"I don't want to talk about it."

I've found that almost always the most sure sign I need to talk about something is when I really, really, really don't want to talk about it. When I was a kid, my family went through a number of transitions. Throughout them, my dad was pretty much an asshole. At one point, my mom said to me, "Things that happen in the family need to stay in the family." No, my family was not part of the mafia, but we were in a religious cult, which it turns out is not always that much different. Much later, as an adult, I realized that she had a very different safety concern in her mind when she said that than what I knew as a kid. But, nevertheless, I internalized the lesson that I was never allowed to talk

Are you caught in a cycle?

Not to get too Lion King on you, but life happens in cycles. We are born, we live, we die. Winter turns to spring, turns to summer, turns to fall. The circle of life. Etcetera. Not all cycles are healthy or useful. When we are in abusive or controlling relationships, that relationship usually has a cycle that looks something like this: Every time we get back to the Honeymoon Period, we think, finally, this is the last time. We're done with the Explosions, and we can move on. Only, it's not the last time. It's a cycle. The spin-off cycle. Sometimes, we even start to participate in someone else's abuse cycle or have our own cycles that spin off of the abuse cycle. The Honeymoon Period is so in

When they ask, "Have you thought about leaving?" (5 actionable steps to creating safety)

I have a dear friend who was in crisis last week. I went with her to try to get help in a mental health evaluation from the emergency room; I listened to her call the crisis line at our women's shelter. It was hard watch. It was not hard to watch because of her crisis. I get where she was. I've been there. She's done hard work before, and she will do it again. It was hard to watch because of people's reactions. You see, my friend is not a drug addict or alcoholic. She is thin, beautiful, has a successful job, and radiates creativity. But, she has a boyfriend who is violent and cruel. She has broken up and gotten back together with him however many times is normal in this type of relationship

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