How to Tell Your Friend that They Are Being Abused

Hello everyone!

It has been a while but The Modern Day Fairy Godmother is officially 4 years old! Thank you to everyone from around the globe for your support and feedback over the years.

I write a lot from the perspective of being in a relationship because I am in one. However, what if you are one of those fortunate people on the outside looking in? It is no easy feat.

I come from a family who only believes that abuse manifests physically. I do not care what they say: emotional abuse is still abuse. More often than not, emotional abuse appears in the exertion of control. These situations are no longer like the ones on Maury where someone orders the person to call them “master” or bow to them. Instead, it becomes evident in little remarks that may seem harmless at first but then have a cumulative effect. This level of control weaves itself subtly into their lives and when they realize it, it could be too late.

I have been in controlling relationships and I also have been the friend that has had to break it to someone that their significant other’s behaviour wasn’t healthy. Contrary to popular belief, the people who enter controlling relationships are not insecure. They are strong leaders who are admirable in their character and confidence. However, they are ONLY insecure in their love lives.

I have lost a friendship  sisterhood over me being honest about her boyfriend. Although I do miss her at times, I do not regret telling her because I would have been a bad friend if I never did. I cannot guarantee that by you confronting your friend, it will go smoothly. I can only tell you the best possible way to get your message across.

Start when they are not talking about their significant other. This is important. When they are ranting and complaining about them, it is so easy to join in and let them know that they are controlling. Don’t you notice that the minute you say this, they get defensive and act like they are the only ones that are allowed to complain about Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong? That’s why it is best to let them rant and then tell them your feelings another time. Sometimes, people do not want advice but just a listening ear.

Avoid adjectives and if you need to use them, do not be too blunt. By saying that Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong is controlling, you are opening yourself up to abrasiveness and conflict. One word I like using is “overprotective” or I even use verbal forms, such as “they like to exert a certain sense of control in their lives”. You allow them to feel like they are in a safe space and are not being condescending or demeaning.

Ask questions and rephrase their words. Listening is key and if you are just yelling at them, you are also being the controlling one. Let them express their feelings to you and then rephrase into a question. For example, if your friend says that their significant other does not accept them for who they are, you can ask “Do you want to be with someone who does not accept you?”

Remind them that it is their decision. They are an adult, you should act like one too.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

 

Do Not Expect People to Love You How You Love Yourself

Do not expect people to love you.

I am not saying this to be cold-hearted or cynical.

You just should not expect people to love you in the ways you  should love yourself.

Why not make your love for yourself the greatest love?

It is not an easy journey, this is certain.

It is a journey that goes on every day.

But why  fill a void with someone else when you need to be whole in and of yourself?

It is easier, that’s why.

Although it takes great effort, the result is the reward. Love yourself so deeply that another loving you is not only different but complimentary. 

 

Why Compatibility Tests Are Unimportant

I still remember the first question to my boyfriend after asking how he was: What are you looking for in a relationship?

This became the most important question because in the three elements he identified, I learned so much about him. We established from the beginning that we had common morals and values. However, as our relationship progressed, I found out that our interests weren’t always the same. In fact, we had more differences than commonalities. He is into rock music, I like dance. He is into horror, I like roller coasters. It was easy for my mind to go back to those teenage magazine quizzes and think that we failed because we do not like the same cookie (or something else that was very minuscule).

I freaked out and asked Superman what we had in common. He said our love for adventure, good stories and adrenaline. I sat back and was in shock that I could have missed this. It truly demonstrated that the minuscule things do not matter and it is so much better to have the most important things in common. If anything, our differences make our story that much more interesting.

So forget having the same favourite moving, song, whatever. If you want all of that, date yourself.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

Why Breaking Ties with My Father was the Best Thing to Happen to Me

This Father’s Day had a sting to it. For the first time in over twenty years, my father did not get a warm wish, big hug, or a card with a gift from me. In fact, he probably  had no idea what I was doing today. That is because a little over a week ago, I had cut ties with my father.

I understand the severity of that decision and I had thought about it for almost a month before making it. These past five years, I have been on an emotional roller coaster with my father.  I do not know the person he has become and there has been that inner emotional conflict, resulting from desperately needing the father with whom I was raised. I always held hope that he would want to spend time with me, get to know me and be proud of me. Five years later, I have lost that hope.

Somehow along the way, my father shifted from being involved to being disengaged. I went from hearing his loud whistle at every Christmas concert I performed at to reminding him what I had been studying at university for the past five years. I can no longer have a coffee with him without it turning into a lecture of how I am an imperfect daughter and can never do anything right. Any issue I have with him becomes my fault.

As the result of his actions, he is missing out on many special events in life. He has just missed my graduation and he will miss my future occasions such as getting my first job, my first home, getting married and having kids. The worst thing is that he won’t care. He has become very self-centred and it is not something I can tolerate.

Then, I realized that the horrible relationships that I have been in before mirrored the relationship I had with my father. I sought approval and validation that I lost myself. It took me a while to accept that I am a great person who has truly excelled. I had to learn how to do it without expecting a pat on the shoulder or someone jumping up and down. I had to be happy for myself. I had to break the cycle so that my future children will never experience this.

I have grown quite tired of appeasing everyone and being in my mid 20s, it is about time that I put my emotional well-being first. To all the people who have left abusive relationships, I commend you because it takes so much strength out of you, especially in my case where the love is still there. I have understood that you cannot change people unless they want to change themselves. I have a future ahead of me and I cannot permit toxicity to affect it.

Maybe I should just go love myself.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Self-Realizations

I have had many people say to me before I was in my current relationship that when you are in a relationship, you learn more about yourself. I never believed it until now and I feel like it is when you have an argument with your significant other that this type of learning takes place.

One would think that they would learn more about the other person when this happens such as what you can or cannot tolerate as well as how the other person handles certain situations. However, it is the very notion of disagreeing, feeling hurt and being upset that you realize how YOU are acting, what YOUR needs are and if this is beneficial to the both of you.

Recently, I have realized that I am emotionally impulsive. It wasn’t always this way but with being forced to bottle up many emotions as a kid, now it can be a loose cannon. I can have a hard time letting things slide or giving people the benefit of the doubt because I fear being duped like I have been in the past. What I am starting to realize is that my past is not my present nor future; otherwise, they would have been called the same thing.

Being emotionally impulsive has its perks though. I am the type of friend that would stay up all night with you despite having a very important job interview in the morning because you need me to lend a shoulder to cry on. It also means that I am very expressive and enjoy showing my delight and excitement in something.

I love Superman. In 8 days, we will have known each other for two years and it is pretty incredible. Nevertheless, I have come to the slow realization that he is not me and he is not emotionally impulsive. This can present its challenges because he is not one to be on the phone late at night unless it is a dire emergency and likes to think things through. We bump heads because when he advises me to sleep on it, I would rather him say that [insert name here] is a fucking turd and that he will be right there to share in my BIT over exaggerated anger in that moment. Actually, he is quite the opposite: Superman is rationally impulsive. He’s a quick decision maker and sometimes I need a bit of a longer time before deciding but hey, if we were the same person, I would be dating myself.

When you learn about yourself, you learn about how to work with one another’s strengths and weaknesses. He is learning to be more emotionally attentive and I am slowly learning to take a deep breath before reacting to some undesirable news (I guess I can yell if he throws all my shoes in the garbage one day, right?).

No one is perfect. Don’t pretend to be.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother