11 Things That Can Help You Recover from Abuse

“I am bigger than anything that can happen to me. All these things: sorrow, misfortune, and suffering, are outside my door. I am inside the house, and I have the key.” – Charles Fletcher Lummis Speak. Shame feeds on silence. Talking about that abuse might seem like the last thing you want to do, but speaking out about what happened to you and letting other people in takes away the power of the depression and the shame and gives that power back to you. Don’t know who to talk to? Confide in a parent or a friend, a coach, a guidance counselor, a brother or sister, a cousin, an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, a minister, priest or rabbi. Or, call a hotline, for example: The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, a national 24-hour resource, can be accessed by phone (1-866-331-9474 & 1-866-331-8453 TTY) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE)  Or, visit www.loveisrespect.org to access an online help page. Find a therapist or a support group. Talking to a professional or joining an organized survivor group can be pivotal for some victims. It can help you to understand that what happened to you is not your fault, and that the things you are struggling with are often normal symptoms of abuse.  It is important to find a therapist or group that you feel comfortable with. There are lots of great therapists out there and they can do wonders in your life if you are brave enough to put in the work. Psychology Today has a great source to help find therapists in your area:  http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/. Other good resource centers can be found at facilities specialized in...

Eleven Signs Of A Healthy Relationship

In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate healthy love!!! You feel good about yourself. You can act silly and goofy and make mistakes without feeling shameful. You know that your boyfriend or girlfriend will love you and your imperfections. You don’t bite your tongue–you feel comfortable saying what you want and feel, and there is open communication between you and your boyfriend. You still have independence, you can do things on your own or with friends and don’t have to worry about it. You don’t feel like you are pretending, or that you should be someone other than who you are. You have a healthy sexual relationship, both of you make decisions and feel good about your decisions. You can talk openly about what you want and what you don’t want and you feel like your voice is respected and listened to. You have room to grow, you don’t feel stifled or stuck or suffocated. You laugh with the person and have fun together. You never feel afraid of your partner. You trust each other, and you are honest with each other. You feel heard, understood, and accepted. You feel...

111 Ways To Say No To Sex

No thanks. Not tonight, how about in ten years? If you really loved me you would wait. Let’s just kiss instead. If you really loved me you would stop asking. How about we watch a movie instead. We might get caught. I don’t want to be just another one of your girls. Ummmm….nope! My parents trust me and I don’t want to break their trust. Haven’t you ever watched 16 and Pregnant? I don’t want to end up like that. I’m not ready to be a mother, so I don’t want to put myself at risk. I think we should get to know each other better first. How about we just cuddle? I have a rule that I’m not going to have sex till I graduate from high school (or graduate from college, get married, turn 18, turn 30, have been dating someone for over a month, over a year, over 5 years…pick whatever works for you!) No, and if you ask again I’m not talking to you anymore. I love you, but I just don’t feel like I am ready and I want it to be special, not forced. My mother (sister, cousin, brother, best friend, uncle, neighbor, or someone you completely made up) told me that they had sex before they were ready and it ruined their relationship and they regretted it. I don’t want to make that mistake. It just doesn’t feel like the right time. I can’t because of my religion. I don’t feel well, I think I’m getting sick. I can’t. I have my period. I don’t want to have to worry. My parents...

Eleven Reasons Why Being Single Is Great

You have freedom! Freedom to do what you want to do without asking for someone else’s opinion and without having to think about what someone else wants to do, or wants you to do. You can save the money you would spend on your boyfriend and buy yourself something nice. You have more time to hang out with your friends, have girl’s night out, act crazy and silly and have fun without having to leave the room to talk to your boyfriend or being stressed about relationship troubles. You don’t have to shave your legs if you don’t want to. You have more time to play sports, take up a musical instrument, try a new hobby, study a little more, go camping, volunteer at an animal shelter, read a book, go to a concert, dance, sing, run, laugh, do yoga, cuddle with your little sister, play video games, look at magazines, bake cookies, paint a picture, or do anything else you never get a chance to do. You can figure out what you like, not try to like things that your boyfriend likes. You can date other people. Or you can just be friends with other boys without your boyfriend getting jealous. Or you can just stare at other boys or flirt with them without feeling guilty. You get to think about what you want, without taking someone else into consideration. You get to pick what restaurant you want to eat at, how long you want to stay at a party, when you want to go to sleep or what you want to do all weekend. You will be available when Mr....

Eleven Examples of Abusive Behavior

Your partner: Hits you, punches you, pushes you, kicks you, bites you, slaps you, scratches you, or does any other action that inflicts pain onto you. Threatens to do any of these things. Says that he/she will kill themselves if you leave. Tells you that if they can’t be with you, then no one can. Makes you feel stupid in front of other people. Calls you things like “slut, whore, bitch, stupid, fat, tramp,  ugly, dumb, etc….” Has to know where you are at all times, who you are with and what you are doing. Calls you over and over and over and over and over and over until you answer. Lies to you like it’s nothing. Threatens to hurt your family or friends. Encourages you not to have any other...