Sunday link round up

For your convenience and reading pleasure: a round-up of all the articles that SwanWaters has shared this week.

Happy Sunday!

May 14 – May 20

GIRAFFE – popshotThis link opens to a moving poem about the rhythms of pain and healing in our mental health journey. 

The Balance Between Being Prepared and Being AnxiousOnce you’ve experienced abuse, it can be difficult to tell whether some threats are real or imagined. Here are a few ways to figure out which is which.

The Basics of Coping with Emotional Abuse“The first step in coping with a toxic person is accepting the fact that their behavior will not change. The only thing you can change is your attitude and behavior around them in an attempt to defuse the situation. The best you should hope for is managing the relationship.” 

Taming Your Inner Miss TrunchbullWhen you think about healing as a set of skills that you learn to overcome trauma and cope in the real world, you want to make sure that your teacher is someone you feel safe with. If your aim is to teach yourself these healing skills, would someone like Miss Trunchbull from Matilda be helpful and encouraging to you on this journey? No, right? But that doesn’t stop us from treating ourselves with the same anger and disrespect she treats everyone else with in the book and film. What we need to do is channel our inner Miss Honey. Read this article to learn how to do this.

PTSD and Sexual Trauma Therapy: When Sex is a TriggerFor survivors of childhood sexual abuse, adult assault, and other sex-related abuse, it can be difficult to enjoy a healthy sex life if there is trauma still to be dealt with. This article is a great resource for people who find themselves wanting to heal this trauma.

FREE download of Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map bundleIf you know me, you know I’m all about DL. She is amazing. And so are her products. The Desire Map is probably her most well-known one and for good reason. You can get it in digital format at the link above!

For Lack of a Mother’s LoveMothers who can’t love their children is a topic I’ve given a lot of thought to. And one of the biggest conclusions I’ve come to is that it is a reflection of who they are not who we are as their children.

This week’s Pint-Sized Healing Podcast (and other Pint-Sized Healing Resources)—Generally between 5-10 minutes of information that translates into skills development and empowerment for survivors of emotional abuse.


 

May 7 – May 13

Drew Barrymore on Worst Experience, and now feeling ‘Pretty Complete’—The SwanWaters team adores Drew Barrymore. To be honest, though, we don’t know many people who don’t. She had it tough as a kid. But in this video you’ll see that she really took charge of her life.

How Your Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Your Health and RelationshipsBarry Goldstien and Andrew Willis (campaigners against domestic violence) join Aubrey in this podcast episode to discuss how childhood struggle and abuse are linked to poor mental and physical health in adult survivors.

3 Ways to Build Confidence After AbuseIn this piece, Aubrey explains that building confidence after living as a target of abuse can be done through helping others and putting your focus on others. You have to start by helping yourself and finding stability. But once that’s done, you need to find those things that you have to offer the world. And this will help you feel great about yourself!

Mother’s Day for the Motherless by ChoiceI know from personal experience how hard Mother’s Day can be. I don’t have a relationship with my mother, and if I did it would be nothing but trouble. So around this time of year, I give myself permission to feel however I need to feel (sad, relieved, angry, etc), but also to be the mother to myself that I never had. Read this if you want to learn how to do this for yourself, too.

How to Turn Post-Traumatic Stress Into Massive GrowthIn this piece for Ascent, Mental Health advocate Steve Fogler (who witnessed the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001) shares how he spiraled into complete Post-Traumatic Stress after this experience, and how the strategies he implemented to heal himself.

10 Ways to Start Your Healing JourneyAsk anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I believe healing takes time, self-compassion, hard work, and willingness to sift through memories (even if it’s painful). In all honesty, the only way out of the darkness of emotional pain and trauma is through. But you can do it, and here are some ideas on how you can.

For Lack of a Mother’s LoveMother’s Day brings up a lot of powerful emotions for those of us with toxic relationships with our mothers. If you’re trying to come to terms with the way your own mother has made you feel unlovable, this article provides you with some ideas on how to understand that while you may feel that way, it doesn’t make it true.

This week’s Pint-Sized Healing Podcast (and other Pint-Sized Healing Resources)—Generally between 5-10 minutes of information that translates into skills development and empowerment for survivors of emotional abuse.


 

April 30 – May 6

Abusive Religious Leaders and Their Many MasksIn this piece, Carrie talks about her experience in an abusive church where the pastor used different abuse strategies to break and control her congregation members. She also talks about how to be in group settings and recognise whether or not they are safe.

Help! There’s a Bully in My HeadReclaiming your thoughts after experiencing abuse is one of the toughest things about healing. Even though your abuser may be gone physically, they can still have power over you in the form of memories and negative self-talk. Here are some tips on how to change this.

Why I No Longer Believe There is Something Wrong With Me“My belief system (which fuels those not-so-nice thoughts listed above) was formed by the tragic death of my mother when I was three-and-a-half years old and by my rageaholic cocaine-addict father . I internalized Mom’s death and Dad’s crazy behavior (trust me, it was bad) the only way I knew how to: I thought I was the problem.” – Zachary Goodson.

 For Lack of a Mother’s Love—When someone who is supposed to love you abuses you instead, it can be so confusing. It can also leave you wondering what was so wrong with you to make them want to treat you in such a way. It may be hard to believe, but their behavior is a reflection of them, not of you—and it is especially not a reflection of how you deserve to be treated.

Recovering from Abuse to Live a Full LifeIn this interview with The Grass Gets Greener, Larry Ruhl shares his story about overcoming a childhood of all sorts of abuse to go on to live a healthy, adult life. 

Mother’s Day for the Motherless by ChoiceMother’s Day can be really tough for those of us who have had to cut off contact with toxic mothers. Just because they’re not in your life anymore doesn’t mean you don’t love them (or want their love) on some level. Here you’ll find some tips on how to navigate this holiday.

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a LifetimeScience proves the following to be true: people who experience childhood trauma are more likely to experience mental illness and life-threatening diseases than people who aren’t. Stress literally kills. Thankfully, though, healing is possible.

4 Ways to Start Journaling for Emotional HealingIt’s astonishing how little access there is to mental health support in our society. But journaling is a great tool that doesn’t cost more than a pen and a notebook which is why I highly recommend it (and four ways you can get the most out of it).

How to Cut Ties/Get Over SomeoneSinger-songwriter and YouTube sensation, Dodie, created this heartfelt video for a friend of hers who was going through a breakup at the time. It’s quite beautiful and practical.

This week’s Pint-Sized Healing Podcast (and other Pint-Sized Healing Resources)—Generally between 5-10 minutes of information that translates into skills development and empowerment for survivors of emotional abuse.


April 23 – April 29

This week’s Pint-Sized Healing Podcast (and other Pint-Sized Healing Resources)—Generally between 5-10 minutes of information that translates into skills development and empowerment for survivors of emotional abuse.

Join Our Facebook Discussion GroupA closed Facebook group people experiencing abuse—or trying to rebuild their lives after it— to come together with the SwanWaters team and our hundreds-strong community of fellow survivors to learn, heal, and grow together.

Abuse DictionaryAbusers and other toxic people are known for innuendo, manipulation, aggression, and passive aggression. Does someone in your life say one thing, but it feels like they’re actually insinuating something much crueler? Or maybe trying to put you on a guilt trip to try and control your behavior? We have created a resource to help you translate what these people are saying into what they actually mean.

Dr. Phil’s Message to Anyone Stuck in an Abusive Relationship: Violence is ‘Not an Option’This heartbreaking video of Dr. Phil speaking with a woman in a domestic violence situation moved me to tears. Are you familiar with justifying abuse (psychological, verbal, violent, sexual) in order to survive or protect the abuser that you care about? You’re not alone. But as Dr. Phil says, it’s not an option when you’re in a healthy relationship.

Dear SwanWaters – No ContactYou know what? If you cut contact with your abuser, it is very possible that you may end up missing them. You know what else? That’s totally normal. You are only human, and it’s natural to miss those we have been attached to—even if they mistreated us. 

In Honor of Freedom Day—If you have been out of an abusive relationship for one week, one month, or one year, what can you do to celebrate it? “I grabbed my freedom three years ago, and my partner and I have been celebrating today. We celebrated a life free from the pain, drama and toxicity.’ – Mags Thomson 

No Contact is Not as Simple as It SoundsThis is a podcast episode where Ese Ark joins me to discuss our own personal experiences with No Contact and to give advice on how to go about it (as well as deal with the aftermath).

Oprah Talks About Why She Has Cut People Out of Her LifeIn this video, Oprah explains that cutting people out of her life is not just about being mean, but an exercise in being responsible for the kind of energy that she allows to influence her. And people who carry negative energy around with them are not the kinds of people you want around.

It’s Okay to Miss the Toxic Person You Cut Out of Your Life, But Read This Before You Give in and Text ThemHave you ever missed the person who abused you so much that you’re tempted to reopen the lines of communication? Just to hear their voice or hug them again? We’ve all been there. But consider the following: toxic people depend on our compassion and empathy to drive us to give them an inch so they can take a mile—and ultimately start abusing us the way they did before.

Counting SproutsIn this teeny little post, I share a memory from my childhood that sums up the importance of perspective—with a story about Brussels sprouts.

The Day That Forever Changed My LifeChoosing to leave my family behind was the most daunting experience of my life. I didn’t know if I could make it without them. I believed I needed them to be okay in the world. But when I went No Contact, it was incredible! The freedom I experienced was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. If I can take the leap to freedom from abuse, so can you!

Dear SwanWaters – The WeddingIn response to a letter about the writer’s fear of running into their abusers after going No Contact, I share some advice and strategies that I have learnt from my own experiences of having to navigate such situations. 

How to Cut Ties/Get Over SomeoneThe YouTube famous singer-songwriter, Dodie, created this video fro a friend of hers who was dealing with a breakup. But she included advice for people going No Contact, too, because many of the same principles apply. Definitely worth a look!


April 16 – April 22

This week’s Pint-Sized Healing Podcast (and other Pint-Sized Healing Resources)—Generally between 5-10 minutes of information that translates into skills development and empowerment for survivors of emotional abuse.

Join Our Facebook Discussion Group—A closed Facebook group people experiencing abuse—or trying to rebuild their lives after it— to come together with the SwanWaters team and our hundreds-strong community of fellow survivors to learn, heal, and grow together.

Abuse Dictionary—Abusers and other toxic people are known for innuendo, manipulation, aggression, and passive aggression. Does someone in your life say one thing, but it feels like they’re actually insinuating something much crueler? Or maybe trying to put you on a guilt trip to try and control your behavior? We have created a resource to help you translate what these people are saying into what they actually mean.

Everything JournalingIn this article, the team have put together a power post jam packed full of our own (and external) resources related to journaling. From fun and creative ideas to get the most out of your notebook collection, to using your journal as a tool to heal from abuse, their is something here for everyone!

No Contact is Not Always Easy“No contact is not always easy. There were times when I’d feel so utterly alone in the world, so disconnected.” – Mags Thomson

5 Rules for Cutting Negative People Out of Your Life—Jen from xoJane has written a great piece here (a kind of how-to guide) for people who don’t know the exact, practical steps that can empower them to get free of toxic people.

The Best Way to End a Relationship and Ethically Cut People Out of Your Life—Dr. Isaiah Hankel shares some of his insights about behaving with maturity and integrity while bringing an end to those relationships that must come to an end.


April 9 – April 15

This week’s Pint-Sized Healing Podcast (and other Pint-Sized Healing Resources)—Generally between 5-10 minutes of information that translates into skills development and empowerment for survivors of emotional abuse.

Join Our Facebook Discussion Group—A closed Facebook group people experiencing abuse—or trying to rebuild their lives after it— to come together with the SwanWaters team and our hundreds-strong community of fellow survivors to learn, heal, and grow together.

Abuse Dictionary—Abusers and other toxic people are known for innuendo, manipulation, aggression, and passive aggression. Does someone in your life say one thing, but it feels like they’re actually insinuating something much crueler? Or maybe trying to put you on a guilt trip to try and control your behavior? We have created a resource to help you translate what these people are saying into what they actually mean.

Morning Pages – Daily Journaling for ClarityJules in Life discusses the ways she uses Morning Pages (an exercise developed by author of The Artist’s Way—Julia Cameron). She explains how doing this exercises help her to do the following: process raw feelings and thoughts, recap her previous day, making to-do lists, gratitude journaling, recording dreams and aspirations, write out affirmations, and angry rant when she needs to. 

I Love Lists! My Top List-Making Tips and IdeasHolly Casto shares the way that lists go beyond just groceries and to-do. She helps us understand that lists can help us to stay focused, be accountable, and the way that things like lists and flow charts are actually a form of journaling because they give us a sense of satisfaction and catharsis.

Ways to Fill Your NotebooksIf you’re anything like me, you like notebooks. And maybe you buy them because you like how they look—without necessarily knowing what it is you’ll use them for. Well, Lavendaire takes us through her process of putting our pretty books to use for productive purposes including stream-of-consciousness writing for Morning Pages, a bedtime journal to process the day that has just passed, monthly highlights, and a gratitude/joy/success journal.

Anger or Bitterness?In this article, I discuss how important it is for targets and survivors of abuse to understand that anger has an important role to play in our journey of abuse. We were abused. So we, technically, have plenty to be angry about. And this piece is also a reminder—to those trying to overcome what was done to them—that we only run the risk of becoming bitter if we don’t find a way to give expression to anger in order to heal.

Everything Journaling—Each month,we like to pool together a combination of our free SwanWaters archived resources—and other, external ones from around the web—for you based on our monthly theme. These are the ones we’ve put together for you about journaling.

SwanWaters – Upcoming EventsWe host some pretty cool online events from time to time, and we’d love you to be a part of them. Check out our calendar at this link to stay up to date!

The House of MirrorsAbusers and toxic people are just like a house of mirrors in that their attitudes and strategies are based on the implementation of illusions; guilt, deception, and fear play a big role in this. Read more at the above link to find out a few strategies for understanding how the idea of ‘perception’ is what all abusive dynamics come into play.

4 Ways to Start Journaling for Emotional HealingI see the process of journaling as prunes for the soul; something to help me eliminate and regulate (but emotionally, of course). Getting my thoughts and feelings out on paper (or on keyboard) has been one of the most effective healing tools I’ve ever use. Read more about what journaling can do for you at the above link.

Reclaiming ForgivenessMost of us hate the F word. No, not that one. The other one: forgiveness. The idea of forgiveness has been used against us in many ways. Particularly as a way of defending abusers. This is why we need to reclaim it and let it mean to us what it truly means at its heart.

Write Your Way to Happiness—”The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.” – Tara Parker-Pope


April 2 – April 8

This week’s Pint-Sized Healing Podcast (and other Pint-Sized Healing Resources)—Generally between 5-10 minutes of information that translates into skills development and empowerment for survivors of emotional abuse.

Join Our Facebook Discussion Group—A closed Facebook group people experiencing abuse—or trying to rebuild their lives after it— to come together with the SwanWaters team and our hundreds-strong community of fellow survivors to learn, heal, and grow together.

Abuse Dictionary—Abusers and other toxic people are known for innuendo, manipulation, aggression, and passive aggression. Does someone in your life say one thing, but it feels like they’re actually insinuating something much crueler? Or maybe trying to put you on a guilt trip to try and control your behavior? We have created a resource to help you translate what these people are saying into what they actually mean.

Trust YourselfSurvivors of abuse are often hesitant to trust their own judgement because the person/people who abused them made them doubt their ability to see things as they are. That is actually an abuse strategy for destabilizing and then gaining control of someone. But we can bounce back from this with time and healing skills.

Here’s How to Use a Bullet Journal for Better Mental Health—A visually-pleasing Buzzfeed tutorial on how to design a bullet journal for the purposes of tracking mood, energy, and more for the sake of monitoring and improving upon mental health.

The Effects of Sharing My Story—“They say that your story is the key that can unlock someone else’s prison.
It is also the key to unlocking your own prison.” – SwanWaters

Why and When I Started Writing—This is my first post for #AprilLitWrit. It’s been exciting to delve more into my experience as an author, and gain greater understanding of my writing identity.

7 Journaling Prompts for Exploring Spirituality—“What is spirituality? According to the dictionary, “spirit” pertains to the incorporeal — the non-physical — and is often used interchangeably with the word “soul.” In our culture spirituality is often perceived as closely related to religious practice, but for the purposes of this article the definition of spirituality is broader and more abstract.’ – Amber Lee Starfire

Write Your Way to Happiness—”The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.” – Tara Parker-Pope

The Health Benefits of Journaling—“The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you. Begin journaling and begin experiencing these benefits…” – Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP


March 26 – April 1

This week’s Pint-Sized Healing Podcast (and other Pint-Sized Healing Resources)

Join Our Facebook Discussion Group

Abuse Dictionary

On Nonviolent Communication

Motivational Minute #45 – Encouraging Others

“Winning” is Relative

5 Phrases for Becoming Assertive

Tony Robbins and the #MeToo Rant that Went All Wrong

My Mind is Like a Haunted House

A Look at My Journey

Do Your Assumptions Affect How You Treat People

How to Handle Confrontation


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