Our newest location is now open in Ladysmith, BC!

Limitless Wellness was established in 2013 and we have quickly become the trusted name for Counselling services in our community. We are a team of experienced and passionate helpers, priding ourselves on being your trusted resource. A coming together of authentic, compassionate therapists. For each of us, counselling is our calling, our purpose and we are so honoured to join our clients on their journey.

We are so excited to announce the opening of our Ladysmith office. Adding Ladysmith, BC to our existing offices in Nanaimo and Parksville, BC means we are now even more accessible to our central island community.

Ryan Tompkins is our Counsellor in Ladysmith working from a centrally located, beautiful and peaceful office space.  The path to a career in mental health and counselling therapies is always unique and yet there is a common theme for each of us. The path that brings us to this calling, manages to find us. It is a treasured experience and story. Ask any of our team, why we do what we do and you will see this spark.

This couldn’t be truer for our colleague, Ryan, and we are proud to have his experience, skills and devotion on the team. To learn more about Ryan, click here.

Click here for information on all of our locations.

Looking forward to serving the Ladysmith community and surrounding areas!

 

 

Warmest regards,

The Limitless Wellness Team

3 Reasons For & Against French Immersion & 5 Reasons Not To Stress

Choosing where your child goes to school can be stressful. It can cause conflict in relationships and emerge as an issue within couples counselling and the work Counsellors do here in Nanaimo and on Vancouver Island.

In our global society and multicultural relationships, many parents come from very different backgrounds. These natural differences can result in strong feelings about how one’s child should be educated.

I, for example, was raised and educated in Ireland where the Irish language as we call it, “Gaeilge”, is compulsory from day one. In fact, unless you qualify for some kind of exemption, you can’t go to university without having passed your final Irish exam in high school. I took German in high school too (just to be different) and though I enjoyed it in some ways, I never had a passion for languages.

Now, for purposes of full disclosure and potential bias, my eldest is in Kindergarten in a local French Immersion school. I don’t speak French and I am not about to sway you all to join me and the choice my family made.

 

3 Reasons for French Immersion

1. The earlier a child starts learning a new language, the easier it is for them. Also,  learning more than one language helps with overall language skills. So, if children are required to learn another language within the Canadian school system then it could make sense to immerse them in it from the beginning.

2. If you do not like aspects of your child’s catchment school then French Immersion is an alternative. Alternatives are important and necessary.

3. For those who stick with French Immersion, the benefits of a French education can certainly open doors down the road. One study performed by the Association of Canadian Studies found that workers who could speak both French and English earn almost 10 percent more than those who speak English alone. Not to mention the fact that nearly 67,000 Government of Canada jobs require workers to be proficient in both official languages.

 


3 Reasons Against French Immersion

1. French or other languages, in general, have become less important to English speaking parts of the globe as a means to getting ahead in the working world. As British Columbians (or immigrants to BC) we could argue we are lucky to have English as the commonly spoken language, the global language of business and trade. So why add another language at all?

2. If it is later discovered that your child has a learning disability of any kind (in elementary school), then French Immersion may no longer be the best fit and your child will have to experience a transition to another school (true for Nanaimo/central Vancouver Island). This could be stressful and upsetting for the child and the family.

3. The drop-out rate from the French Immersion program is high, which is indicative of the added challenges of the program. 

I was like many other parents, unsure whether to choose French Immersion and I still have concerns sometimes. I do wish to normalize your concerns and invite you to consider the following.

 

5 Reasons Not To Stress!

1. The very fact you are thinking about your child’s education and reading this article means you are already being a good parent. Caring about your child’s education, their wellbeing, and their world will always be more important than what school they go to.

2. Whatever challenges come their way, and there will be challenges regardless, your support will be the difference that matters overall.

3. The bottom line is that no matter how much research you do, there are arguments for both choices and you just won’t know what is working or going well until you and your child are in the school system. 

4. A lot is out of your control but what you can control is the relationship you cultivate with your child about education in general. If your child has a positive attitude towards their education and good experiences especially in the early years of elementary school then you will have succeeded in the most impactful way. You will have encouraged your child to enjoy learning and if they have that, then they will do well wherever they go to school.

5. We are lucky when it comes to where we live in BC. We have small enough communities on Vancouver Island and here in Nanaimo that our children’s school or neighbourhood does not need to determine or control their sense of community and friendships. How many of us still see the same faces we met at the Health Unit when we were brand new parents or bump into friends when out and about? School is just one part of what will shape your little person. 

Perhaps these points can help you to put a little less pressure on yourself and your relationships as you accompany your child through the varying chapters of their young lives.

 

The Pandemic of our Psyche

How the shackling of our inner nomad has tested the mental health of humanity

Modern humans have been around for about 100,000 years and just about 8000 b.c.e. we started actually producing our own food out of the ground. The first city built was called Ur in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) in 3800 b.c.e. and it was a fortified city to protect it from Nomadic raids. It was on this latitudinal axis that cities developed and the agricultural revolution spread around the world.

 

Up until this revolution only about 6000 years ago, modern mankind lived and knew only a nomadic life. A life which played an enormous role in our survival, our way of thinking and one which our collective consciousness has perhaps too easily forgotten. It is this loss of our nomadic past, our way of being for most of our existence that I think is contributing to the mental suffering we are experiencing today on a mass scale, and which has been exacerbated by the effects of the current Covid-19 Pandemic. 

 

For most of our existence we settled only temporarily, with our minds always focussed on what was next over the horizon. We were always looking ahead, planning ahead, and expecting and living in a routine of change

 

This ancient nomadic life was carved into the psyche of mankind. It developed over the span of 90,000 years and a million years if we include our evolutionary ancestors. 

 

Creatures of habit, a fitting description of our human nature. But do not confuse our habitual qualities with a desire to stay still.  We come from movement and progression. Today this instinct, though suppressed, has been rippling beneath us like an invisible but powerful undertow. 

 

When we look a little closer at our collective and shared behaviours in our modern daily life, I beg to argue that our inner ancient nomad has found ways to express himself. He is there in our desire for adventure, discovery, making plans, creating and wanting change in ourselves and our surroundings. We are still looking to the horizon and changing the scenery, routinely, and habitually. 

 

The gift of being human that separates us from other life is this ability to ask “what’s next?”. We plan holidays away to new places, home improvements, trips to exotic shows and events. We play sports and follow teams. We buy new cars, new clothes, new hairdos, arrange parties and family gatherings. We change jobs, and take courses to expand our minds. We plan our week the events ahead and ultimately we have been feeding our inner nomads without knowing it. Always planning what’s next. 

 

What is on the horizon has been and still is a fundamental contributor to our ability to motivate ourselves. The coming of change has enabled us to hope, push through hard times and stay strong. Our ancient nomad has played a huge role in our mental health from the beginning and needs a serious tending to as we come out of the other side of this Pandemic.

 

The Covid-19 Pandemic has shaken this part of our psyche, this fundamental way we find meaning and thus motivation in an unanticipated and rather critical way. It took away our plans, our hopes, and our sources of motivation.

 

This is the Pandemic of our Psyche. Our nomadic existence has been woven into the fabric of our daily life as we have been trying to adapt to this alien way of living. The effects of our necessary response to this Covid-19 Pandemic shook the very roots of our being and some of the delicate strings that were holding us together. 

 

I’ve observed this great loss in my work as a counsellor over the past year, as well as in myself since the beginning of this Pandemic. Everyone, from every walk of life and every age has felt this deep unraveling. Our view of the horizon ahead was suddenly no longer in sight and an intangible mysterious grief rolled in. We were grappling with a loss we could not fully grasp, only knowing we were missing a part of ourselves, a part of our daily lives, our daily purpose.

 

Mental health, a rather new concern in our history, has been gradually entering the conversation more and more. 2020 suddenly catapulted mental health to the forefront, making it an issue for humanity, and not just of an unfortunate minority. An emptiness has been growing within the human soul, yet without even knowing it, until this Pandemic struck, we had been nurturing our inner nomad and he had been playing a very critical role. 

 

Conversation in my office often comes around to the exploration of our abiding nature as humans in an effort to study the self, our needs, our ways and develop an ability to extend compassion within. Too much of new age regurgitated philosophy encourages a leap over our past and our history. The goal being to crashcourse our way to enlightenment and a better self. It is one of my passions to dispel the notion this is possible. Our homosapien instincts must be utilised, tended to and understood. We must first know where we came from if we are to navigate and map out the future we need.

 

Lockdown is not natural. It is human to resist, to worry and to squirm from within. Lockdowns and social restrictions have taken from you and the quality of your life. What you are feeling is not extreme, it is normal. You are feeling intense emotions because very primitive parts of your nature have been forced into silence and shackled in place.

 

If you have felt this sense of loss too and wondered “why is it so hard for us to just stay the hell home,” I invite you, and all of us, to give yourself a break. You’ve been a roaming, searching, and travelling nomad for 90,000 years, neither  you, nor I are about to undo these instincts.  

 

So make space for that inner nomad. Get familiar again with this part of your being and appreciate it and make some plans! Look to the horizon, to the end of this period in our existence and position some wonderful dreams, hopes and desires for that road ahead. A horizon that is coming again. 

Nanaimo – How do we feel about sending our kids to school in September?

I am a mom and have a Kindergartener starting in September. I am seeing a range of emotions from other parents and a lot of uncertainty about the September school year beginning during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Vancouver Island has been very lucky so far with our low number of reported cases of Covid-19. I think we are all wondering if that will stay the case when September rolls around.

Do we think our schools and the safety measures they put in place will be enough to prevent spreading Covid-19 in our community?

Are our children or the teachers going to be wearing masks all day and how do we feel about that?

Young children especially will get the common cold and other viruses during the winter season and these snotty noses and coughs can linger for weeks. How do we manage keeping them home?

There is a lot of talk from the powers that be, about the importance of getting children back to school for their mental health. Of course we all know how important education, exercise and socialising is to our children but from my perspective the reality of making sure the economy is kept going is probably their main concern. We need an available workforce in order to do that. Don’t get me wrong, it is a tough position for our government to be in and our economy does need to keep running but I’d prefer if that was the message given rather than saying it is about mental health. 

The mental health of our little people is fundamental but my main concern is not whether they are at school or not, it is about how our school system will manage social distancing protocols while also not inducing stress and worry in our children. That for me is the real mental health concern. We need to be discussing how going back to school is managed so that this new school environment does not cause mental health issues.  

Older children can at least understand more about the situation and how it is only temporary but for our younger elementary kids, this experience at school in the formative years could have lasting harmful effects on both their mental health and their opinion of school/education overall, if not handled with care.

What are your concerns or thoughts and what kind of conversations are you having with your children?

 

Thank You Dad

An overdue message of gratitude this Father’s Day for the dads who succeeded even when their relationships did not.

For all the men who put their children above themselves. You are fathers. For all the fathers who do not seek to possess their children but rather support their lives. You are loved.

 

For you to know my gratitude you must also know just how terribly wrong it can go for children. Too often the negative conversation about fathers focuses on the fathers who were not there for their children. About the dads who abandoned and neglected their responsibilities. This is not that exact story but rather the other side of the same coin and the story that is becoming more commonplace in modern society. The fathers who force their way, and their wishes, upon their children after a relationship breakdown. Whether a father abandons his children, or forces his will upon them, he is still acting in his own interests only and not much has changed. 

 

My father did not choose either of these self serving routes. My experiences as an adult and a parent have gifted me a new gratitude for my dad, for what he did and didn’t do, and the fathers out there today who are making the same sacrifice for their children. This gratitude is for my father and all the fathers who have suffered the pain of family breakdown, but had the maturity and selflessness to honour their child’s autonomy even at the sacrifice of their own feelings.

 

I was 12 when my parents separated. It is only from reflecting as an adult that I can see the writing was on the wall. Flashes of memories spent looking out the bedroom window and wondering if my dad would return as he left the house to clear his head. Nights spent sitting on the top stair, still as a ghost, listening to my parents pain. 

 

As time passed, my sadness grew roots of resentment. I was hurt and angry. Though my dad never left me, I turned down a lot of his efforts to connect with me for a long time. What was once a natural parent/child relationship now felt like a duty and a chore. Emotions greater than my ability to express them meant I felt guilty that my inarticulate pain hurt my dad too. My dad allowed me to choose what I needed even though I’m sure it hurt him.

 

In all that followed my parents departure from each other, my father did not force his love. He did not insist upon his fatherhood or pin all his hopes and dreams on that role. His role in my life, his purpose, was never in question. My father knew that my attachment to my mother was not a threat to my bond with him. My dad also knew that my world was my home, my neighbourhood, my friends, my school, and my bed. He did not insist upon disrupting my world  to force his presence or influence upon me. 

 

Nowadays the scene of a family breakdown can be much different and a parents misguided focus on their own equality can result in the vulnerable children being put in harm’s way. It is only by experiencing my own divorce that I can appreciate the choices my father made. For me this is the silver lining in what was and continues to be the most harrowing experience of my life. 

 

Love isn’t forceful and not everyone knows that. I’ve witnessed what happens when a parent’s selfish love, and their focus on their own self preservation causes destruction, pain, and harm. This suffering has gifted me today’s gratitude. To elaborate on this experience further would be to fill a book and risk putting my children and myself in harm’s way. 

 

The bond between mother and child is sacred but not a threat. It certainly wasn’t to my father. My dad valued my wishes without me needing to voice them. He was just there for me. I know now that had my dad taken a more selfish route, our relationship today would be so much less fulfilling and I would be a very different person. And worse, there might not have been a relationship between as at all.

 

My father did not use his equality as a parent, or his financial superiority before the law, to serve his own needs. If a parent makes this tragic error and finds support in the law, or rather a lack of law, the child is completely disregarded without voice or power. Children born out of love are now enslaved to the servicing of their parent’s emotions.

 

How a parent treats their child shows that child how they deserve to be treated in life. It is that simple. If my own dad hadn’t respected me as a person in my own right, had seen his loss of standing in his marriage as a threat and sought only to control would I have ever felt worthy of my own voice in my own life? 

 

I have immense gratitude now for my dad’s actions, his love, and his selflessness. I wish to extend that gratitude to the other dads out there who are doing the same. I could not have comprehended this gratitude as a child, much like your own children can not yet fathom the sacrifices you make now.

 

So for this selfless act of true fatherhood on Father’s Day 2020, I say thank you Dad. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for always being there as you manoeuvred through the trials of your own life. Thank you for valuing my will and my autonomy. Thank you for sacrificing your own feelings to protect mine. And thank you for trusting that the love between father and child meant I was always going to find my way to you on my own terms. 

 

I love you. Always. Happy Father’s Day

 

Note to the reader: The path to becoming a Counsellor is unlike many other passions or pursuits. It is a position often found or solidified in the personal life experiences of the Counsellor. For this reason our Counsellors at Limitless Wellness will often write from a place of experience and learned insight. We too examine our own lives as we support clients to do in our work together. For the safety of our team and the privacy of their family, our blogs may often appear unauthored.

 

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Date Night…During Covid-19?

So you are stuck at home and losing the will to brush your hair or wear pants for that matter! While you try to stay safe and healthy, the fun and romance in your life is dying a death. The children are running frantic laps around your feet and you contemplate knocking down a wall to create a more open, outdoorsy feeling…inside!

Feelings of stress and anxiety are heightened as we also rely more heavily on those closest to meet our emotional and social needs.  Isolation fatigue is setting in.

Here’s just one idea to to help maintain your sanity, reduce stress and keep the fun in your romantic relationship:

 

Date Night, At Home…but with all the bells and whistles! 

  • Tidy the house (or at least the living room)
  • Get dressed up (Yes, pants, dresses and heels)
  • Set the mood, candles, lighting, scents
  • Find a home concert to watch – Here’s a list of live concerts and shows you can stream from home
  • Then order food! Skip the Dishes has so many options or better yet check out our local Firehouse Grill. Feel good about spending money too as you support local restaurants. One great option right now are the “Pub Packs”, on offer from the Firehouse Grill in Nanaimo. They bring the beer too. Check out their Facebook page for more up to the minute menus.

 

This event in the world is a reminder that we can not control everything. We are never fully in control of what happens in our lives. This can be both a freeing and worrying realization. We can however look to what is in our control and make choices from there. Take charge of what you can, and create some joy.

Remember, our team of Counsellors are available for online appointments should you or someone you care about need support.

How is Covid-19 changing the dating scene and the life of singles?

Online dating apps like Tinder have been popular for a long time but for the time being it is likely the only chance many have of finding a romantic connection. 

In my own experience on dating apps, I learned pretty quickly that meeting up in person early on saved a lot of time. One could waste so much energy messaging someone only to find they look nothing like what you expected, there is just no chemistry or even something strange like they can not make eye contact! 

Now single people are being forced in many most parts of the world to exercise social distancing and social meeting places like bars and cafe’s are closed. The conversations must continue in the virtual world if finding a partner is still an interest at a time like this. Let’s not kid ourselves though, of course it is an interest. Perhaps it is ever more pressing for some as people around the world are separated from each other, alone in their homes and quite frankly afraid.

Perhaps deeper connections will happen as people are forced to refrain from meeting and even getting intimate with each other. Maybe a way to further growing online connections is to utilize video apps like FaceTime. I personally can’t say as I am not single but as someone passionate about human behaviour, mental health and healthy romantic relationships, I am wondering. 

I know that one downside of online dating can be the temptation to communicate with many at once. For a lot of people this is or was the norm of dating. When you met your online prospect in person, you had to assume they had many other prospects on the go and maybe you did too. For a lot of people this is an enjoyable way to date but in the long run it can actually reduce our chances of making a long term connection. Though the last point there is deserving of another blog entirely, I will summarize by suggesting that when we keep our dating options very open, we remain somewhat closed to being vulnerable and open with one person. The risk is that we can develop many superficial but safe relationships but loose out on the connection that develops when we focus on just one person. 

So now what? You can’t really meet in person or at least you shouldn’t. Will those who are single continue the status quo of building virtual connections with many others or will you choose to focus on one person and see what could develop? Will online dating during Covid-19 force us to go deeper before meeting? Will social distancing actually result in more lasting connections developing? 

I’d love to hear from others on this! Single people out there, how are you coping in the new world of Covid-19 dating? Will you chat with many, will you try to develop a relationship further without actually meeting and what will that look like? Have you shut the door on dating entirely or do you feel that the pandemic has encouraged you even more to pursue a romantic companion in this life? 

Covid-19 Brings Vancouver Island Counselling Online

As of March 2020 all of our team are available for online Counselling appointments. All you need is a private space in your home where you are comfortable to talk freely.

Reduced rates available for those quarantined at home or have lost their job due to Covid-19.

It was only earlier this month that my colleague and I were discussing online Counselling and how we could encourage some of our clients to try out this option. We could not have anticipated the timeliness of our conversation as online appointments have become a necessity.

The necessity for online Counselling is two fold. We must first ensure the safety of our community but also remain available during what is likely to be the most difficult mental health challenge of our lifetime.

Below is the conversation I had with, one of our skilled therapists here at Limitless Wellness on Vancouver Island.

When you first heard about online Counselling, did you have any immediate thoughts about it? I know for me when I first began my practice 7 years ago, I was skeptical that the same kind of connection I have with my clients could be achieved through a computer screen. 

Answer: “I thought it might be quite impersonal and, as a person who didn’t grow up with technology, it seemed like it might be too complicated. I also wondered about confidentiality, my internet connection failing mid-session, and how open clients would be to trying it out, at least once.”

What has your experience been of online Counselling since you started to make this available to your clients?

Answer: “I’ve found that all of my concerns were unfounded. In fact, my experience has been the exact opposite. The connection between myself and my clients has been as intact as though we were in the same room. Doing sessions online via Zoom has proven to be very easy and secure (Zoom is encrypted) and my clients have responded positively to this method of delivery. The other bonus is that I can work more extensive hours because of the convenience of online counselling, and I can now book clients with less waiting time, both in-between sessions and in-between the request and the session. My schedule is much more flexible overall. I actually helped a client on New Year’s eve with a last minute appointment. Online counselling opens up a whole new line of communication and Zoom makes it safe, easy, and convenient.”

How does this compare to your experience with helping clients in person?

Answer “I find that online counselling feels much the same as sitting with someone in person. I’m always in a private space when I’m having an online session, and I encourage my clients to find their own private space so that they don’t feel the need to censor themselves. It’s important for them to be able to say anything they need to say. The one difference is that it’s easier for clients to multi-task and use other devices when we are in a session. I ask them to turn everything else off and concentrate on our interaction. We still need to focus on each other and the content of the session to the exclusion of all else, the same as if we were in the room together.”

Have your clients shared any feedback about their experience?

Answer: “What I have been told is that clients like the convenience and that online counselling works with their schedules. This is an age where many people often work more than 1 job, work more than 40 hours a week, and have many other commitments, such as family, school, and leisure activities. Online counselling means that they don’t have to use up their precious time in transit. And, it’s so ‘normal’ for people to be engaged online now that they sign on and interact without any second thoughts.”

Is there anyone in particular you think online Counselling works best for?

Answer: “I know that the more technology-savvy generation, who now seem to be almost in their 40’s and younger, have no problem adapting to online sessions. I would say that everyone has internet service and devices with cameras these days. The older generation, myself included, are also pretty savvy because we don’t want to be left behind. I guess I’m saying that online counselling works for everyone now. There’s really no barrier other than our attitudes toward it.”

What would you say to someone who is unsure about trying our online Counselling service?

Answer: “I’m more than happy to have a free, 20-minute consultation with any potential client who wants to test out online counselling and see if I’m a good fit for them. I always give good instructions on how to access the Zoom link that I send in an email. We’ll work through the process together. Patience is the key and I have lots of that!”

 

 

 

 

The Limitless Wellness Team: A Message about Covid-19

To our clients and our community.

As we all heed the warnings about protecting ourselves from Covid-19, we wish to take a moment to remind each other of the importance of also protecting our mental health at this time. There is undoubtedly added stress and anxiety in our daily lives. By also taking care of our mental wellness we can ensure that we don’t contribute or succumb to the emerging irrational panic.

For your peace of mind:

Please rest assured that your Counsellor will notify you if they become unwell. We trust our clients will do the same and we have waived our 24 cancellation policy in the event any of our clients do become symptomatic .

The current official information advises against large gatherings (greater than 250) and close contact. Close contact has been defined as standing directly beside someone where you may not be protected against another persons uncovered cough.

Luckily we work from a home office and client appointments are always spaced out. You will therefore only encounter your Counsellor at your  appointment and we have stocked hand sanitizer for your added safety.

Additionally, our Counsellor, Paula offers online Counselling for anyone who does become ill or is advised to self isolate.

For these reasons, appointment bookings will continue as normal and we look forward to seeing you and supporting our community.

 

 

Warmest regards,

The Limitless Wellness Team

There Won’t Be Flowers On Their Grave

5 Lessons On The Path To Overcoming An Emotionally Abusive Relationship 

 

I’ve put off writing about this subject for some time. There is just so much to say and to share that the idea of writing it all at once results in procrastination on my part. So I am starting here for now and letting the process of sharing happen much like the process of healing, gradually.

 

 

1) Accept you are grieving a death

Every death is a loss. We grieve the end of a relationship and within that the dreams we had for our life, our family, our life purpose. Even when in hindsight you saw it coming, it still feels like a knock on the door at 3am. No matter how toxic your relationship was or became, there was love and it is lost. You committed to it and built a temple of promises and dreams around it. You might fall to your knees, crumble and not believe you can go on. You will. Scarred and bruised, never the same again, yet more beautiful and more powerful than ever before. Trust me on this. You will amaze yourself. 

 

2) Educate yourself 

on what abuse is, what it looks like and how it happens. This is even more important for those who have experienced psychological/emotional abuse and when there are children involved because you will need to protect yourself and your children for some time to come.  Psychological abuse is the bruise you can’t see but is equally as damaging. When you read the descriptions of the methods and tactics used by abusive people, this validation is empowering. You did not imagine it, you did not cause it and you did not deserve it.

 

Psychological abusers wear persona’s like interchangeable masks. They manipulate, lie, gas-light, deceive and take advantage of your empathetic and trusting nature. Abusive partners are dangerous, lethal even and once you have freed yourself from their control you have made their biggest fear come true. You left and now this very hurt and damaged person may pursue a path of blind vengence. You may have to stand your ground for some time as an outcast in a world still largely seduced by the charm and facade of the chameleon you once loved.  Only your friends and family will know the truth and could never fall for the sophisticated lies they will surely tell. So hold them close and leave the rest to discover the truth for themselves.

 

3) Hate when it feels right and then let it go 

You can’t skip the stages of grief, and anger is one of those stages. It’s a nice fantasy to imagine we can rise above these negative feelings but anger is natural, necessary and okay. Too much of well intentioned ‘self help’ material misses the mark by skipping over this not so attractive experience. The trick is to not be consumed by it.  The only way to avoid living in bitterness is to allow that hate and anger, not to avoid it. Take yourself to a forest or field if you need and scream that anger out of you. Anger is a wild and forceful energy that demands you to listen. Feel it, express it in a constructive way and you will rise above it. When you feel yourself being sucked in by these feelings, bring yourself back with these words, “Now give all that energy to love”.

 

4) Choose your Narrative

You are not a victim. What happened to you does not define you. You have the power to choose the story you tell yourself. It is that story that will shape your future. Only you have that power and control. Will it be “I am a victim, he destroyed my life, she took everything from me”, or will it be “I experienced a toxic, abusive relationship and I found the strength to leave it. I learned from it and I grew. I am stronger now and free.” 

 

5) Justice and Karma are not your Responsibility 

You’ve heard the expression “to dig one’s own grave”. Hold on to that. Hold on to the knowledge that those who lack the strength to be better, ARE making their own karma with or without you. People who hurt others are living a life of far greater suffering than we can ever imagine. So do not waste your precious time and energy waiting for justice, it is not yours to deliver. All you can know for now is there will not be flowers on their grave,  because when karma does make her way around, you’ll be too busy living your own life to even notice. You will have moved on to a better place.

 

Below are local links to helpful resources right here in Nanaimo. The people who give their time in these organisations are ready to help.

 

https://www.havensociety.com

 

https://www.islandcrisiscaresociety.ca

 

https://themenscentre.ca

 

Here are some links to help you with Step 2.

 

https://www.joinonelove.org/learn/emotional-abuse-really-means/

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/5-types-people-who-can-ruin-your-life/201803/how-spot-sociopath-in-3-steps

 

https://www.scarymommy.com/co-parenting-with-a-narcissist/

 

https://www.verywellmind.com/understanding-the-covert-narcissist-4584587