6 Things Men Can Do After They Discover They Are in an Abusive Relationship

6 Things Men Can Do After They Discover They Are in an Abusive Relationship

Toxic Romances

This article is a follow up to my previous piece, dubbed Men Are Victims Too: Recognizing and Dealing with Abuse. If you feel as though you may be exposed to various kinds of abuse in your relationship, but aren’t sure, please take some time to read the previous article. It may shine some clarity on your situation. Many readers were left feeling validated in their position as an abused male, but questions arose as to what to do after the fact. Well, my friends, it is time to clean up what has become quite messy.

The first stage that accompanies the knowledge of abuse is self-doubt. We think things like:

“All relationships have difficulties.”  “I’m over reacting.”

(No, you’re not).

“There are some really good times, though.”

(Yes, because you are doing what they want and these good times, more often than not, come at a price. Good times are also much easier to remember).

“We have kids, I can’t leave.”

(Can you leave if you realize that you are contributing to your kids being okay with having an abusive partner when they grow up?)

“Maybe I’m the problem here.”

(Well, you’ve definitely been made into the problem if your partner is abusive. This is a corrosive vat to swim in. If you have not gotten to the point of realizing that relationships must be a two way effort, you are enabling your own abuse).

“I will never find a good relationship.” 

(This means that you will secretly keep yourself engaged with terrible treatment in order to avoid being alone. This type of thought is quite revealing of the abuse you are putting yourself through. Your partner is, in some ways, a mirror of this abuse. It also means that you probably grew up in a home where you were invalidated, cut down, or manipulated. Oh, and yes, you can find a health partner in life.)

“If I give up, that means I’m a quitter and an abandoner. I don’t quit or abandon.” 

(Firstly you cannot abandon an adult. Only children can be abandoned, and if you have children you will fight to be in there life anyway, so you are not abandoning them. Quitting is surefire health if your life, energy, vitality, health, is compromised in any way. We’re not coal miners at the turn of the century. We have a choice, and quitting is something really damn awesome. Some call it letting go of  that which does not serve)

Emphatically, it is without doubt that good relationships exist, and that you can have one in your life (see here).

So here are six things to do when abuse has found you.

Reach out to as many people in your life as you can who, and this is a big who, you know, with certainty, will validate your experience and not doubt you.  Sometimes family members will love you, but not understand, because it would require to look at themselves, and the way they treated you when you were a child.   Read as many articles online about narcissistic and co-dependent relationships as you can. Let them feed your psyche. Watch videos on it. Read Codependent No More. Allow yourself, for a while, to accept that you have been a victim (before you take your power back).

  1. If you are married, call a lawyer, or friend who has been through an abusive situation, and get to know all the ins and outs of what divorce will cost you, what will most likely happen with the kids and the property, knowing full well that your abusive partner will do everything they can to tear you apart if you try to break away. If your children are in danger, it is best to leave with them and get to safe place as soon as possible.
  2. Begin a healthy a diet and fitness regime as you possible can. You will need the extra strength and endurance. Call your naturopathic doctor, or get one if you don’t have one, and ask them what you can do to enhance your energy levels and mood. Grass-fed, free-range Bone broth is a lifesaver. So are multi-vitamins that target your adrenal gland and garner it with support. Buttress your brain with fish oils, green tea, blueberries, and turmeric. Your body has and will go through a lot.
  3. Record anything, either by written word, tape, or video that might be constituted as abuse. Whenever something really bothers you, twists you to your core, write it down so you do not forget. One of the most important aspects of breaking abuse is standing up for your own well being while refraining from apologizing for things you should not. You should not apologize for having an emotion. You should not apologize for sharing that emotion. Start doing this, and notice what happens. Start taking more care of yourself and give attention to your abusive partners reactions. A healthy partner encourages health—remember this at all costs.
  4. If at all possible, by any stretch of time or imagination, book a week away for yourself, or pray that a slot of time becomes available to you. Even if it’s only a night or two away where you can be with yourself, and out of the fire. In extreme situations you may need to check yourself in to the hospital and say you think you’re going crazy. If you stay in an abusive situation, you are somewhat crazy anyway.
  5. Lay down and feel yourself, your body, the space around you, and imagine the space between your ears filled with things you love to do, activities that illuminate your heart, and pretend as if you do not have to interact with your partner. How does it feel?  Do you feel any relief—one of the surest signs that you have been under an abusive roof?   In close second to relief comes excitement for your own life. Close third comes a spring of energy that may bring clarity about your situation. None of these will last long, as old patterns die hard, but if they spring up, know you need more of you.

Find a psychologist or psychotherapist (I am one, and you can contact me at psychotherapy@jordankozey.com), as well as some type of body worker. Start with at least weekly or bi-weekly visits to untangle some of the misconceptions, amnesia, and cloud that you are emerging from. A therapist can help you see why you might have gotten into this type of relationship in the first place, can help you see a way out, and formulate effective solutions to deter it from happening again. A body worker will help you get the trauma out of your cells, creating space for new love and relationship.

It is important to take all of this slowly. Remember that as you start to break away, the abusive behavior can become worse. This is both a good sign that you are doing what you need to do, for you, and one to take extreme caution because you are putting a steel pipe in spinning cogs or horrendous force. I wish you all the strength and support you need!  Be well.

Photo—Beverley Goodwin/Flickr

Aug 19, 2015 No Comments

How to Know If Breaking Up With Your Parents Is Healthy

Waking Up Through Relationships

I want to emphatically state that breaking up with your parents, also known as detaching physically, mentally, and emotionally from the people who made your bodily life possible (or raised you), is a terrible endeavour. One only hopes(at least) for a set of familiar older bodies who know you and validate you as your shadow and light unfold well into your adult years. Not having that in your life is dreadful.

I also want to affirm that in the infinite expansion of each individual life on the planet, not all parent-child relationships are going to be healthy and validating. Call it ill fate, or shit luck, but poisonous environments and their legions are not above choosing parents or siblings to set siege upon.

Life is irrevocably about living one’s full potential, and sometimes that means parting ways with acrimony and toxicity, even when all the “shoulds” you’ve ever been given on what relationships are “supposed to be” say otherwise. Simply put, venom is venom and should be avoided despite its outward appearance or the input of others.

Note: Breakups with parents can be permanent, but they do not have to be permanent, and they can also involve contact but in varying degrees. There is no right way to break up with a parent, and each situation is different.

Here are five scenarios where splitting off from your acorn tree, and rolling far, far, and perhaps farther down the hill, may prove beneficial for all.

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1. You shrink in their presence.

You’re all grown up and you’re on your way. Perhaps your parents have gone through their own transformations, and may have responded in ways that are helpful and encouraging. Yet in their very presence your heart and spirit shrink a size. You hesitate to tell them all the really exciting things in your life (even though you want to), because it is not met with the same praise as in the company of friends or colleagues. You may find their shortcomings or defects hard to digest. Being with them for more than a couple hours leaves you tired, confused, and disoriented. Especially if dissociation occurs, and even looking in their eyes brings deep but subtle drums of panic, you may want to consider a break up plan. These are most likely moments when you are spreading your wings and taking flight into your own path. It’s not about them being “bad” per se, but about you maximally thriving. Respect your wing space—make a break.

2. Conversations involve substances not substance.

If you have a parent who is a heavy drinker, narcotic user, or even a chain smoker, there is a good chance they will have difficulty seeing you for who you really are. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you, but use of substances is a good sign that your parent is hiding from some serious pain. If you try to bring your pain to them, which is a beautiful and enlivening thing to do in healthy situations, the addicted parent will most likely avoid the pain they see in you, beat themselves up for seeing you in pain, or invalidate you outright in an attempt to ward off any distress. After all, they’ve invested so much in their sedation that breaking it would be intense.

If your parent was an addict while growing up, but has since recovered, you may still suffer from the first reason (above) and it may be wise to break up as much as you need in order to feel safe in the world again. You’ve probably invested a lot in finding out what that safety means and how that works for you—keep it up.

3. Your parent(s) wants to spend more time with you than their spouse.

If you haven’t read up on what it means to be a people pleaser, or to be in a codependent/narcissistic relationship, and you are reading this article, then it is time to do so. If your parent depends on you for emotional support, in any way gets upset when you put your immediate family or personal needs ahead of theirs, threatens to get worse if you are not around, or blames your other parent (behind their back) for all their problems, to you, then it is reasonable to say you may have a narcissistic or codependent parent. I knew someone once whose mother actually gave them a ring that looked like an engagement ring. Do not let your parents marry you. When you have a parent who has or does live their emotional life through you, the apron strings must be severed.

4. They are, in any way, abusive.

If you’ve ever been beaten by a parent, molested, berated through the use of manipulative and violent words, or been used as a cerebral punching bag, you may always suffer from #1 above. This is a difficult scenario to make a recovery from if this parent is always in your life. Cutting ties with murky water, as far as I know, has never been an unhealthy endeavour, so long as there are fresh fountains coming from elsewhere. Abuse is the clearest exit sign we can find in the world of relating.

5. They are unable to see the impact of their words or actions, even though you’ve thoroughly, or even tearfully explained it to them.

“How could that upset you?”

“No I saw you, you weren’t sad, you were angry.”

“Yeah well if you would see it from my way you’d understand.”

“You’re scary/strange/messed up etc.”

Imagine yourself expressing a vulnerable state just before you hear any of the above statements from a parent. They may have recently just co-signed a loan on your first house, helped you get that car, or drove several miles to help you out with your newborn, and yet … this is what you experience. This is a tough place to be in. If you try to explain to a parent how their actions and words hurt you, and they cannot, for whatever reason, see where you are coming from, then distance is necessary. If you grew up in this environment, chances are you may have found/find yourself in an abusive relationship (see my previous article for how men experience abuse). Your parent may then focus more on what they have already done for you, rather than realize their impact despite their intention. They remain blind to the rupture in the relational fabric, despite its staring them in the face. If this dynamic continues, you may find your resentment levels piqued, and an odd sense that you are not quite right at your core. This is the stuff that destroys dreams. You deserve better.

Sometimes, breaking away from toxicity heals the toxic source.

♦◊♦

If you are considering breaking up with a parent, struggling with any of these issues above, or are a parent who has had a child break up with you and want to find repair, I would be happy to consult with you on your road back to personal and relational health. My email address is psychotherapy@jordankozey.com.

Aug 12, 2015 No Comments
3 Thoughts That Make Your Life Vibrate

3 Thoughts That Make Your Life Vibrate

Food for Being

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me excitations
I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Oom bop, bop, good vibrations)
—The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations

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If you’re reading this, you’re probably eager to get past the preamble and find out now what these thoughts are that will supercharge your mood and make life feel happy again. So here they are, without introduction.

1. What would I be doing if instead of stoking sexual fire and getting moist with a lover, I was committing that very same act with life itself?  

Think about it. Get on top or receive from underneath. During our everyday life, interactions, and engagements, the magmatic waters are constantly flowing, and the chamber of magic is upstairs in our thoughts. Thoughts are like hydroelectric dams—I’m serious. Stop the flow long enough on one and that thought will amplify. This is not some new age secret affair. One need only start worrying … and the result is foreseeable. As your thought amplifies with this arousing energy, it kicks up the waves around you, and what I have found, through years of working with clients and studying this process myself, is that thoughts eventually become people. Yes, I just said that. If you tend to think poorly about yourself, guess what—your next partner will be there to show you just what a wretch you are. Your boss will overlook your strengths. Conversely, if your lust pours into that book you are writing, people start showing up and giving you characters and situations to write about. The ardor you put into a pair of weights as your lift them gives you that extra rep and respect at the gym.

When I make love to life I throw on the vibration I feel when I’m engaged in sex. I let it dance through my fingers while typing this article. I feel the excitement in my mind as endorphins playfully glisten the air around me. “You like that?” “Oh yeah” I say to the salad I chop for dinner. So, foreplay your drive to work. Massage that pavement with your feet. Penetrate your conversations as you breath them in. Receive the gifts from another with good appetite. Kiss a difficult conversation. While doing these things, use that good energy to seed thoughts that will grow into the people of your dreams. Relationships are the essence of life.

2. Everything is currency. Compound interest is exactly what you should be doing with your emotions, thoughts, dreams, and your money (the way the credit card companies are doing it to you). 

I’m going to preach. That Old Proverbial Rabbi had a way with words, when he said, “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew, 13:12) Say you’ve only got a few dollars to your name. Well, sad to say, but it’s going leave you quick quickly as the World consumes it in exchange for survival and/or the ability to cope. 

Say you have a few million dollars. The world is going keep giving to you in interest and opportunity (if you’re not stupid and blow it all). So if you’ve been meaning to write that book or song, open that business, find that love of your life, or show yourself, once and for all, that you can really love you—your deposits of time and intention work no less effectively than that millionaire’s bank account, or that savings plan your parents or someone told you to start feeding when you were young. Thus, the currency you do not invest will be taken from you and given to someone else. Yet the investment you continually feed promises to return more of what you do, and anything, absolutely everything, is currency. Think about it, and try it while having sex (see number 1. above) for a double pulse.

Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it. —Albert Einstein

3. Your soul is a childlike version of yourself in a field of wildflowers, heroic quests, and sublime romances, waiting for the right inheritance of hormones and brain size to turn that field into life. 

It’s hard to let this kid down, seriously. While you are picturing your soul in this field, the motivation to be who you really are surfaces. Upon opening our eyes, one begins to curse the cubicle surrounding them. Clouds roll by outside the window and a sudden urge to paint them arrives from seemingly nowhere. A stranger passes us along the roadside and a conversation opens our heart. The urge to create magnifies, then sours any activity that takes the smile off that kid’s face or hurts the field he stands in. That child’s presence pollenates the field (see thought number 1.), and his or her numerous thoughts of living joyfully are an investment toward your best life possible (see number 2.). Let us spend some more time there, shall we?

Photo—BTO – Buy Tourism Online…/Flickr

Aug 08, 2015 No Comments
3 Non-Prescription Ways to Enhance Male Performance

3 Non-Prescription Ways to Enhance Male Performance

New Sex Horizons

Like some young men, I grew up with a strong libido and nowhere to put it. Who was I going to tell that I was horny most of the time? My male friends didn’t want to hear it unless the conversation somehow involved how to sleep with women and who was hot; certainly not my parents or teachers, and aside from my sexual partners (and even then), there was little room for verbal expression of how much I burned. My late elementary and high school years were spent without Internet access, so the exposure to pornography was, thankfully, limited. I can only imagine what my 15-year-old self would be doing right now.

An inability and ignorance toward what to do with sexual energy, coupled with vast overstimulation and embarrassing encounters with partners, sent me searching for answers.

Some of my friends are like a brontosaurus in a forest of tall trees, rarely ever struggling to reach the canopy, or so they say, and make no mistake, leafy greens go a “long” way. Yet in my practice and in conversations elsewhere, I am noticing that many men are secretly suffering from the same type of confidence-jarring episodes I had when I was younger. Health, by and large, is becoming multi-disciplined. The days of symptom “cures” are fading, and by that I mean drugs such as Viagra and Cialis. To fully restore a man’s sexual health, he must integrate several areas of life. Here are some of the non-prescription gems I have found to “give myself a lift.”

**Please note there are several conditions that contribute to erectile problems that cannot be solved by these methods., where medical assistance should be sought.**

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1. Our body’s malfunctions are both literal and symbolic: Erections have as much to do with virility and confidence, as they do with biology and blood flow. 

Western Mythology and Eastern Religious thought hold the erection, often referred to as the Phallus, as a symbol of fertility and strength. The erection is constellated in the symbol of Mars, with the arrow pointed up and away, honoring the god of action and ego (*note: he is not the god of the sexual, but of the energy). 

The negative side of this symbol indicates war and aggression, stewed with narcissism. However the virtue of these phalli represent a lust for life, circulation, and an ability to penetrate the mysteries of experience.   

A limp penis is allegorically associated with an inability to respond to the challenges of life or a depleted effort in following ones true calling. The shaft and head of the penis are structurally akin to the spinal column and brain. Just Google “Posture” and you will find that people who walk with a straight spine, and sit erect, have more blood flow to their brains, are perceived as more confident, and are healthier—indicating an engaged relationship with the world.

Flaccidity can drastically change when one turns their energy toward what they love to do in life. Our dreams are often represented in the stars: distant, but somehow attainable. Coincidentally we refer to famous people as stars. Jimmy Page, the lead guitarist of Led Zeppelin, was often portrayed as an “orgasmic” guitarist, flowing his life force through his fingers into the strings. When our intention is pinpointed on lofty goals, the stuff our dreams are made of, our thoughts and actions, will not be the only part of us that turns skyward. Your partner wants to experience your ardor, and so does the world.

2. Reduce understimulation and overstimulation

As a child I learned to self soothe my anxieties by putting my hand in my pants. Embarrassingly, this habit spilled over into my teen years, and I found that each time I became somewhat anxious, I’d be plowing my jeans. Many men masturbate frequently and find they no longer have the stimulation they need when their partners are ready for sex. Nerve endings need periods of rest, so as to not become habitually overstimulated. 

One solution for a man suffering from erectile difficulties is a period of abstinence. A full month, or even two weeks, can make a significant difference. This allows the nerves to recalibrate, anxieties to be dealt with emotionally, and for sex to be exciting again. Drugs and alcohol should be avoided during this time, as they can be great downers when it comes to the male member. 

Overstimulation can also take place in the mind. If a man mentally gets naked with every attractive woman he sees, overstimulation occurs, and the nerves still fire. However, if a man is able to breathe this aliveness and lust throughout his entire body (to be covered in another article), rather than fantasizing, he can heal himself and honor the attracting energy rather than waste it.  Pornography, the greatest over-stimulator of them all, often spells certain doom for the actual sexual encounter.

Understimulation constitutes a complete avoidance of sexual energy, a fear of touching oneself, and suppression of passion.  Sexual energy that is skewed, scattered, or squelched (as a professor of mine used to say) can produce emotional imbalances, physical illnesses, and intimacy deficiencies, as well as (following the first suggestion) a general melancholic stance in life or unruly aggression. Men need some randiness!

3. It’s all in the climax.

Literally. The best parts of the blood work to produce sperm. Hence the best energy in the body is used and infused in this liquid. It does, after all, contain the potential components to help create an entire new life-form (or more than one). Potent stuff! One of the most effective ways to restore your ability is to engage fully in sexual activity with your partner, but leave orgasm out as the goal. In this way, you will not feel depleted afterward, your bonding neurotransmitters will not be spent (see Cupid’s Poison Arrow, a book on non-ejaculatory sex), you will be spared from under or overstimulation, and your chances of being ready next time around will be enhanced. Also, that same energy that goes into creating a child will be re-circulated back through your body and can be used toward your dreams, goals, projects, and relationship (yet another article).

The most fertile ground for the most potent erection of life’s forces is a relationship that is emotionally, physically, and mentally safe, one in which both partners are imbued with a love for life as well as each other, and one in which their stimulation is sourced and contained within their mutual vessel and the energy generated is not wasted in frugal moments, but spent on those things in life that will provide them a positive return.

These methods may not work for everyone, but I’m betting there are countless men who can use these tips to crank things up without the pills and start enjoying sex with their partners again.

Photo—Charlie Phillips/Flickr

Aug 05, 2015 No Comments

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Jordan Kozey

206 2445 Broad Street
Regina, SK S4P0C7
(306) 581-4149

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Jordan Kozey, MA - R. Psych. (provisional)

206 2445 Broad Street - Regina, SK - S4P0C7

psychotherapy@jordankozey.com

(306)581-4149

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