On A Scale Of One to Ten How Stressed Are You?

Ok lets just lay this all out there for those of you who think you should be a lot more healed than you are; for those “friends” who keep telling you to “just forget it” “move on” or you don’t know how to grieve and heal (who do these people think they are, telling you how to heal and that you aren’t doing it right? do they even think before they engage their mouths? What have they dealt with lately? Like the saying goes “Walk a mile in a man’s shoes……….”

I found the scale that the professionals use to calculate a person’s stress level. The more of these items on your list of things that have happened in the last year; the more stressed you are going to be. What does stress do to a person? It can make them;

– irritable easily angered over seemingly insignificant issues

– emotional – crying over seemingly insignificant issues

– cause eating disorders – either eating too much or not enough

– cause sleep disorders – either sleeping too much or not enough

– substance abuse

– paranoid

– vigilant

– fearful

– depressed

– health issues such as heart disease, fibromyalgia, and much more

– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which consists of some or all of the above symptoms and more

 The Stress Scale

To score your stress levels, simply select Yes or No for each of the events in the Statements column that have happened to you in the last year. I am using it to demonstrate the things that cause stress in a person’s life. If you want to take the test you can find it here.  I am only giving you the top 10 stressful events, there are over 40 in total. Notice “being in an abusive relationship” is not even on the scale; but I am sure that it would be at the very top of the list. 

Consider too when you go down the list that most times with a narcissist there is continuous infidelity, many breakups and reconciliations, you are constantly walking on eggshells, you are living a lie and hiding the truth from family and friends, you are ashamed of the situation you are in, and you constantly have someone finding fault with you.  Here is the list, how many things can you tick off?

  • Death of a spouse
  • Moving
  • Debt
  • Divorce
  • Relationship breakup or separation
  • Illness or injury
  • Marriage
  • Pregnancy
  • Losing a job – getting fired
  • Reconciliation of a marriage

Now tell me again that you should be further along in your recovery, I know when I was with James there were some years where I moved, we separated, we lost our home, we lost a family member, I lost my job (due to James sabotaging me, doubly stressful), we reconciled, broke up again, I caught him cheating, got a job, lost a job, we were homeless, ….. all in one year. You pile 10 or more years like that on top of each other and you are off the charts with stressful events. They haven’t made a scale for people who have left an abusive relationship. It is a miracle you are walking and talking and not locked in a padded room somewhere banging your head against the wall. The fact that you are getting up, getting dressed, taking care of children, trying to find work, and manage to keep it together at all is a statement to how strong you are. So tell those armchair psychologists to stick their advice where the sun don’t shine because you don’t need to be told you can’t even grieve right or should not be grieving. Tell them that they are welcome to come back and give you advice once they have lived a couple of years in your shoes, until then; they can keep their “concern and advice” to themselves.

People who tell you stuff “for your own good” and only “because they care” when they have never experienced anything even close to what you are going through, are not being a good friend they are being critical, holier than thou, superior, and like to make you feel bad about yourself. IF they were really concerned they would be one of the handful of friends who come to this site trying to get information in order to understand and help their friend. THAT is a true friend. Someone willing to put in the effort to learn so they can truly help and not do more damage.

If someone doesn’t want to do the research to find out how to help you they don’t really want to help. They think they should help, they want to look like they care, but they really don’t want to have put themselves out to do it. “So get on with life already, because I don’t have time to be a true friend and you are making me look like a bad friend.” “In order to avoid looking like a bad friend I will blame you for not healing fast enough and maybe that will force you to put a damn smile on your face and stop making me feel inadequate as a friend”.

One Of The Biggest Compliments I Have Ever Received

One of the biggest compliments I have ever received came the other day from one of my neighbors, well the fellow I was having drinks with the night Stella decided to bugger off, it was that night.


A preamble to this story is; I have a few people upset with me at the marina. Nothing major, or I don’t think so but I have to admit I have been breaking the rules. I am such a rebel. It has to do with Stella being on a leash, I put her on the leash to walk down the wharf but once we are on land I take her leash off because she has to walk around in circles for 5 minutes before she finds a place to do her thing and I really hate walking in circles with her. Plus she is trained to walk off leash and has learned to come when I call her and for the most part she is very good about staying by my side when we walk. When she sees a friend she will go and say “hi” but comes right back. Dogs need friends too. Right? It would be different if she was unpredictable or vicious but she is such a pussy she wouldn’t hurt a fly, actually she is afraid of flies. Most everyone on the dock loves Stella and if she is on the wharf they all call her to come say “Hi”,except one woman and she is recruiting followers every chance she gets.

She has lived here a long time and her dog is the dock favorite and she is a great dog, she and Stella like each other. The real kicker is when I was sitting at the picnic tables with Stella a while back Stella wandered over to their boat to say Hi to Teka, their dog and I went to get her and gave her shit and they both said, “Oh leave her, she’s fine. She just wants to say Hi.” I still made her come back with me because I want to train her to stay by my side.

Then I had Stella and Kiya off leash and she had Teka off leash and we ran into each other, Kiya stayed by my side but Stella didn’t listen to me and Teka didn’t listen to her and ran to each other and started to play. We each gave our perspective dogs shit and went on our way.

Next thing I know I am hearing through the grapevine that I should have Stella on a leash and Teka’s mom is all upset. oh well! not my fault any more than hers, in my mind.

I was more conscientious about keeping Stella on her leash until we were a distance from the dock and then I would let her go just before we got to the boat launch where she swims. I had just let her off the leash and sure enough here comes Teka and she is on her leash, Stella runs towards her but stops when I call her and I put her leash on. But Teka pulled on her leash and I guess the woman put her back out. Gee, sorry, Teka pulls on her leash whenever she sees another dog whether the dog is on its’ leash or not. Still not Stella’s fault, in my mind. But I heard about it again, not from the woman but from others on the dock. So I am the topic of conversation and much consternation; geezz I hate that, don’t talk behind my back because it makes me a bitchy rebel.


I have really been trying hard to not get sucked into the pettiness and just “follow the rules”. I keep telling myself, “how hard can this be Carrie, just follow the rules. You never had trouble following rules before.” But the rebel in me has been hatched and I am not so much into following rules anymore.

In the past I had tons of “rules” I had my rules, I had the rules of my parents, the rules of society, James rules, OMG I had rules coming out my eyeballs and I followed all the rules. I was so busy following rules I didn’t have time to do spontaneous fun things like spur of the moment picnics, company dropping by sent me into a tizzy because it was not planned and the house might not be spotless, and the rules say you should phone ahead, spontaneity was not allowed.

My first husband dirty danced long before the movie ever came out, he was one sexy little frenchman but the only time I dirty danced with him was when we were back east; the minute we hit BC I refused to dirty dance. What if someone who knew me saw me?? Dirty dancing was not in the rules, what if someone disapproved? thought I looked stupid? what if I made a mistake? Dirty Dancing is supposed to be fun, sensual, spontaneous not planned and I am sure there are no “rules” to dirty dancing.

loud voice

I don’t do as much “tsk tsking” as I used to either, live and let live I say now, but I used to disapprove of “rule breakers”, i passed judgement on people who bucked the system. But I was young and really, I was not following my own rules, I was following the rules of my parents, society and anyone else who liked to make rules; deep down I loved the people who didn’t follow the rules. Not the criminals, there is a difference ( I never used to think there was because when you are raised by a prison guard breaking the rules is tantamount to breaking the law); we don’t have to be sheep, all following rules that were written before our time and are still in effect because, “Just because, don’t question the rules. You follow the rules because, well because, they always have been followed.”

Recently one of the fellows here is a single dad of a 9 year old little girl, she loves Stella and her dad took off on his Harley and left her at the dock. I don’t know where he went but she came to see Stella, we went for a walk and she mentioned that her dad had told her to have a shower while he was gone but she was nervous to go alone. I said that I had to do laundry and was thinking about having a shower and did she want to come with me. She was so relieved and ran to get her shower gear. Just as I walked up with my shower stuff one of the old timers on the dock was telling the girl she was dumb to be nervous to go shower. I could see the little girl was hurt, feeling self conscious, so I interrupted and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about, I know I’m nervous to shower up there. I’m just happy to have company to go with me tonight. Us girls have each other’s back.”  I did it again! I spoke against one of the “rule makers” and now I was on her hit list also.

So where does the biggest compliment fit in? Right now.

So when my neighbor and I were having our drink and chatted he said that he has been watching me ever since I moved onto the boat. how hard I work, the fact that I am always busy, and he had thought that if his dad was alive he would have loved me. I said I didn’t know if I should be complimented or not, and asked what his dad was like. And he said his dad was very charming, loved to dance, was a free spirit. and loved a classy lady with a bit of mystery.

I thought about that for awhile, not bad. Then he said that I am “free in this world.” He then explained that I am not a ‘rule follower”, that I buck the system and don’t do anything just because it has always been done, I am not afraid to speak my mind and I am a kind and caring person but I don’t care what people think, I live life to my own rules and people tend to get upset by people who don’t follow the rules. They follow them and so should everyone else. Their world’s are small and the rules keep everything organized and safe for them. They don’t know what to do with someone who doesn’t follow the rules. It throws them into a tizzy. To quote him. “You mean I have been eating shit sandwiches for 25 years and now you are telling me I don’t have to eat shit sandwiches? but all I know is shit sandwiches, for 25 years it has been all I know, I don’t even know what else i want to eat if I can’t have a shit sandwich.

free spirit

I smiled. Yes, that is the way I feel………… now.  I don’t want to upset people but i don’t want to eat shit sandwiches and I really think it is stupid to eat shit sandwiches just because it is a rule. I have only really felt this way for a short while, it has been building over time, slowly, as I got more in tune with my core self and started listening to my gut instincts and really paying attention to my inner voice and threw away all the lies I had been told about myself for most of my life.

I told my mom what he had said and she agreed, I live my own life without apology. Sure sometimes I have to sit back and listen to my inner voice and sometimes those old voices from bygone days will start to rumble and I have to argue with them a bit but it gets easier and easier and even comes naturally most of the time. So natural I hadn’t noticed that it showed.

I don’t quietly stew about some injustice, I speak up, i don’t bulldoze my way through but I don’t lay down and let others drive over me either.

I was sitting in the boat yesterday and I saw Teka was off leash and in the water right by the dock. The devil in me took Stella, on leash, for a pee. As we walked past Teka her and Stella exchanged looks and Teka came towards Stella. I said to Stella, “Yes Stella, look at that, Teka is off leash! what fun.” and I kept on walking.
When I came back a few minutes later Teka and her momma were gone. I knew she would be because she knows she has been wrong to talk behind my back and now she is embarrassed and will have to talk behind my back even more to prove she is right and I am wrong. And it is all so silly, she insists on eating shit sandwiches and is pissed off I refuse. It doesn’t up set me, I find it an interesting study in human nature.

But I do like the  thought of being “free in this world”.  Yes, it has a ring to it. I take it as quite a compliment.

Children See Children Do (1:00)

Carrie Reimer:

We all have a responsibility for the children of the world, whether we birthed them or not.

Originally posted on Tales from the Conspiratum:

“Children see, children do…” is the message seeking to be conveyed by NAPCAN, an advocacy group in Australia against child abuse. No matter if it is physical, sexual, emotional, or mental abuse  a child receives (all which overlap to an extent), he or she is more likely to carry out that conduct when they grow older.

Therefore, in order to curb the abuse and contribute to a more peaceful, compassionate world, it is essential every individual ‘be the change’ and strive to make their influence positive.

Watch the video for yourself above. It is likely to change the way you conduct your own behavior, or even discern the underlying reason of others’ actions around you.

Make your influence positive. Share this article and comment your thoughts below.

▶ Children See Children Do – 2013 – YouTube.

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I’m Disappointed In You

Carrie Reimer:

Another good one from Scott, an older one but very relevant to what most (all) victims of abuse suffer through.

Originally posted on Scott Williams:

Have you ever had someone in your life who seemed constantly disappointed in you? It didn’t seem to matter how hard you tried, it was never enough. Sometimes they didn’t have to even say much, you just knew – you are a loser, you will never be worthy.

I know what it is like to live with disappointment. It was a glib smile and a few words, a gentle sigh. I failed again. In my particular case it made me needy, so very needy. Dedicating every waking minute to impress, to please, to do, didn’t seem to matter. Disappointed again.

Maybe it was your dad, or your mom, a relative or a friend. For many of us it was our spouse – a wife or a boyfriend whose expectations and selfishness bruised and ultimately scarred your heart.

Poor self-esteem. Bad self-image. Feelings of inadequacy. Second-guessing yourself. Minimizing your accomplishments…

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