Love bombing or romantic gesture ... learn about it then you decide!
Kanu:Welcome to Real Love Real Stories TV and Podcast. Heythanks so much for tuning in to this week's episode. I'm Kanu, I'm the host, and I'm continuing conversation with Francesca with the www.shimmymob.com. We're talking about some of those red flags, that you would see in an abusive relationship, because recognizing those early signs is the key to stopping abuse before it causes any damage.
For this week's Episode I wanted to give a shout out to Corey Godeau from Portland Oregon, thank you so much for your continued support on Patreon by making a monthly donation. Thank you so much and if anybody wants to participate and show support to Real Love Real Stories please go to www.patreon.com, that’s P-A-T-R-E-O-N dot com and make your donation. Welcome Francesca to Real Love Real Stories.
Francesca:Oh thank you for having me on your show, I’m excited.
Kanu:Oh thanks for being here, we're shifting gears a little bit today and talking about somewhat of a heavy topic, but one that's good that people should be aware of right. We're talking about you know, about five tips…there many obviously but we're talking about five tips or five red flags that you know one should be aware of when they're in a relationship, that sometimes we kind of overlook. I know that you are the owner of Shimmy Mob, and in a little bit I'm gonna ask you to kind of tell us what that entails. I know that you started this and you're working with women who are in abusive relationships and giving them that help right. So maybe to start off with can you talk about what Shimmy Mob is?
Francesca:Well Shimmy Mob is…I don't know I never really thought of myself as the owner but I guess I am. It started as an idea way back in 2011 where I wanted to just get a group of… my background is and dance, I used to have a dance studio at the time and I thought why not, collaborate with other dance schools and other dance studios and just do some flash mobs and with all women. Why don't we get together put competition aside and do something for the common good, which would be raise funds for shelters that help victims of abuse.
So, I wanted to do this here where I am and Vancouver in different locations throughout the day, but before I knew it as I was organizing it, it spread kind of like wildfire for that first time. It was supposed to be a one-time thing only and before I knew it, I had 35 locations all the way down to Taiwan.
Francesca:Yes, so it became one of those things that just went from this idea that went [sound] it grew so fast. So over the years we've been growing because as soon as everybody was done, everybody was like “I can't wait to do this next year again”, I'm like “what do you mean next year again?” So we've been growing since, and yeah we're getting to a 9thyear. Now, after having fun raised for eight years I've come to realize that all we've been doing really is fund a bigger band aid and not really fixing the problem, because it seems the need for shelters and the need for funds just keeps increasing and the statistics are just getting out of hand.
Francesca:So I started thinking we need to shift the focus and look at how do we actually prevent people from even needing these services in the first place. How do we stop abuse before it becomes physical because there are different types of abuse. There are several types of abuses financial abuse, there is emotional abuse, and there's physical abuse, there’re all kinds. But how do we stop it before because before it gets to that physical stage.
Francesca:So that's how I'm starting to change the focus. The way we do that is by starting to bring the awareness of what are the signs and the red flags that show up along the way in a relationship that we need to pay attention to so that we know that maybe this relationship is going in a path where you're going up getting hurt.
Francesca:If you know what the signs are then you can start paying attention and you can start questioning each one of them so you can make a wise decision in the end or an informed decision if you really want to end up in that situation or get yourself into safety before you even need safety.
Kanu:Right, right. No, I like that. So you're essentially giving them the information to notice the signs before they actually end up needing to be in a shelter for abusive, you know, abuse type women right, is that what you said?
Francesca:Yes, exactly. It's the same as saying teaching a child.
Francesca:You can teach a child that the stove is hot but just letting the child go and touch the hot stove and they learn the hard way now they have a scar, or you can tell the child, look I'll hold your hand but see what happens when you get close you can feel the heat.
Francesca:If you feel this, this means that as you get closer and you feel the heat more that you're gonna get burnt and it's gonna hurt really bad.
Francesca:Right, so if you if you if you share that information then the child is gonna be cautious about putting the hand on a hot stove, it's not gonna go and put the hand on the hot stove because it knows what it should...what it feels like when as you get closer.
Francesca:That’s what's gonna happen, so it's kind of the same thing.
Kanu:Yeah, yeah. So I know that, you know, on your website www.shimmymob.comyou have a list of some of these red flags to be aware of, to know and we’ll go ahead and copy that link at the bottom so people can go to it. But I thought today we’d just picked maybe five of them and then we talk about, the top, you know red flags that, to be aware of, to know. So let's talk about maybe control, if you're in a relationship with a person who's very controlling. What are some of those signs?
Francesca:Well control can come in many different ways. It could be in financial where you partner doesn't, let you have access to the finances or gives you finances, a limited amount and says this is all you can have, this is all you can spend and if you need something you have to ask for permission. Or it could be you're not allowed to go to work, or you're not allowed to continue your education for some excuse.
It could be you're not allowed to talk or how to talk to a friend that you may have had for a long time. Control can, can be a, I really don't like that lipstick on him you look like a, you know, a slut… I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say that on the podcast but if you know you don’t.
Kanu:[Inaudible 7:17]you’re good. Yeah.
Francesca:Like who do you think you're trying to attract with those tight jeans on, you know, that kind of thing. Or it could be very, very subtle, it could start very subtle, where it's like you know, I love you so much I really don't want other guys to look at you maybe you can zip up a little bit up and...
Kanu:Cover up a little bit. Yep.
Francesca:Yeah little signs like that. I mean it could be that maybe you're not appropriately addressed but that's kind of a flag, right so you start paying attention. Is it really true that I'm being provocative? Am I really dressed inappropriately or is this just a way of…so that's a flag, that's a sign, what's gonna happen next time is gonna tell you if okay [Inaudible 8:02]this is a pattern if it's something that you start seeing in little things right.
Francesca:Yeah so control can show up under different aspects. It could be with the clothing, it could be with I want my dinner at this time, if you know, it could be so many different...like you have to be home by this time every day, if you're not home by this time you're in trouble.
Kanu:Yeah, yikes. Yeah so I mean when you talk about like the red lipstick and maybe even the dressing, it kind of made me think about sometimes it's a religious reason. You think that could be something that someone might say?
Francesca:It could, however, I think if you're in a relationship where you really care for the person and there is a mutual respect I think you would see that right off the bat. Early on in a relationship its if the very beginning of a relationship, the person would not say that to the other person.
Francesca:So if they're not comfortable saying that at the beginning, and they're telling you when you're deep into the relationship there's a problem there.
Francesca:Because you would probably not want to be in a relationship with someone that you think is not of the same standard as you in the first place, and having someone trying to change you, is the issue.
Kanu:Right okay, yeah. I think that kind of leads me to the next point which I think is another, which we, it is another red flag is manipulation. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Francesca:Manipulation, that's a tough one because I haven't personally experienced it in a way that most people have. Manipulation is just making things happen like with a strategy. I was in a relationship with someone in the past where everything was strategically planned to make me think in a certain way and to make me see things in a certain way so that I would react in a certain way.
Francesca:So if I can think of an example. One case that happened to me, I had this partner, who did everything, manipulated everything…but very cleverly. I am grateful I didn't do it but tried every way to somehow manage to convince me to buy him a Harley.
Francesca:Yeah but without ever asking for it. But really kind of planning it just the words he would say, the things that I would happen to see, all these little signs that now in hindsight I'm going ‘oh that's what that was all about.’ Now that you put all the pieces together so. That's the thing when it comes to these signs it's so much easier when, if you don't know what they are, to look back and you go oh now I get it, now I see all the dots.
Francesca:You see the whole trail of it, right you connect them. But if you know them in advance then you can see them coming. I just didn't know them at the time. So this was one of the things, another thing that this particular person would do, would try to create situations on purpose to get me angry to… I'm not a person who gets angry like easily.
Francesca:It takes a lot for me to be angry and it has to be a major, major reason for me to be angry, and he tried everything to get me to be angry and he couldn't do it.
Francesca:But he would manipulate whole scenarios like he would stage things, so it was...
Francesca:Yeah he even pretended to break a leg at one point you know walking around with his big cast just to get me to be angry at him for how he had done it, how he had broken his leg which he had not.
Kanu:Oh my God, that is psychotic almost.
Francesca:It is psychotic.
Kanu:Oh my God!
Francesca:It's one of those things that at the time I didn't even think about it that way because he just...
Francesca:He just tried to get me angry, and I thought just give it up. But now thinking back like you said that's psychotic.
Kanu:Oh my God, scary. I've heard you say the word love-bombing.
Kanu:Well what is it and how does it show up as a red flag?
Francesca:Love-bombing is typical of an abusive relationship, a relationship that is going to be abusive. It's usually at the beginning, it's early, very early in the relationship where the person just showers you with so much attention. Will send you flowers every day, will dedicate you songs, will text you three, four, five, six, seven times a day, and will call you on top of that. It seems so flattering at first because it's like “oh he loves me so much and this feels so good!”
Kanu:I know [Inaudible 13:24]
Francesca:I feel so important and so loved and so cared for. However, that is a very strong sign that, that is potentially a controlling relationship.
Francesca:Because they envelop you, they make you...they sweep you off your feet and have no other interest but you, so you become their obsession and that is the sign. Because a balanced person should not be obsessed with just one person they should have other interests as well.
Francesca:Right so, it…that is a sign to really pay attention to, because as time progresses what happens? The love-bombing is going to end its going to transform into something else. It could be just a genuine, show of affection.
Francesca:However, the way to really know if it's a red flag or not is when the person is trying to rush you into committing to a relationship too quickly.
Francesca:It goes from love-bombing to let's commit, let's move in together or let's get married or just like this is it. Because you're still in that, mode of being in a crush mode, you don't know if you're in love yet. Right, it's all chemicals that's happening right now.
Francesca:So it's easy to get caught up into that and say yes this is it, and ideally you want to wait and give it time and see where it progresses. So not to rush into relationship even if it seems like the perfect person, because everybody's perfect at first.
Kanu:Yeah I mean, I'm thinking about, you know, sometimes at work… when I worked for this company and you hear people that have just started in a relationship and all of a sudden, flowers are being delivered at work and you know chocolates and this and that. I'm sitting here going oh that's so nice I wish I had a guy like that but I mean what I'm hearing you say that it's, you know, you have to kind of look at it cautiously, right? Sometimes it is genuine but sometimes it's a red flag you need to pay attention to.
Francesca:Well I'm talking about when it's overly, right, of course you want to be shown that the other person cares for you and is being nice and doing nice things for you. It's just that excessive....
Francesca:Excessive, constant, you know showing up where you work and like okay like those kind of things. Following you and popping up in places where you don't expect “Oh what a coincidence,” hmm is it.
Kanu:Yeah, are you tracking me? Do you have a tracking device on me?
Francesca:Yeah that kinda thing you know. So yeah so that is a major, major red flag. I do want to say something, I mean, I know that I talk about we help women and we focus on the women, that's only because women tend to have, we have a higher statistic with women but it happens with men too. So it's not just men that behave in abusive behaviours it's also women. So, no one is exempt from being an abuser.
Kanu:Right, so do men do experience the same thing?
Francesca:Absolutely, absolutely. In different ways but they do. But there are men even are physically abused by their female partners, there are. The statistics are very much lower.
Francesca:But it does happen both ways.
Kanu:I wonder if there's a stigma around you know, like the statistics might be low because, there's a stigma around you know a guy showing up or calling the cops and saying my wife or my girlfriend is abusing me. You know it's not a macho thing I guess and so maybe that's why there's not so many reported.
Francesca:There's that too, but I think for the most part women are not physically violent but I think we definitely have a higher rate of emotionally abusive women than it is ever reported. The emotional abuse is more rampant than most people realize.
Francesca:It is across the board, it's not, you know there are a lot of men that are emotionally abused they just don't come out and say it.
Kanu:Yeah, yeah wow. Yeah so we talked about control, we talked about love bombing, and we talked about manipulation. What about those people that blame you for stuff.
Francesca:Yeah see what you made me do!
Francesca:That's an example, that's an example of blame in a very subtle way, “Oh look what you made me do.”
Kanu:Yeah, you made me late.
Kanu:You made miss an appointment, you me do this.
Francesca:Or I got drunk because of you. You know.
Francesca:you got you got me so upset. Yeah, yeah. You know you're never there for me and it's just too much pain so I just have to have my drinks. I had to numb the pain that you put me through. That's the blame.
Kanu:Oh my God.
Francesca:That's one example.
Kanu:I am not successful because of you, or...
Francesca:Yeah or I cheated on you because you didn't give me enough sex, you don't give me what, you know, what I want or what I need from you.
Kanu:That's a big one right there, that's a big one. Oh my God! I actually, you know, that when I hear a lot actually. You know where it's mostly the husband who says that and I ended up dating this person because, you know, I was not being satisfied and my wife was not doing this, this, this. It's like it's never like looking on you, it's always looking at the other person. That's a big one, oh my goodness!
When you… I know we talked about the five that we wanted to put out there. Again we're going to include a brochure from your website on the link so people can take a look at all those and see if any of these are signs, you know in their own relationship or maybe they know somebody else who's going through the same thing. For the people that you work with, the women that come to the shelter that you know that you guys are sponsoring and helping, what are some of the things I guess that women, come for and do they when they leave that shelter are they, ready to go back and be in relationships? What did what do you see around that?
Francesca:No we… the way my organization works is we basically, we raise the funds each location, wherever there is a team that decides to participate…because it's all voluntary right. So where there's a team that decides to, participate they decide whether or not they want to support their local shelter. Each shelter is different because there are so many different locations so they all have different capacity. Some shelters cannot accommodate everyone that goes there.
Typically, a person that goes to a shelter goes to a shelter because they’re being physically abusive and they're literally running away. They're trying to escape and not be found. So a shelter is where they can't be found.
Francesca:So they need that kind of protection. They've been beaten, they've been, they’ve been threatened with a weapon, there are all kinds of… So usually that's what I was saying earlier we want to avoid...we want to prevent people to having even get to that stage. The way we do that is by starting to point to what these signs are because if you start seeing that the relationship is going in that direction get out, exit. Doesn't matter how much you love the person you can love them from the distance.
Francesca:It doesn't matter if they need help, you're not the martyr, you're not the caretaker it's not your responsibility, you're not accountable for somebody else's abusive behaviour. So you made me do it, it's not true.
Francesca:It’s not. That blame is on you. So typically the there are different shelters that offered different services, some shelters just give shelter for a certain amount of time it could be two weeks, could be a month and a half, it all depends. They typically, try to get you the next step whatever that is. In some places they have what they call second stage, which means they help you get into… it's not as safe as a shelter but they kind of reinstate you back into the world.
Francesca:Typically, these are people that don't have income or enough income to live on their own. No typically, when they are going through that there is so much psychological damage that has taken place that they're not ready to go out and be ‘okay now I'm out of that situation’ for most people it's not like that. Most people it takes a lifetime to recover from the mental of all that happened because before the physical happened there was the mental. It’s easier to break a bone and heal it than it is to heal all the emotional abuse that came before it.
Francesca:So yeah, so different locations offer different services but for the most part a shelter's job is to literally just protect somebody from being hurt and give them guidance to whether they need a lawyer or assistance and they typically need funds because they don't have enough support financially.
Francesca:They’re non-profits for the most part.
Kanu:So what would you say to a woman who says ‘I'm staying in it for my kids?’
Francesca: I say get out of it because of your kids. If you care for your kids be the example. By staying in a relationship that is abusive you are teaching your kids it’s okay to stay in an abusive relationship.
Francesca:So you're not setting a good example. If you care for your kids then you'll do whatever you can to protect them as well. You don't want them to either pick up the abusive behaviour because it can go either way. It can go either they become abusive because they witness it or they think it's okay and they end up being in a relationship where they are being abused.
Francesca:So you as a parent have the power to break that cycle and the way you break that cycle is you take your kids out of that situation. It's hard, it's very hard, it's easier said than done, it's extremely challenging, you have to be very smart about how you do it. You don't want to do it just out of I'm going to pick up… if you're in a dangerous situation then what you want to do is you wanna make sure you get proper support. There are, just look it up on your own, just google it or even on our website we have hotlines that you can call from depending which country you're in, and they can tell you how to do it, how to exit safely based on your situation. So there are ways that you can plan it in advance, if you're not at that dangerous dangerous spot where it's already at a physical level.
Francesca:I think it's important for your kids. If you got kids that's when you’ve got to get out. Even if you have no job, you find a way.
Kanu:Yeah. That's the beauty about these shelters right is that they will provide you with the resources that you need to get you on your feet to take care of your kids.
Francesca:They'll be able to guide you, not all of them will have the resources to train you to get you back on track. A lot of them are underfunded but they can definitely point you in the right direction or at least get you in the safe spot in the first place and then you go from there.
Kanu:Yeah, wow. Heavy topic but...
Kanu:You know it does fall under love stories because we feel like we're in love and that's why people end up staying in these abusive relationships but, you know it's toxic for you, it's toxic for your kids. I love how you stated you need to break the cycle.
Francesca:Yeah I think as a responsible parent that is...and it's hard because sometimes you feel like you're defeated, you don't have the strength. If your financial resources have been cut off it's even more difficult because like how do I get out? I don't have any way to support myself. I don’t have a job, I don’t have this or that. If you care, for your kids and even yourself, have enough self-worth to...you're worth more, you're worth better.
Francesca:There is a way, there's a…you'll you will figure out a way, you will find a way. I believe everyone can you just have to believe that you can. Just ask for help, if you can't do it by yourself ask for that help. It is out there, people are willing to help you so.
Kanu:Yeah, you're so right about that. Yeah but we'll include a lot of these links for sure for people to...you may know somebody, you may know someone who's in the situation and just letting them know that it's okay or guide them in the right direction. Like you said people are so willing to help.
I know you're doing...this is wonderful, wonderful work that you're doing in terms of bringing awareness to this. I think education is power, it's the key really to break that cycle that we're talking about. I thank you for the work that you're doing in terms of helping people that are in need in such difficult, difficult situations. Thank you for taking the time to come and share some of these red flags that you know we might brush off and go oh you know, or justify right. So yeah, thank you so much for taking the time to share that with me.
Francesca:Oh thank you for having me on the show and I hope that your audience you know at least shares your episode, even if it's not for you personally just share it just have people listen to this and I think this information is most vital for teenagers because that's where it starts.
Francesca:Just be aware right off the bat.
Francesca:Let's break the cycle together.
Kanu:Absolutely, I didn't think about that population but you're right, you're right for sure yeah. Well thank you again we includes a lot of this information in the links below. I think you said you're open to talking to people if they wanted to reach.
Kanu:Yeah, so thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
Francesca:Thank you so much.
Kanu:Thanks for tuning in to this week's episode. I really hope you enjoyed it. Do you have a love story or do you know somebody with a love story? If so shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please go to my YouTube channel Real Love, Real Stories Podcast TV and subscribe and also follow me on Instagram and Facebook at Real Love Real Stories. Till next time!