Sun Breaking Through Clouds

Some of the things I do for Swan Waters can be considered rather relaxing. I spend some time every day looking through social media; reading a bit on this blog here, and bit on that website there. In fact, most days start with a cup of steaming coffee, some calming music, and me just browsing for interesting stories, inspiration, and resources for articles. This week, the Internet goblins were in a dark mood, though. Where usually I am quite happy when the goblins serve up new suggestions (in fact, that is how I found some real gems) this week the goblins broke my heart.

Cries in the Dark

On my Internet journey, I started to come across posts on various open-community platforms that had titles like Help, I Think My Mother Hates Me,  and My Partner Does Not Hit Me, Can He Still Abuse Me? With every click I realized how many people experience emotional abuse in some form or another during their lives. What really broke my heart, though, was that so many of these people received the most useless responses in the world. In fact, some responses were downright harmful! “Of course your mother loves you! all mothers do!”, or Just be a man and tell your wife to shut up. I imagined how lonely these Ugly Ducklings must be feeling. They worked up the nerve to reach out to the world, and the world confirmed what their Ducks had been telling them: it is in your head, and you are making it all up! It is you!

Kindness is Magic

This week made me realize how many victims need someone to hand them a ray of light;  validation of what is going on. I was reminded of a motto penned by Ricky Gervais: Kindness is Magic. So I picked up my broken heart, and started doing some magic. I started handing out some I-know-how-you-feels and some I-believe-yous. I put some of the resources I had found over the week to good use, and directed victims to information that may help them understand what is going on in their lives. And by reaching out, I could feel my heart beat a bit stronger again. Paying it forward is probably the best medicine for a broken heart, and certainly the best thank you note to the person that handed you light in your time of need.

The First Ray of Light

For me, that ray of light was handed to me by my partner. He started researching my parents’ behavior after some particularly nasty emails and phone calls. I remember that night vividly. He said,I have found your parents’ play book‘, and parked me behind a computer screen where I learned all about narcissism. That was the start of my journey to the light; away from the turmoil and hurt of emotional abuse.

So for the first time I am going to end this blog-post on a question: What was your first ray of light?

we love to read your comments below



Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.

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  1. Nova

    August 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    My first ray of light was stumbling onto other people, searching for answers just like me. The sudden realization that abusers don’t search for answers…..and abusers don’t change. Only I can change my reaction to the abuse. In the end, all I had to do was ….walk away. What freedom, what peace, what joy! Maybe the Eagles said it best:

    “So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.”

    I give thanks for each ray of light that shined into my heart: @Serenity, @Harmony, @Blackswan, @Mischief, @Monkey, @experienceingzen, @Niamh even @Swanadmin and more. 🙂 You are my rays of light, and now my light searches on for other hearts in darkness.

    Fly free and live in peace

  2. Amy

    August 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    The very first spot of hope I had was SweetViolet’s blog…where I recognized so many things in my parents that my head spun and I started crying! After emailing her, she helped guide me so much herself and also pointed me here, where I have all of you to thank. I’m still struggling (almost-constant migraines make that harder!), but I wouldn’t still be here, I don’t think, without you all…I can’t even name every one of you. My deepest thanks, forever. 🙂

  3. serenity

    September 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    The ray of light that changed my life for the best was giving a title to my mother’s behaviour – narcissism.

    That one word made sense of every day I have lived and has offered me a way out of misery and so far a four year journey into the light.

    It inspired me to know that I was not alone and that I have fantastic sisters (and brothers) who really care for me and with whom I can share my joys and disappointments as they understand them totally.

    Hurray for Swans! 🙂 and I look forward to finding more that can share our world.

  4. Louise

    September 13, 2014 at 10:20 am

    My realisation didn’t come in a ray of light—more a gradual dawning. The beginning was having my own children, and seeing myself in them—seeing the ‘good’ child that I’d really been, not the bad one my mother made me out to be. The next ‘ray’ came after a particularly nasty incident with my mother, when as a mother-of-four and in my mid-thirties I was reduced to a sobbing mess on the floor. I visited a psychologist who told me to ‘Close that door’, that is, close the door on the relationship with my mother. He also told me, ‘I think your mother has a severe personality disorder.’ This was the first time someone had ever told me that it was my mother and not me. I only put a name to her disorder when I came across Danu’s blog about Narcissistic Mothers about two years’ ago. Reading the things this type of mother did was just like reading the story of my life, and it all became clear.

    It’s still a hard journey, but I’m getting there. I’ve only just started telling my story, so I hope to visit here more often from now on. Thanks for setting it up. 🙂

    • Monkey

      September 13, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Oh atleastihadanicedad, how beautiful that your children allowed you to see positivity in yourself!

      Big hugs!


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