May 6, 2021

Healing From Emotional Abuse: Healing The Family: with Orsika Julia

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Can you heal from abuse?  What do I do after leaving my narcissist? What does a healthy relationship look like? These concerns cross the minds of over 20 people every minute; over 28,800 people every day.  And the sad fact is, we still don’t talk about it enough.  Healing from Emotional Abuse isn’t a bandaid situation.  But it doesn’t have to take years either. The lives of millions of other survivors around the worlds have been impacted by their narcissist.  Yours doesn’t have to.  To show you how to live a free, confident and peaceful life, your host and Founder of the Healing From Emotional Abuse Philosophy, Marissa F. Cohen.



Marissa: Welcome back to Healing From Emotional Abuse. Today, I'm really excited to bring back Orsika Julia, who came on earlier last year to talk about her book 52, which is now available on Amazon and through her website. 


Orsika: Yes. 


Marissa: Perfect. And also, these brand-new courses that she has created and are in the process of creating, and her coaching program to help adults who have experienced domestic violence get through it. So welcome on. Thank you so much for being here. 


Orsika: I freaking love being here. Marissa, your energy is amazing. You are just the best. It's all I got to say. So, thank you like, yeah, just thanks. 


Marissa: Stop it. I'm so happy to have you on here. I would love to start. I know that we went over this a little bit last time you're here. But just to give a little bit of background about what you experienced, and what brought you from where you were to what you're doing now. 


Orsika: Absolutely. So, I was married to a narcissist, and I saw the red flags and chose to ignore them. Because my self-esteem was in a place where I thought that's all I deserved in life. I was a single mom, freshly single mom, with two little kids, they were I don't even know, like seven and five, somewhere in that range. And I thought that I was used goods. And I thought I only deserved this person who behaved in a way that I liked to begin with, because he bought me flowers, and he bought me jeans and jewelry in the flowers. And he worked third shift. So, he'd come home and it was like, “Oh my gosh, he loves me.” And then I bore him a son. And then it all turned. The switch got flipped and the mean, really came out. And even though I was warned by my amazing mother, she's like, this is not the person. By then I had already gotten pregnant. And it was like, Okay, I'm stuck with him. And so, I wanted to stay with him, not because I enjoyed the abuse people, but because I really wanted the family dynamic. But then I realized that it’s not worth my abuse and the abuse that the children started to receive as well. So, I packed my things up my three children, my dog, my cat, my lizard, and we drove from Oklahoma to Illinois. 


Marissa: Wow. that's a lot. And it wasn't just you that had to heal after that. Right? It was healing the whole family. What was that like? 


Orsika: Tough, it was really, really tough. Because by the time we've left, the kids were three, nine and eleven. Yeah, they were three, nine and eleven. And so especially that an 11-year-old, she's a strong-willed child and beautiful and is now a grown woman. It's been 10 years. So, she's a grown woman on her own. But she is a strong-willed child and healing her, and she and I got the brunt of the abuse. She got most of the emotional abuse, and I did my best to protect her. And there were arguments where he would say if she doesn't listen, I'm going to take care of her. To which my response was, if you lay a hand on her, I will shoot you. And I wasn't kidding. Like, don't you dare lay hands on her because I will shoot you. I didn't shoot him because he didn't lay his hands on her. I am also not ever going to shoot him. I like my freedom. I like my life and I look horrible in orange or stripes. So, I'm just saying, Yeah, healing, the oldest and myself was really very, very challenging. My middle one was always your quintessential, whatever age she was at. And she's just all fun loving and bubbly. And, she really didn't get affected by anything because everybody loves her and I didn't realize how much my son was about to endure. So, for the year that we were separated before the divorce was finalized, my son was molested by his father. And then healing that has taken many more years than anticipated. But you just pay attention to your child, and you give them what they need. And you don't give the child back to the perpetrator. 


Marissa: I think you make a really good point there. I think a lot of people a lot of parents of children, especially after this or you know, parenting after abuse is really difficult. But I think a lot of parents don't really know what to do in that situation. You know, Oh, well, it’s still their father or their mother, whoever the abusive parent is What do I do in that situation? Do you have any insight for them? 


Orsika: Well, you know, take We will action and oftentimes, the court system will say, Well, this is still the person's parent and you have to by law, hand the child over. I would say, before you leave, take necessary steps, let your local police department or Sheriff's Department know why you're leaving, so that you have that base covered. Write a statement, as soon as you get it so that you have that base covered. What I did with my son is I recorded, manually recorded not on the phone, that phone conversations, which thankfully, I never had to use in court. But I recorded the phone conversations, I took pictures of the abuse, because every time he was handed back to me, there were new bruises that were unexplained. And having been a former preschool teacher, we know, you have to know the list of signs of abuse. And let's say there's 20 things on the list and my son exhibited 17 of those. So, I'm taking pictures, right? And I'm documenting everything. So, when you're a parent, document, document, document, document, that's the best thing. And then you can go with substantial evidence and say, these are all the things that have happened, it's really important to document. And if you are feeling unsafe, then get a protective order. And believe your child, like my child was three and four years old. So, he was finishing up his third year. And then it happened in his fourth year as well. And I mean, four-year-old don't come up with stuff that was you know, he was saying to me. So believe your child, that doesn't mean jump to conclusions. Like when he told me what was going on. I am very logically, because that's the way my brain works, I was able to take a step back before I saw red took that deep breath. And I was like, let's think through this logically. So, I felt like a four-year-old. And I said, Okay, did this happen when this happened? He's like, no, this happened when this happened? And he's like, no. And so, I was able to process through it. And then he just blurted out exactly what happened; exactly where. And I was like, Okay, so then we went and took a, what is it the SAME test, sexual assault medical exam. And he talked to one of the counselors, and I had to take him to counseling because of the anger that he was exhibiting, and other behaviors. So, he was in counseling at four years old. And he spoke to the counselor of the incidents, and he was in counseling again, and nine, because I paid attention to his behavior changes. And when you see those slight behavior changes, immediately seek help, because most of us aren't counselors, and we don't have the proper tools to help our children properly. So, if you're working on fixing things at home, because of the shame and blame and guilt, you don't want other people to know, which I totally understand and totally respect at the end of the day. It's not about you, at that point. It's about healing that child, to the utmost degree, right? You can heal yourself. But other people, you'll need tools to heal the child. And I mean, honestly, I had to go to counseling, too. So why would I have taken that away from my son? Right? That's just selfish. 


Marissa: And I think to that point, children, especially children that are that young, don't have the vocabulary to express what they've dealt with, or what they're going through. And so, I think at that point, it's really important for them to have an ally, who can kind of guide them towards expressing those feelings without judgment. I think counseling can be very, very helpful when it comes to healing from abuse. I know that I say otherwise, by offering other options. But I don't think that therapy is bad. I don't you know; I think that it's a great tool for people that it works for. 


Orsika: Yeah, I think so. And, you know, I think therapy and coaching are similar, right? But it's more challenging to coach a child. That's so young, one. And two, you need the therapists to help you in the court system. So as a coach myself, if somebody came to me, with a four-year-old, I have no leg to stand on in court. Whereas the therapist does. And there are therapists who are available pro bono. Because for a while, I was like, how am I going to pay for this, and then I found my resources, and I use my resources, and there's plenty out there. So, it takes a little effort. But it's doable. 


Marissa: Yeah. Also looking. If this is a problem for anyone listening that, you know, they can't afford therapy. You can look into Sliding Scale therapy, or therapists that do sliding scale, and they'll work with you on pricing something that you can afford that isn't outrageous. 


Orsika: Yeah, that's a great point. Thank you, Marissa. 


Marissa: Of Course. So, tell me what it was like being a single mom after domestic violence. 


Orsika: It sucked. We're done. And have a good night, everybody. Yeah, I mean, that pretty much summarized it. We lived in my brother's basement for seven months with his family. I mean, it wasn't like a Harry Potter in the bottom of the closet kind of like we had, like it was good. We still lived in his basement. And I'm eternally grateful for that. It was a lot; it was a lot because I wanted to heal my children first. I didn't realize them because I hadn't really delved into personal development. I didn't realize them that you serve from your overflow. So, I should have hindsight 2020. Right, I should have healed myself first in order to heal them better. But I kept giving to them from my empty saucer. So, I was giving them like rice cakes, right? It's like empty calories, just going into my mouth and that's kind of how I was parenting. So, I wish I would have invested in myself and taken some sort of support, coaching, personal development, something. It was really, really hard. And I think I went through a lot more than necessary. Had I had somebody to hold my hand and say, you're going to make it through. I felt very alone. Lots of shame, lots of lane, lots of guilt. Lots and lots of loneliness hours on end of tears, didn't sleep more than five hours. I mean, it just sucked. It just sucked. 


Marissa: So, this feels like a really good segue to talk about your courses. So, you have gone through as a single mom, after domestic violence, you've had to heal yourself. You've had to parent after abuse, you've had to heal your whole family. 


Orsika: Yes. 


Marissa: So now you, this strong, amazing, brilliant woman who I love so much. You're a coach. And you've created courses to help other adults who have experienced domestic violence, abuse narcissism, overcome that and help heal themselves and heal the whole family. Tell me about that. 


Orsika: So, my main course is six weeks out of the quicksand. And that gets you out of the quicksand of the I mean, the quicksand that you've been living in. That, that survival mode, and then post that there's other courses as well, you can find them on my website But my main one is the six weeks out of the quicksand. And that's just six weeks of coaching you did to not be in that muck and grossness because you're not going to be able to soar and fly and be the person that you've been created to be if you're still stuck in the quicksand. And if you're up to here in the quicksand and not breathing, or let's say up to here and barely breathing, then how is that going to serve anybody? How are you going to be able to heal your whole family if you're not willing to heal yourself? 


Marissa: Do you have any like little tidbits of information, you can sneak to us? 


Orsika: Sneaking tidbits of information, there is something that really, really helped me and this is in the course as well. But there's something that really helped me a lot. It's called the mirror exercise. And if you're not familiar with it, it's really powerful. It's, it was the first leap that I took to honestly and truly love myself. So basically, you go to the mirror every night, and you say, hey, whatever your name is. So, for me, “Hey, Orsika, I'm really proud of you for …"and you name three things that you're really proud of you yourself for doing that day. And then you say, I love you, and you Peace out. Right. And we learned this from our mentor, Jack Canfield. And I was like, this is the dumbest thing ever. So, here's the caveat, you were to do this for 30 days straight. If you're going to do 27, he was 28. You get to start all over. And there's whole psychology about that. But we do the we do the mirror exercise. And I hated it. I hated it. Day one. I was like, “I love you for brushing your teeth getting dressed and breathing? Okay, Love you. Bye.” That was it. But the point of that is to make eye contact with yourself so that you see yourself as a real valid human. So, you see yourself, not just this, this thrown away, stupid person who fell for this narcissist, because I've been there. So, I fully understand and I fully feel what you're feeling. But to really value yourself as a human being. And it was really, really hard for me for the first five to seven days. And then well, five and six days. And then day like seven ish. I was like, hey, Orsika. You know what you did today? Yeah, you brushed your teeth. See the difference? Because the first time I was like, “You brush your teeth. I love you bye.” And by day seven, I was like, “You brushed your teeth. You walked the dog and took a shower. I love you did good kid. See you later bye.”. And so, as the time progressed by like day 21, I was able to come up with maybe it was 14. But whenever However, many days later, I was able to come up with more than three things that I loved about myself. And I was able to really have that heart to heart with myself. And I was really able to find the value in who I was. And we were actually traveling when I was doing this exercise. And I so didn't want to miss a day that I literally want to talk to myself in the phone because I didn't want to get up in the bathroom because we were traveling with somebody, I barely knew is my daughter's ex-boyfriend. And anyway, I was like sitting there looking at myself in my phone for 30 days. So, the mirror exercises. It's a big one. 


Marissa: Thank you so much for sharing that. I love that exercise.


Orsika: Though, did you in the beginning? 


Marissa: No. In the beginning, I did the same thing. I was like, I love you. Congratulations for 


Orsika: You bought groceries today. Oh, yeah. 


Marissa: You woke up. 


Orsika: You know, and the important thing is to talk to yourself, and to really be proud of waking up brushing your teeth, and showering, because there are people who go through depression that, showering is a challenge. So, I understand that it sounds really minor, but it's really pretty major. Because then once you learn how to love yourself, then you could do your little gratitude jar. Is that what we call it? Marissa? 


Marissa: Accomplishment Jar. I mean, I can speak on that. As far as the depression goes, when I was like, really, in my feelings with depression, I would go a week without showering. I mean, it's just, it's gross to like, think about now. But it was so hard to roll out of bed, let alone do something that would make me feel better. So being able to do these exercises, and Orsika is full of brilliant exercises and activities and things that you know, will help you. 


Orsika: I think one of the benefits of being a parent, possibly kind of crass, but bear with me for a second. I didn't have the luxury of being depressed. I had to get up and take my kids to school, I had to cook for them. I understand that there are parents who don't do that, because they're so depressed, that they just really physically cannot get out of bed. And I'm not minimizing that at all right? Like, I think it's very important to feel the feels. But I also am very thankful for my children for not allowing me to go there. Because I could have very, very easily gone there. And the trajectory of my life would be totally different. 


Marissa: So, let's talk about you put out a book last year congratulations. In August. Tell us a little bit about your book, and where they can find it. 


Orsika: If you just type into Amazon 52 finding gifts while sinking quicksand. It's a book about 52 different events in my life. Some of them are great childhood memories, and how I dealt with rejection as a child. Some of them are not so great. Abuse stories and healing from the abuse. So, I thought it was an easy read. But my editors like there's nothing easy about this. I'm like, I mean, apparently, it's a heavy read, but I think it's an easy read. So just read it. It's pretty quick read, don't you think Marissa? 


Marissa: I do I love it. I think it's an it's not an easy read. It's an emotional read. Yeah, definitely going to have to like put it down, take a break, pick it back up in a day, but it's so worth it. And I learned so much about you and about myself from reading it.  


Orsika: And the whole point of it, like the reason I broke it up into 52 stories, well, one per week, right? Because we have 52 weeks in a year, but so that you can pick it up, read a story, put it down. So, if you do one story a week, that's you got your year covered. So, you can see I've read something this week for those of you who are not readers, and they're not long stories, they're like what a page and a half 


Marissa: About that. And they're they really are easy reads, but I took something away from every single story. You know, you're welcome. I mean, it's a testament to your writing, you know, and your, the way you express yourself, it's really personal. It just like it hits you and you start to see similarities between you. And like our stories like our stories and how they overlap and how we're all going through something very similar. Everyone who's experienced domestic violence and everyone who's experienced abuse and narcissism. Like we're all related in that way. Right? We have a common foundation. So, where and how can people get in touch with you, when they inevitably want to join your courses and they want you to coach them and work with them and their families. 


Orsika: So and you can get a hold of me there I'm under contact us. You can send me an email Yeah, that's the easiest way email would be easiest way for sure. 


Marissa: Awesome. Thank you so much for being a human and for helping this community. And God I just I love you and I love your heart and I love your work. And I'm just so inspired by you all the time. So, thank you. 


Orsika: I feel totally the same. Thanks Marissa. 



If you enjoyed this podcast, you have to check out Marissa would love to develop a made-for-you healing plan to heal from emotional abuse. She does all the work, and you just show up. Stop feeling stuck, alone, and hurt, and live a free, confident, and peaceful life.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the Healing From Emotional Abuse podcast, and follow us on Facebook at, and instagram @Marissa.Faye.Cohen. We’d love to see you there!


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