Phf magazine january 2018

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PHF Magazine

January 2018

We would like to Welcome Chief Commander Steve Brandt

Abused Men: When relationships turn bad Do you have an abusive narcissistic 4 Self-care Tips for parent? Finding Yourself Again After Abuse.

CONTENTS We Would Like to Welcome Chief Commander Steve Brandt. Page 3 Join us for a Picnic in the Park. Page 4 4 Self-care Tips for Finding Yourself Again After Abuse. Page 6 Abused Men: When Relationships Turn Bad. Page 9 Do You Have an Abusive Narcissistic Parent? Page 12

PHF Magazine January 2018

Precious Hearts Foundation News We are excited and feel honoured to welcome a new board member to Precious Hearts Foundation! Chief Commander Steve Brandt, is a 23-year veteran of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and was named Officer of the Year by Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida. “Throughout his career, he has consistently demonstrated exemplary police work and leadership,” Sheriff Jim Manfre said of Brandt. “I am extremely proud of Commander Steve Brandt and all of his accomplishments.”

Quote and picture from

PHF Magazine January 2018


Join Us For a Picnic In The Park Don't forget to mark your calendars for our upcoming event, Picnic in the Park in St. Augustine. Vendor information, call 904-762-7959 Or email us at: Join us on social media: (Click on the links below)

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PHF Magazine January 2018


4 Self-care Tips for Finding Yourself Again After Abuse. Many people think when we are abused and we have left the relationship everything is alright, you are safe, saved, alive. Those of us who have been through it know that’s not the end, there isn’t an “end” as such. It now becomes a case of finding out who you are. In many cases, we have lost our identity in the relationship. We need to find ourselves again.

What do we like? What did we like before the relationship? Did we have hobbies, like drawing, colouring? Did we ride our bikes and feel the fresh air? What music did we like before we chose “our song” with our partner? Did we even dress differently before the relationship, but we changed it to make our partner happy or because they demanded it of us? Finding the courage to leave a relationship takes a lot of strength. To suddenly walk a different road, take a new path, a new journey, but when we do have to find the time to heal and discover ourselves. We can go to therapy, there are so many choices of therapy out there today from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming, Psychotherapy and Counselling. There are also simple therapies we can do for ourselves too very cheaply, especially if we are living on a budget. PHF Magazine January 2018


Art Therapy


It is often termed as a distraction therapy, meaning it becomes repetitive. Colouring books are a great example, we sit and colour pictures, slowly our mind drifts from being anxious to concentrating on colouring the picture. You don’t need to go and purchase an expensive colouring book, pictures can be found free on the internet to download and print, all you need then is some inexpensive colouring pencils.

Write your heart out! Keep a notebook which you can carry with you. Every time something happens or you discover something new, write it down. You can encapsulate your emotions into words. You can scream and cry out onto the page, your page! It is amazing to look back on it after a year, you’ll be amazed at just how far you have come on your journey of healing! We sometimes think we are not getting very far, but by taking our baby steps at first, they slowly mount up and become an amazing journey of self-discovery!

Mindfulness This is wonderful, it is very hard to become calm again. We experience the emotional tornado of leaving our partner, that seems to be normal to live on adrenaline but we cannot live in a hyper state for long periods of time, we would burn out. We can also experience panic attacks, which if you have had one, you know it’s incredibly difficult. We hyperventilate, can’t control our breathing, the next thing we know our chest hurts so bad and the world is starting to spin. If we can practice mindfulness when we feel calm, then when the panic attack starts to happen we can tap into a mindfulness exercise automatically after a period. It starts as simple as: breathe in counting to four, hold for the count of four and release for the count of four, all the while concentrating on your breath and nothing else. You can play background music, or ocean waves to help you, but trust me, it does work!

PHF Magazine January 2018


Music Play music, music that we once loved and discover new happy music that makes us want to dance, smile and laugh like we hadn’t for a long time! We usually have a song that becomes “Our Song” in a relationship, we feel it defines what we have in feelings and emotions Songs and music are powerful, stirring memories and emotions. When I hear Alanis Morissette, it takes me back to my separation from my boyfriend, who became my stalker. The album became an anthem for strength. I remember belting out the tunes very badly, but it felt therapeutic giving me the strength to carry on another day. Find your new anthem, your new strength, sing loudly and out of tune. Let’s face it, how many times have we sang along to music in the car, thinking no-one can see or hear us? If they do? Who cares? This is about you regaining your strength, finding the new you.

When we talk about self-care, we are not talking about being selfish, we are talking about taking care of ourselves, long, warm bubble baths with delicious scents. Books of amazing, beautiful stories we can now read and have the courage to discover our fire within. The fire that someone tried extinguish, but it still burned, low and slow, the fire that gave you the courage to seek freedom. In self-care we are finding ourselves again, finding our perfectly, imperfect soul. We no longer want to be the person who entered into the violent, abusive relationship, we want to be a new version of who we are, stronger, happier, courageous. To shine like the truly wonderful survivor that you are!

You do have the love within to find yourself again! PHF Magazine January 2018


Abused Men: When Relationships Turn Bad.

When the words “Domestic violence” or Domestic abuse” are raised in a conversation, what do you think? Oh poor woman, right? Not always the case and we need to keep our minds open to the fact that men suffer too. Think about men for a minute, we are told they are big, tough and strong. We think of the hunter gather, of Superman. The male stereotypical roles of getting their hands dirty, coming to the rescue, the knights in shining armor? They can be hero’s. They can also be the close friend, the companion, the loving husband/boyfriend.

Have you ever been somewhere and heard a woman telling her partner that he’s useless? I have. I have heard women ranking on men. “You’re useless, no good, hopeless” “You’re ugly, stupid” “Why did I marry you? My mother told me not too!”… Verbal abuse. Try this one… I have seen it… The woman tells the partner just how useless he is and finishes it with a slap… across the shoulder, the head... It’s okay he can take it, he’s a man... NO! Wrong, he can’t, he shouldn’t have to.

PHF Magazine January 2018


Do you know that men are abused just like women are and yet it hardly ever hits the headlines. How many shelters do you think there are for men? Let me tell you not many, Google it, you’ll be surprised. Here’s food for thought… do you know there are more shelters for animals than there are for abused men? When men do call and ask for help they are often talked to as if they are the abuser and not the abused. If you think domestic violence is a female secret domain, think again, it’s worse for men. I know a man who stayed with his wife for the children, she was an alcoholic. One evening, drunk she threatened him, pulled out a kitchen knife against him. He still loved his wife and thought one day she would be the loving, kind, funny person he married. He hoped and wished for this more than anything, that she would find her way back, he tried everything. But this one night she turned on him again, just like she had beaten and verbally abused him before. This was Domestic Abuse. The neighbors called the police, they came to the house like they had several times before. His wife screaming on the front lawn at him. The police tried to calm the situation down but the wife was hysterical and the police turned to the husband and told him to leave… I’ll repeat that… told him to leave. He was sober, she was drunk. She stayed with their children in the house, while he looked for a motel to stay at for the night.

“His children saw a lot

of it, but not all it, when he left he was racked with guilt and sadness, even though he wasn’t the abuser but the abused”

For this man it was an ongoing long story, but he managed to leave with the help of friends and family and eventually gained custody of the last underage child. People told him to defend himself, “If she hits you again, hit her back” but he didn’t, even when she dug her nails in down his face, leaving marks that will always be faint but will be always there. He said after wards that no-one ever really knew what was going on, how terrifying it was. His children saw a lot of it, but not all it, when he left he was racked with guilt and sadness, even though he wasn’t the abuser but the abused.

Domestic violence against men is silent, much more than the violence and abuse against women. They feel ashamed, no-one listens or takes them seriously. They are told “But you’re a man!” most men are brought up being told to “Never hit a woman”, true, but neither women or men should be abused or violated.

PHF Magazine January 2018


Men hurt, cry, and have feelings too. Men are not emotionless robots that can be verbally abused, hit upon, beaten or violated. Women are told to be strong, to defend ourselves, to not take abuse from anybody. To be powerful and determined, but not at the price of a man’s emotional and physical welfare. People hurt... women, children and men, all hurt equally‌

If you have a friend who is being abused, please reach out. Not enough people do and too many men are hurting, dying. Be the difference in someone's life.

PHF Magazine January 2018


Do You Have an Abusive Narcissistic Parent?

A few years ago I wrote a simple post on Facebook because it suddenly hit me that this year I wouldn’t be receiving a Christmas card from my mother… I did a little jump for joy! Good!

Every year my mother would send me a Christmas card, in it would be a little note: “Dear Claire, Hope you are well. Geoff is fine. I see Dad, but he’s not well, don’t think he’ll make it past Christmas. Love Mum.”

“She has introduced

herself to my friends in the past as the ‘Wicked Witch of the North’”

PHF Magazine January 2018


This was her gift to me every year while I lived in New York. I think you’ll agree the note is very warm, heartfelt and just filled to the brim with emotion. This is a woman who has been emotionally abusive, psychically violent and manipulative throughout my life. I’ve found it comes with a mental health term too! It’s called a Narcissism and Borderline personality. Hey! Who knew? It turns out there is/was a reason for the behavior over the years. Now I know you think I’m being harsh but a couple of calls came into me at the time. One was an attorney who asked if I wanted to bring criminal charges against her because apparently I could. Secondly, I was asked to be a speaker at a child abuse event called Shattering the Silence Tour in Harlem in NYC. The first call knocked me sideways a little… think about it have your own mother arrested! Secondly, do a Child Abuse event? I wasn’t sexually abused as a child so how could I be of any ‘real‘ help? It made me think though, especially when I’d had an attorney call me. It turns out there are more ways to abuse a child. There is emotional and physical abuse. Let’s see, emotionally abused… Would that include the following?: Your father suffers from a brain aneurysm, never to fully recover and be placed into a nursing home, then to be told every month by your mother he’s dying and not going to make another 4 weeks… Every month for 10 years? Your mother says that if you move to be safe from a stalker threatening you and your children’s lives that she’ll pull Grandparents Rights in court so that you can’t move, that if he kills you and the children… Well at least your graves will be nearby… When you do move and find safety, to then call your children every morning and evening, telling them how Grandma misses you, cries on the phone, makes your children feel guilty for not ‘being there for Grandma’ and feel the need to return back to where they left to be safe with daddy because “Your mother’s not well” Tells everyone she knows that you are so mentally unstable that you will kill your own children.

PHF Magazine January 2018


Tells everyone she knows that you are so mentally unstable that you will kill your own children. Telling an ex-boyfriend’s mother you’re pregnant when your not just to “Get back at them!” Telling your ex-husband that you are mentally unwell as a Manic Depressive (Now more well known as Bipolar) should be put in a strait jacket and locked away. That if you get ‘Out of Control” then simply ‘Hit some sense into her.’ Tells friends and family lies about you so that they will walk away, not wanting anything to do with you because after all ‘You are mentally unwell and a danger to society.’ You are told: You will never amount to anything in life. You are not pretty, just very plain. You will never be a success at anything and why couldn’t you be more like her friend’s children? And the best one?… This was repeated a lot to me: ‘Whore.’ That last one is a pretty easy to understand, an all encapsulating word. Screaming at someone very close to you for having a miscarriage, as if it was all their fault. Those are not all, just a few as a taster… You see Narcissists will play a game of life so that everything revolves around them. My mother played it well, Oh poor me, my daughter is deranged, poor me! In the 2 phone calls she made to me in 10 years one was during Hurricane Sandy, if I’d picked up the call it would’ve have been a coffee clutch talking point, “Oh poor me! I have a daughter going through the hurricane!” See how that works? Physical Abuse? Lets see… Punching, kicking, pulling your hair, throwing objects across the room at you, like knives, forks… A hot iron. Example: You’re at an operatic event which you father is taking part in. It’s held in a small cricket pavilion filled with elderly people looking for an enjoyable afternoon. You tell your mother after 2 hours you have to leave. You try to make a fast exit because you get “The Look”. You make it to the small foyer with your children, only suddenly behind you, to get pulled down to the floor by your ponytail. She’s screams words like “Bitch!” very loudly so all the people stop talking to listen as to what is happening. Then come the punches, kicks, hair pulling and scratches. The memory is now rather vague as to who it was who pulled her off me.

PHF Magazine January 2018


Throwing someone very close to you through the front door (Which was closed at the time) maybe I should re-phrase that one and say: Used someone very close to me as a ‘battering ram’ through the glass door so they landed in the front yard…

“I stayed ‘good and true’ to my mother after dad became sick”

That’s just a couple of memories. Then there are some which I thought were normal until my husband pointed out that actually they were. To be given Green Label ale on holiday as a treat. That started when I was six. Christmas treat was being woken on Christmas Eve and given a martini and chicken sweet and sour at midnight because it would be good for me. Martinis really don’t taste that great when your kid. In England we call soda fizzy pop and juice is mixed cordials. These too were treats because we were normally given tea and coffee. When I was 7 years old I was told that the milk and sugar wasn’t going to be in the coffee anymore because allegedly it was bad for me, since then coffee has always been black, no milk, no sugar, drink of choice. Hey, you end up staying with some things you grew up, thinking it was normal for a 7 year old to drink black coffee, right? It’s funny now because doctors tell me not to drink it, a habit that’s been with me now for 44 years… Get real! I stayed ‘good and true’ to my mother after dad became sick, knowing what it was like being alone and scared. We did have one argument. I just wanted her to admit to the 10 year love affair she’d had. She’d always called him her ‘friend’. Please, I too have friends but don’t writhe around naked on the dining room floor with them in the middle of the day! That one was embarrassing to witness… I called every month to see if she was alright, to which I’d be told “Your dads dying”. I would hang up and cry every month, until my uncle told me to stop it, to kiss her goodbye. I mourned my mother quietly for a week, that weekend I sat around the fire pit with friends, taking her photos I placed each one into the fire and said goodbye to her. Wishing her no harm, now or in the future. Sending her blessings and love. She has introduced herself to my friends in the past as the ‘Wicked Witch of the North’. I know she likes to think of herself as a bitch to be reckoned with. The last few times that we spoke, two years ago she said she was going to marry Geoff because the pension she was getting just wasn’t enough money for her even though she said it would be like having to kiss a toad. Oh! don’t feel too bad for Geoff, he gets something out of it too! He moved from his mobile/park home into a brick and mortar house which she managed to get out of the divorce from dad. PHF Magazine January 2018


Now let’s see… Back to the Christmas note. My reply would be: Dear Mum. "I’m fine and I really couldn’t give a rats ass if Geoff’s okay or not. I know Dad’ll make it past Christmas cos the Nursing Home tells me so when I call there, Love Claire” Do I forget the past now? No. Do I forgive? I say be careful because ‘Forgiveness’ can be a heavy word to carry around. Seriously! Do you see how many letters make up that word! Especially at Christmas time (giggles) For the record, I am not nor have I ever been a Manic Depressive or Bipolar. My hat goes off to those who are, it must be incredibly difficult to live with and they are real heroes for coping with it. People often ask me how to cope with a narcissistic parent, the only answer that has worked for me is “No Contact”. You hear it so many times on social media, but I have found it to be true. I understand the 'Grey Rock Method' of trying to stay emotionally unattached or dissociated but it is difficult. I have tried so many times. A narcissist will pull in friends and family members around them to help with the manipulation and deceits, once you tell them you have no contact with your parent, I've found it's difficult for them to help perpetuate the abuse. How can you manipulate someone who is not interested in 'playing the game' anymore? Always remember as you take the path to healing that your bad relationship choices were not your fault if you grew up in an abusive, narcissistic family. You were taught at an early age abuse is okay, which is not. It is your time now, time for you to heal and if that means a choice of going no contact, know your strength in it.

PHF Magazine January 2018







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