Sunday, December 16, 2012

Be kind to yourself this Christmas.
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Day Sixteen

Imagine that life is a journey from A to B and it is one road. You and I both know that the scenery changes on route and sometimes the journey gets a little boring and sometimes things don't go well and we might take a wrong turn.
Without a map and signposts we are likely to get horribly lost. Sometimes we might be forced to take a detour because of road works ahead, we might stop for lunch or sleep over somewhere, but one thing is for sure we are going from A to B.
Life isn't any different we have good experiences and bad, we meet nice people and those who we wish we never had. We make mistakes along the way but if we are going to get from A to B emotionally strong we have to look carefully at all the decision we are making along the way. At any point in the journey we can reassess if this is in fact where we want to go and if not we can make plans to change course.

The thought I want to share with you today on the last day is this. To know where we want to go we need a very real picture in our minds. When we make time to collect photo's, write quotes and do anything that will make the picture clearer in our minds we then have to prepare the way forward for that journey.
There is nothing worse than being told you are going to a destination that doesn't excite you. Imagine that your thoughts are the vehicle that is going to get you to where you want to be and you are the driver. You have to recognise when the vehicle is going off track, taking you on a journey of negitivity, fear, anxiety and YOU have to steer it back on the right course.
I have learned very well in the past 7 years how to do that. PTS was killing me and memories tormented me for years. I had constant nightmares and anxiety hit me hard throughout the day. When I learned how to retrain my mind and the journey it wanted to take me 24/7 I made conscious choices how to take my mind in a different direction.
1. I journalled a lot in the beginning about what I had been through but then I changed the content of my journals and started to write about what I wanted for my life and my family and I would get really excited about it. I cute out hundreds of photo's from magazines and pasted them into my journals.
2. I stopped looking at old photo's. My ex husband destroyed all my photo albums but I still had a lot some on my computer. I put them into folders and made my self a promise I would not look at them for a year.
3. When I found myself getting depressed and sad I paid attention to what exactly it was that I was thinking and I changed it instantly, by reading something positive, changing the TV chanel, listened to the music I liked and consciously took me mind on a dirrent path.
4. I had many years of sleepless nights and didn't ever think I would return to normal. I went out and bought books with happy stories and read for at least an hour before sleeping. Slowly I could feel my brain beginning to change the direction it had always been on, read up on Neurolinguistic Programing I mentioned it yesterday. IT ABSOLUTELY WORKS. Your brain doesn't have a clue what it is doing half the time, you have to drive it to where you want it to be. You have to direct it with your INTENTIONS. Read spiritual books of your choice they will redirect your thinking.
5. I strongly recommend that you learn to play a game on your cellphone which is what was recommended to me by a trauma counsellor I saw in 2011. She explained that when you can't stop thinking or worrying about something, like for example if I said, don't think of a pink elephant, immediately you will think of it. Playing a game on our computer or cellphone cuts off the neurological path way to the pink elephant.
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE THE DRIVER BEHIND YOUR THOUGHTS  Of course if you are in the middle of a crisis, you will have to think about it... survival will demand your attention, but then you have to steer your thoughts towards LIVING FREE of this constant danger.

I hope these 16 Days of Inspiration have helped and motivated you to take control of your life and helped you to see and believe there is another way of living unlike the way you might be living right now.

My earnest prayer is that anyone who comes to this blog, will be blessed and that God will help you to seek the answers you are searching for and that He will give you the courage to take the first steps to the future you deserve.

Love Caryl
If you would like to contact me you can email me at

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day Fifteen


Derek Rydall is an actor, song writer, script writer and so much more. He is also the founder of the program THE LAW OF EMERGENCE. I thought I would share some of his wisdom today. We all know about the Law of Abundance from the well publicised book The Secret. Derek has a different theory and that is that with the Law of Abundance we are always coming from a position of lacking in the things we really dream about and wish for in life.
THE LAW OF EMERGENCE is about having everything we could ever want and finding ways to prepare the conditions that are perfect for us to receive and manifest what is in our destiny.
I highly recommend that you go to his website and read up on this, it all makes perfect sense and I believe it could change your life.
I am working with his program at the moment and of all the modalities I have studied over the years this makes the most sense to me.
When I saw this picture above on a website today it made me think of exactly what he teaches, we can pull ourselves up from the inner core of our being and live the lives we want and deserve, leaving the old self behind and becoming who we know we really are.
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Friday, December 14, 2012

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Day Fourteen

This is either the best time of the year or the worst, for some. Well I would imagine that if you are here, then the Christmas holidays could possibly be quite stressful. I know it is hard and I honestly know how tough it can be pretending that everything is fine when it's not.

During my very abusive marriage  and over the Christmas period, I was never being truthful to myself. I always had hope that things would change and that the New Year would be different but it never was. This is usually the time of the year when we put ourselves under pressure. We have worked through one year and have huge fears that the New Year will be more of the same.

Be kind to yourself and treat this as your own special time. Of course there is a lot going on around us, but deep down within your soul focus on being positive. Believe that you have what it takes to be happy and that the future is in you hands. Be the bigger person by doing all that you can to keep the PEACE.

Buy yourself a lovely diary and write beautiful, inspiring quotes throughout your diary every day if you can. Don't allow yourself to think negatively, be hopeful that this too will pass and don't skimp on your VISION for the future.

Oh and one more thing, do you know anything about NLP, if you don't please try to make some time in the New Year to read up on it. It will change your life and the way you perceive things.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Day Thirteen

One of my many passions is reading, though I am not fond of reading fiction. My fascination has always been for autobiographies, true stories of adventure and self help and healing books. I am quite sure I have read a good 90% of self help books, starting in my late teens with the book The Power of Positive Thinking, which has deep roots in my psyche.

As a troubled teenager my father paid for me to do a Dale Carnegie course which included How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, How to Win Friends and Influence People and a course in Public Speaking. He made a bargain with me, if I finished the course he would pay for it, if I didn't, I would have to pay him back... I finished the course and won two Public Speaking awards, which I was very proud of. Who could ever have known how many times in my life I would be called on to address an audience and eventually become a public speaker!

The How to Stop Worrying and start living principles have remained with me throughout my life. One thing I remember vividly is standing in front of an audience much older than myself with directors of companies. We were asked individually what we were worried about? Strange how nothing ever changes. Fear of not finding the right marriage partner, not having enough money, not being able to get out of debt, not being able to have children, not being able to find a job.
We all seem to worry about the same things. We were given strategies to overcome those fears and when all else fails I am reminded of that time in my life.

I have read all the books like, Why am I afraid to tell you who I am, Men are from Venus, Women are from Mars, Your Erogenous Zones, The Four Agreements, Love Addiction, Women who run with wolves, Co- Dependent no more, The Cinderella Complex, and and and.
I have listened to hundreds of Dr.Phil and Oprah programs. I have been on many workshops, Inner Healing, World Alive,  How to Love the Life you are Living, Family Constellations, Hypnotherapy, Psychologists and and and. I have enjoyed meditation and sound baths all this over a 40 year period. Of course there were benefits in all those books and workshops or I doubt I would be here today, BUT if there is one thing I know for sure.... as Oprah would say... Change begins and ends with ME.

For many years I was depressed about my parents divorce, my mothers drinking problems and emotional distance, my step fathers abuse, my troubled teenage years, my abusive husbands and my own fear and loneliness. But I had more power to manage my life and choices than I could ever have imagined.

My views may not be the same as yours, but I will share them anyway. I truly believe that life is just a journey of lessons I chose for myself. We all have a different path to walk, different dreams and expectations and within the framework of what we want in life so we will be presented with the challenges in order to succeed in what we want, much like the person who wants a streamlined body has to go through heavy training to acquire the body, of the picture on the fridge! Nothing comes easily. Not a perfect body, perfect marriage, successful business or happiness. We work at it.

One thing I have always done and I am so glad I did was to read and re read positive quotes. We are what we think we are, so storing quotes and scriptures in my heart has been an essential tool for surviving all the tough things I have been through.

ADVICE: Avoid asking advice from anyone who hasn't been there. Do the work yourself, read what will strengthen your faith, talk to a professional person or share with someone who has survived and is thriving.
Meditate on a Life of Abundance and DON'T think you don't deserve it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day Twelve- Gratitude

So often we spend so much time fighting and struggling to get through 24 hours in the day that we forget to be GRATEFUL. I thought today I would share Valerie's art work which is always so inspiring. This is a perfect example of how to focus on the good things and to have a positive VISION and attitude for the future.
If you are not artistic don't let that stop you from creating your own vision and affirmations. Cut out pictures from magazines, write quotes and stick them on your desk. Keep focusing on what you do want and not on what you don't want.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

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Day Eleven

For most of you who visit this blog, I am quite sure I am a lot older than you possibly and I hope a little wiser looking back on my own journey.  I want to share with you the importance of being Grateful for all your life experiences, they are leading you into a wonderful place of growth, self acceptance and self love.
Many people around the world have been through the most terrible childhood, they have had everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and yet they have come out on the other side strong, successful and beautiful people.  I want to encourage you to read autobiographies of people you admire, written between the lines will always be messages for you to help you on your journey.
Could you contemplate for just a moment that you are were you are today because of your own choices and in the choices we have made we are learning our greatest lessons. Try not to see those choices as one big disaster but rather  the opportunity to say.... I am learning a lot and I am grateful for the lessons.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made and there is a purpose for your life and your experiences, ask God to show you how and where He wants to use you, that you can be a Blessing to others.
Don't see the locked door of a victim but rather the open door to wonderful opportunities in the future. What is your vision for your future? Do you even have one?

Make it your mission to have a vision for your future, keep a journal and cut out pictures, write quotes collect anything and everything that will make that vision a reality.  
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day Ten

One of the greatest gifts anyone can give to you is ACCEPTANCE. Think about this. No one in history has had or ever will have your finger prints, no one will ever have your DNA... now digest that for a moment. If that doesn't make you believe in your uniqueness, fearfully and wonderfully made, than I don't know what will. That is amazing information.
Now that you know this is true, how can anyone anywhere in the world be you? So, you have a contribution to make into this world, the world needs you, your experience and your love, don't throw it away.
Abuse is nothing more than a lesson, that we have chosen. When we spend our entire energy thinking about what someone else is doing to us, we miss the opportunity of growing into everything we are meant to be. If we can just stop for a moment and ask ourselves the question...not he is doing this or that... but rather... what am I supposed to be learning in all of this?
When we can ask that question we shift the energy of defensiveness into the energy of openness. Why would anyone want to spend their lives protecting themselves, holding back, shutting off, shutting out? You know that you deserve more. To receive love you have to be willing to give it and how can you give it when someone is abusing you.

My message to you today, is to ask the question, 'what do you think you deserve?'. Write down 10 things that you think you deserve in a relationship, and then ask yourself, 'Do I honour the people around me with the same love and respect that I expect from them?'
If you can answer yes to that question is it possible that your lesson is to say NO to the people who don't honour and respect you in the same way. Only you can bring about the change.

Love and respect the person you are, if you have done and said things you are not proud of, ask for forgiveness and don't forget to forgive yourself, but don't live with guilt it will destroy relationships.

Have a happy, loving day :o)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day Nine Surviving

Surviving is a silent protest against injustice.
Create a life that is worth living you deserve it.
In the past 20 years I have known many women who were in abusive relationships, so I can speak with experience :o) I wish you could meet some of those women today. They made choices to end the abuse and have subsequently remarried and are living very happy peaceful lives.
To mention just a few of them so that you will relate to how tough it was. One particular lady I am thinking of, her husband finally did her a favour and left her, or should I say he abandoned her, leaving her homeless, in debt and with two small children. Today she lives in a beautiful mansion with the most magnificent garden, roses and waterfalls, with a husband who adores her and two very happy children. The only thing missing for the children is news from their father. He left the country and no one has heard from him since.
Another person I know was in a violent relationship. Her husband eventually burned their house down. She was pregnant with her second child and from the moment she had her baby it was time to start a new life. Today she is married also to a wonderful man who loves her, respects her and is kind to her children. They have everything anyone could ever want in life but most importantly she is safe and so are her children.
Person number 3 was married to an agressive emotionally abusive man who neglected her and their two children. Today she is married to a man and has been for almost 20 years. Many years ago we shared a flat together and we were both as poor as church mice. Today she is married to a wonderful man. She has a wonderful life, 3 sons one of them with her second husband and life has been extremely good to them all.
Focus on what you want and reach for the stars, you will find they are not as far away as you believe.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day Eight- Set yourself FREE

My daughter shared this photo on Facebook this morning which I thought was beautiful. When I saw this photo I had two thoughts.
1. Translates to me as someone bursting with JOY.
2. Anger building up that it blows your own head off.
3. Anger building inside of us and being transformed into love that flies out of us into the world and the people around us.
It is all about interpretation. Throughout the year I receive dozens of emails asking for help. Each and every email explains sometimes in great detail what their partner has done and is till doing. I did that too for many years. NOTHING is going to change his behaviour, or hers but you CAN do something about yours.
How long will we weep and curl up into a ball as a victim?
Last night I was watching a program on TV called 'Scared Straight'. Rebellious teenagers being taken into prisons to be shown what prison life is like if they don't make some serious changes.
Towards the end of the program the teenagers all stood in a line and going down the line they were asked a similar question "why do you do the things you do?"
Going down the line these were some of the responses.
My mother is a heroin addict.
My mother doesn't understand me.
My mother's boyfriend screams at me all the time.
My mother doesn't care what I do.
My mother, my mother, my mother ! Not once did I hear any of these girls speak about their fathers!
More than likely these mothers themselves grew up being abandoned, abused, neglected with addictive parents! But all these girls wanted was a normal loving healthy MOTHER.
We as mothers have a huge responsibility to make the right choices, to do what ever it takes to protect our children. I have had huge struggles with two of my daughters and no amount of me thinking... I WISH THEY UNDERSTOOD how hard life has been for me, has helped.
I have had a very hard life and if you are in an abusive relationship, you more than likely have had it hard too.
Look in the mirror and deal with your past. Forgive those who need your forgiveness, don't allow the anger and pain to build up inside of you. BELIEVE that you are worth more, you count, you are precious in God's sight and you can be what ever you choose to be.
Talk to your children especially if they are teenagers. Tell them you are sorry you have messed up and will do what ever it takes to turn things around. Be a mother that your children can respect and trust.
I made huge mistakes other than just being a victim, but I will talk about that tomorrow.
Choose to be happy one day at a time.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day Seven

It is very easy as a victim of Domestic Violence to focus all our energy and accusations on the abuser. ABUSE IS NO EXCUSE and this is not about the wrongfulness of abuse.
Right and wrong decisions are made by both abuser and victim and in order to turn our lives around we need to take a good hard look at ourselves, which is difficult in the midst of violence, but we have to take responsibility for some of the choices we have made and are still making.

If you stay you have to accept responsibility for making that choice, if you want to leave you need to make the right choice for both you and your children if you have them. I am the first to admit that as long as we are saying, 'I can't leave' we give away what little power we do have. Of course there will be financial difficulties and a long road ahead but when you make the decision you will find that the doors begin to open, you just have to see them and do the right thing.

Domestic Violence incapacitates us to think clearly, which is why my advice today is to make the time to meditate. Five minutes of meditation will rejuvinate your spirit and will help you to think clearly. Be kind to yourself, take personal responsibilty for your future. You have more power than you think.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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Day Six

December is supposed to be Festive and a time to look back on the year and be excited to meet up with family and loved ones to Celebrate Christmas, but statistics show that break ups are high during this time of the year and I don't know why. I have my own ideas about that. Throughout the year when we are struggling with an abusive relationship by the end of the year we are emotionally exhausted. During the year there are brief moments of separation which is a relief. Sometimes we are able to talk to family or friends about what is going on, but in December we are often forced to spend more time than usual with our abuser.

As women we have romantic ideas of being loved, admired, and respected and Christmas often high lights the truth, we aren't loved and respected. We have to spend time with other people who look happier than we are and reality hits us in the chest.

Spending a lot of time together when there are children is hard work in December and we are already feeling emotionally empty.

Don't slip into the big black hole. Look at this time positively and reward yourself with how far you have come. Make a decision to do something every day that makes you happy. Walk on the beach if you are going to the coast. Walk in the country do everything you can to take a walk and breathe.
Believe the possibilities of your dreams and don't give up.  Decide what you are going to do with your life and put the plan into action. Think about the New Year with enthusiasm. The only thing that can and will defeat you if you let it, is your own mind.

December is a time to reflect and a time to plan for the future, don't miss the opportunity.
Try your best not to engage in heavy drinking. Keep your head about you.
Most of all BE KIND to yourself.

Monday, December 3, 2012



These are just a few journal pages from some of my journals. I literally have dozens of journals. Some of them are bought and  I use them to write how I am feeling or what I am thinking at any given point in time, others are art journals that I make, where I might write something I am thinking at the time or I might just write a quote, all depends on my mood.
Eezy Peezy Journals
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Day Five: Why Journal

How long will it take?

In the past 7 years I think that is the one question that I am asked over and over again.
How long will it take to get a restraining order.
How long will it take before the divorce is final.
How long did it take you to get over X person, or how long did you fel depressed, in pain etc.
How long will it take for me to meet the right person.

We all want to know how long things take. My example has always been, stitches are removed in 10 days, a bone takes 6 weeks to mend, a head ache can take 20mins with medication but a broken heart can take for ever.

Thoughts create feelings and feelings cause reactions and behaviour so we need to really understand what we are thinking. There is so much information on the internet about changing the way we think, but I am not going to talk about that here. One thing I have done for many many years is to keep a journal.
Think about it, our minds are filled with thoughts and who knows if what we are thinking is the truth? One way of checking to see if what you are thinking makes sense or even if it is the truth, is to keep a journal. So often when we write our thoughts down we are able to see things from a different perspective.
Try not to spend hours and hours of wasted time and energy talking to people who have no idea of what you have experienced and even if they do, they aren't qualified to tell you what decisions to make or how to feel. You are the best person for that job.

The point that I am making her is not to answer how long it will take for legal matters to be resolved, I have no idea, but when it comes to the question how long will it take to heal the past, my answer would be that is entirely up to you. Journaling is a wonderful way to get insight into your own mind and feelings which is why I always recommend journaling as part of your healing process.

For some more information on keeping a journal you can click on this link.
Write about the things you can remember about your childhood and your parents.
Write about your feelings and what people have done to you both good and bad.
Keep a record about your therapy sessions and the insight that you get from reading, progams you might watch on TV, things people might say, most important are the aha moments you have when you are writing.
Highlight all the positive things.
Write quotes on pieces of paper and put them on your fridge, bathroom mirror, next to your bed.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day Four Journey to the Temple

She knew it was time to take the JOURNEY TO THE TEMPLE which was deep in the forest. Surrounded by nature in all its glory and the presence of God.
Kneeling quietly she asked God to remove her anger wipe away her tears and reveal to her why she could not find true love and acceptance.
He asked of her first to write down what people have done to hurt, harm and disappoint her. She sat for a long time writing down every detail from what she could remember. He then said..'there is more'.
She found it hard to remember everything but slowly she wrote what she could recall. When she had finished writing God asked her to take the paper and place it on the alter where it began to burn.

God asked her to breathe deeply, to quiet her mind and heart and begin to write down everything she had ever done to hurt and harm someone else, even when it wasn't intentional. No if's no but's. She began to write and the page filled with memories, words spoken, reactions and behaviours flooded her mind and her heart began to ache and the tears began to flow. God said..'there is more'.
One page turned into three and then four... and God said, 'when you finish, place those pages on the alter, which she did and they began to burn.

He wrapped His arms around her with Love that filled ever cell in her body and said,
"when you leave the Temple  go back into the world, you are free of guilt and condemnation and the chains that bind you have been removed. Guilt, anger, fear, distrust and unforgiveness will no longer be a part of you. You will know the the Truth and it will set you free."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

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Day Three

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice,
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with it's stiff fingers
at the very foundations.
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night.
and the road full of fallen
branches stones.
But little by litte.
as you left their voices behind.
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do...
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver

Friday, November 30, 2012


Forgiveness is a choice

This isn't a very good picture but you get the message.
For anyone who has been abused this is really a hard one. I am a Christian and I know that my faith teaches me that Forgiveness is an essential requirement and one that I wrestled with for a long time. The very thought of forgiving the people who had caused me so much pain aroused extreme anger in me.
I have had to forgive many people in my life. Some who were directly responsible for my abuse from childhood right into adulthood and some people who worsened my pain with their judgment and criticism. People who I had never even met had strong opinions of me.
The only think that I can share is that FORGIVENESS takes time and people do need to be held accountable for what they have done. It is difficult to forgive someone who shows no remorse and hasn't owned up to the damage they have caused, but if we wait for that day it may never come and that is the sad truth.
Forgiveness is a choice we make, not for the other person but for ourselves. Begin with saying...I am willing to FORGIVE. When we make that statement we open up our hearts to a new way of thinking, a new way of responding and a new way of feeling. Unforgiveness and anger go hand in hand. Forgiveness and Peace do the same.

Day Two

I did say that this would be 16 days of inspiration, but on the Dr Phil show today was a program about a young woman named Logan which I think is important for me to share. It is important for us all to educate ourselves as to the shocking things that happen to children that we cannot ignore.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day One

16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse

Well, I will be posting for the next 16 days to inspire those of you who are locked into the cycle of abuse.

For the past 7 years since I wrote my book I was on my own personal journey to heal. So often we don't give ourselves time, to work through some of our own choices and how and why we ended up where we did.

Someone said to me this morning... we chose the wrong men, then she asked, or did they chose us. In my humble opinion we weren't sitting around like flowers in a flower shop waiting to be picked, we also make choices and have to take some responsibility when things didn't turn out quite the way we expected.

Men who abuse women have often come from abusive backgrounds and why they don't chose to be different is beyond my own understanding, but we also chose them and for very similar reasons. Many of us grew up with abuse and witnessed fathers and step fathers abusing our mothers. Then why didn't we chose a different path, surely one would think that the signs are there from the beginning? Did our mothers deserve what they went through? Did they stay longer than they should have? Did they protect us as children or did they also expose us to the trauma of their dysfunctional relationships? We know the answer to that. They too were victims.

I am not crazy about the word VICTIM it implies that we are helpless and often that is true, but there certainly are times when we are not. Domestic Violence breaks down one's confidence and our faith in the future and in ourselves. If we are ever going to change the course of our own lives we have to take some responsibility.
1. We have to accept that we made some huge mistakes. Believed the lies that were told to us but even when we knew the truth we didn't do much about it.
2. We have to think about our own lives, what we want, what we deserve and how we are going to achieve those things.
3. People don't pitch up on the doorstep to rescue us, we have to find ways to rescue ourselves.
4. We need to surround ourselves with people who DO understand what we are going through, or have been through. BUT we must be careful not to get stuck in pity parties. For a while we need shoulders to cry on, but sooner or later WE have to make the next move and put one foot in front of the other.
5. We need a plan. From my own experience by the time my own marriage was over I hardly had the strength to get out of bed, let alone plan for a safe and happy future. Try not to wait until it gets that bad. Spend time with someone who cares about your future and together start planning for the future. Leaving an abusive relationship often doesn't happen over night, but as long as we have some plan in place as to how we are going to end the abuse, we have taken the first step.

There is plenty of information on my website concerning how to GET OUT SAFELY from an abusive relationship, spend some time on the site searching for the information you need.


If you need to ask any questions you can email me at I will how ever not be responding to any emails after the 10th December 2012.

More information, click on this link.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Life is a journey

The only thing that is really bad and final about LIFE... is DEATH. People are all here for a time, a season and a reason. Doing the best they can even when other people think they could and should be doing more.
We aren't here to judge or criticize another persons journey or choices but rather to try and help them get to where they want to be. Every criticism is a stumbling block to their success.

Think about that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Success Story

I love success stories. This man contacted me some time ago admitting that his behavour had been inappropriate and he needed help. I referred him to a therapist who I have seen myself and she is excellent. I sent X an email to find out how he was doing and this was his response.
Hi Caryl,


Thank-you so much for your email. I am fantastic. Therapy with Ann-MArie has been intensive but so worthwhile. I have overcome so much and by the Grace of God have put my demons to rest. I no longer feel anger, bitterness or any other negative emotion. It truly has been a tough but incredible journey. I have also become a reborn Christian which has helped me on this personal journey and I can only say miracles have happened and continue to happen. I am loving life and for the first time in many, many years I am happy and at peace with the world. I work on myself intensily everyday and make a daily commitment to never go back to where I was. I have truly let go of my past and no longer suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder... When I do have the occasional very, very minor wobble I have the full spectrum of tools to deal with situations. I am truly blessed to have gone to Mural and to have "met"you. I talk to men on a daily basis and help and encourage other men to learn to be better husbands, fathers, sons , friends and brothers.

I hope one day to meet you and thank-you in person for the nudge in the right direction.

God bless, XXX


Saturday, October 20, 2012

My book

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What about the children

For the past 7 years I can honestly say that 99.9% or the people who contact me via email from my website , contact me to ask for help in someway for themselves. But sadly recently I have been receiving emails from different people who are extremely concerned about either their own children or the children of a family member.

Where do we begin to help these innocent little people? There was a terrible article in a local magazine recently from a mother whose daughter and grandchildren are trapped in an extremely abusive home. The grandmother was pleading for help before it is too late. The story she told about her son -in-law was horrific.

Soon after this article was published I someone contacted me with a very similar story. She was agonizing about what she could do to help. Fearing not only for her daughter but her grandchildren who are exposed to the abuse.

When my children were very small I often tried to keep the abuse silent, from friends but more importantly silent from the neighbours. I was terrified that if they reported what was going on in my home that my children would be taken away from me. This is a huge problem. The mother is in such trauma herself and fearing for her life that she often clings to her children for her own comfort if not for theirs. If the children were removed from the home she knows that the abuse would escalate because 'he' is likely to say..."and it is all your fault". The abuse is likely to get worse and who knows were it could end up.

Mothers are terrified that their children will be put in foster care which might come with a whole lot more problems. Children being brought up in homes with foster parents who shouldn't be fostering in the first place.

People will ask... How can she do this to her children? For their sake she needs to leave. If it was that simple she would have left long ago. So what are we to do about the children?

My daughters are all grown up and thankfully they are more together than one would expect after being raised in such a dysfunctional homes. They have all been in therapy which has helped them tremendously and we have been through some rough patches when they have not been very understanding towards me and have blamed me in some ways for the trauma they went through. It has been extremely hard, but I always understood that they were children and needed time to work through everything themselves. Today we are united as a family of girls, but what about when they were younger? What could I have done differently to save them from all the violence and excessive drinking. I don't believe I could have done much more than I did.

What are we going to do about the children we know are in abusive homes? Do we sit back and wait for something really bad to happen or even sit back knowing that these children are being traumatized every single day by what they are being exposed to?

Please if you have any thoughts on this please leave your comments.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

For My Children

Thank you for sharing this poem with all those who follow this blog.

For my children
i cringe from the memories you left
the things you made me see
a tiny body
an innocent
you sought to destroy
to break me
to reign me in

i had failed to protect them
from your malice
i had failed to protect myself
from your hatred

my children
forgive me
my daughter
i tried to stop him

my soul
i'm sorry
for bending you
beyond breaking

i will confront him
i will stand in front of judge and jury
and his golden face
will make me a lair
but i know
that in my home
you live like kings
and you fear nothing

no more
will i lie awake,
and wonder if i will live through the night
never again
will i sell my heart so cheap

and as alone i may be
a cold bed
or worth more
than warm grave
i had been married to an abusive man
he tried to kill my kitten to teach me a lesson
she is alive and healthy, and living like a goddess in my home

abuse is real, and the only way it will end, is if people become involved, dont avert your eyes, dont turn a deaf ear. you can save a life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dr. Sam Vaknin

Recently I received an email from someone in Canada. Not uncommon but the WARNING was. Let me explain.

In 2005 when I was busy getting divorced from my husband of 13 years, 15 by the time the divorce actually went through, I was in a place that I call hell on earth. This was my 3rd marriage and the second abusive one. I had everything materially but I had no understanding of why I had married two abusive men without realising right from the beginning. Well I did, but that is all in my book, which incidental you can still order from me if you want a copy.

During the divorce I did every single thing possible to find out more about Domestic Violence. I wanted to understand the victim and the perpetrator. I went on line daily and searched websites for information and in the process I came across a book called MALIGNANT SELF LOVE written by Dr. Sam Vaknin. His website had every single thing I ever wanted to know about NPD Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Co-Dependence, and much more. I bought the book and believe me when I say FINALLY after two abusive step fathers and two abusive husbands I found all the answers I had been searching for. NO therapist had ever told me about this NPD or even suggested that I was married to men who were Narcissists. Being narcissistic is one thing, being a narcissist is something quite different.
I contact Dr. Sam and told him I was writing a book and asked him if he would write the Introduction which he agreed to do free of charge.

The email I received recently was from someone who had been on my website and she contacted me to warn me not to get too close to Dr. Sam as he is a psycopath. I reassured her that he lives in Macedonia and I live in South Africa so there was little chance of me getting close to him. I also explained my connection to him and how incredibly helpful he had been during my long ordeal to escape for good from all the abuse I had experienced throughout my life. This person gave me a link to this interview with Dr. Sam and I thought I would share it with you, for you to make up your own mind about him and his knowledge of NPD. I hope that you find the same breakthrough that I did and many others who I have referred to his website.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Food for thought

The one who fears him the most, is the one who he favours, because that is the person who he can control.

When we sometimes wonder why certain people cannot see through the abuser, his charm, his lies.... we need to ask ourselves does this person fear him and his power? If not fear his power are they taken in with his charisma and his public persona?

So when the abuser is able to continue life, as though nothing was wrong and and other people he might be involved with are charmed by him, try to remember that abusers have to control their environment and the person who they can control will be their favourite person in the moment, be they client, friend or girlfriend.

* We refer to 'him' because for the most part it is men who we are referring to. That does not mean to say that there are not women out there who do not manipulate in the same way.

Public Ignorance

I have been watching a program on TV about a woman who murdered her abusive lover. Please DO NOT ever think that I condone murder, but this is 2012 and we still are dealing with people who know nothing about what it is like to live with an abusive partener.

In this case the defendant was telling the jury that she had been anally raped by her partner on the night that she killed him. The prosecutor asked her why would she wear a thong if that were true. I missed that part that was mentioned about her wearing a thong. The victims defence attorney asked her why she had never reported any kind of domestic violence before? She had received treatment for a broken arm which she claimed was his doing, but she had told friends that she had slipped and fallen. The defendant was also asked why she stayed with her abusive partner and why she kept going back to him if he was so abusive? She responded that she had been been abused as a child and was used to abuse. The prosecutor asked her, 'well if that were true, then why would you want to stay in an abusive relationship?'

I get so angry when I think that the general public and the legal firms that represent their clients, still don't understand domestic violence. In this case there was no psychologist brought in to explain why women stay, or why a woman would still wear a thong if she had been raped, for goodness sake!

Yes she is guilty of murder. Yes she was guilty of losing control and she should face the consequences of those actions.... but until we recognise the extenuating circumstances we will continue to punish the real victim. Of course there will continue to be those women who use the 'abuse' angle when trying to minimize their guilt in the crime of murder, which is why we have to SPEAK OUT about abuse to our friends, to anyone who will listen.

I put myself in the shoes of the mother of this man who was killed and I too would wonder about all the claims of abuse, especially if I had never seen or heard any claims that my son was abusive to previous partners. I would also wonder about the statements of the accused. There are 3 sides to this story as usual and what is the truth? Until we speak out, during the abuse and not after, thousands of abused women will sit in prisons for defending themselves.

Read the article yourself and form your own conclusions. Please don't think that I cannot see through some of the holes in her story but do I believe she was a victim of emotional abuse, yes I do. Do I think he should have died absolutely not. But the nature of abuse is that both parties need each other for it to continue.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Coward or Hero


The story of Thomas Darling –  Was he a Coward or Hero.


Recently I watched a program on television, Alan Cummings a British actor was on his quest to find out more about his grandfather who seemed to have died very mysteriously during the 2nd World War. His mother and grandmother knew that he had died with a single shot to the head, but that is all they knew.

Alan wanted to find out the reason and made enquiries as to whether anyone who might have known his grandfather may still be alive. Through the Burma Star Organisation a man by the name of David Murray was contacted and Alan arranged to meet with him.  David now 89, spoke highly of the man he had come to know as Thomas Darling, when David met Thomas he was a decorated sergeant. David  a 2nd Lieutenant and therefore Thomas’ senior, said that Thomas was a very likable chap, much admired and highly respected as the back bone of his battalion at the time. David told Alan the story about when he and Thomas fought against the Japanese when Thomas was severely injured.

During the war Thomas Darling was sent to India. The war in that part of the world was treacherous in the jungle. Thomas Darling was a sergeant  in the British army and in a battle in Kahema(sp),  400 British soldiers were in the front line fighting the Japanese, when all of a sudden the ground beneath them seemed to open up as they walked straight into an ambush, the shrieks and  loud noise made by the Japanese was apparently deafening, he said he would never forget it as long as he lived. In the battle 105 soldiers either died or were seriously injured, Thomas Darling being one of them, he was admitted into hospital in Dehra Dun, India on the 18th May 1944 with serious injuries from shrapnel, mortar or a grenade. He was then moved to another hospital in Deolali almost 1000 kilometres away near Mumbai where he stayed for 2 months before returning to duty, but in his official records there seemed to be some documents missing, whether deliberately or not isn’t known, the only documents available after 1944 was in 1946. It was speculated that during that time he was in a psychiatric ward in a Deolali hospital. These documents were often systematically destroyed because of the stigma attached to what was called Combat fatigue or mental illness, later in psychology referred to as PTS. Alan asked David  if he ever suffered with Combat Fatigue and David denied it, however he did recall an incident after the war when his young daughter walked up behind him to give him a fright. He jumped up and swung around, and in that moment his daughter said that she knew that he could have killed her. 65 years ago people didn’t talk about Combat Stress but it did exist and was very real to those who suffered from the condition.

Thomas Darling went back to Britain , to his wife and two children after being released from hospital but he wasn’t there long when after only a year as a civilian he abandoned his family. He worked for awhile in an administration position but he couldn’t handle it. He applied for a position with the Malayan police force, back to a brutal colonial war. Malay was part of the British Empire since the early 19th century. The vast rubber and tin resources had been a huge part of the British economy. He gave up what could have been his comfort back in Britain. In 1948 Malayan communist gorilla parties started murdering the plantation managers and attacked the British businesses in a bid to overturn the British Colonial rulers. Thomas had this nice comfortable job but he chose to go back to the war in the jungle.

Many soldiers chose to go back into battle which wasn’t unusual. There is a very powerful sense of missing the intensity of the life he had in the military. Thomas went back to Malay to take over one of the villages, with the intent of combating the communist gorillas.  Surrounding the village was barbwire and entrance into the village was through check points. The purpose of the check points was to cut the terrorists off from the local population who might give them food and supplies. Almost half a million people were forced into these villages, some were secret communist sympathisers , while others were simply glad to be protected from the intimidation of the gorillas.

It was an extremely difficult position to be in because Thomas had to win over the confidence of the local people, if they didn’t like him they could easily betray him. Within 7 months Thomas Darling at the age of 35 would be dead. He died of a shot behind and level with his right ear.

Alan Cummings went to Cha-ah to find out more, this was a major hotspot for terrorist activity during the war and had to be policed by Thomas Darlings security forces. Alan tracked down Ray Sampson who knew Thomas as he was also in the Police Force at the time. Thomas had to maintain the security in the village while Roy patrolled  the surrounding jungle killing communist gorillas who were brought back to the Police to be displayed for the locals to view as a deterrent. The police were decorated for their achievements.  Thomas at that time was playing Russian roulette for quite some time and his superiors and friends knew but chose to say nothing as he was highly thought of and they chose to close their eyes to what he was doing. He was playing with the local people who really liked him and Thomas would collect when he survived the bullet.

Allan met with two of the local men whose father knew his grandfather. Thomas was a hero in their eyes. When he died they named a street and a park after him which still stands today. Thomas’ wife, Alan’s grandmother was asked if she wanted his personal belongs, which she did. His personal effects were sent to her in Britain, but she was unable to collect them from the Post Office due to lack of funds. Alan’s family did eventually recover his belongings but that is all they received because Thomas’ death was deemed not in a manner that was within the call of duty under police regulations.

Alan made the comment at the end of the program that his grandfathers death was not so shocking given his life experience at the time, the level of PTS that he must have suffered and many more soldiers who are in the military, but that we don’t value the after affects of war.

Thomas Darling was a considered a coward in the military and a hero in the local community.

To speak the truth can be painful but to remain silent can hurt even more. Alan’s grandmother and his own mother had no idea how Thomas Darling died.


1.      Often an abusive partner is charming, and extremely engaging and persuasive in the beginning. Once the victim is committed to the relationship and the abuse begins. The victim for all the reasons that are mentioned on my website may find it very difficult to leave, often being persuaded to return if she does leave. Thomas may have been attracted to the money and the excitement of the war. Remember he left and went back.

2.       Part of the reason he left his wife and children could have been that they didn’t understand him and he couldn’t be normal around them. Often when we leave an abusive relationship out friends can’t understand and we feel alienated, it just seems easier to go back to what is familiar. The abusive partner is likely to lay on the charm, promise to change etc etc.

3.      Who will suffer from PTS, some soldiers suffered worse than others and it is the same with the victims of Domestic Violence. There are many reasons for that, family history, personality type and support from friends and family after the divorce or break up of the abusive relationship.

4.      65 years ago men who struggled with Combat fatigue felt alienated and there was a stigma attached to the condition, nothing much has changed. We are often told by friends and family to ‘get over it’.

5.      Thomas started playing Russian roulette; he more than likely drank a lot or took drugs. Many victims of domestic violence also do the same thing. They might jump into another relationship far too soon, drink heavily, party hard with friends, spend money they cannot afford and some may even attempt suicide.

6.      Friends of Thomas knew what he was doing and didn’t try to stop him. Some of our friends will betray us, by remaining friends with our abusive partner, some may even have an affair with him. Some may even betray our confidence by telling our abusive partner what we are doing or thinking of doing.

7.      Thomas obviously felt isolated and alone and feared seeking further treatment.

8.      If the victim leaves she may decide to help other victims, she may speak out and break the silence. Some people will think she is a coward for exposing her abusive partner and others may consider her a hero if she leaves, stays away, starts a new life and helps others.

9.      If the victim dies at the hand of her abuser or through suicide, will people consider her a Hero or a Coward?

10.  If you are a victim then only you can decide.

Only we can decide which we are going to be.