Be Your Own Advocate!


I’ve been writing about self-education for a long time.  I truly believe that the more educated you are on a subject, the better off you are.  Do you check out the reviews of a product before you buy it?  How about ingredients on the side of a box at the grocery store?  Do you know what most of those ingredients are?  Are you the type to look something up if you don’t know?  If you are, then you’re definitely ahead of the game.

Knowing what your buying and/or ingesting is a good thing.  Finding about more about a disease you or a loved one may have is another good thing.  Educating yourself is always wise.  If you’ve got a long-term disease, keeping up-to-date on new ways to manage/deal with it is a great thing to do.


No one is going to take care of you.  Self-care is one of my problems.  I live I the land of denial at all times, and this has been a real challenge in my life. I’m really good at taking care of everyone else, but not so good at taking care of me.   As a quick example of this, my underwear drawer is full of torn panties.  I know what you’re thinking, but unfortunately, they were not torn in a fit of passion, they are just old. In my defense, I’m still losing weight and am waiting to drop some more to replace them with a hopefully smaller size.

Being your own advocate can be hard.  This means that you have to take responsibility for yourself, whether it be at work, at home, in relationships or with your health.  Being responsible is difficult.  However, think of the benefits (besides great underwear), you can influence in your own life.  Wouldn’t it be great to live the life you really want?  This is what being your own advocate can achieve for you.  Let me know what you do to advocate for yourself.  Let’s see if we can inspire each other!





This week was a little different.  I went to the mall with my daughter, and this time, I came home with two shopping bags.  Yes, me, yes, two bags!  A number of years ago, my son gave me a gift card from Victoria’s Secret as a Christmas gift, and I put it away in a safe place (because that’s what you do with gift cards).  Even though I understand that it’s to a woman’s benefit to have her bra size checked every few years, I haven’t had mine checked since I first started wearing bras – more years ago than I want to remember.  I buy my bras from Walmart, and even though I’ve breast-fed two babies, gained more weight than I want to even think about, and have been feeling (seeing) the effects of gravity, I’ve still been simply guessing at bra size, throwing my shirt on, and trying to forget about it.  If you can’t see it, it’s not there, right?

Victoria's Secret

So, I screwed my courage to the wall, took a deep breath, and got sized.  You know what?  The woman who helped me was so nice, caring and understanding that I almost cried.  Yep, having someone else take care of me does that to me.  Thanks to my son’s gift card I’m now the proud owner of two bras that make me look pretty good – gravity be damned!  But, for those of you out there who love to get freebies, I also got a pretty beach cover-up and a beach tote for FREE!  So, after years of hemming and hawing, I just so happened to pick a freebie day!  Wow!


My second bag was for a ten-dollar black sleeveless duster, much like one the wonderful, worldly wise Miss Fisher would wear.  I’ve been looking for one of these for quite some time, and found it in a store that sells everything for the princely sum of $10.00.  So, it was bargains all around.  What a great shopping experience!


For someone who absolutely hates shopping, this was one day for the record books.  Best of all, I now know my bra size and what a well-made bra looks like, so I can purchase some better bras now.  And, I get to swan around (somewhat) like the fantastic Miss Fisher! What a great day!

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.




Emotional and Verbal Abuse

No one can “give” you self-esteem, but the opposite is also true. Other people can batter your self-esteem into pieces. This is something that takes time to do, with carefully chosen words. But, it can be done. Physical abuse is ugly and everyone can see it. It is something that can be documented. Verbal and emotional abuse is never seen, and seldom heard. This abuse is hidden and often you don’t realize what it is until too much time has passed. By the time you understand what has been done to you, you either have little self-esteem left, or you think you are the crazy one. An abuser is often charming to everyone else, but nasty to you in private. This makes you question your own sanity.
Thinking you’re the one with the problem is incredibly easy for a lot of women. We’ve been trained to “fix” relationships, so we may spend a lot of time looking for flaws in ourselves in order to “fix” the relationship with an emotional/verbal abuser. Unfortunately, if you’ve been told something often enough, by someone you love, even though you may wonder if it is true, you will still believe it.
My advice is that if someone keeps telling you something about your flaws, that on a gut level you know sounds wrong, ask someone else. Listen to what that person says, and take their advice. Don’t take anything someone who you suspect is an abuser tells you at face value. Think about it, listen to your intuition and speak to another person. Then decide. You likely are not the crazy one.
Patricia Evans has written a good book about this subject that I suggest anyone who thinks they may be in such a relationship should read: The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond.

Earning Ability and Worthlessness

Often-times people judge others on their earning ability. Saying that those who make less, are of less value. This is happening to me on a daily basis. I am a highly educated women, who stayed home to raise, and home school her children. My kids went to school to grades five and two. Then due to a lack of textbooks in our local school, I home schooled each child until high school. They went to a smallish high school that had an excellent program. My kids didn’t “fall through the cracks”. They had a good education, and my daughter has chosen to go on to college. My son is working in a good career where he both earns good money and will be able to move up the chain of command, so to speak.
However, my earning ability, or lack thereof, is making my life difficult. I wrote before about how I worked with the elderly. I job that although important, and of social value, isn’t well paid. Someone close to me has decided that since my earning ability is low, I have no value as a human being. What I do other than work, also has little or no value. This is where the stress that I have been dealing with is coming from. I have done other things with my time. I’ve raised two children. I’ve written numerous short stories and an entire novel. However, because I haven’t made any money from them, they have no value. Just like me.
I thought that if I tried to transform my life by becoming more healthy, fit and happy within myself, I would be able to handle the stress of someone else finding me worthless. This is the point where I hit my head against the wall. Every time I try to transform. It seems as though I get to a certain point, and this person decides to make sure I am reminded over and over again exactly how valueless I am. In the past I’ve let this person steamroll over me, while I once again cringed in the corner, believing myself to be valueless.
Not this time. This time I am going to go on with my transformation. It’s been 28 years of this, and that’s too long to time to continue down the same path. No more.