Saturday, August 13, 2011
I think we need a refresher course in keeping a positive attitude, how that affects our self esteem and ultimately how having good, positive and steady self image affects our relationships with ourselves, friends and that special lover.
The most important factor in keeping a positive attitude is remembering to be grateful for all the good things in your life and never forgetting how much worse they could really be. However, you can’t do this as an excuse to stay in a physically, emotionally or verbally abusive relationship. So here is our fine line. Now you must learn to recognize abuse in all its sometimes subtle forms.
What would possess us to stay in these types of hurtful relationships? Usually it goes way back to something that was learned, endured, seen or otherwise we were forced to live with when we were only children. No matter what type of trauma or unhealthy behaviors we had to somehow get through to adulthood, without proper psychological help we are either doomed to repeat these behaviors or continue being their victims. Having little or no other examples of a healthy relationship, family dynamic or proper role models only makes a bad situation worse. So my advice for those of us that did grow up this way; get some help as soon as possible. If you’re like a lot of disadvantaged women and men with no medical insurance give a self help group an honest try. Most of these are free and can easily be found through your local hospital.
If you just can’t bring yourself to open up in a group setting, find a trusted friend with experience with professional therapy, self help groups or any type of psychiatric counseling and ask for their help. If they are willing and able let them fill in as your “counselor” and ask if they will even do the therapeutic exercises or lessons learned in a group setting with you. This will probably have to be a very close friend to agree and you wouldn’t want any less.
If you are in a toxic relationship you must dig down deep within yourself and find every ounce of courage to remove yourself from it as quickly and cleanly as possible. Yes, I know it’s hard, I know it’s frightening and I know it hurts; I’ve been there myself. My first husband was a drunken drug addict, who was not ashamed to hit me and cheated so much he gave me crabs three times, scabies twice and exposed me to a venereal virus that causes cervical cancer. Thank God it was caught early and able to be cured. It took ten years before my risk of cancer was gone. I stayed married to this man with our young son for 10 ½ years before he came home one day after a three day binge with needle marks on his arms and that was the final straw for me. I was NOT going to get hepatitis or AIDS from this piece of stool.
(to be continued)