Tag Archives: emotional abuse

2017 – The year the ice queen thawed so much she almost melted!!!!

I know , I know I’ve bored everyone with my 2017 was great going on. Personally for me it was a game changer. I found myself content with who I am, comfier in my own skin and quite inspired!

I wrote a blog post  a few years back about I identified with Elsa from Frozen ( it’s here poss worth a giggle) She obviously has a better wardrobe than me though. She had her ice palace and snowy bouncer to keep people away. Me , I had a self built metaphorical wall built 10 ft high around myself with big KEEP OUT signs plastered all over it. (I apologise in advance for how much I’ll use the wall analogy but that’s just how it is in my head )

I’ve been called cold quite a bit in my life. I know I’ve demonstrated being a little unfeeling and harsh at times.In reality I was just numb and turned off feelings to get me through tough times. It was a very unhealthy coping mechanism I know now, but it worked to get me through at the time.

Last year though , that KEEP OUT wall fell, hopefully never to be seen again.

I think the reasons were threefold

1) years of therapy

2)This blog , writing about the feelings I can’t vocalise means I do at least deal with them

3) The main one : good people

I’m incredibly lucky to have my sister , you all know how she’s my most favourite human . The woman is so good at advice and she doesn’t even realise she’s given it!!! Even during the wall years there was always a little catflap open for her to get in!!!

Over the past couple years though I have had people come into my life and ever so very,very gently with their kindness and patience and consistency take down that wall brick by brick. Not in like a wrecking ball (sorry Miley) smashing it quickly and brutally but more removing each brick one by one quietly and calmly so you don’t even notice until the wall is no more (sorry I did warn about the wall)

When you’ve been emotionally abused you often ignore kindness and acts of friendship and love. As always I can only tell my story, but I find acts of love and kindness overwhelming.

I don’t trust them.

I didn’t feel worthy of them for so long,I just assumed anything positive said about me was a lie.

You see in previous toxic relationships grand gestures had been thrust upon me . Affection was bestowed so intensely then used as a weapon withdrawn completely and cruelly as punishment. I didn’t want to put myself in that vulnerable position again.

I guess this is why my sister is so vital. I know she loves me and wants the best for me without question. I trust that about her and everyone needs that.

So it’s easy to put compliments down as insincere, you can disbelieve nice words, that’s easy …. Only sometimes people enter your life who don’t just take the ice queen at face value and leave her be.

For someone who has been emotionally abused THESE people are vital , the healers. Consistency is key – you can ignore compliments and kind gestures initially but when they are consistent and as low key as you need then eventually you begin to believe them. That’s when you let people in…..(wall alert) you’ll begin to pull down that bloody wall yourself because you want those people in. It’s a truly special thing and I’m grateful to have enjoyed that in 2017.

That ice queen is gone , hopefully for good. The woman who couldn’t have stood a hug is now a cuddle fan , she’s a bit slushy on the quiet , her cold little heart beats warmly.

It can be a lot to take letting these emotions in . I’ve become a bit of a cry baby and I feel in 4D …. I’m still a learner with these emotion type things but I’m getting there and I’m enjoying it!!!






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RIP Ice Queen.. It’s been (not at all) emotional 

I wrote a while back about how I identify with Elsa  from Frozen more than probably any other character (says a lot about a person I guess) it’s here if you fancy a read. I’ve always had a tendency to keep people at a distance and struggled with expressing my emotions.

Recently though things have changed a little. I think I’m thawing.

There are a few reasons for this and it seems as though they’ve all come together at the same time to make me me a little warmer and more able to deal with and express my emotions (about time too!)

Firstly this blog has helped enormously. When you’re putting yourself out there, even if it’s just to a few people, and sharing your feelings it does lower the barriers.
When I’m talking about the domestic abuse or sharing my struggles with anxiety, things I never dreamt I’d be able to talk about well that’s expressing my emotions isn’t it? It’s Pandora’s Box – like, once these things are out there there’s no putting them back in. I can’t regress to total emotionally uptight woman who can’t talk feelings.

Secondly, I’ve spoken on this blog more recently about how I feel a stronger, more mentally healthy woman than I have in a long time. It’s taken way longer than I expected to recover from toxic relationships but I’m finally here at the other side. Of course there’ll always be triggers, I’ll always have altered behaviours, there’ll always be memories that affect me. I’ve made peace with that now though. We’re changed by our experiences but I’m OK with that. I can be happy with the me I am now.

Another huge factor in shaking off the Ice Queen mentality is that my social anxiety has lessened. In fact I’d go as far as to say this is the major factor.

I’ve struggled with people for a long time. A throwback to feeling worthless and useless all the time.

I have lovely friends who I miss but never arrange to see, I made conscious effort to not make new friends, I back away from social occasions. It comes across as rude which makes me feel worse and ratchets up the anxiety yet further.

It was never about other people. It was about me. That I felt I had nothing to contribute to conversation, that I irritated people, that I bored people, that no one wanted me around they were just being polite.

Recently though I had a weekend home with my sister. It was a weekend filled with people and socialising. Catching up with family, meeting new people, seeing old friends who I’d not seen in way too long ALL my old anxiety triggers in one weekend. You know what? I had the best weekend I’ve had in ages. I like people, I want to connect with them. The Ice Queen woman kept everyone at a safe distance and I never want to do that again.

So all these factors have come together and really helped me to shake off the cold, distant woman I’d put in place.

I’m finally finding my feet and embracing myself (in a non literal way).

Maybe the Ice Queen was necessary for  a while  whilst I figured myself out, whilst I healed.

Maybe this new me isn’t new after all.

Maybe it’s the me I always should’ve been.

 How I say I love you…

I don’t know if it’s getting older ,or if it’s being all crushy over a guy for the first time in pretty much ever. I don’t know if it’s part of the identity crisis I’ve spoken of having because the children are all growing up and no one needs me like they once did. For some reason though lately I’m looking at myself in a different way,being a bit more reflective.

I worry , or did worry that I’m emotionally quite cold. Then I read a fantastic article in the Huffpost by Amanda Chatel about how people who have been emotionally abused love differently. It’s here if you fancy a look. Do. It expresses it way better than I’m about to try to.

I’d had it decided in my head for years that other than the kids and my sister I probably wasn’t capable of love. Hand in hand with that went the belief that I was emotionally numb , a bit cold and unable to receive or give affection. This article was quite timely for me as recently I’ve realised that maybe I was wrong. I am capable of affection ( and quite like it -weird) I’m not cold and unemotional , I feel a lot actually I just repress lots of it as strong emotion does unsettle me a bit. So I began the week on a bit of a high , telling everyone about my epiphany. Of course everyone who knows me well already knew all this. Have I ever spoken about my total lack of self awareness??

Love though? That was a whole other story.
Or so I thought , I again was wrong. I feel love for people I haven’t given birth to. Of course I do. I express it too. I just do it differently. The article I’ve mentioned is perfect as a general overview of how those of us who have been emotionally  abused will love that bit differently. I’m sure everyone who has been in this position could personalise it , we all have our own little ways don’t we? I thought I could share some of mine. This is how I express love (or deep affection at the very least…the L word still scares me a bit..babysteps..)

I touch you. It’s not going be a huge bear hug. I’ll brush your hand with mine , I’ll squeeze your shoulder, stroke your arm when I’m asking how you are.

I allow you to see my flaws. I don’t put on a perfect front with you or even attempt to be perfect with you. I trust you not to use my flaws against me and for me , that’s huge.

I show emotion around you , be that a tear or a giggle.

I look you on the eye when you’re talking to me about a problem. I’ve an awful habit of my eyes flitting when talking to people . It comes across as rude but it’s really not .It’s a self esteem thing. I was told what I said was unimportant and stupid for so long .I don’t want to see that look of boredom and irritation cross your face when speaking to me , even if it never will. I’ll always get over that when you need me to listen though. I need you to know that what you are saying is hugely important to me.

I’ll text or email or send you pics of things that couldn’t be less important. I want you to know some little daft things make me think of you . I’m also secure that you don’t think I’m an idiot for doing so.

I buy little gifts I think you’ll love. Silly things , just a way for me to say I listen to what you like!

I small talk with you (likely incessantly) People have hated the fact that I’m a chatterer and would shut it down immediately. When I’m talking nonsense to you it’s because I know you’ll not do the same

You see my expressions of love and affection are smaller , it’s low key and understated and from people who love me that’s what I want in return. No grand gestures – they terrify me.  Email me a link to a show or a book you think I’ll like. Ring me up with a funny story to tell me when you know I’ve had a rubbish day. Send me a Good Luck text when you know I’ve a big day ahead.

It’s such a complex , tricky thing love after abuse. You may never get an I love you from me but you know when you were ill and I made and brought you soup? or when I texted you a book recommendation I knew you’d love? or I remembered tiny details of conversation you told me that were important to you? Well that’s what I meant.


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