by Wendy J Olson, Healing Coach + Executive Director of Grit Plus Gumption
All month long, we’re talking about adverse childhood experiences and how they later affect us in our adult lives. We call this campaign “Evolve” because as we learn together, we can grow, heal, and eventually thrive. Get involved by joining us on our Instagram page, @gritplusgumption and/or donating using the link at the bottom.
We’ve been scarred by romantic comedies and movies that tell us that love is hard fought. And in some ways it is. Marriage is not for the faint of heart. But when you’re only 18 years old and facing relationship challenges that should be reserved for 5 years into a committed marriage, immediately I have to say: you’re in a bad relationship.
Be a teenager is hard. You’ve got hormones to contend with. Your brain won’t be fully developed until you’re 25. And if your home life is off, you’re dealing with a new set of challenges. Add in the fact that school can feel like a war zone, and we’re all living in one of the most toxic cultures of our human existence.
My point is that love should not make you cry. Not like that. Not all the time. Are you crying more out of sadness and brokenheartedness, or are you crying because you’re so damn grateful for this experience?
Or as Samantha from Sex and the City famously said, ‘Are you more frowny face or more happy face?
What We’re Doing About It:
The way we work on this kind of harm from our childhood is with our Family of Origin narrative in story work. We find patterns and themes throughout all of our stories in the 12-week workshop, but Family of Origin is a huge one in naming harm in our formative years.
How do you know if your relationship is a good one or a bad one? Instead of discussing red flags in a relationship, let’s discuss some green ones.
- Does your body feel at rest when you are with your partner?
- Do you feel safe enough to share parts of yourself with this person that you’ve kept hidden from others?
- Does this person make you feel safe?
- Does this person look out for you and check in on you, caring about who you are and how you are?
- Do you trust this person, implicitly?
If you found this information helpful to your own healing journey, please consider donating to Grit Plus Gumption and supporting another woman’s healing journey as well. Link in bio to donate!
How do you know if your relationship is a good one or a bad one? Today we’ll be sharing 5 red flags that your relationship may not be a good one.
- Your body feels tense whenever this person is around, or when you’re spending time with your partner.
- You feel like you can’t fully be yourself around your partner. They would criticize or make you feel small if you did. You fear their opinion of you and elevate that opinion over your own.
- This person doesn’t bring a sense of safety around them. You worry how they will react, what they will do. They seem volatile at times and you can’t predict when or why something might set them off. You stay quiet around them, as not to provoke.
- This person does not take into account your well-being or safety when you are around them. They may drive recklessly, keep you out past curfew, talk disrespectfully about your home and your parents.
- While you believe with all your heart you love this person, you don’t trust them. Your gut is telling you something is off even if you can’t name what that is.
If you found this information helpful to your own healing journey, please consider donating to Grit Plus Gumption and supporting another woman’s healing journey as well. Use this link to make a tax-deductible donation today! We thank you for your support.
Wendy J Olson is the Founder and Executive Director of Grit Plus Gumption Farmstead, a 501c3 nonprofit. She also works as a healing coach, facilitating the Allender Center modality of Story Work, (Narrative Focused Trauma Care. ) She walks with women through their stories of past hurts and traumas, guiding them to freedom and healing.