the right decision


No matter how painful your decision has been, as long as you can sleep well at night, it means that you made the right decision.




Have you ever been in an abusive relationship?  Being in a toxic relationship does more harm to a person than anything else I can think of.  The effects of the abuse last long after you leave the relationship, and hopefully, if you’ve been in one of these relationships, you did leave.

The most disturbing type of abusive relationship is the emotionally controlling relationship.  Not to say that a physically abusive relationship isn’t horrible, but it is harder to recognize a bad relationship when there is no physical abuse going on.

There are several signs that indicate you are in an abusive relationship.

The top 10 signs are:

1.  Out of control outbursts.  The partner who seems to lose their cool when in a conflicting situation, but only with you.  In front of friends, family and co-workers, they can stay even-keeled in a stressful moment, but in front of you, they can’t seem to control their emotions.  The intensity of their anger is much greater than the situation would call for which makes the entire episode that much more confusing.

2.  The persuasive talker.  The partner is a skilled manipulator who can persuade you to see things in a manner that seems completely wrong deep down.  They may get you to believe that you are lucky to have them in your life.  How would you navigate through so many difficult moments without them?  Basically, they convince you that you can’t get through life without their support.

3.  The blame game.  You will find that when things are going wrong for your partner, it is never their fault, it is always your fault.  They will twist circumstances to make you the reason why they didn’t get a raise or lost a friend.  An example would be that you complained to your partner about their long hours at work and that is why they didn’t get the promotion.

4.  Pointing out faults.  If you do something that they see as wrong, even the most minor of issues, you will hear rage, blame and it never seems to end.  Let’s say you left a plate on a table.  You forgot to put it in the dishwasher.  For months you will hear about that one plate and how you live in filth or can’t take care of the most minor responsibilities.  Everything is exaggerated.  If you were to point out an issue your partner has, good luck getting something to change.  Your partner will most likely sulk and walk away, or turn the tables and point out all of your faults.

5.  Domination.  Your partner will try to control you at every turn.  That is until you get brave enough to think about leaving.  All of a sudden, the dominance is gone and you are left with a submissive partner.  Asking for forgiveness, saying how wonderful you are and begging for you to stay.  Once you fall for the act, you are right back to a partner who takes complete charge again.  This time around it will most likely be worse because they will remind you that you didn’t care enough and were going to leave them.

6.  Control and isolation.  An abusive partner will slowly control your movements until they isolate you from friends, family and co-workers.  Other people are a threat to your partner who sees those people as being able to convince you to leave the toxic relationship.  The partner will find reasons for you not to see others.  You will hear that they wish you wouldn’t see them because they don’t treat you well or they don’t like your partner.    On the other hand, they will get close to any person they feel they can manipulate.  This gives them additional reinforcement so that if you question bad behavior and talk about it with a friend, they are more likely to take your partners side saying, they could never see them acting a certain way, they obviously love you and maybe you just misunderstood them.

Watch out for the partner who will act submissive around their friends and family when you are present.  They will complain that you do the things that they are doing to you.  This is done quietly behind your back and you are left wondering why people are acting strange around you.  It is their attempt to get more people on their side and against you.  The goal is to make you feel as though no one likes you but your partner and that you are lucky to have them because you are a horrible person.

7.  Verbal put downs.  Name calling and pointing out flaws or weaknesses is not something that is done in a healthy relationship.  Another way a partner will take over is by putting themself down to take whatever is being brought up off of them and instead try to make you feel bad for the fact that they are supposedly feeling bad for themself.

8.  Lying.  You will catch your partner in the dumbest lies.  After awhile, you will no longer know what is real and what isn’t because everything is lied about no matter if it makes sense to lie or not.

9.  Jealousy.  Good relationships, success at work, looking nice in an outfit are all met with jealousy.  You might be put down for an outfit you wear as being to revealing, not flattering or questioned about why you are trying to look so nice.  Jealousy comes up whenever you seem to be doing well and are happy.  Comparison’s are always made in the abuser’s mind and no matter how much you keep things quiet, your good moments are tallied and the abuser becomes jealous that you might have more going on than they do so they knock you down.

10.  Physical abuse.  Shoving, spitting, hitting, grabbing, restraining, basically anything that draws fear in you because of a physical action is a red flag that you need to get out of a relationship.  There is no such thing as someone losing control once without it coming up sometime down the road again.

If you are brave enough to leave a toxic relationship, and I hope you are, make sure you have a plan in place.  If you feel isolated, there are several community hotlines that can help you take the next step.

I was in an abusive relationship.  It wasn’t until I was pushed to the ground and spit on with a baby in my arms that I finally grew enough courage to leave.  I called a local hotline to find out how I could safely get myself and kids out of an increasingly dangerous situation.

I was terrified to call because my phone records were being reviewed daily and the numbers I dialed were being questioned.  When I knew it was time to leave, I had become completely isolated from friends and was in a bad place with my own family.  I felt that I had no one who could help.  The place I called was Haven which is a local domestic violence help center in Oakland County, Michigan.  They walked me through scenarios and gave me advice on how to take care of myself and my kids.  It was the best thing I could have done.

My ordeal wasn’t easy and I was scared.  There was a restraining order, a lot of police involvement and weekly meetings with other mothers who had been in abusive relationships and left.

If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to know that there are people who can help.  You are worth so much more than what you are dealing with.  There are people out there who will see all the good in you and love you for who you are.


My Life List

Don’t we all need to get one for us.

My Life List.

My Life List

A life list is like a bucket list, where I write down things I want to do in my lifetime. It’s in no particular order, and I add/delete/edit things as I change my mind. I also cross some stuff off. :) What’s on your list?

My Life List

1. Make a wedding cake.
2. Make a gorgeous dress.
3. Take a photography class.
4. Go to a foreign country outside of North America.
5. Decorate and paint my own home.
6. Train other people’s dogs.
7. Work at a daycare/volunteer or work at an orphanage.
8. Earn my Gold Award
9. Write a full book.
10. Work as a waitress.
11. Go on another Work Camp.
12. Go to an amazing college and love it.
13. Visit Germany.
14. Teach Irish dance.
15. Rejoin Irish dance.
16. Compete in a high-level competition (preferably for Irish Dance).
17. Visit every continent in the world.
18. Do mission work in a foreign country.
19. Become a full-out vegetarian.
20. Have a blog.
21. Become a diplomat.
22. Take voice lessons.
23. Learn to play guitar.
24. Adopt/foster care
25. Meet a Christian artist-Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Kutless, or Josh Wilson.
26. Be a speaker for an event.
27. Write a cookbook.
28. Go scuba diving.
29. Publish a book.
30. Fall in love and get married.
31. Live near Washington DC.
32. See a Broadway play.
33. Learn to surf.
34. Start/run a nonprofit organization.
35. Intern at the state house.
36. Drive a Prius.
37. Be quoted. (Not just on someone’s Facebook page!)
38. Irish dance in Ireland.
39. Translate for someone in ASL.
40. Go inside the White House.
41. See the Seven Wonders of the World, and pick my own Seven Wonders.
42. Add a lock to the Ponte des Arts in Paris with my husband/boyfriend/fiancé.
43. Have a conversation with a deaf person in ASL.
44. Get a sign name.
45. Own a café.
46. Visit a castle.
47. Spend a day in a city somewhere with no plans, just going wherever I like.

A Letter To Future Children

Check this out. This girl really knows things.

A Letter To Future Children.

I’ve been doing a lot of blog reading lately, finding styles I like and some that I don’t. One of favorites was writing letters. I read letters to unknown future husbands, letters to people that abused the writer in her past, love letters, and letters to God. I decided I wanted to start writing some letters of my own, so I wrote the first one today. I haven’t the slightest idea whether or not I’ll have kids when I’m older or even if I’d want to, but I do believe kids will always be a part of my life in some capacity. Even if they’re not biologically mine, I could see myself involved in foster care or, maybe, adoption. Whoever they may be, this letter is for them. For all of the little hands that will touch my heart, the little fingers that will grip my thumb. (More sentimental than my usual posts! Feel free to skip today and come back later for ridiculous jibber-jabber and sarcasm.)

Dear future kids,
However you came into my life, I’m glad you did. You’re a blessing and an inspiration. I know I can learn as much from you as you can learn from me. There are so many lessons you’ll learn (from me and many others), and you’ll discover some very quickly. In the mean time, there are three that I want you to know and understand truly and wholeheartedly. If I can save you any heartache or make life any easier with this information, I’d like to. The rest will come. Trust me-everything works out in the end.

1) You are loved. 
You are a beautiful, well-meaning, messy, silly, imperfect human being, just like everyone else, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. You have unique gifts, amazing abilities and a destiny waiting to be fulfilled. I love you. Your family and friends love you. God loves you (and He has a plan for you).

2) I’m just as human as you are.
When you read this, I’ll be an adult, hopefully with my life more or less together. I’m writing this now-as a ridiculous, flighty, scatterbrained, peppy teenaged girl-so you can hear my honest perspective as a peer. Weird thought, huh? It would be for me, too. A few weeks ago, I was volunteering at Children’s Church and using an analogy to teach. I mentioned my mom in it, and one of the little boys gasped. “You have a mom?!” he screamed. Wow. Old already. You can imagine how my mom (your grandmother?) felt about that. The kid has a point, though. It’s beyond strange to picture my parents as little kids or teenagers, dependent on someone else. It’s true, though. I was a little kid who tripped and cried just like you. I was a middle-schooler that giggled and had crushes just like you. And now I’m a teenager who stresses over school work, gets in fights with my parents, goes to club meetings, has favorite music, and juggles her schedule. Just like you.  Whatever you’re feeling, whatever you’re thinking, I’ve been there.

3) Be kind. Be bold. Be honest. 
If you’re anything like me, that last part won’t be a huge problem. I can’t lie for my life. The other two might take practice, but you’ll get there. When you’re trying to be kind to others, there’s one more important piece to remember. If you start to feel proud of your kindness, check your motives. Do good things because it’s the right thing to do. Don’t do it out of pity or for brownie points-do it out of love for a fellow human being. Everyone is deserving of that courtesy. My advice? Take it even smaller than one day at a time. Live in the minute, the second, and do what you can there. Find causes that light your heart on fire and support them. That seemingly simple plan will teach you to be all three. It will also teach you to know your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Want to know mine? I’ll tell you, but don’t use them against me! I probably ask you to be patient all the time, right? Or I did when you were younger? Don’t be offended by that. I’m probably trying to remind myself as much as you. I’m horribly impatient and temperamental. I also talk way too fast when I’m excited, worry far too much about my appearance and get offended too easily. I’m learning my strengths too, though. I’m dedicated to what I believe in, cheerful, empathetic, and friendly. Find out yours and use them to help others.

You’re fearfully and wonderfully made, my dear. You can do great things with help. The world will try to fit you in like a puzzle piece, having you blend in with everyone else, but you’re not a puzzle piece. You pick where you go and what you do there. Stand up for what needs to be stood up for-even when you stand alone. Others will join you. I’ll support you.

With love,