Category Archives: Blog

When You Know It’s Toxic – It’s Time to Go

by Annette Young

We all long to have a perfect relationship and spend a great deal of time and effort trying to find a soul mate, that perfect other who will complete our lives. Sometimes though, we fail to recognise dangerous elements within an individual, we fall for the gloss, the wonderful exterior, the facade that could be perilous.  We fall in love with a person who doesn’t really exist. It may be a highly polished act or just appealing to us individually, but if it’s fake, an act, part of a polished performance, we will soon start to see the nasty side of the relationship. When there is an edge, a sinister underbelly to the loving partnership, its toxicity threatens to spill out and poison.

If it sounds dangerous, then know this, it is.  A toxic relationship will drain the life out of your partnership and gradually impact how you think, feel and act. It will drain your energy and eradicate your confidence.  Think you are too strong to let this happen? Think again, a toxic relationship doesn’t announce its intentions ….the poison trickles into your life, it erodes good old common sense, it squeezes your heart, it sends confusing signals around your body – fear, trust issues, doubt, regret and emotional hurt. It also causes deep apprehension in your belly where your gut feeling will be tied up in knots.  The hardest thing will be to feel your sense of self gradually slipping away.

At some point you may become worried about saying anything – it’s always wrong after all, you’ll get fed up of being called stupid, or, your partner accusing you of trying to cause an argument. If you could just stand back  and look at the situation from the outside, you’ll realise that the blame will always be laid at your feet. You’ll stop being you and you’ll worry about every little thing,  you will become a shadow of your former self.

There will be a battle. Your intuition will say get the hell out and your heart will beg you to stay. Coming to the realization that its your happiness vs. your peace of mind will enable you to see things a little more clearly.  The gradual demise as you  lose control and your partner gains it all could be the final nail in the coffin if you allow it to be, after all, who wants to live in a relationship where treading on eggshells and being controlled is the norm?

Opening your eyes to potential options is recommended -taking the chance to escape when you can but it’s so, so hard when you are in the midst of it all. Unfortunately, the longer the situation remains, the harder it will be to break free.

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The Cycle of Abuse – When You Are On the Outside Looking In

by Annette Young

Do you know someone who is stuck in the middle of an abusive relationship? Are you worried about their safety or fear hearing the news that they have tried to commit suicide? It can be the most difficult and frustrating of situations if you are worried about someone close to you and yet, feel powerless to act. You may feel undecided how to make things better for your loved one, should you report it to the police? Should you confront the abuser? Will your interference make it better or worse? It can be incredibly difficult to reach out and offer assistance to someone caught up in the middle of an abusive relationship, however close your relationship has been. Understanding the cycle of abuse though may help to prepare you for action, whether it’s giving emotional support or, making the decision to step in and make a stand. It will certainly give you an insight into the make-up of an abusive person.

Understanding the pattern that seems to go hand in hand with abusive relationships can give you some idea of how volatile the relationship can be. The cycle of abuse is a repetitive one. If the relationship remains, the abusive behaviour repeats over and over, until something or someone buckles under the strain.

First, there’s the actual abuse. This may be physically violent behaviour, threats or aggressive and manipulative word play that’s designed to make the victim fearful, isolated and to feel less than worthy. This abusive behaviour may last for days at a time. Guilt then seems to make an appearance, but usually, it’s not guilt through the cruel words spoken, or the damaging actions, it’s the fear of being caught.

Abusers will always blame someone else for their actions and usually their partner. Something was said or done and this was unacceptable, in fact, it triggered their behaviour. It’s never the fault of the abuser.

The control of the abuser is quite considerable. Make no mistake; the abuser will do everything in his (or her) power to keep full control over the victim. Once the abuse and then guilt cycle has completed, life returns to some normality. The relationship may even improve, life is less like walking on eggshells, and it lulls the victim into thinking that things will change for the better, just when things seem settled and positive, the mood changes again.

The next cycle of abuse is the deadly planning stage. This is where the abuser contemplates ways in which to make the victim pay. Because the normality stage may last for a period of time, there are plenty of opportunities to plan and to construe reasons for future abuse. The fantasy develops and then erupts. It spills over into everyday life and the physical act of abuse starts all over again. Once the abuser can justify the act of belittling and hurting the victim, there is little that can stop it until the scenario has played out and the next stage of the cycle of abuse starts.

Knowing what to look out for may give you a way to step in and to pre-empt volatile situations, but trying to communicate with your loved one and to provide emotional support may be all that you can do until they reach out and ask for help.


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Emotional Abuse

It’s filled with personal stories and content that will help you to understand your situation.
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The Truth about Abusers

Victim of Domestic Violence

by Annette Young

It’s hard to view life with any type of clarity when you are in the midst of an abusive relationship. Domestic abuse clouds judgement, understandably, it impacts every aspect of life and all too often, the victim makes excuses for the abuser.

“He doesn’t mean the things he says.”

“I know he loves me.”

“He’s promised to change.”

But here’s the reality of abusive relationships. Abusers are in control of their behaviours. They pick their victims and they often save up their abuse for those people whom they profess to love. Abusers won’t just pick on everyone who supposedly irritates them, instead, they paint a false picture to the world and act out their role in it and when they come home, they look for a victim and guess who then gets the brunt of their vile behaviour?

You may not want to believe it if you are caught in the restrictive confines of an abusive relationship but, abusers choose their moments to abuse. They are not fuelled by temper and lose control because of something that you may have said, far from it, they can switch back to normal mode in an instant – when it suits them.

Think carefully….just for a minute…..

Have you ever witness your partner stop the act of emotional or physical abuse when interrupted unexpectedly? Have you noticed the face of anger and control dissipate, the mask changing from violent abuser back into the face of reason and normality?

For domestic violence, the abuser often directs those physical blows to the areas of your body that won’t show bruises. There may be some physical marks on those exposed features but, your arms, legs, and torso may end up black and blue. So if you think that they are acting in a mindless rage because of something that you have said or done, STOP right now and listen. An abusive man knows exactly what he is doing, he chooses when to pick on you, he chooses when and where to hit you. You do not deserve to be a punching bag, or, to be the victim at the brunt of endless disparaging comments.

Don’t wait until it is too late to make a move.
For help and support, sign up for our FREE newsletter or take time to read Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! 

Emotional Abuse

It’s filled with personal stories and content that will help you to understand your situation.


Note: We are aware that men become the victim of abuse too and do not condone such acts, however, the majority of abuse victims are women and this site reflects the current statistics. We urge any individual who is experiencing abuse to seek help.

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Are You Recovering from Emotional Abuse? Give Yourself Some Time.

by Annette Young

If you are now in the process of recovering from emotional abuse, having escaped from the clutches of the relationship, there is bound to be a deep sense of relief. It’s also likely to be intermingled with sadness and regret, even if the relationship was beyond repair and damaging. Freedom may have been a long time in the planning, or, you may have suddenly realized that enough was enough and walked away. Whatever the circumstances; it takes time to get back to normal.

Since I wrote my book, Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! I have spoken to many women who have experienced varying degrees of abuse. Some had endured a nightmarish situation for many years, scared to leave but deeply unhappy within their individual environments and afraid for their futures. Others are now free and yet feel as if they are still trapped on an emotional level. Freedom has not enabled them to feel safe or whole. Sadly emotional abuse is everywhere and if you looked into the relationships of those around you, no doubt, you would uncover some ugly realities. The stark reality is that abusive relationships exist everywhere.

Emotional and physical abuse is far more common than any of us would like to imagine. Worse, the harsh reality is that many women fall back into the clutches of an abusive relationship without realizing it. This may seem unlikely considering the traumatic and long reaching effect of abuse but, it seems that we become used to a certain type of behaviour, it becomes familiar and therefore is easier to slip back into.

The most important thing that you can do once free from a relationship is to give yourself time. It takes time to make sense of the past, to heal any emotional wounds and to then prepare for your future. Recovering from emotional abuse does not happen overnight, there is no magic wand to wave and you have to deal with the rawness of the reality and for some, this deeply rooted hurt is the hardest to overcome.

I have often found myself looking back with a sense of disbelief, questioning why I had put up with such an uncaring relationship, but, as much as we can analyse over and over, we have to accept the past and to come to terms with it. We can’t go back, we just have to learn which type of relationships are damaging and to avoid them. We cannot blame ourselves for loving someone. Everyone makes mistakes but, in time, we can work out patterns of behaviour and to identify those relationships that should be avoided. Rushing straight into another relationship is usually a mistake. It can be terrifying being on your own and starting life again, but I have no doubt that it is a better option than being with someone who wields their words like a weapon and who makes you feel bad about yourself.


For help and support, sign up for our FREE newsletter or take time to read Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! 

Emotional Abuse

It’s filled with personal stories and content that will help you to understand your situation and to re-build your life.


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Do You Deserve Love? That is the Question

Deserving of love?

by Annette Young

We all know that relationships are difficult and what starts off as a match made in heaven, can over time splinter and fragment leaving the very foundations of the relationship beyond salvage. But many of us fall for the wrong types in a romantic sense, there is discord beneath the romantic liaison and so the relationship is doomed from the start.

If you are a naturally giving person, you may have found yourself with someone who is cold emotionally and who finds it hard to show feelings. This alone can cause conflict in a relationship. Most people search for a relationship that is built on trust and compassion; there is an intrinsic need to feel safe within any partnership and there has to be balance with mutual love and respect. Yet for so many of those who have experienced cold or abusive relationships, it can seem an ever elusive task.

While mulling over the possibilities of why some people struggle to achieve commitment and love, it made me wonder why so many of us fall for people who are so incapable of loving in return. After a great deal of analysing, I realized that many people – and this includes men and women, often feel that they are not deserving of more. When I talk to friends about this, it’s always met with mixed reactions. Who wants to admit that they feel less than worthy? But it’s easy to say yes, I deserve more, but think, is that really the truth deep down inside?

We can all say we deserve more and of course, the reality is that we all do deserve healthy relationships, no-one should ever be made to feel like a victim emotionally or physically. No-one should suffer vindictiveness or coldness within a relationship and yet it happens on a daily basis. If you ask yourself whether you deserve more, take a look at your deepest feelings confined in your very core first because it’s easy to cheat yourself into thinking one thing and yet mean something entirely different. Let’s change the question – have you ever wondered if someone  will truly want you in the future?

If your sense of self-worth is low, you may find yourself considering all the reasons why you won’t attract anyone. Perhaps you feel less than attractive? You feel unsatisfied in life in comparison to others? You feel too fat or too thin?  Low self-esteem will have you second guessing every aspect of your life and it’s  these core insecurities that cause much of the problems and make you feel less than whole. These doubts will infiltrate not just your present but your future happiness too.

If this sounds familiar, consider trying to get to the root of the reason as to why you experience less than loving relationships  and how you feel about yourself. If you have experienced damaging relationships and your confidence has been impacted, take time to build up this aspect of yourself instead before rushing into a new relationship. Your self-esteem or, lack of it will make a huge difference to the fruitfulness of future relationships.

I know I deserve much better relationships than I have experienced to date. What about you?

For help and support, sign up for our FREE newsletter or take time to read Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! 

Emotional Abuse

It’s filled with personal stories and content that will help you to understand your situation.


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Overcoming Trust Issues – Female Destructive Cycles

trust issues

by Annette Young

Overcoming trust issues – it’s impossible isn’t it? If you have been badly hurt and your life, your self-esteem and your confidence has plummeted like a rock and it takes all your effort to simply paste a smile on your face each day, surely, trust will be a thing of the past?

A disastrous or manipulative relationship can certainly affect you in ways that you don’t even realise. It can make you paranoid. It can make you angry. You may start looking out for any sign of possible rejection, the first hint of a derogatory remark and, you may even play out imaginary scenarios in your mind.

The bad news is, that as a victim of abuse, you will have been damaged in some way.

The good news is that there is always the possibility of overcoming trust issues and finding a decent, caring and healthy relationship in time. But I will make one thing very clear.  Those with severe trust issues and deep, dark memories of an abusive relationship will not be able to move on and welcome in a positive, nurturing relationship without clearing out the emotional angst first. Acknowledging that you have problems is the first painful but empowering step, but facing up to resolving it is yet another. With help, it’s possible to face up to and to deal with the bitterness and anger and the suspicions.

But you have to want to.

Overcoming trust issues takes time. It also means you have to be kind with yourself. Physical wounds heal slowly but in a visible way, emotional traumas and deeply rooted sadness can take years. Understanding why you lack trust is important, learning techniques to help you let go of suspicions will also benefit you. I’ve endured much on a personal level and have had my fair share of a tortured mind, but I know I am not alone in that. I do know that there are nice, caring individual’s out there all looking for a decent person, but if you are seeking love, you will frighten them away if you don’t deal with your own issues first.

Many women who have experienced damaging relationships will fall into the self-destruct mode and will experience swift inter-changing emotions – from liking to fearing to liking and then sabotaging, all within minutes. This comes from having a low self-esteem and an inability to see yourself in a positive light. Knowing when you start doing this will help you to control it, but it takes time to learn new positive behaviours and to mean them.

I have every sympathy for women who fall into this destructive cycle of behaviour, but I also know that unless those women learn to stop this cycle, any potential new loving relationships will fall foul to self-destructive actions, however nice and kind a man might be, or how sorry you feel for being so irrational.

Overcoming trust issues starts like this; can you honestly blame any new man in your life for the antics of a former partner?

Every new person who enters your life should be judged on their behaviour towards you now, not for any negative behaviour that you may have experienced in the past.




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Why I Won’t Find Love

Author Annette Young

Love can be amazingly elusive, we all search for it, covet it, honour it and hope once we find it, that love will stay. But true love is not easy to find.  The odds are greatly stacked against anyone meeting that special person  – being in the right place at the right time and, being ready to embrace that new person in their lives, yet thousands and millions of people do find love. Their lives meld beautifully, they have common interests, their circumstances fit, it just happens.

So why can’t I find love?

It’s a question I have asked myself many times over the years and for a long time I imagined that it would just happen, I would kind of stumble over that single other, we’d start chatting, cupid would appear, the magic would spark up and that would be that.  I anticipated an easy amalgamation of two lives.

When I was newly single in my late 30’s, I never imagined in a million years that 10 years later, I would still be alone.  I didn’t want to be single per se, I would have chosen to stay in my marriage – if there had been any chance that it could have been a happy one.  But once the foundations of a relationship have started to crack and you feel unappreciated, unloved and life becomes volatile, there is just no point.

I have tried to meet men over the years, believe me when I say that in the UK, it was like a dating frenzy, a conveyor belt of eligible individuals from all backgrounds, circumstances and with a multitude of experiences. Dating became an integral part of my life, I enjoyed meeting new people and gained a lot of new friends. I even met some men who, with hindsight, could have been quite special but I pushed them away and therein lies the problem.

When you have been a victim of any type of abuse, deep inside you are vulnerable. You get on with life, you do your best to make it good, you cover up the hurt and to the outside world, you may seem contented again, but your deepest insecurities start to affect every single thing you do. I turned down chances to be happy because maybe, there was a part of me that didn’t feel I deserved it, or that these  nice men didn’t deserve to be with someone who was damaged and who couldn’t be romantically giving anymore.

I met people readily but only allowed the wrong men to get close. Why? Because instinctively, this behaviour was familiar, it was comfortable although it was wrong, and it didn’t really matter if I walked away at some point, because they didn’t deserve better.

For many women who have endured domestic abuse in any shape or form, they probably feel the same and although most women will tell you they deserve more, they might not believe it deep down. If they have endured condescending remarks from their so-called love ones, or they have been physically hurt, the pain deep inside remains, for months and even years afterwards. It never truly goes away unless that woman faces it head on.  They feel insecure, unlovable, unlikable or unworthy. Let me tell you, that feeling sucks.

Recently, I came to the stark realisation that there’s a big part of me that wants my life to remain as it is . No matter how much I think about dipping my toe back into the dating waters, I can feel the barriers shutting down and firmly locking, barring the way forward. In many ways, it’s a relief. I have dated too many men who were controlling, manipulative or just plain volatile.

I can’t go through yet another destructive relationship. It’s too hurtful, damaging and soul destroying.  Subconsciously, I’m protecting myself, because many single men of my age seem to have an agenda.  They want an instant relationship, they don’t want to take time, they want to take over. I have met many men in recent years who have abusive qualities, they were all different in their words and actions, but believe me, I can now (finally) detect the signs.

I don’t mind being single if I’m honest. I have learned to really enjoy my own company, to choose who I want to spend time with and to not bother with those who are not genuinely caring. I like being able to live the life that I want without having to fit a partner into my busy schedule, but deep down, I know if there was someone truly nice, I would make that effort.

I’m not writing this to incite sympathy, rather it’s part of the cleansing process that I am going through. It’s the  next part of the ‘stand up and be counted’ stage and I finally feel that it’s time for me to have my say. I strongly believe that being single is not so bad, I’m not just saying that, there are truly many benefits to being alone and I often feel genuinely happy with my life. When I think back to those relationships that have hurt me so badly and the men who treated me as if I was nothing, I breathe a huge sigh of relief because I am free from that. I can honestly say hand on heart that being alone is far better than being with someone for the sake of it.

I still hope that one day romance will make an appearance but I’m of the mind that it will happen if it’s meant to. I think it would take a very special person to break through these barriers now and if that person is prepared to do so, then I look forward to that moment. If not, I have plans for my single life, I recognise that I have some wonderful and caring friends and my family of course and I have plans to travel and experience all that life has to offer.

If my words strike a chord with anyone, then know this, life can be good after bad relationships – even if it means choosing to be alone for a while.  It may be a necessary part of the healing process.


For help and support, sign up for our FREE newsletter or take time to read Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! 

Emotional Abuse

It’s filled with personal stories and content that will help you to understand your situation.


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Am I In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship?

Am I in an emotionally abusive relationship

by Annette Young

Do you ever ask the question, ‘am I in an emotionally abusive relationship?’ Many women do but most find it hard to face up to the truth. Let’s be honest, if you have to ask the question, the chances are that you are not in a healthy relationship.  Whether it is a violent relationship or an emotionally abusive one, the question is not whether you should leave, but when.

The hardest part of being in a destructive relationship is facing up to the reality. You will face a myriad of inner angst, there will be questions, ‘why me?’ There will be anger, feelings of betrayal, regret, hurt, rejection all rolled into one.

It’s hard to accept that the man in your life could do this to you.   You may struggle with that reality for a long time, you may be uncertain if it is abuse. Physical violence leaves no doubts, it is wrong, it’s cruel and it is dangerous. Emotional abuse by its very nature makes you question, it’s not tangible, it’s a feeling. Each day is akin to walking on a road flanked with uncertainty and fear at what might come at you from out of the shadows. No-one should have to live in fear or reproach.

There’s another question you should ask yourself, ‘are you happy?’ The chances are that you are not. An abusive relationship is a black hole of doubts, fear and mistrust. You are not paranoid, if you sense it, think it and feel it, it’s very real. But you are not alone in this, there are millions of others who are going through it now or who have managed to escape and to rebuild their lives.

The final questions you should ask yourself is, ‘when and how should I leave?’ Start considering your options for escape today. Abuse does not get better, it merely gets worse.

For help and support, sign up for our FREE newsletter or take time to read Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! 

It’s filled with personal stories and content that will help you to understand your situation.


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Domestic Abuse

Stop Domestic Abuse

by Annette Young

You may think that domestic abuse is the horrendous act of physical violence but domestic abuse is so much more than that. There are varying degrees and types of abuse including the act of emotional manipulation. The scars of abuse can take a long time to heal.

Domestic abuse varies from household to household, control is always at the root of the problem. Sometimes it is the mere threat of violence that strips the woman’s power, at other times it is the slow degrading comments, the condescending tone or the withdrawal of love, it leaves no physical scars but eradicates the woman’s sense of identity, confidence and well-being all the same.

It’s a secret crime and one that many people do not understand. Often victims do not wish to come forward, it’s hard to admit that their partner or husband can inflict such inner pain and yet, deep down, they often feel that they are the ones to blame.   Victims of abuse change,  they live under a shadow, afraid to do or say the wrong thing. They lose their confidence and second-guess every decision, fearful of the resulting comments or violence that occurs if they get it wrong. Feelings of inadequacy and fear are often all that remains.

No-one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Abusers are often careful, they hide behind a mask and can be charming, attractive and kind….to others. In the privacy of their own homes, they can change. The mask drops, they revel in their power.

Look around you. You may have friends, family or neighbours who are suffering right now. Awareness is important, domestic abuse is more common that you might think.

For help and support, sign up for our FREE newsletter or take time to read Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! 

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Signs of Emotional Abuse

Signs of abuse

by Annette Young

The signs of emotional abuse are sometimes so subtle that it can take time for the victim to even realise what is happening. Often there are feelings of despair, loneliness and helplessness but women try to hide the reality of their situation, embarrassed or ashamed of their plight. Many women take up the mantle of investigator determined to find out the cause of the problems, to communicate with their partner and to rescue the relationship.

This sadly can make the situation a whole lot worse.

If you are suffering from emotional abuse, you are likely to feel withdrawn and isolated.  There’s a deep need to talk the problem through, you need to bring it all out into the open, but it’s hard to open up to others, after all, you have no evidence of abuse. It’s your word against his and, deep down, you really don’t want to betray him.

You will tell yourself it’s a bad patch, all couples go through it…right? Wrong.

Like physical violence, emotional abuse has its roots firmly embedded in the power game. You haven’t done anything wrong, you didn’t cause this to happen, you just chose an emotionally abusive man. You made a mistake by falling in love with someone unable to give you the love you deserve and you deserve so much more.

Those intense feelings of isolation may spread. In time, you may find yourself with less contact from friends and family. You will lose confidence and you may even doubt your own intelligence. It’s hard to stay positive if you are told that you are fat, ugly or worthless. You will feel unloved and unlikable.

Depression raises its head and you become immersed in a bleakness where fatigue rules your day. It will seem as if there is no escape. From the outside, people will notice  you have changed, they will know instinctively something is wrong but others can’t help unless you tell them. Your need to communicate is sound, but it is likely to be more productive if you talk to a friend or family member, someone who can support you emotionally and help you to regain your confidence.

If you have experienced these feelings,  sign up for our FREE newsletter or take time to read Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! 


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