Hello, I’m Jen Underwood, a freelance writer. My friend, Jessie, has struggled with addiction and agreed to let me interview her in order to help others understand addiction. In talking with her, I feel God taught me something as well. Addicts don't want to be seen as addicts but for who they are beyond the addiction. On the other hand, my friend does not see her worth as I see her. She is the kind of soul that others gravitate toward.Read More
There is nothing I have ever experienced; not bullying, not divorce, not even addiction, that has made me feel more helpless than a panic attack. There is a moment where the waves of terror take over my body and hold my thoughts captive.
Though I know the panic attacks comes a resurgence of painful memories my body is the piece of me that loses control. In the midst of the attack, I can tell myself, “This isn’t real, it’s going to end, I will be able to breathe, everything is going to be okay” but I cannot convince my body to relax or find breath.Read More
One of the real dangers of staying in an abusive marriage is that abuse generally escalates. Boundaries are nudged, pushed, and eventually outright challenged so that you find yourself submitting to abuse that would once be unthinkable. Humans acclimate to a wide variety of situations, but in an abusive marriage, this adaptability comes eventually at a severe cost. The first time I truly realized I was in an abusive marriage was about nine years into the marriage. Before I used the word ‘abusive’, I generally used the word ‘controlling’. No one likes to face the fact that they are abused.Read More
I can remember sitting in a women's group hearing the testimony of another woman thinking to myself, "How did she know my story?" As she described the abuse she endured, I became uncomfortable in my seat. Part of me wanted to run out of the meeting and the other part of me felt slightly relieved to know that I was not alone. I had buried the sexual abuse that I had been subjected to and acted as though it had never happened. I often told myself that if I didn't remember it, then it didn't happen. That thinking, unfortunately, did more damage than good both mentally and emotionally.Read More
While it is tempting to equate all kinds of abuse as pretty much the same, narcissistic abuse has a few characteristics outside the boundaries of emotional abuse. Obviously narcissistic abusers are emotionally abusive, but the goals of a narcissist are significantly different from those of a person who is emotionally abusive. Knowing the difference is helpful. Narcissistic abuse requires a different approach to recovery, though the healing path from any kind of abuse is difficult.Read More
Everything was getting blurry.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.
My chest was so heavy. it felt like someone was crushing my chest. It was as if the hand of the enemy was pushing me down.
I remembered once I had read that if you put your arms up over your head it will help you breath better. I put my arms up as high as I could and went down on my knees. No, it wasn’t helping. I stood up, arms reaching high, maybe I was supposed to be standing? No, that didn’t work either. I sat down, maybe I was supposed to be sitting? It seemed to be getting worse.Read More
Some might think that title is scandalous. I know that my own fear of divorce kept me from escaping a narcissistic abuser for fourteen years. Now, seventeen years out from that disaster, my regrets center around not leaving far earlier. I lived in a lot of denial for years. One has to cultivate denial in order to survive, much less stay, in a marriage that was as abusive as mine. And just how abusive it was, did not fully dawn on me until I disclosed, ten years later, details of the torment to my counselor. The look of horror and grief on her face showed me just how far from normal my first marriage had strayed.Read More
Have you ever broken a boundary- with yourself?
Tell me if this sounds like you,
“Okay... today, I’m going to be awesome! I’m going to wake up early, eat something healthier than cereal, do my hair real nice, exercise, be a successful human being and rock my life”.
And then morning comes. And your bed feels so nice. The covers are warm, you bring out an arm from your nestled cove and the air is cold! Zip! Retreat!Read More