The Destructiveness of Verbal (Emotional) Abuse


There are various forms of abuse, but verbal abuse often gets ignored, and/or brushed aside as though it doesn’t really have any effects on the person who is abused.  The reason for this is that it doesn’t leave any physical scars.  There are many people who believe that if there isn’t a physical scar, it doesn’t matter.   Many women who suffer from verbal abuse are told “at least it isn’t physical”.  Since this is a common statement, it can make the victims of verbal abuse feel like it must not be happening – it’s all in their heads.

What is verbal abuse, and how can you decide if this a part of your relationship with your significant other?  Here is a definition:  “any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”1

Emotional abuse is also known as psychological abuse or as “chronic verbal aggression” by researchers. People who suffer from emotional abuse tend to have very low self-esteem, show personality changes (such as becoming withdrawn) and may even become depressed, anxious or suicidal.


There are many long-term effects of verbal (emotional) abuse that can include:  chronic pain, migraine, headaches, indigestion, bowel issues and stress-related heart conditions.  The psychological effects can include anxiety, depression, PTSD, memory gap disorders, sleep and/or eating disorders, hyper-vigilance or extreme startle response, anger issues, addiction issues, irritability and/or anger issues, suicide or self-mutilation.


As you can see, being in a relationship where there is verbal (emotional) abuse has long-term effects.  The first thing you can do is figure out if you are in such a relationship.  The second thing you need to do is decide whether or not you want (need) to stay.  There should be no judgments on whether or not you decide to stay.  I understand that there are many considerations to be made.  If you’re dependent on the abuser, feel a need to stay; or whatever reason, this is your decision.  However, if you do decide to stay, being aware of the abuse is a step in the right direction.  You will no longer feel as if you’re “going crazy”, or wonder if you’re being “gas lighted”.  You will be aware, and can change your reactions to what is happening to you.

I’m leaving links in this post so that you can make yourself aware of what verbal (emotional) abuse is, what could be happening to your mental and physical health, and how you can care for yourself.  Be aware, be safe and be healthy.




The Effects of Constant Criticism


I live with two people who are free with their criticism.  Some of this criticism includes such things as the way the spices are organized to the way I do my laundry.  If this was constructive criticism I wouldn’t be so upset.  However, it is not.  This is done specifically to make me feel “less than”. It takes a toll on a person, and I decided to do a little research into exactly what kind of effects this has on the person being criticized. One notable effect is that being constantly criticized can really affect your self-esteem and sense of self-worth.  This is true, since after I’ve been criticized I really feel sick, whether it’s a headache, upset stomach, or both.  Then I find that in the days following such an attack I just want to curl up in my bed, hide under the covers and do nothing.  It takes every ounce of energy I’ve got to continue on my path to change.


When I looked up information on this subject, there was a lot of information regarding parents being overly critical of their children.   My parents were overly critical.  If I got a score of 100% correct, I was asked why I didn’t get 101%. When I graduated college with a double Major in four years, my Mother was upset that I didn’t also have a Minor.  My achievements were not recognized, only my “faults”.

So, I’m now struggling with this issue in my life, and either the attacks are getting worse, or I’m not dealing with the after-effects as well as in the past.  Being told to grow a thicker skin is not helpful, and not something I’d recommend to other people.  However, I try to look at the problems of the person who is attacking me.  As far as I’m concerned, the only reason they are attacking me has to do with them, not me.  If the criticism is valid, I look for the truths in it.  However, when the criticism is generally about how I do something, or say something, or in some cases just the very act of my being is the object of the criticism, then I try to remember that it’s not valid.   So, look into the critical statements, see if it’s valid and if it isn’t , consider the source.



Keeping Depression at Bay


Here are some quotes for those of us who sign petitions, write letters and still feel depressed about the way the country is going.  Keep up your chins, hold love in your hearts, and keep on hoping for a new day.



Fighting for Positivity


Sometimes it can feel like in order to survive I need to hide in my bed, under the covers.  I’m sure that I’m not the only person who sometimes feels like this.  I’ve said before that some of the people in my life are extremely negative.  They can also go out of their way to try to make me as negative as they are.  Since staying positive is not a default position for me, it can be a trial.  However, I’m trying my hardest to remain as positive as a can.  So, that being said, here are some of my favorite quotes I often read in order to remain as positive as I can.


2017 Goals



Since I have been sick, this is a late post (I planned on this for the 1st of the year, but often things don’t work out the way I thought they would).  I’ve been thinking really hard about how to make goals for this year that aren’t completely unattainable. I think that may be the main reason that so many people give up on the goals they made.  So, with this in mind, and many hours of thought, here are my goals for 2017.


Better organization and meal planning.  Meal planning is a huge thing.  When I do it right it actually makes my life so much better – I know what I’m serving for dinner every night, there is no stress involved at all, the grocery list is no longer hit or miss.  I actually know I’ve got all the ingredients.  Better organization in daily life makes life so much easier.  I’ve already started this process with “Tidy-up (or “tidy-oop” as Ulla from The Producers would say) Tuesday, and Watering Wednesday.  I have to work on what to call Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it’s a process, after all.

Stress Management.  I’ve been listening to music for stress relief and concentration.  It helps, but I plan to work on affirmations more, and positive thinking.  I’ve realized that this is a necessity now, and not just something to “think” about.  My stress level has gone through the roof, and I really need to get a handle on it as soon as I can.


Writing.  My Saturdays at the library have shown me how much writing I can get done when I allow myself the time and space to do it.  So, I’m going to make it a priority this year.  I have specific writing goals that I want to achieve this year.  The first one is the children’s book that I’m writing for a special little boy who really needs something good in his life.  My deadline for that is Valentine’s Day.  So, my first project already has a deadline, and that will help a lot with actually getting this done.


Exercise and Health.  I’ve been planning exactly how I will do this, with a list of videos from FitnessBlender, Billy Blanks and Denise Austin along with a schedule to follow that I came up with.  I need to do this first thing in the morning, as I can talk myself out of just about anything given the chance.  Usually a written schedule and list of goals helps a lot.  I’m hoping it will help with this.  I’ve got to set up an appointment and go to the doctor, since I haven’t had a physical for at least 10 years.  Also, I need to tweak my eating habits so I’m eating fruit instead of snacks; and go to bed earlier.

Work.  By the end of February I want to have my first coaching certificate, and begin working on my second one.  Also, I have to set up a business, have a website and begin getting clients.  I’m really nervous about this.  Hence some of my stress.  I have no idea how to do this.  I’ve been looking up lots of information about it, so at least I won’t be starting from scratch.


So, that’s it.  What are your goals for the New Year?  Let me know in the comments below.  And, good luck to you all!

The Benefits of a Cold Shower


I know, I know!  The weather is getting colder, and hopping into a nice warm (if not hot) shower in the morning seems like a right.  After all, we leave a nice warm bed and it’s only reasonable that we should be able to enjoy a nice hot shower before the indignities of the day assault us.  However, as a person who actually gets up and works out in the morning, I’m here to make the case for colder, if not cold showers.

Many people enjoy extremely hot showers in the morning, but that’s not really of any benefit to your health.  My son takes such a hot and steamy shower that I can’t even go into the bathroom for about half-an-hour after he leaves.  We don’t have a venting system in there – I wish we did, but we don’t.  There is scientific evidence about the benefits of a cold shower to your health.  The shock of the cold water increases your oxygen intake because the shock brings about deep breathing which in turn increases your oxygen intake.  This also helps in increasing your energy level.


Cold water helps to prevent the skin and hair being stripped of natural oils like hot water tends to do.  Also, the cold water helps in the appearance of skin, helps it not get dried out, and keeps it looking younger.  Not too shabby if you’re worried about looking older.  Another benefit is that the cold water increases our blood circulation, which increases the amount of blood that goes to organs, which of course is a rather important benefit.  Another benefit is that it stimulates weight loss by shocking our systems.  Cold water also has a benefit that for someone who suffers from pain is wonderful.  It relieves muscle soreness and promotes recovery after exercise.

Jumping into a cold shower also relieves stress by decreasing the level of uric acid (too much uric acid is known as hyperuricemia) and can cause gout along with liver and kidney disease and cell death.

Another benefit of cold water showers is that it helps to alleviate depression.  The cold water sends electrical impulses to the brain which translates that into a mood stimulant.  Of course, this is not a “cure” for depression, just another benefit to cold showers.  And, who can’t agree that a mood boost first thing in the morning is a good thing?

My own showers tend to start out slightly warm and then gradually get colder and colder until at the end I’ve got it as cold as it goes.  Of course I understand if you don’t want to subject yourself to such cold water, however, think of all the benefits.



The Importance of Affirmations


Because I have a negative person in my life that I can’t run away from, I’ve started saying affirmations in earnest.  This person has really eroded my sense of self-worth to a dangerous level.  At this time, the only way that I can “fight back” is to say affirmations several times a day.  By working on myself, I hope to dilute the effect that his words have on me.


So, since I like to research things I thought that I’d find out if affirmations really do work, and if so how they work.  Anything to boost my belief system, right?  It turns out that affirmations help how we feel about ourselves on a subconscious level.  That subconscious level is where our belief systems “live”, if you will.    If we can change those beliefs, we can affect our thoughts about ourselves, and in turn affect our lives.

Another important thing about affirmations is that they must be said in the “I”, and in the present.  One of my affirmations is “I am a worthy person.”  As you can see, it’s said both in the “I”, and also in the present.  Another important thing is that the affirmation must be positive.  No negative thinking, as that it what you are trying to change.  There is another way to making the affirmation work.  If you use an emotional word as part of your affirmation, this will help make the change that you want to make.  My parents often told me that I was “worthless”, so affirming that I have worth is an emotional statement for me.


One of the most important things about saying affirmations is that you should say them at various times throughout the day.  I say mine five times, five times a day.  I also say them a few times while I’m lying in bed trying to go to sleep at night.  I have kept my list of affirmations to just five.  By keeping the number of affirmations short, I don’t feel like I’m spending too much time saying them.  For me this number seems to be just about right.

Do you use affirmations?  Have you found that they’ve helped you?  Let me know in the comments below.