Archive for November, 2008

Abusive Relationships: How Friends and Family Can Help

November 25th, 2008

Table of contents for Abusive Relationship Help

  1. Abusive Relationships: What if You Still Love Them?
  2. Abusive Relationships: Situations-Symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome
  3. Abusive Relationships: How Friends and Family Can Help

This is Part 3 in the series. If you missed Part 1 and 2, please click the above links to read first.

Dr. Carver states that Stockholm Syndrome develops involuntarily-the victim does not purposely develop these feelings and responses. They are done to survive a threatening and controlling environment and relationship.

The victim’s self-worth and emotional health is so tied to the relationship that they believe that they would mentally collapse if the relationship ended. The more dysfunctional the situation, the more dysfunctional the victim’s adaptation to survive and make the relationship work. When the victim reaches the point of realizing that the relationship doesn’t work and can’t be fixed, they will need to loving support of family and friends to return to a healthy, positive lifestyle.

While each situation is different, Dr. Carver provides these guidelines for friends and family:

-Your contacts with your loved one may be met with anger and resentment. This is because each contact may prompt the abuser to attack them verbally or emotionally.

It’s often best to establish predictable, scheduled contacts. Calling every Wednesday evening, just for a status report or to go over current events, is less threatening than random calls during the week. Random calls are always viewed as “checking up on us” calls. While you may encounter an answering machine, leave a polite and loving message.

Remember that there are many channels of communication. It’s important that we keep a channel open if at all possible. Communication channels might include phone calls, letters, cards, and e-mail.

-Importantly, don’t discuss the relationship (the controller may be listening!) unless the victim brings it up. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Abusive Relationships: Situations-Symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome

November 24th, 2008

Table of contents for Abusive Relationship Help

  1. Abusive Relationships: What if You Still Love Them?
  2. Abusive Relationships: Situations-Symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome
  3. Abusive Relationships: How Friends and Family Can Help

This is Part 2 of 3 of the post regarding emotional ties that often keep a person from leaving an abusive relationship. It will cover the 4 main situations creating Stockholm Syndrome in controlling relationships and the resulting symptoms. If you missed Part 1, please click the above link to read it first. Part 3 will give guidelines for friends and family who wish to help.

As mentioned in Part 1 of this post, the feelings of love for the abuser are actually part of an emotional defense mechanism, as opposed to real love that exists in a healthy relationship. This emotional bonding is a survival strategy for victims of abuse and intimidation, though they are not fully aware of it happening.

To give thorough explanation of this topic of Stockholm Syndrome in controlling and/or abusive relationships, I’m going to refer to several quotes from an incredible article by Dr. Joseph Carver, Psychologist. The full article is many pages long, and very detailed. For those of you who desire to study this in more detail, a link to his full article is provided at the end of this post. Dr. Carver has a very beneficial website, and I’m sure we’ll be referring to it again in the future.

There are several symptoms to Stockholm Syndrome which will vary some with the individual. However, here are 5 Common Symptoms that Dr. Carver provided:

1. Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller

2. Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support them or win their release

3. Support of the abuser’s reasons and behaviors

4. Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim

5. Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser

Besides a hostage situation, the following 4 Types of Situations also occur in severely controlling, abusive relationships, creating the Stockholm Syndrome responses: Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Abusive Relationships: What if You Still Love Them?

November 20th, 2008

Table of contents for Abusive Relationship Help

  1. Abusive Relationships: What if You Still Love Them?
  2. Abusive Relationships: Situations-Symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome
  3. Abusive Relationships: How Friends and Family Can Help

A reader asked about how to move beyond an abusive relationship when you still feel love for that person.

This is actually a common feeling from people in abusive, or even just very controlling relationships. A prominent pastor’s wife in Atlanta filed for divorce when a relationship involving much emotional abuse evolved into a physical attack. She said that she still felt love toward him but decided to “take her love with her and leave” for her own welfare. A loved one of ours, after having decided some time ago to leave an abusive relationship is now feeling that he loves the other person in spite of the fact that his health, career, and family life have all been destroyed by the other person.

An initial step is to realize the difference between love and concern.

A friend in a bad relationship once had another friend tell him, “You care about her well-being, but it doesn’t sound like you really love her.” There is a major difference between love and concern. It is unlikely that you will feel completely devoid of concern over the person’s well being if you have shared a major part of your life or major events in your life with him or her. However, concern over his or her well being is not proof of the existence of a loving relationship.

People in emotionally or physically abusive situations often suffer from Stockholm syndrome, not just people in hostage situations.

In Stockholm Syndrome, the person in an abusive or controlling situation begins to experience a psychological response of defending the “captor” and showing loyalty to the abuser. (1) Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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A Perfect Father’s Love

November 13th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

Whether you need encouragement or want some ideas upon which to meditate, this poem is worth reading.

A website out of Amarillo, TX, took this collection of verses, wrote out the main points in simple English, and arranged them into this moving poem. Receive from it whatever you need today. A link to their site is at the end of the post.

You may not know Me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in My image. Genesis 1:27
In Me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are My offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in My book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know Me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is My desire to lavish My love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are My child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from My hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Better Self Esteem: A 12 Day Plan

November 12th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

A specific plan of action can help energize your thinking to better self-esteem.

I came across this article a few years back. I’ll post the link below to the website it was supposed to be from, though I couldn’t find the article or an author for it on their site this week. If someone knows the author, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll gladly give credit where it is due.

Twelve Days to a Higher Self-Esteem:

Day 1 – Get a journal and write about you in it every night. Write at least 10 things that you did that makes you smile.

Day 2 – Live your life today like you want to live it. Do not base your decisions on other’s wants and desires.

Day 3 – Take care of your needs first. Find what gives you lasting pleasure, not just instant quick fixes. To respect your needs is a great way to lift your self-worth.

Day 4 – Share more of you with others! You may feel vulnerable, but making others feel good creates a feeling of value. A feeling of value will send your self-esteem soaring.

Day 5 – Spend time with positive people! Positive people send positive vibes.

Day 6 – Stay away from the “I want” syndrome, such as, “I want to look like that, I want to be thin, I want to be perfect. These negative thoughts work against your positive self-esteem. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Overcoming Stress: Releasing Life’s Struggles

November 11th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

You can identify the typical stress patterns you experience when facing life’s struggles and follow a clear plan to leave them behind.

Fellow expert, Jeanie Marshall, Personal Development expert, has written a helpful article to teach you to release the various stress reactions that occur in your body when facing life’s struggles. It begins with helping you identify the reactions that take place in your body so you can train yourself to be aware of when you are beginning to struggle with something. She then gives a couple of creative ideas for permanently releasing old hurts that are adding to your current struggles.

Here is an excerpt from Jeanie Marshalls’ article with a link to the full article below:

Struggle is a common expectation in our society. We tend to plan for it, anticipate it, and invite it into our lives. It has become so familiar that we often push away joy or peace or harmony, declaring such experiences to be unreal or temporary or frivolous.

Select something real in your life that you struggle against, just to give yourself a laboratory. Practicing on something real but not overwhelming will give you courage to explore something you consider a major struggle. Bring this idea or subject into your mind and feel the feelings. You may find it helpful to close your eyes to stay focused on the task. What does the struggle feel like? What sensations do you feel in your body and where do you feel them? What emotions do you feel and how do you feel them? Hear what you say about this subject to yourself. What does the resistance/struggle sound like? What color is the struggle? How big or small is the struggle?

Identify all the reactions, signals, sensations, feelings, and emotions that you can. Try not to ignore anything that comes into your awareness as you read this. How does your neck feel? Your shoulders? Your stomach? Do you feel agitated or impatient? Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Conflict Resolution: Overlook or Fight

November 10th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

One part of conflict resolution is knowing which battles to fight.

There are times when you need to defend or protect yourself over a certain right that is being violated, especially if it is repeatedly by the same individual. If the violation is actually something harmful to your life or a hindrance to your goals, it is probably worth being addressed. However, there are so many irritations or offenses that take place in a day or a week which are isolated instances that do not have any long term affect on your life. Often, it is more to your benefit to overlook these type of offenses than make an issue to “resolve” them or fight for your rights.

When it comes to offenses or irritations that are better overlooked, the ability to choose to overlook the offense can increase your character and bring great satisfaction.

Proverbs 19:11 says, “It is to a man’s glory to overlook an offense.” In other words, it proves you have a higher level of character when you are strong enough to choose to ignore an isolated offense of limited impact, realizing that it is not worth your time and energy to “fight” in that situation.

I did a word study of this quote in 2 different English translations as well as in the original Hebrew. The additional definitions provide extra clarity to the “glory” of overlooking an offense. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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God’s View on Poverty

November 6th, 2008

Reading Level: Gratifying

An often asked question by readers is, “Does God desire people to be poor?”

Scripture does address God’s view on poverty. Though I cannot cover all possible aspects of poverty in one post, I think this article will give you clear answers.

God specifically mentions His watchful care over the poor.

It is important to realize that this is not a matter of favoritism, because God speaks against that and promises His unfailing love to all who seek Him, but a matter of special reassurance. The poor are often neglect or forgotten by the societies in which they live. Anyone who has been in poverty understands the struggles with the feeling of abandonment, hopelessness, and that there is no one who cares. Fully understanding a person’s circumstances, God specifically speaks to remind the poor that He cares, is paying attention, and is attentive to their requests for help.

Here are a few quotes in which God expresses His attentiveness to the poor:

Isa 41:17 The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

Ex 22:22,23 Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.

De 15:4,7 However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you. If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Weight Loss through a Good Night’s Sleep

November 5th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

Your weight gain can be caused by a lack of sleep.

An estimated 50-70 million Americans are suffering mentally and physically from a lack of sleep (1). Though eating habits obviously play a role in weight gain, studies have shown that there is a definite relationship between a lack of sleep and weight gain.

Various hormones released during your sleep regulate your weight and appetite.

Leptin, released during sleep, is the hormone which tells your body that it is full and doesn’t need more food. The lower the levels of leptin in your body, the more of the hormone ghrelin is released to increase your hunger (2). The growth hormone is also released during sleep; while this hormone causes growth in children, it controls muscle mass and fat level in adults (1).

A University of Chicago research found definite relationship between too little sleep and increased appetite/weight gain. The people in the study who slept only 4 hours a night had leptin levels decrease by 18 percent. This caused the ghrelin levels, which stimulate appetite, to increase by 28 percent (2). These results should be motivational in getting a good night’s sleep. Many of us just stay so busy that sleep is the easiest thing to cut back on.

If stress is causing your lack of sleep, not putting into action a plan to deal with stress will only add to your weight problems.

Stress increases your levels of adrenaline and cortisol, mobilizing the body’s sugar supply, for the purpose of quick thinking and action in emergency situations. If you live in a frequent or continual state of stress, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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