Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dating After An Abusive Relationship

When recovering from an abusive relationship, it's normal to want to rush into a relationship with someone new. Part of you wants to prove to the world that you are not the horrible person your ex proclaims you to be, and you are worthy of a happy relationship.

The abuser will typically move on very quickly. Most likely he has already been talking to or seeing someone else anyway, and their charm and cunning ways make it super easy for them to find a new victim or "supply".  This is why most toxic people move from relationship to relationship very quickly and do not stay single for very long at all. They can't handle being single because they need someone to take care of them and someone they can control easily.

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The fact that they get into a new relationship so quickly can be extremely painful to their victims. They tell us how horrible we are and then we watch them find a replacement so quickly that we start to believe that it was indeed our fault. It wasn't.

Normal people don't jump from relationship to relationship to relationship without healing time in between. Hooking up with people, maybe, but being in actual relationships with new women, no.

The first thing you need to remember is to stop worrying about him and what he is doing. He is going to tell everyone what a horrible person you are. He is going to tell everyone how wonderful and amazing his new girlfriend is. He is going to do everything in his power to make himself look wonderful and you to be the enemy.

Don't let him get to you. He wants to tear you down. You are now his #1 enemy and he will play the victim card to everyone around him while attempting to push all of your buttons to make you look like the crazy one.

You need time to heal.

You will most likely find out about a landfill full of lies he has told you during your relationship with him. He most likely cheated multiple times. He probably lied to you about everything he ever told you. You eventually realize that the person you thought was the man of your dreams was a big fat fake. He never loved you at all because he can't love anyone but himself. The man you planned to spend the rest of your life with could look you right in the eye and lie to you.

This is a hard pill to swallow.

It takes time for your brain to have the ability to sort all of this out. You will go through different stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse. You will feel extreme hurt for a long time, and then you will feel extreme anger. You will hate him with every ounce of your being.

Eventually, you won't feel anything at all. You will realize that he was a monster and you were his victim, and you are so much better off without this toxic person in your life.

Recovering from an abusive relationship takes time and you don't need or want to drag someone through this process with you. Rushing into a relationship may make you feel better for a little bit, but it's not going to work out if you can't put 100% into it, and that's not possible if you are still healing from the previous relationship.

Sometimes you need some time to be by yourself to sort things out. You can have friends, you can have friends of the opposite sex, but it's really not a good idea to rush into something new too quickly after an abusive relationship.

Of course, there isn't any set amount of time that you need to wait. We all process and heal at different speeds. I read something once that said you know you have healed when you are able to talk about it without crying or getting upset. When you can look back at that relationship and realize how toxic it really was and how much healthier you are both physically and mentally without that toxicity in your life. That is when you know that you are ready to move on.

And guess what? Even if it's a year or two after the split, your ex is still going to hate that you have moved on to someone new. Despite them acting like they hate you and want nothing to do with you, he will still try to maintain some sort of control over you. He doesn't want anyone else to come along and take away that control from him.

I've always heard that the best revenge against an abusive narcissist is to just be truly happy. They don't want you to be happy!! They want to believe that you are miserable without them and want them back.

Show them what true happiness is!

It's up to you do decide when you are ready to move on to a healthy new relationship. Just keep in mind that a relationship can't work if you are not healed from your ex. You and the other person will only end up getting hurt in the end. Just heal yourself first and if you have children, help them heal from the breakup and any manipulation tactics that the narcissist will use on them.

Take your time, don't rush into things and may your new relationship flourish when you are ready.

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Life After Narcissistic Abuse. There Is Healing and Hope (click link)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Back To School Tips For Single Parents

Being a single parent is one of the most difficult things a person can ever do. It's not a job, it's our way of life. We chose not to walk away from our kids, unlike the other absent parent. We chose to be responsible adults and raise the children that we made.

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Unfortunately, most single parents struggle financially because we don't get much, if any help at all from the other parent. Everything sits on our shoulders and we are the ones left to make sure that things get done regardless of how they get done. We have to figure it all out while the other parent does nothing.

Back to school time can be a difficult time for many parents, especially single parents, and even more so if you have multiple children. I've been raising my 3 kids (now teenagers) on my own for the last 5 years and this time of year is always a stressful time because it takes A LOT of money.

That being said, I've come up with some advice and tips on how to get through this financially stressful time of the year.

Help With Back To School Finances

Do They Need New Clothes?
Since becoming a parent, I've often wondered, why do parents feel the need to have to stock up on brand new clothes at the beginning of the school year?? My mom did it for me, but why? If your kids have perfectly good clothes to get through the next few months, why do they need new? My kids will be wearing shorts and t-shirts for the first month or two of school, so why do I need to run out and buy new before school starts? What's the reasoning? Plus, kids grow so quickly, why not wait until they actually need them? Save some money by only buying what they really need. If they don't need new clothing immediately, don't stress yourself out trying to figure out how to come up with hundreds of dollars for new clothes. If they only need a couple pairs of jeans, just buy them a couple pairs of jeans. There's no reason to buy a whole new wardrobe before the first day of school!

Re-use Supplies
My kids came home on the last day of school with notebooks that only had 2 pages used out of them, and markers that they only used once or twice. They still look new. Why not use them this year, too? Not everything HAS to be new, and why waste good supplies? Re-use supplies where you can. Every dollar you can save will add up to bigger savings. If the kids don't like it, tell them to buy their own! Who else is going to know that they aren't brand spanking new?

Don't Be Afraid Of Dollar Stores
Don't be afraid to shop for school supplies at the dollar stores, just make sure that you are getting a good deal. For instance, Dollar Tree has notebooks for $1, but Walmart has them for 50 cents. Watch the prices, but don't be afraid to shop at the dollar stores. Their pencils most likely work just as good as Target's pencils do and some of their items are really cute!

Take Advantage of Sales
Watch the sale ads and take advantage of really good sales. Save money wherever you can even if it means shopping at multiple stores. Get the best bang for your buck.
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Stock Up
If you have the financial capabilities, stock up on extra supplies while they are on sale. If your child runs out of something later in the year, you will most likely have to pay double the price. Why not buy some extra pencils and notebooks to keep on hand? You will be thankful that you did when your child needs them in 4 months!

Ask For Help
If you find yourself in a very tight bind, do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not risk having your electric shut off because you have to choose between buying school supplies or paying the electric bill. There are places that can help! Call your local job and family services and local churches and they can guide you. Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask. These situations are what these programs are designed for: to help when help is needed.

Back to school time is stressful for everyone involved. It's stressful for the child because they are starting a new year with a new teacher and new classes, it's stressful for the teachers having to make sure everything is ready, and it's definitely stressful for us parents needing to ensure that our children have everything they need to have a successful new school year. Hopefully, these tips can help make it a little easier for you.

Oh, and one more thing.

Teach Your Kids Not To Steal Supplies

Seriously. I shouldn't have to be saying this, but please talk to your kids about not taking other kids' school supplies! I can't tell you how many times my kids have told me that they got up from their desk to go to the bathroom or do something else and come back to find someone stole their pencils or pens. Or another child asks to borrow a pencil because they forgot theirs in their locker, and then that kid keeps it and refuses to give it back. Your kids are just making it more difficult for ME because that means my child runs out of their supplies causing me to have to purchase more. If your kids desperately needs something, tell them to ask the teacher, not to just steal supplies from other kids. That should be common sense to teach your child not to steal, but obviously, it isn't to some.

With that being said, let's hope all of us single parents make it through the back to school stress and our kids have a wonderful new school year. Mine go back on August 22, when do yours go back? 

Any other tips you have to share? Leave them in the comments!

Single Moms Rock! How To Survive and Thrive as a Single Mom.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tips For Sending The First Message On Dating Apps

Online dating is strange. You can find so many different people on these dating apps -- professionals, blue collar workers, teachers, doctors, thugs, disabled, users, and abusers. You certainly can't judge a book by it's cover, but isn't that the reason for the whole swiping left or right thing? To judge by appearance?

When it comes down to it, like everything else, personality trumps everything else. Someone may be extremely good looking, but if they can't carry on a decent conversation then obviously they are going to be difficult to get to know. Some people don't know how to carry on a conversation, some don't even know how to initiate a conversation and they wait for the other person to make the move.

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Sending that first message can be daunting because you really don't know what kind of person the other person is apart from what is written in their dating profile. Are they going to be rude? Are they going to be polite? Maybe they won't respond at all? The only way to find out if this person would be a good match for you is to dive in head first and send that first message.

Tips For Sending The First Message

Read Their Profile
The very first thing you should do before sending that first message on a dating app is to read their profile in its entirety. Do you have anything in common? If you do have something in common, use that to grab their attention! For instance, if they like a band that you love, ask them what their favorite song or album is. Show them that you took the time to read their profile and grab their interest by using something from it. If they mention a TV show that you like, ask them if they have seen such and such episode? This will break the ice for both of you and you can build on getting to know one another from there.

Don't Be Boring
It's way too easy to send a message like, "Hey" or "What's Up?". I know you may feel like you're throwing the line in the water hoping for a bite, but most people are going to ignore those simple messages because you didn't do anything to grab their attention. This shows them that you are putting the minimal effort into chatting with them and you probably send the same message to every profile you like. Make the first message unique to the person you are sending it to.

Hey Mike! (always use their name if it is is in their profile) I noticed that you like horror movies. What's the scariest movie you have ever seen?

This encourages a response and it shows that you took enough interest in them to read through the profile!

Start Off With A Joke
Heard a cute joke lately? Jokes are a great ice breaker. Just the other day I had a guy send me a first message starting with a kitten joke. It was cute and it made me smile. Of course I  messaged him back after that. People like to laugh and most of us enjoy stupid cute little jokes. Just make sure that the joke is not offensive or rude in any way. Try a few different jokes and see which one gets the most responses! Once you have someone messaging you back then you can go from there and work on getting to know one another.

Don't Be Offended
Don't be offended if the person on the receiving end of your message doesn't respond or if they tell you that they are not interested. You can't expect everyone to be interested. We all have different tastes and preferences. Don't let it get to you. Don't let it stop you from trying again. It truly is like fishing -- you cast your line in to see who you can catch on the other end. You may only catch a few but there are hundreds that got away. Would that stop you from going fishing again? Even if someone responds to you in a rude manner, just ignore them and their immaturity. Obviously you don't want to talk to someone like that anyway, right?

Keep The Conversation Going
We are all busy people, but please don't be that person who responds to questions with one worded answers. If the other person makes an attempt to get to know you better by asking you questions, answer them! You don't have to go into long-winded details, but a couple of sentences will suffice. Don't let the conversation die by not asking any questions back. If you are truly interested in talking to this person, put a little bit of effort into it. Show them that you are interested! Honestly, if I find myself doing all of the talking and the other person is only giving short responses, I assume they are either not interested or they have nothing intelligent or interesting to say, so I stop wasting my time.

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Online dating can be both fun and frustrating. You can meet so many different types of people that you wouldn't normally meet in real life. It can be extremely frustrating for a few reasons. Either the people you are interested in don't respond, or they are a boring chat. Your goal is to find someone that you really click with and set up a face to face date. You don't want to rush it, but you also don't want to be texting buddies for three months before meeting.

Some people believe that there are certain rules you have to follow with dating online, such as only send so many messages or don't do this and don't do that. You know what though? There is no set rule when it comes to using dating apps. You do what you feel comfortable with, just don't go crazy and blow up anyone's phone or be annoying if someone doesn't respond to your initial message.

You will also most likely interact with some real psychos who send you 450845 messages after you have told them that you're not interested or if you don't respond to them at all. I got called a stuck up bitch just a few days ago because I didn't respond to someone's message. I don't HAVE to do anything! It's not my job to respond to every single message I get. Some people feel it's rude not to respond at all, but I don't have the time to send "sorry not interested" messages to every single email  I receive. I'm not rude, it's just what I choose. I don't OWE you anything just because you sent me a message. If someone is bothering you or sending you nasty messages, most dating apps have a block button or a report button. Use the block button and move on. It will happen, just don't freak out about it. The crazies are everywhere.

Don't get your hopes too high when you try dating online. There are millions of people out there to sift through and it can take a long time to find that perfect match. It most likely won't happen right away, but don't let that bring you down. Have fun with online dating and don't take it too seriously, otherwise you are most likely going to be disappointed.

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