3 Lessons Sarah Hyland’s Restraining Order Can Teach All Women

3 Lessons Sarah Hyland’s Restraining Order Can Teach All Women

With so much negativity coming out of the collective noise of Hollywood’s early-to-mid-twenty-something stars and the gossip mills they fuel, it’s nice to notice and recognize when someone does something that’s actually a GOOD thing. (And of course, it’s also smart, because when we focus on good things, we get more of them!)

If you watched ABC’s Modern Family, you know who Hailey Dunphey is – the daughter of bumbling Phil and stressed-out Claire. She’s a beautiful, seemingly vapid (at first glance) girl who turns out to be super smart when it suits her.

The actress that plays her, though, hasn’t had such an easy go of it so far. In fact, it seems that as her star rose between 2010 and 2014, Hyland’s behind-the-scenes real life was pretty hellish.

Why did Sarah Hyland get a restraining order against Matt Prokop?

You may have already heard about Sarah Hyland‘s domestic violence struggles with her ex-boyfriend, actor Matt Prokop, who is accused of physically abusing and assaulting her. Sarah Hyland was granted a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, Matt Prokop, in September 2014. Prokop, who played Ethan in ABC’s Modern Family as well as playing several movie roles alongside Hyland, was accused of making violent threats towards her. News outlets report that Sarah sought help from police and the court to keep Prokop away from her because she was afraid of his behavior, for which she had sought medical treatment.

Is Matt Prokop a Narcissist? 

You might wonder if Matt Prokop is a narcissist, and you wouldn’t be alone. While we can’t say for sure that he fits the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, Prokop has certainly demonstrated some narcissist traits during his relationship with Hyland. For example, according to Daily News and TMZ, Prokop used physical intimidation, name-calling, and coercive control among his preferred methods of manipulation. We can only assume that emotional and psychological abuse was part of Hyland’s reality during the relationship.

Does this make him a narcissist? Maybe, but we aren’t aware of an official diagnosis. Either way, he appears to have been a narcissistic abuser. In fact, according to Hyland in an October 2014 interview with Meredith Viera, Prokop demonstrated the qualities of an abuser when he  “relentlessly bombarded me with vile, threatening and emotionally disturbing texts and voice mails including his own suicide threats.” Hyland reported that Prokop choked her so tightly that she “could not breath or speak.”

Prokop also allegedly terrorized her “both verbally and physically during the last four years of their relationship,” according to The Things, and his career ended with his relationship with Hyland.

3 Lessons Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Can Learn from Sarah Hyland

The clearly toxic relationship between Hyland and Prokop certainly appears to be an example of narcissistic abuse, and there are certain lessons fellow survivors of narcissistic abuse can learn from this situation.

Lesson 1: Even beautiful, successful women can be silent victims of abuse.

According to the Daily Mail Online, Hyland’s rep offered a statement from her attorney Lee A Sherman, which noted that “On September 19, 2014, Ms. Hyland obtained a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order against Matthew Prokop. The documents filed speak for themselves.”

The statement continues: “Out of respect for the court, the process, and all parties, I have advised Ms. Hyland not to comment on the matter. We request that you respect the parties’ privacy during this time.”

Additionally, Hyland alleged in the court papers that she “experienced four years of abuse at his hands during their relationship.”

“His grip was so tight that I could not breathe or speak,” she said in the documents of a violent incident with Prokop in May. “I was scared and in fear for my life.”

Sadly, Hyland is not alone in her plight. According to SafeHorizon.org, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. That’s 25% of us.

(Read More of Sarah Hyland’s story from The Daily Mail, Link Below)

Lesson Two: No woman deserves to be abused, and every woman has the right to stand up for herself.

As a young woman who is idolized by girls around the world, I think Hyland’s actions are the best she could’ve taken. Too many young women, especially in her age group and those in their late teens, are far too willing to accept “whatever” in order to remain attached to a man.

Safe Horizon says that women ages 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.

While you might think that Hyland accepted the abuse for too long, she’s doing something right NOW. By standing up now and publicly declaring that domestic violence is NOT OK, Sarah Hyland is showing women around the world that they have the right to be safe. She is also offering herself a huge support network by going public with this one.  Go, Sarah!

Lesson Three: Get involved if you see a friend or loved one getting abused. (It might literally save their lives.)

A few more sobering statistics from Safe Horizon:

  • Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
  • Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
  • Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.

According to TMZ, court papers note that Hyland has said that it was only thanks to her TV mom Julie Bowen that she felt strong enough to break free from the tumultuous 4-year relationship.

We may not fully understand how seriously Hyland was being abused, but the fact is that abusers kill their victims on an all-too-often basis.

If someone you know is in an abusive relationship and is in physical danger, you have a responsibility to stand up and say something. Julie Bowen’s support helped Sarah Hyland step away in a very public way, but you can support a loved one in a much quieter way by just offering help and support as you are able. If nothing else, you can connect them with the right resources.

So what do you think? Did Sarah Hyland do the right thing, and what would you say to her if you could?

 Excerpt from the Daily Mail Online:

Threatened: The 23-year-old claimed in court documents that she was physically abused by Matt during their four-year relationship

  • In the court filing she also says she had sustained injuries with a ‘very sore throat following this event.’ Sarah then described how she got her TV mother Julie Bowen involved to help her ‘peacefully end the relationship.’
  • The actress, who plays Julie’s daughter Haley Dunphy on the hit ABC comedy, flew out her beau to his home in Texas earlier this year.
  • But when Matt arrived and saw everyone in his house, including Julie, he ‘ran outside into the backyard and began screaming,’ according to the documents.

Seeking help: Matt, who had a stint on Modern Family and co-starred with her in Disney Channel movie Geek Charming, entered rehab in August

  • Sarah said he threw a ‘lighter’ at her, which triggered Julie to step in and get her out of the house as she ‘wasn’t safe’.
  • She also claimed that Matt threatened to commit arson by setting one of her homes on fire and to get rid of her dog.
  • Following their split, Sarah said her former boyfriend ‘relentlessly bombarded me with vile, threatening and emotionally disturbing texts and voice mails including his own suicide threats.’
  • The former couple started dating after meeting while auditioning for High School Musical 3: Senior Year in 2008. They later starred together in the Disney Channel film Geek Charming in 2011.

Read more about Sarah Hyland’s story in the Daily Mai: click here

October 2014 Update

Update: In October 2014, Sarah Hyland was granted a permanent restraining order, and Matt Prokop has not worked in the film or television industries since. E! News reported that “Prokop has been ordered to stay 100 yards away from the Modern Family actress and her home. He has also been ordered to not go near her job or workplace and own or possess a gun or ammunition. The restraining order also demands that Prokop stay 100 yards away from Hyland’s dog, Barkley Bixby, as well as not make any threats, or attack, or harm the dog in any way.”

Are you dealing with narcissistic abuse?

Does this story feel a little too familiar to you? You might be dealing with narcissistic abuse, which is a pervasive, covert type of abuse that involves the exploitation and psychological abuse of one partner in a toxic relationship.

While narcissistic abuse can result in profound emotional and psychological harm, as well as long-term physical effects, the covert nature can make it difficult to spot and even more challenging to manage. Worse, if you find yourself involved in this kind of relationship, your self-confidence and self-worth are often so low by the time you realize it, you can’t or won’t leave.

Narcissistic abuse involves subtle manipulation, pervasive control tactics, gaslighting, and emotional and psychological abuse. Sadly, even the most intelligent and educated people can be manipulated and abused by a narcissist.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Are you dealing with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship? Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Are you dealing with a narcissist who is playing mind games with you? Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

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Why You Must Follow Your Passion, Even When You Have Kids

Why You Must Follow Your Passion, Even When You Have Kids

“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” ~Audrey Hepburn

Overwhelmed, frazzled and decidedly NOT hot!Have you ever found yourself feeling “less than” or underestimated by someone you love? Maybe you were thrown under the bus or treated like you were an employee rather than a partner. Maybe this sort of thing happens a little too often, and maybe it’s beginning to take a toll on your self esteem, especially if your tormentor is your spouse—and especially if you truly love and respect him.

While no one wants to believe negative things about herself, sometimes it’s just easier to believe that you’re not worthy…but when you let go of the feeling that you deserve to have a good, healthy relationship that benefits both of you, or the idea that you’re worth loving, you let go of a huge part of yourself.

The Not-So-Hot Effect of Putting Your Personal Development on Hold for Your Kids

This happens to a lot of moms, especially those who put their entire lives on hold to raise their kids. See, while you’re busy doing the work of parenting, you’re not developing your Self.

In fact there are studies that show that teen moms are often stunted in their emotional growth to the point that some never mature emotionally beyond the age they were when they gave birth. Others manage but it takes much longer. And still some others don’t struggle at all.

The point is that awareness is crucial to creating positive change in your life. And in the case of being a hot wife, having your own interests and projects outside of your kids and hubby will make you just so much hotter!

How to Be a Hot Wife Who Also Happens to Be a Mom: Find, Nurture and Develop Your Passions

mom juggle lifeAs you already know, a hot wife always has her own interests and passions. But when hot wives become hot moms, they sometimes let their personal needs and wants sit by the wayside so long they forget what they are–and the effect isn’t pretty.

To discover your passion, if you haven’t already, you need to know your purpose.

How to Discover the Purpose of Your Life

If you’re like a lot of moms, you might not have figured out what you’re supposed to do with your life, outside of raising your kids. What is your personal  life purpose?

What is a life purpose anyway?

passionFor our uses, we’re going to define it as something that you love to do that also has a great impact on the world. It’s that sweet spot where you’re having a great time and doing something wonderful for as many people as possible.

Most of us leave our lives up to chance. We slide into a profession that we don’t hate and stay there or in a similar situation until we’re ready to retire. Living your purpose usually requires taking action with the intention of finding it.

There are several ways you can attempt to discover the purpose of your life:

  1. Describe your ideal day. Project yourself several years into the future and imagine that your life is essentially perfect. What would your life look like? Are you working? What type of work are you doing? What do you do all day? Who is in your life?
  • Now that you know what the end looks like, what can you do today to take the first step in that direction?
  1. Try austerity. Go camping in a remote place. Leave the food at home, but bring plenty of water. Limit your sleep and just sit with yourself. When you’re miserable, bored, lonely, and tired, sometimes the answers become obvious.
  2. Volunteer. Find an organization in your community that interests you. Doing something worthwhile can be a good way to discover your purpose. Even if you come up short, at least you’ll have done something important.
  3. Assume you can do the impossible. When anything is possible, what would you do? Take action to bring your dreams to life.
  4. Write. Perhaps the most effective way to discover your life’s purpose is to spend an hour writing. At the top of your paper write, “My life’s purpose.” Now spend the next 60 minutes writing whatever pops into your mind.
  • When you find something that stirs strong positive feelings within you, you’re probably on the right track.
  1. Investigate a new hobby. We all have at least one activity we’ve been putting off until a more convenient time. Doing something new exposes you to new ideas and thoughts. Now is the time to jump in and get started. You might be surprised what you discover.
  2. Do something that terrifies you. Skydiving? Public speaking? You might find your life’s purpose during the process of conquering this fear.
  • This can be challenging and it might take some time, but get started today.
  1. Spend a day being totally inspired. From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, attempt to spend every moment inspired. The right books, music, and movies can help you maintain an inspired mental state.
  • You’ll believe you can do anything. What would you do?

Ask yourself what you would do if you had $10 million. How would you spend your time? What would your life look like? Can you figure out a way to make a living doing one of the activities you would be willing to do for free if you had the time?

Keep trying the above tips until you’ve found something that really excites you. When you find your purpose, there will be no doubt. Avoid spending all of your life thinking and planning. Get busy living.

Finding your life’s purpose will make life exciting and meaningful!

So how about you, have you discovered your passion and purpose yet? Share your thoughts, experiences and ideas in the comments section, below!

 

Ten essential actions for meaningful living

Ten essential actions for meaningful living

Inspired by The Art of Meaningful Living
by Christopher F. Brown, LCSW, MBA

Essential Actions for Meaningful Living

Are you living your meaningful life, or is it buried under hundreds of different disappointments and lost dreams?

Meaningful living is choosing your passions over your fears. It is accepting what you cannot control and focusing on what is within your power.

Meaningful living is intentional, effective, and respectful. Meaningful lives are built decision by decision, one day at a time.

Your meaningful life is beautiful. It is strong. It is unique. It is within you. Your meaningful life is what you are passionate about. Meaningful living requires you to actively choose your behaviors based on your personal elements of meaningful living.

One way to define your passions is to prioritize the following 10 elements of meaningful living. The elements are inspired by the ideas of psychologist Kelly G. Wilson, PhD.

One element is not intrinsically better than another; they’re just different. Your meaningful life is unique, as are you. You define your passions and can live them. You can master your mind. You can act in ways that you value. You can have your meaningful life.

1. Befriend
Friends are the family of your choosing. Friendships are far more than casual acquaintances; they require care and attention. When your friends and social life are central to your meaningful life, the effort feeds both you and your friend, plus the relationship between the two of you.

2. Grow
Expand your range of experience to develop yourself. Growth is characterized by continuing education, training in new specialties, experiencing other cultures, and learning new skills. Yes, growth can be painful, but when continual development is central to your meaningful life, the experience is worth it.

3. Heal
Care for yourself physically and emotionally because life can be difficult. You will need to heal from its experiences and lessons. Heal with adequate sleep, a nourishing diet, physical activity, healthy relationships, and professional treatments. This passion establishes your self-care as an equal priority with the needs of others.

4. Nurture
When the growth and development of others provides you with fulfillment, nurturing is your passion. Parenting certainly can provide you a chance to nurture, but having children is only one of many ways to fulfill this passion. Nurture through mentoring or coaching. Care for other living things, like pets or plants. When nurturing is your passion, you nourish others to nourish yourself.

5. Partner
To partner is to join another person in an intimate relationship. These relationships are embodied by public commitments that unite one human being to another. Intimate partnerships require you to love, desire, and long for another person. Successful partnerships also require consistent care with each person able to be both I and we within the relationship.

6. Play
Play is activity with the purpose of relaxing, amusing, and delighting you. If you have forgotten how to play, spend time watching young children; they’re the experts. Forms of play are only limited by your imagination. Adults play in their intimate relationships, hobbies, and pastimes. Whether you enjoy going to the movies, traveling to new places, or collecting vintage toys, it is all recreation, or a form of play.

7. Relate
This element of meaningful living connects you with who you came from: your family of origin. When connecting with the family you were adopted or born into is a passion, invest energy and time into your relationships with Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Cousin, or other kin who are important to you.

8. Serve
Serving a community, large or small, can bring great satisfaction and meaning. When actions of service consistently give you energy and contentment, serving is one of your passions. Serving in the military or government service, joining in professional organizations or activist coalitions, and volunteering in nonprofit organizations, neighborhood associations, or school committees are different ways to pursue a passion of service.

9. Transcend
Transcendence is the ability to exist above and apart from the material world. Spirituality is transcendent. Your spirituality may include organized religion, or it may not. Regardless, you transcend when you believe in a power greater than yourself that connects all of us. Pursue this universal force by being involved with a church, a twelve-step program, or an organized meditation with a focus on connecting with a larger world. Creativity is also transcendent. Be open to your creative energy by transcending, or rising above, your day-to-day struggles.

10. Work
When work is your passion, it’s more than earning a living; it becomes a calling. Careers and professional personas are often people’s defining characteristics. Providing for yourself and others is a way to build self esteem and confidence in your capabilities. Financial security can also be the means by which other areas of meaningful living can have expression.

 

Ten essential actions for meaningful living

Bliss Mission: Passion and Professional Success

Today’s Affirmations

Professional DreamerMy passion for professional success is renewed each day.

I am born to succeed in a professional environment. And because I know it, I am passionate about it. I know I have the elements it takes to succeed in my career.

Each morning, I naturally regain the energy to take on all of work’s challenges. I feel equipped for everything that comes my way as I move through the day’s tasks. I love the thrill of work and the feeling of accomplishment in the workplace.

I see nothing as unattainable. I utilize my strengths of organization and emotional control to make it through even the roughest tasks.

I know how easy it is to get flustered when it seems there are more responsibilities than hours in the day. I can relate to feeling overwhelmed by all that I am tasked to do. But my approach is to organize in order of priority, and then take one step at a time. I recognize that I accomplish so much more when I pace myself.

At the end of each day, I have more successes because I create a professional and organized environment to work in.

Today, I can maintain the passion needed in my profession because I am driven to succeed. I love the feeling I get when I knock my tasks off one at a time and feel reinvigorated to take on even more tomorrow.

Ask Yourself These Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Are there skills I need to sharpen in my professional life?
2. Can I teach co-workers how to be passionate about their jobs?
3. Am I driven by financial reward?

Ten essential actions for meaningful living

How to Stop Feeling Like You’re Not Good Enough, Part 2

 It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.  ~Sally Field

As I was checking my email today, I received a notification that a new comment had arrived on a post I did on this blog about how to stop feeling like you’re not good enough. This comment touched me so deeply that I felt the need to reach out to the commenter, Kate, and anyone else in her position.

Kate wrote:

I have been doing what that article recommends. Unfortunately, I’m feeling even more inferior every time. It is getting worse, day by day.

Now what?

The first thing I want Kate to know is that she’s not alone. According to Dr. Joe Rubino, approximately 85% of people have experienced feelings of inferiority at some time in their lives. That’s nearly EVERYONE. I realize that doesn’t make it all better, but sometimes just knowing you’re not alone can help one begin the healing process.

And, for Kate and anyone who feels like they’re not good enough, I’d like to offer a few more suggestions, in addition to the ones made in this post.

Remember That You Are Freaking Fabulous

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  ~Vincent Van Gogh

Often times, when we feel like we’re not good enough, we are focusing on all of the things we think are ‘wrong’ with us. We worry that people won’t like us, or that they’ll think bad things about us. We feel like we don’t look good enough, that we’re not smart enough, that we’re just generally terrible people.

But what does this get us? More reasons to feel crappy about ourselves. So, I propose that we start focusing on the things we like about ourselves, the things that make us proud. Maybe you’re a good painter, or you can cook a perfect souffle, or you’ve never met an animal who doesn’t love you. Perhaps you have a beautiful smile, sparkling eyes or a great pair of legs. There is something special about every single person on the planet, and you’re no exception.

Sit down with a piece of paper and write down at least ten GOOD things about you. Write down things you love about your body (it gets you from point A to B, for example!), things you love about your personality (that sparkling wit of yours, maybe) and things you love about your life in general (you have good friends or a close-knit family, a roof over your head, etc.)

Then spend a few minutes feeling grateful for each thing on that list. Gratitude is a powerful tool, and when you focus and are grateful for the things you love in life, you draw more things to love into your life.

And Speaking of Gratitude

If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.  ~Frank A. Clark

Start a gratitude journal. You can even create a private blog for your gratitude journal, if you like. That’s what I did, since as a writer, I’m nearly always near a computer. Try to write in it each day. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated–just start each entry by saying “Today, I am so very grateful for…” and let it flow.

At first, it will feel a little awkward, but once you get going, it’ll flow like water. If you have trouble thinking of things to be grateful for, why not start with the fact that you woke up today and work from there. You can be grateful for your health, your senses, your friends and family, your home, your ability to read–the list goes on and on.

This practice alone can significantly improve your general outlook on life. And, as a nice little side effect, it can help to improve your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. It works because as you spend more time focusing on the good things in your life and less time focusing on the things you want to change, the law of attraction works in your favor, bringing more reasons to feel good into your life.

Follow a Passion

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”~Earl Nightingale

Everyone has some thing or activity in their lives that they’re passionate about. For me, it’s writing. I have always known that I wanted to be a writer, and have followed that passion on some level for most of my life. The years I spent scribbling into a journal between meetings and writing corporate publications for the companies I worked for were a little tough, but I survived and lived to have the opportunity to follow my passion full-time.

One friend of mine  is passionate about helping animals. She blogs about animals, volunteers for the Humane Society and helps raise funds for animal rights and assistance groups. Another friend is passionate about helping kids–and after getting her Masters Degree in Social Work, she has become a school social worker. Both are very happy in their lives.

While you may not have the option to “quit your day job” right now, there’s nothing stopping you from finding and following your passion on the side. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer. You could start by doing some research and taking some classes. If you already know how to design patterns and sew, why not start making clothes? You can set up a cheap or free website and start selling.

Nothing wrong with starting small–just do SOMETHING to follow your passion, anything at all.  Give yourself permission to call yourself a fashion designer (or writer, or artist, or actor, or astronaut, or whatever you want to be.) And then go and do, be and have what you want!

Studies show that people who follow their passions, whether in their careers or just as a hobby, are significantly happier than people who don’t.

Judge Not

“The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others. They are open to gestures of love. They think about love, and express their love in every action. They know that love is not a mere sentiment, but the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe.” ~Deepak Chopra

Most people unconsciously judge others. It’s human nature, and it doesn’t make you a bad person–but it might make you feel like one. When you are focusing, consciously or otherwise, on the faults in other people, you’re going to be more likely to see them in yourself too. The best way to change this pattern is to begin intentionally finding something good in every single person you meet.

So, for every person in your life and every person you meet, find at least one thing about them that makes them special. And be free with the compliments. Even if you barely know a person, you can find SOMETHING to compliment them about–and not only will you make their day, you’ll walk away feeling good about yourself too. Remember, what you put out into the world is what comes back to you. So if you’re walking around finding good and beautiful things and sharing the love by freely passing out compliments? You’ll find that you’re attracting the same back to yourself–beauty, love, compliments–and ultimately, a renewed sense of self.

To Kate

A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.  ~David Brinkley

I hope that these suggestions help you as you move into a new place of peace and self worth. Know that you are worthy, you are special and you are an amazing person. Even (and especially) when you feel at your lowest, try to change your perception and see the beauty and good things all around you. Be grateful for your life, for your SELF, and for all of the good things in your life.

I have been where you are, Kate, and I know the pain and despair that comes with feeling like you’re not good enough. Nearly every person alive has felt just like you feel now. The trick is to decide that you don’t WANT to feel that way any more, and to start taking action to change it. And then, Kate, you have to BELIEVE that you can have the life you want. Believe it and trust that its yours, and watch as your life begins to transform itself to match your true divine desires. Keep your eye on the prize, my friend, it can and will get better!

And to the rest of my readers, have you ever felt like Kate feels? What sort of advice would you offer to a friend in her situation? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

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