Can you heal from abuse? What do I do after leaving my narcissist? What does a healthy relationship look like? These concerns cross the minds of over 20 people every minute; over 28,800 people every day. And the sad fact is, we still don’t talk about it enough. Healing from Emotional Abuse isn’t a bandaid situation. But it doesn’t have to take years either. Millions of other survivors around the worlds entire lives have been impacted by their narcissist. Yours doesn’t have to. To show you how to live a free, confident and peaceful life, your host and Founder of the Healing From Emotional Abuse Philosophy, Marissa F. Cohen.
Marissa: Welcome back to Healing From Emotional Abuse. Today, I’m so excited to talk to my amazing, beautiful brilliant friend, Orsika, who is not only in the process of writing a phenomenal book, but we are working on a program together, (which we’ll get a little more into in a couple minutes) to work with survivors and their family units. Orsika is a strong, amazing, brave advocate and survivor and champion of her voice who overcame so many incredibly difficult obstacles and put an entire family back together all by herself. I’m so honored to call her my business partner and my friend. Welcome Orsika, thank you so much for joining us today.
Orsika: Absolutely. My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Marissa.
Marissa: Oh, of course. Would you mind speaking with us about your truth?
Orsika: No, that’s totally fine. I’m so happy to share, because I know that sharing my story helps other people heal. And it’s taken me a really long time to understand that and really, truly grasp that through my story, other people can heal. Because when you’re in a narcissistic relationship situation, you definitely feel alone, and your friends who are surrounding you and have been supportive of you your entire life, or even just for the past few years, if they’ve never been there, they don’t know how to support. So, then you have to look for support outside of your comfort zone, which is so incredibly difficult. So, you know, for your listeners, just know that you are not alone, we are here to help you. We are here to support you. We are here to love you when you’re ready to be loved again. And that’s a hard concept too.
But anyway, that’s all a precursor to say we were married. I was married to my abuser, and he was your stereotypical narcissist. And it was definitely a difficult situation, we were there for four years, he was verbally abusive at first, and then proceeded on to other things. And when he took it upon himself to take what I wasn’t willing to give him, then I decided we needed to flee. And so that’s what we did. And that’s been, we’ll celebrate nine years of freedom in July of this year (2020). And I’m super excited. Our family dynamic has changed, of course, for the better in that nine years. The children have grown up, and I have healed and have forgiven. And it’s you know, it’s all a time thing. And it’s all, “Are you willing to forgive not for their benefit, but for yours?” That’s, that was a really foreign concept to me in the beginning. But I realized that forgiveness is 100% for me, not for the narcissist.
Marissa: I’m so happy you brought that up. Because you’re right. Forgiveness is so important. And it’s super overlooked. Some people feel like it’s a religious thing. But really, you’re doing nothing but helping yourself by forgiving. You’re never forgetting, you know, you don’t forgive and forget, you just forgive. And you remember and learn. Right?
Orsika: Right? They say that you forgive or forget. But if you forget, then you’re going to repeat it again and again and again.
Orsika: Why would you want to do that? Why would that even cross somebody’s mind that they’re like, “Oh, please put me in another abusive situation. I just got out of one. Yeah, hook me up with that for the rest of my life.” Now, I fully understand that the mentality of the degrading words that are said to you. How they get into your brain, I consider myself a somewhat intelligent human being. And even he was able to manipulate me to think that I was less than that. And so all that to say, I understand fully firsthand how women and men feel like that’s all their worth is going from one narcissist to another to another. But I’m here to tell you and your listeners that that’s not the reality of your life, that it has to be right. So, you can choose to not allow that in your life. It’s hard. It’s hard as heck, it’s really, really challenging. But you can make those choices and you can start to slowly understand that you’re worthy of more than emotional abuse.
Marissa: Right. I think another part of it is getting stuck in that cycle. You get so used to your routine. And so natural, healthy, nontoxic love doesn’t seem like love anymore, because I rain is so rewired to think that love is being abused love is being manipulated in so many words, you know?
Orsika: Right, right. And especially the younger listeners, right? So, if it’s a first boyfriend or a second boyfriend, you know, you’ve gotten this solid, unconditional love, hopefully from your parents hopefully. So that’s the love that you know from your parents and from your family, if you were raised in a healthy environment, and then you wonder how did I get into this abusive situation? But if it’s a younger relationship, you kind of go, “Oh, this is what it must be like to be dating somebody. So, this is the norm.” And nobody talks about it. So, nobody really knows that that’s not the norm. So, for the younger listeners, yeah, you might very likely think this has gotta be the norm.
Marissa: Right? I love that. You said that when I was in high school, we had a, an assembly about loveisrespect.org. And it was all about teen dating violence and how your first relationship really sets the standard for your future relationships. And if your first relationship was abusive, like mine was, it set the standard pretty low, for what to accept from love; From a partner. And it’s so different from your unconditional parental love, if you had that at home, if you have a healthy home life, because you’re looking for different things. And you know, you’re an adult in a relationship, even if you’re 16, and want very different things. I’m really happy you brought all that up. So, one of the things that I truly love about you is your humongous heart. And you are doing so much work, and creating so many things, and avenues and resources for survivors to tell us a little bit about what you’re doing.
Orsika: You’re going to get me crying on the phone. Wow, that was really powerful! Thanks Marissa. And it’s so funny, and I’m literally in tears right now, I wish you could see my face, but I’m literally in tears right now. Because it has been a heck of a journey, people. Like it’s, you know, if you would have told me five years ago, that I would have been a domestic abuse advocate, I would have laughed in your face, and then gone home and cried, because that means I have to admit that I have been domestically abused. And that was hard. Because I was raised in a very healthy environment. And the abuse was my second marriage And so I was in a, you know, you can call it a loving relationship, it just was a lack of communication. So that’s why the breakdown of the first relationship. But I would have never thought that as a single mom of two, I would get in a situation where I would be abused emotionally, mentally, and then physically right. And so now, I’m passionate about it. Because you don’t have to be the 16-year-old who has the first boyfriend and then sets the tone. You can be that single mom who has had somewhat healthy relationships, and all of a sudden, this narcissist, you know, preys on you.
So, what I’m doing now with every thing that I’ve learned and everything that I’ve overcome, and everything that I’ve championed through, I have a book that’s at the publisher should be coming out in July; I have a program that I’m setting up for single parents, and for dual parent households for helping the moms and dads who are single-parents overcome abuse, and getting out of survival mode and learning to live life, again. And for the parents who are also helping their child who has been abused by either a stranger or a family member. More often than not, it’s a family member. But you know, I had to help my son, you don’t know. So that’s why I’m telling you, I had to help my son overcome his abuse and the girls who are older than he is, I helped them heal from it as well, even though they weren’t affected by it nearly as much as he was.
So, I have a book coming out I’m working on this program for single parents to deal with it, for dual parent households to deal with it. And then Marissa and I are working on a program as well, which she can fill you in more so that you can hear some from her too.
Marissa: Our program, I think is really, really cool. Because it’s not just healing one aspect of the family or one aspect of the abuse. Abuse, and assault affects the whole family unit. Even if they weren’t directly involved. I can only speak for my experience. But when I was in my abusive relationship, the way I acted out and lashed out affected my family and the way that he treated me affected my family because it affected me. And so, as a family unit we needed to heal. And I think so many programs overlook that aspect that my mom needed to heal. My mom, I remember having fights with her because she wanted to send my abusers mama letter, telling her everything that he did to me. And that was before I recognized it. That was her way of needing to heal And I wasn’t letting her do that. So, I want to work with Orsika, because I think you’re brilliant, to create a program using her expertise which is healing the family and mind healing the person. And then the whole family unit is now in a healthier mental state.
Orsika: Right and Marisa really opened my eyes and that’s a great way to describe the program that we’re working on. Thank you for that. Marissa did a fabulous job opening my eyes to, because I was in survival mode for so long and because I was a single mom of now three children to help heal. So there were four of us but the healing process was solely on my own shoulders. And Marissa helped me realize that, “Oh my gosh, my mom, my dad and my brother and sister needed to heal from my abuse too.” You know, just because you’re an adult, so Marissa’s abuse situation was when she was still living at home, right? So, I didn’t as an adult, even consider that my mom, dad, and siblings needed to heal from my abuse, like that was because I was so focused on my immediate family, myself and my three children. It was just so far fetched to think, “Oh, my gosh, my mom went through stuff, too. And my dad, though he’s quiet, he went through stuff too. And my brother and sister helped me.” It’s really eye opening. And that was such a huge “aha” moment for me to be like, “Oh, I forgot about them.” And it’s okay, folks. It’s okay to forget as an adult about your extended family, who was your immediate family because you’re in survival mode. So, forgive yourself It’s okay. But just realize that, yes, mom, dad and siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, whomever you’re close to, they need to heal through your abuse as well, your situation as well.
Marissa: I love that. I think it’s so important to, yes, heal yourself, heal your immediate family, heal the people that are in your direct circle, but also branch out and let your loved ones who may also be affected know that they’re supported, and you’ll all heal together.
Orskia: Yeah, it’s huge. It’s huge. Yeah,
Marissa: I didn’t know how affected my brother was until a couple of years later, when he had finally told me how much he hated my narcissist for what he did to me. And you could really see that it was he was passionate. And up to that point, me and him weren’t that close. That was a true eye opener, I didn’t realize how effective he was as well.
So, I know that you mentioned you’re writing a book, and it is in the publishers and we will send out more information about that when we have more information. What advice would you want to give to survivors and parents of survivors and families to help them through their crisis.
Orsika: So huge, huge, huge, first and foremost, as the family and the parents of the survivor, let the survivor the champion, the one who got away, know that they are loved, and that they are not alone. Because it’s so hard, especially when you’re living on your own and you’re raising children, it’s so hard to, to think of anybody loving you, because you’ve just gotten out of the situation. And I know for a fact that your immediate family should on paper love you, Right? And they may not say it, and they may not know how to even express it after you’ve gotten out of that situation, right? But as family members, just show that love and if that means. Lets say you look at your child, and you’re like, wow, you’re a moron for allowing this to happen to you. Please don’t ever say that, like the child already, your adult child already knows this was not the best choice in their life. They had a lesson to learn. Hopefully, they learned it. So if you can’t, for some reason, if you’re incapable for some reason, to be able to communicate positively with your child, then don’t communicate with them, verbally. Communicate with them through actions, buy them groceries, offer to buy them tires, offered to pay for part of their electric bill, pay the electric company directly so that you know that your human is using it for that, you know, that’s definitely a recommendation. But show support in action, if you are lacking the ability to support in a positive verbal way. Because the last thing that the abuse person needs is more verbal abuse, because that will 100% make sure that they shut down and share 0% of their life with you. So as family members show support in the way you know how, in the best way you know how. And if you are lacking in figuring that out if you need support, and that by all means reach out to either one of us, and we’ll be happy to help you through that situation. Because it’s just rewarding things. You know, instead of like, “Wow, honey, you really screwed up.” You could just be like; “I know you’re in a bad spot. Let me send you five bucks. So, you can take the kids or yourself for ice cream. Or buy yourself a Starbucks or you know, whatever.”
Marissa: I love that advice. Thank you. And just to kind of snowball off of that. If you’re not comfortable having like a conversation with this survivor, A lot of the time, we don’t even really want advice. We just want to and the best thing that you can do. Aside from paying our electric bill, mom. Just be there, you know, be a silent person to hold their hand and let them talk. And I want to talk and they don’t ask for advice. Don’t give advice. Just don’t. Just let them talk it out. They just want to have their moment where they can let all real lease everything. So that’s another option you can either pay their electric bill by on groceries or just be there. Just having a presence there is so beyond meaningful. I really can’t put it into words.
Orsika: Yeah, it is and it when you’re showing up to your survivors, homestead, bring their favorite treat. Because realistically, they don’t even think about it. Bring the Pop Tarts, okay, they’re the least healthy thing you can give them, who cares? Then bring the Twinkies It doesn’t matter. Bring them honey, something that they won’t buy for themselves because they don’t think that they’re deserving of it. Bring their favorite childhood treats and let them come back to that childhood happy place.
Marissa: I love that. Chocolate’s always a winner with me.
Orsika: I mean sure.
Marissa: Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you and working with you and everything that you said. You’re just brilliant and I adore you. And I’m so excited for your book to come out. And I’m excited to finish our program which I will put more info in the description when we have it. And your single parent guide, I think will be really amazing. I’m very excited for that as well.
Orsika: I am to thank you so much for having me this is just a blast anytime with Marissa is always good and uplifting. So, for you listeners if you want uplifting, Marissa is your girl because she does it. She does it well.
Marissa: Oh, thank you. You’re going to make me cry.
If you enjoyed this podcast, you have to check out www.MarissaFayeCohen.com/Private-Coaching. Marissa would love to develop a made-for-you healing plan to heal from emotional abuse. She does all the work, and you just show up. Stop feeling stuck, alone, and hurt, and live a free, confident, and peaceful life. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Healing From Emotional Abuse podcast, and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marissafcohen, and instagram @Marissa.Faye.Cohen. We’d love to see you there!
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