These are my favorite songs for lifting me up

  • “You Make Loving Fun” – Fleetwood Mac
  • “How Long Will I Love You (2008 Remaster)” – The Waterboys
  • “Ice cream” – Sarah McLachlan
  • “Just the Way You Are” – Billy Joel
  • “At My Most Beautiful” – R.E.M.

Abuse leaves its scars and sometimes I need a reminder that life is good now.

Take time to ponder the questions in the challenge, look at the lyrics, then post your suggestions on Instagram. Please don’t forget to tag your photo with #plq and #daretocreate. The team at @projectlifequality loves seeing your participation!

Today I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card. Both chosen with care and the aim of making me happy, telling me I’m special and loved for who I am. But it’s not the first time I’ve received gifts from a partner or admirer, so what’s different? Well, in my experience, a manipulator or predatory individual may use gifts as a way control your feelings and responses. (Love-bombing.)

This link explains it in more detail. (Remember abusers can just as easily be another gender, this is just more common)

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/abusive-men-are-often-charmers-beware-of-gifts-used-to/article_4bde5066-c389-5483-8105-ca778d3d5b70.html

The video in my previous article also shows how giving can be a tool of the abuser.

https://projectlifequality.com/2018/02/13/dare-to-create-abuse-are-you-seeing-the-signs/

862018CC-1CBA-4C2A-83B3-33FDC6CE55E3.jpeg– Brittany Bexton

This week’s inspiration – Brittany Bexton

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Brittany Bexton in concert

Continuing the theme of good relations and music, today I’m going to share a snippet of an interview I recently did with Brittany Bexton, a highly respected singer-songwriter and musician, who’s talents are better known in America’s music magnet, Nashville, Tennessee. 

My initial impression was of a sensitive, confident woman who’d always had her life together and knew where she was heading, but in speaking to her I learned of the damage that can be done by abuse.

F28E7116-A022-4CAD-A331-9749B2FE4E3C.jpeg – Brittany Bexton

I was impressed by not only what she’s achieving musically but also how she’s moved on from the abusive.

3DD7F182-6DC0-4E0B-9E71-EFFB623A42F2.jpeg – Brittany Bexton

Brittany is now so much more than a talented singer, especially to those she reaches out to via Instagram and her website – http://www.BrittanyBexton.com Her social media platforms are also very inspiring, a place where she doesn’t only share updates on her latest gigs. Brittany is a force – a voice for survivors of abuse, an educator and an advocate for change in society.

You’ll soon get to meet Brittany properly, when I share my full interview with her, in one of our Sunday Survivor Portraits. In the meantime, learn more about love-bombing, and listen to her “soulful, rootsy rock with a positive message.”  You’ll find one of her songs in our Spotify playlist.

Thank you for sharing with us Brittany and for managing to carve out so much time for our chat from your precious rehearsal time.

Maybe this has made you feel like picking up your dusty guitar again or joining a singing group, or reconnecting with music you used to listen to, whatever it is, don’t let this day or this thought go – grasp it with both hands. This is the real you.

Be the person you want to be!

Sincerely

Rebecca Goldthorpe

PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist

 

Dare to Create – abuse – are you seeing the signs?

70D0B142-AB55-40F0-8720-AC139AC473AFhttp://www.pixabay.com

Hello readers, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.

This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. In January PLQ began exploring the topic of Self – A Fresh Start, and we continue this theme in February. Todays article focuses on the subject of warning signs.

Inspired by the courage of the many survivors I’ve interviewed for PLQ, today I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and share something I’ve told very few people. I believe that had my seventeen year-old self known that what I was experiencing was abuse, I’d have distanced myself a great deal sooner! If you’d like to know a little more of my story, you’ll find it below this weeks Dare to Create challenge.

“He lived just doors away, went to the same church, insisted on seeing me every day and for hours at a time. He also knew the layout of the college, having studied there.”

Dare to Create – the challenge

This week, I challenge you to think about what a good relationship looks and feels like.

The challenge

Describe a healthy relationship using five words. You can see what I chose, below the image.

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My five chosen words:

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1. FREEDOM

2. CONSIDERATION

3. INDEPENDENCE (of thought & actions)

4. TRUST

5. HONESTY
What will yours be?

Be as creative, colourful and bold as you want, then post it on Instagram. Please don’t forget to tag your photo with #plq and #daretocreate. The team at @projectlifequality loves seeing your amazing artwork.

TRIGGER WARNING
This story holds content that might be triggering if you have been experiencing stalking, threats of violence or witnessed abuse.

Survivor story – a little about me

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I was the class nerd. I wore unfashionable glasses and was bottom of the class in everything. I was also desperately shy, insecure and very lonely. I struggled to make friends all the way through school and into adulthood and was bullied relentlessly. Those years were hellish, and I was only happy when away from the environment.

When not at school, life was good. I was fortunate to have amazing parents and when not bickering, my siblings and I were close. We knew we were loved unconditionally, and they were always there for us as we grew up, something I’m aware many of you reading this, sadly didn’t have. But despite living in this happy, safe family home, where I witnessed positive parenting and good relationships, I didn’t see the warning signs of an abuser in my first “relationship”.

I use the term relationship losely. Weird as this sounds, I wasn’t in fact consulted on the dating thing! He just told people I was his girlfriend and people assumed it to be true. He knew I wouldn’t feel able to dispute this, due to my lack of confidence. He also knew I was lonely. I probably should have recognised that this wasn’t going to be a healthy relationship, but I was naïve. I saw a friend in them and told myself it was okay, I would simply back-off if things got more uncomfortable. Little did I know how hard that would be!

Within weeks he was manipulating me in significant ways, overstaying his welcome, well into the early hours and straining family relationships. He found ways to accompany me everywhere, without invitation. He expected intimacy when I wanted none and even wanted me to wear a ring on my engagement finger, so it looked like we were in a serious relationship. He was controlling and narcissistic. Things turned particularly sour when I approached my exams. Carl hated to feel unimportant.

One day, while studying alone at home, he knocked the door. I knew he wouldn’t leave if I didn’t answer, so I agreed to a couple of minutes. When I continued revising, he got angry, took out a kitchen knife and threatened me. I freaked!

After that, I refused to see him, but he stalked me daily for three years. I told nobody and remained terrified of seeing him again for decades. Shame and disgust kept me quiet, but if I’d known there were warning signs of abuse, this may never have happened.

Warning signs of abuse – useful links

https://www.breakthecycle.org/warning-signs

https://www.breakthecycle.org/how-common-dating-abuse

https://www.equation.org.uk/is-it-abuse/

Though I dislike the American term “battered” and the genders stereotypes, this is a good video explaining the Power and Control Wheel, by the researchers.

http://www.theduluthmodel.org

Be the person you want to be!

Sincerely

Rebecca Goldthorpe

PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist

Dare to Create – the value of self love

0300752B-07B8-4929-AF3D-AC545E5A4C44.jpeg– Image by Bruce Mars http://www.pexels.com

Hello readers, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.

This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. In January PLQ began exploring the topic of Self – A Fresh Start, and we continue this theme in February. Today’s article focuses on the subject of self-love.

 

Dare to Create – Write a loving message to yourself

This week I challenge you to write a message of self-love. A positive message to yourself, in the shape of your hand – much as I have below. Make it a message which tells you exactly why you are good enough. That you are beautiful and smart and wonderful, just the way you are!

The Challenge – what you will need

  • A pen
  • A piece of paper
  • A hand to draw around
  • Some beautiful, compassionate thoughts about yourself

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Here are some ideas of what you could think about.

  • Things that you are grateful for
  • Things that make you happy
  • Positive words to describe your gifts, skills and personality
  • Your motto for being happy
  • Things that help you feel good about yourself

Be as creative, colourful and bold as you want, then post it on Instagram. Please don’t forget to tag your photo with #plq and #daretocreate. The team at @projectlifequality loves seeing your amazing artwork.

What is self-love?

It’s a phrase we hear a lot nowadays, isn’t it? But what does it mean? If I’m honest, I referred to Google for this one, as I wasn’t entirely certain either. I mean, is it just about believing you look good, taking luxurious bubble baths, and allowing yourself a lie-in at the weekend? Well if you are nodding your head to this, you’d be halfway there, but there’s much more to it than that. In a nutshell, it’s about looking after yourself – your own welfare, and overlaps self-care. It is about allowing yourself to be, well, yourself. Doing what makes you happy. Putting yourself first and allowing yourself time to be completely and authentically you. The wonderful being that you are, but which maybe gets buried under your weight of responsibilities as a mummy, husband or manager, for instance. It may sound selfish, but it really isn’t.

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It’s also about considering how we talk about ourselves and showing ourselves respect. It’s about not harshly judging our abilities and imperfections or punishing ourselves for giving in to that yummy slice of chocolate cake – if it made you happy, great! Consider it a treat and show some self-compassion. After all, if we laugh in the face of compliments or frequently belittle and criticise ourselves, how can we expect others to treat us well?

“If you talked to others, the way you talk to yourself, you probably wouldn’t have any friends.”

This saying is one I learned from poet Caira Lee. You can learn more about her and her message, just below. It’s a wonderful video on self-love and self-respect. I encourage you to watch it. It’s really inspiring and contains some fabulous spoken word poetry too. What a bonus!

 

Survivor story and a message on the importance of self-love

This week I was truly inspired by a video I found on YouTube and I want to share it with you. The speaker is Caira Lee, a national award-winning slam poet and author. She shares her thoughts on the great importance of “radical self-love” through a portrait of illustrations and stories, spoken word poetry and her big personality.

I found such a terrific message in this video, and I really hope you will put your feet up to watch this. It’s eighteen minutes long, so why not make yourself a cuppa and grab a Hobnob. It’s definitely worth sitting down for!

 

I search 4 it blinded: the power of self-love and self-esteem | Caira Lee| TEDxSHHS

 

Be the person you want to be!

Sincerely

Rebecca Goldthorpe

PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist