PHF Magazine July Issue 2018

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PHF Magazine

July 2018

We are Expanding! THE MYTH OF THE "CYCLE OF ABUSE" 5 Ways to Use 10 Steps to Start Lavender Oil for Depression and Healing From Anxiety. Narcissistic Abuse.

CONTENTS We Have Expanded Page 3 The Myth Of The "CYCLE OF ABUSE Page 4 10 Steps to Start Healing From Narcissistic Abuse Page 7 5 Ways to Use Lavender Oil for Depression and Anxiety. Page 14

PHF Magazine July 2018

WE HAVE EXPANDED OUR SERVICES!!! Precious Hearts Foundation has expanded services in Flagler County, FL, Duval County, FL and Dauphin County, PA. Volunteers are needed in all areas. Please refer to the website for the volunteer application.

THE MYTH OF THE "CYCLE OF ABUSE" This past week I came across a newly published article by a DV lecturer. I heaved a huge sigh of disappointment. It was all about "the cycle of abuse". I decided to post about the cycle on Facebook and hundreds of people responded. Most did not have correct information about current DV theory. I am always concerned when those who train others in this vital topic are not themselves well trained, so I want to share a bit about that here. The "Cycle of Violence" is a psychological theory of how DV abuse occurs in a relationship. It was developed in the 1970's by Dr. Lenore Walker, who wrote the book "The Battered Woman" and coined that term. Although the theory is not scientific, is outdated and is no longer used by experts in this field, it is still widely taught and referenced. (NOTE: The cycle in question is not what is known as "the intergenerational cycle of abuse", which refers to how a batterer models violence in the home and passes his distorted beliefs about and mistreatment of women down to his children.)

PHF Magazine July 2018


The Cycle of Violence theory holds that DV is cyclical, moving through three distinct phases over and over. The three original phases were Tension Building, Explosion and Honeymoon; they have been adapted by various persons and programs over time, as in the example below. The term "cycle of violence" has become ingrained in our culture and is now used to mean different things to different people. Often I hear it used in a victim-blaming way when someone says, "She really needs to break the cycle!" (Ridiculous. Even if there were a "cycle of violence", the victim is not the one who could break it. It's not HER behavior!) Also, if someone has been in more than one abusive relationship, she may be said to be in a cycle of "being attracted to abusers". Victims are not attracted to abusers. Abusers, however, are very attracted to survivors. They have been traumatized and may shut down emotionally and not assert themselves when threatened or harassed. If they were abused as a child, they may see the abuse as "normal" and expected. Most of the time, though, I believe the term is used by well-meaning folks who just don't know better. The term has crept so deeply into the lexicon and is tossed around so carelessly that no one usually questions it. As advocates, we need to proactively educate those who use this term, sharing that the cycle theory has long been abandoned by serious scholars.

There IS NO "cycle of abuse" in relationships with DV. Forty years of research and work have informed us and vastly increased our understanding of DV since the 1970's. Decades of listening to and learning from victims, and a great deal of excellent validated research, have changed our understanding dramatically. When the "Power and Control Wheel" graphic was created by Ellen Pence, Michael Paymar and others at the Duluth DAIP organization, it was based on the input of many victims and survivors. (See Ellen explain the wheel development here.) This wheel essentially replaced the cycle. Why? Because we learned that there are no predictable, repeating phases in relationships where domestic violence is occurring. If only it were that simple. Here's the reality. Abuse is constant; it does not happen in stages; it NEVER stops. It just occurs in many, many different forms. Most of it is not physical or even illegal. It is a systematic ongoing siege. The tactics may vary from moment to moment - abuse may be verbal one minute, physical the next, always financial, always emotional, sometimes sexual. However, there is ALWAYS VIOLENCE (power and control) being wielded by the abuser, there is ALWAYS TENSION although the levels may vary, and a HONEYMOON -

PHF Magazine July 2018


a time of sweet, intimate, mutual caring and sharing based on trust and love - NEVER follows violence. What used to be called the honeymoon phase of the cycle is actually just more abuse - a very purposeful, deceitful, manipulation by the abuser to prevent the victim from leaving him, reporting him to the police, or doing anything else that might make things hard result in consequences for him. It is not about his partner at all, and it is not about love. (Note: I use the terms him & her for simplicity, although that's not always the case.) The so-called Honeymoon phase is much more appropriately referred to as a period of "manipulative kindness". (A term learned in my own 1988 DV support group from facilitator and friend, Luana Trende Nery). The abuser may give gifts, make promises (at least in the early stages of the relationship) or "let" his victim do something or go somewhere for a change, but these are just subtle tactics of abuse, not random acts of kindness. He has no intention of giving up control or ending his domination & subjugation of his partner. Research tells us that until a victim begins to see through this charade, she is not likely to leave the abuser. This means it is VERY important that we educate victims to understand these behaviors. If you want to understand more about the vast complexities of domestic violence, I highly recommend reading the brilliant book Coercive Control by Evan Stark, a forensic researcher and professor at Rutgers University. He analyzes and examines the dynamics of DV in tremendous depth. You will come away with a much more sophisticated, richer understanding. In the Resources section below, you will find a video lecture by Professor Stark. Here's to always learning and growing in knowledge, Julie Owens

To read more about Julies amazing work with domestic violence, please visit her website:

PHF Magazine July 2018


10 Steps to Start Healing From Narcissistic Abuse You are here, which means you know you have suffered from narcissistic abuse. Don’t think I’m joking, I’m not as many people don’t understand what it is and are still suffering in their relationships. We can all suffer from abusive relationships whether it’s our parents or a personal relationship. We get sucked in because narcissists are charming at first fulfilling our wants and needs. They treat us like we are the most precious person they have ever met… until it changes and they reveal their dark side, but now it’s too late. We have fallen for them hook, line and sinker, unless you have been born to one, then there was never a choice and many of us suffer from growing up in an abusive family and don’t realize the damage that has been done to us until a trigger happens in our lives, suddenly it’s like a light bulb goes on. For me it had to be few light bulbs because I was so used to being abused that when people told me my mother “wasn’t quite right” I was confused and defended her. Trust me I don’t defend her anymore. I have been on a long healing journey, with many Ah-ha moments, times when I curled up into a ball and cried so hard I shook but now I feel invigorated and ready to meet life's challenges. I want to share with you some tips that have helped me on my journey.

1. Allow yourself to grieve and be angry. I didn’t have a choice with this one I was SO angry when I finally realized. I was angry with myself, my abusers. I asked myself so many questions, how could I have been so naive? Why did I allow people to treat me like that? And then there are those negative, little thoughts that nip and bite like am I really as useless, worthless, ugly as they say I am? You are allowed to be angry and grieve. It’s natural.

PHF Magazine July 2018



2. Learn simple techniques and self-soothing methods. These are so important to helping you heal! You need to choose what feels right for you. I strongly recommend mindfulness, meditations, yoga. Art therapy is an excellent tool as we discover our deepest, inner feelings when we just let our mind wander. It can uncover lost memories, hopes and dreams of what we want to bring into our lives. We can learn aromatherapy, which calms our senses or Reiki to clear out our chakras. Don’t forget, we can also use even the simplest forms of soothing methods to help us too, even just taking a soak in the tub can do wonders for the mind, body and soul. Use your favorite bath oils, bubbles or salts, relax and breathe in the scents. Let your mind drift to a place you love or have wanted to visit. You can play soothing music or directed meditations even the sound of waves lapping a sun drenched beach. These techniques and methods are yours to choose. Find out what works and feels right for you.

3. Go “No Contact” with your narcissist. This is a tough one, I know but it is essential. Some advise to go low contact but it’s not good to go this route because they will always find a way to wiggle their way back in or stand on the sidelines watching and waiting for a time to step back into your life, which is called Hoovering. Block them from all of your social media accounts, your phone… everything! It will be difficult at first because you are so used to them being there, there will be feelings of guilt, even though you feel angry. It can feel like a double edged sword but it’s worth it! I decided to go No Contact with my mother 6 years ago. I set a date giving myself a week to grieve her and then I held a 5 minute memorial for her around the fire pit in our backyard, saying that deep down I loved her and wished her the best for the future. I had written a letter to her, which I placed into the fire. It felt like a cleansing, a weight that had dragged me down for years felt like it lifted and that I had been able to give myself a sense of closure on it. Of course, there were many areas I still need to work on, like you will have but it’s a step… and one in the right direction. not enough.

PHF Magazine July 2018


4. Work on your self-esteem. When we start to recover from narcissistic abuse we find we have companions with us often called depression, anxiety and self-esteem. They walk with us everywhere, constantly nattering into our mind. We can’t sleep, eat. We don’t want to go out, often it feels like our bed is our best friend, after all it doesn’t just judge us, it just supports us with it’s warmth and comfort but that’s not a life. Our narcissist told us constantly that we were failures and useless, but why should we prove them right because they weren’t! You, yes, YOU survived a narcissist! Sadly, some people don’t. You, my friend, are a warrior! Some people feel it’s depression or anxiety where they need to start, I have found when I worked on my self-esteem, my depression and anxiety started to heal and yours can too. We also often mix up feelings of depression and anxiety with something else, a different emotion, like frustration, anger, loss, mourning. If we can pinpoint the emotion we have a better chance of understanding it and therefore confronting it and taking it to the next step of healing from it.

PHF Magazine July 2018


5. Set your new boundaries. How many times have you said yes to something and either didn’t want to say yes or regretted it later? You’ve lost count, I know. It is so much easier to say no because yes comes with so many subcategories, whereas a simple NO doesn’t. It sets a healthy boundary to something you don’t want or want to do. When the last time you said yes and added a boundary to it? “Yes, I can but…not right now, later, if…” As you start to heal you will understand where you want your boundaries to be, they don’t have to be hard and fast boundaries, never to be moved but healthy realistic ones. Do you take the challenge? Are your ready to set them? Today?

6. Detoxify. Oh! I heard that. That intake of breath. You are asking, why do I need to do that? Well, you have been carrying around so much baggage, mentally, physically, it’s time to detoxify your mind, body and soul ready for the new and improved you. Start to look at your old habits, which are useful to you and which are not. Did you spend so much time running around after your narcissist that neglected yourself? Time to level up and be brutally straight with yourself. Did you put on more weight than you are comfortable with? Did food become a comfort or alcohol? Did you let your gym membership lapse? When was the last time you gave yourself a treat, like a massage, nails done or a visit to the hairdresser to feel pampered? When did you let the negativity slip away like a heavy, burdening winter coat? It’s time to take care of you, yes you have permission to start looking after yourself. Detoxify, cleanse. Look at it like you are a butterfly,once cocooned but now getting ready to metamorphosize into a new you, a brilliant, bright colorful you!

PHF Magazine July 2018


7. Permission to forgive yourself. We are not talking about those around you, we are talking about you. It is time to forgive yourself. People can be brutal but not as brutal as we are to ourselves, that is a whole different level! We hear in our heads all day everyday the words that were repeated to us. We can malign, hate, distrust ourselves because we have been abused but it’s time to forgive. Forgive what we perceive to be our worst mistakes and undoings. If you grew up with a narcissist you weren’t taught any other way with relationships. If you had/have a relationship with a narcissist you can forgive yourself because they are charming, sweet attentive, loving and wouldn’t want that? It’s just that you couldn’t have possibly seen the dark side of them until they chose to reveal it to you. Forgive yourself, don’t keep beating yourself up, you are worthy of so much better in life.

8. Uncovering childhood trauma. More often than not we fall into narcissistic relationships because we simply weren’t taught anything different! How would you know what an abusive relationship is, if you grew up in and around abuse? You wouldn’t!

There are those who did have healthy childhoods and went into a relationship they thought was good, only to find out it wasn’t. For many of us though, we end up in abusive relationships because they feel “familiar” and because it’s resonates as to what we know. However, over time we get tired of struggling with the constant manipulation, gaslighting, verbal abuse and start to remove the blinkers from our eyes and discover a whole new bright shiny world out there with people who are genuinely kind, loving and supportive.

“When you say no to the wrong people, it opens up the space for the right people to come in.” – Joe Calloway

PHF Magazine July 2018


9. Learning the red flags. We need to learn the red flags of a narcissist so when we are ready to date again, we don’t fall into the same old trap, over and over. Just to cover this quickly, as I went into more depth in the post, 9 Traits of the Narcissist Personality Disorder You Might Recognize in Your Partner. Here are the top ten signs you have just met another narcissist: He/she will brags about previous relationships. He/she will flirts with others, often right in front of you. He/she is insensitive to you and what you might want or need. He/she is unwilling to seriously commit to you. He/she flaunts and uses you as a trophy. He/she simply uses you on a rebound. You know they are only using you for sex. He/she constantly puts you and others down.

That’s just a start of a long list, but they are flags to watch out for in the future!

PHF Magazine July 2018


10. Listen. Finally, we are on the the last step which is listening. When we stop to listen to people talking, really listen we can suddenly see flags emerging. You suddenly hear me, me me in conversations, when you do take a step back and watch. You have been in an abusive relationship, you know what one looks like and sounds like. I called this post 10 Steps to Start Healing From Narcissistic Abuse because you have now started a journey to healing, KUDOS to you! It’s not any easy journey, it will be very difficult sometimes but the best ones are the toughest, ones where you laugh, cry, scream but it’s worth it, trust me I’ve been there, in the trenches. Life isn’t constantly puppies and rainbows. No-ones is, but you can find a life where you feel good about yourself, where you want to get out of bed and start a new day. You will find you can look in the mirror without hating who you see. What has been you biggest challenge in healing? Please share if you know someone who is struggling with self-esteem..

PHF Magazine July 2018


5 Ways to Use Lavender Oil for Depression and Anxiety. Scents are incredibly provocative. They can transport us to a place of calm, of memories past. They can help us when we feel stressed, panicked or anxious. The scents of essential oils can help us heal and re-balance ourselves when times are feeling turbulent. We think of stress as a state in which we can be agitated, angry, anxious, tense or fearful but, given time, we can become listless and depressed. It is so easy to reach for prescriptions and sedatives, but these can dull our senses and then we sometimes find we actually need to be aware, to be awake, and to be alert so we can handle what is going on around us.

Scents can have a very powerful effect on our emotions and mood. Essential oils are volatile oils that contain aromatic molecules that are able to cross the blood/brain barrier. Hence their direct effect on the parts of our brain that control stress, anxiety, fear, and depression. Although severe cases of depression or anxiety cannot be cured through the use of essential oils alone, they can definitely help you on your way to reduce stress and relax body and mind. Essential oils cannot replace medication, talk to your doctor but they can help you feel calmer and relaxed. One of my favourites is Lavender Oil (lavandula angustifolia). It invokes the feeling of calm and August, hazy summer days. Lavender is a true curefor-all. It helps with headaches, migraine, fear, anxiety, depression, nervousness, hypertension, and insomnia.

PHF Magazine July 2018


1. Breathe in deep.

This may be enough to help you change your focus, and hopefully, help you to feel calmer within yourself. This method is especially good if you are feeling anxious. 2. Add to your shower. If you try adding a few drops of your favourite oil to the floor of your shower, your whole body will be immersed in an essential oil steam. Energetically, this will cleanse your aura and have a positive effect on your mind and emotions. Just cover the drain with a cloth or your foot for a couple of minutes, and breathe in the medicinal goodness. 3. Take a little with you. Put a couple of drops onto a scarf, handkerchief or cotton pad and take it with you, or tuck it into your pocket. 4. Try a nourishing body oil blend. Add 7-8 drops of essential oil to a small bottle of carrier oil, like Almond oil. When you feel stressed just open the bottle and sniff! Or dab a little on your wrist. 5. Pretty little oil burner. You can place some drops of your favourite oil into the well, place a tea light under, it and let it slowly the warm the oil. Soon your space will be pure calmness and happiness.

PHF Magazine July 2018