How do the problems manifest themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Phase” Part 8

The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Phase” Part 8 Introduction:

You have gone without affection, attention, and having your needs met for so long that you are tapped out.  All the games have played out.  The breadcrumbing has phased out.  And you are out of options.

You can literally sense your partner detaching from you.  

Whenever you try to bring up the reality of the situation to your partner, his way of handling things is to just peace out.  

The Chase

He starts running away from you.

You don’t know what to do. And so you do what you feel makes the most sense.

You start running after him. 

And the more you run after him, the more he runs away.  It’s like watching Tom and Jerry, but it’s not a laughing matter. 

You stop the chasing long enough to sit down with pen and paper, trying to figure out the magic formula to fix/change/control him and/or the situation.

You forget about the fact that love involves freedom.  You just want your needs met.

The Chase starts up again.  But the formula isn’t working out like you planned.  

So, what are you going to do?

What any woman who has given herself the title “The Fixer” would do.

You are going to sit down at the table and come up with another formula.

And you are going to confront him about it. Besides, it has gone on long enough.  Arguing with him about the situation is better than no attention at all.

The problem is, you haven’t even stopped to pray or ask God about his will in the situation.

You are too exhausted to even think straight.  


You have been in this state for too long.  And you feel that the only way that things can get better is if you make them better.

Stay tuned for the next post to find out what happens next.

Until next time,


Episode 135: 6 Things That Happen When the Spirit of Manipulation Uses You For Supply

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 135: 6 Things That Happen When the Spirit of Manipulation Uses You For Supply

It’s getting cold outside. At least, that’s what’s happening here in the Midwest. Some people will be purchasing new batteries for their car. Other people will be purchasing new batteries for their games. These are not board games. They are games that narcissists play. Where do you fit in?

How do the problems manifest themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” Phase Part 4

Unfortunately, “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” phase is like a kid in a candy store for the toxic person in the toxic relationship cycle. For the toxic person, it is fun because they live and thrive off drama.

If there is no drama, they will create it. Undealt with Brokenness in a toxic person’s life causes chaos and confusion everywhere they go.

Whereas most people try to keep peace in their lives, for the toxic person, it is the opposite.

As soon as you mention their unhealthy patterns of behavior, they will pull out their dysfunctional coping mechanisms.

The first such behavior is gaslighting.

The word looks and sounds strange. And so does the effects of what the word entails.

Imagine having a strong gas smell in your house.

You mention to your partner, ” I smell gas.”

And then their response is “I don’t smell anything.”

The smell gets stronger and stronger.

And you scream out, ” I SMELL GAS!”

And then your spouse says, “Oh, that’s the cookies that are baking in the oven.”

After so many rounds of this, you are feeling nauseated from the fumes, and you start saying to yourself, “Those are the cookies in the oven.”

Then you hear an explosion.

Gaslighting is how it sounds. When you are talking to someone about how their behavior is impacting you, they turn it around on you, making you look and feel crazy, physically and spiritually nauseated and confused.

Your spouse, or whoever it is that is doing the gaslighting says things like:

“You’re over-reacting.”

“You’re so sensitive.”

“You’re so dramatic.”

“You are so insecure and jealous.”

After hearing this so much, you believe it, and they manufacture in you the emotional drama that they were hoping for.

Once the gaslighting starts, it alters who you are as a person. You began to walk around in a state of cognitive dissonance, knowing the truth, but in a spiritual state of denial.


Acknowledging what is going on means doing something about it. You are not ready for that. Your brokenness of unworthiness is depending on you getting your self-worth from them at all cost.

However, they cannot give what they don’t have. They are individuals filled with insecurities and unworthiness themselves. And their whole life, they have thrived off exploiting other people in the very area that they struggle with as well.

What appears to you as confidence exuding from them, is a very insecure, unworthy individual who has no sense of self. This “confident look” is what they have when they have been filled with “supply” rather than the Holy Spirit.

What happens to you when you are in this state for so long?

You get seriously sick.

You can’t inhale fumes and not be affected. Gaslighting emits fumes and so much more than you expected. In my next post, we will discuss what happens when your partner starts playing games with you.

Until next time,

Katina Horton

Episode 132: Interview with Therapist & Coach Ashley Cutler Part 1

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 132: Interview with Therapist & Coach Ashley Cutler Part 1

What are the hidden traumas behind racism?  How will you react when God walks you through unexpected doors? What are the stressors that Covid has brought on to us in society, along with the frontline workers, including therapists? What are the benefits of coaching?  How does the black man feel when the black women makes more money than he does?  Why do women stay in toxic relationships?  How do I reclaim my power and identity?

If you need a place that is relatable, where you can pull off your masks, be real, dig deep, embrace your hair and skin color, release your emotions, and reveal your true identity and worth as a black woman, then listen to all three parts of this candid interview between Therapist & Coach Ashley Cutler and me in a new series of The Valley of Grace Podcast entitled, “The Black Woman Experience:  Talking Through Our Stories” to find out the answers to these questions and more.    Be blessed! #ashleycutler #authors #blackwomen #blackmarriage #blackrelationships #reclaimyourpowerandidentity #youareenough #blacksuperwoman #blackskin #blackhair #blackauthors #theblackwomanstruggle #racism #traumas #blacktraumas

How to Reach Ashley Cutler


Adorned With a Purpose Facebook Group



Podcast Topics

  • Coaching Vs. Therapy
  • Black Relationships
  • Toxic Relationships
  • Unworthiness/Not Enoughness
  • Reclaiming Your Power and Identity
  • God Opening Up Doors

Until next time,


Episode 131: Interview with Coach Elizabeth Olujimi

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 131: Interview with Coach Elizabeth Olujimi

What happens when you work in jobs you’re not passionate about? How should we compete?  Can I live an empowered new chapter of life?  What are the steps to reclaiming my power and identity?  How do I find my treasure?  Why are women holding on to toxic relationships?  How can transition times be an opportunity for more?  What happens when you don’t value yourself? How does community help with grief? Listen in to the interview between Elizabeth Olujimi and I to find the answers to these questions and more. #reclaimyourpowerandidentity #youareenough

Podcast Outline Topics

  • Grief
  • Commjunity
  • Unworthiness
  • Toxic Relationships
  • Reclaiming My Power and Identity
  • Empowering Yourself
  • Valuing Yourself

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Until next time,


Guest Blog Post by Sharae Jenkins

Hello ladies! Today I have a guest blogger, Sharae Jenkins, sharing with you on one of the most important things that you need to know when you reclaim your power and identity so that you know you are enough: building resilience and flourishing. Building resilience and flourishing involves a holistic approach of nourishing the whole person emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically . Her article will deal with the physical, or wellness aspect, i.e., being careful of what you are putting into your bodies. I pray that you will find her post encouraging, motivating, and enlightening. Be blessed!

Sharae Jenkin’s Blog Post:

When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re more likely to turn to are traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think large meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol.

While turning to these foods can make you feel better temporarily, in the long run, they can make you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.

Foods that Fight Stress

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.

Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind in the long-run rather than providing a temporary fix.

Part 1: Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

  • Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. Avocados contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties
  • Blueberries – Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
  • Chamomile Tea – Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Chocolate – Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavanol’s and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress
  • Beef – Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamin’s C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety.

Part 2: Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

  • Oatmeal – As a complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed.
  • Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert.
  • Pistachios – Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – Leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical.
  • Fermented foods – Last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels.

Putting Together Your Diet Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries

Mid-morning snack: Greek yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts

Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens

Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate

Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables

Before bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea!

Remember to practice portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.

P.S. Just in case you missed the exciting news, I just released my Summer Shape Up Recipe Book! 40 delicious, summer-inspired recipes to help you stay Fab + Fit this summer and beyond! Get the yummy details here!

Yours in wellness,

Sharae Jenkins, MBA, FNS

Nutritionist + Health Coach + Blogger

Text FABFIT to (877) 660-2651 for practical wellness tips + exclusive recipes!

I help career women who struggle losing weight create effective and sustainable lifestyle changes while eating food they enjoy! Learn more about my 1:1 Health + Nutrition Coaching or my Personalized Meal Planning Service!

You can follow Sharae Jenkins on instagram at @fab_fitcoaching.

Episode 121: Interview with EMS, Coach, & Podcast Host of Imperfectly Pollyanna Courtney Nalin Part 1

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 121: Interview with EMS, Coach, & Podcast Host of Imperfectly Pollyanna Courtney Nalin Part 1

After going through some of the hardest times in our lives, it’s easy to think that there is no way that we can recover, let alone reclaiming our power and identity. I’m a living witness that it is possible. One day at a time. One hour at a time. And sometimes one minute at a time.

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down in a one-on-one conversation with Courtney Nalin, EMS, Coach, & Podcast Host of Imperfectly Pollyanna. In this interview, she helps us to see that not only can you heal and recover, you can reclaim your power and identity one step at a time because you are enough. Listen in and be blessed!

Podcast Topics:

  • Loss
  • Infertility
  • Toxic Relationships
  • Friendships

Until next time!

What happens after the bombing?-The Relationship Cycle

The question that one might ask themselves is: what happens after the bombing? As stated in our previous post, after the bombing comes the sea of shame. And although you would think your soul’s reaction would be enough to make you stop and think, oftentimes, it doesn’t.

There is a small percentage of the cases where the individual takes a time-out based upon their body, mind, and soul’s reaction to love-bombing. However, 9.9 times out of ten, the reason you were picked as a target in the first place was because of your issues with low self-esteem, low self-worth, poor body image, or a combo of all three.

As sad and unsettling as it may sound, you were picked because you were an easy target to be disarmed and molded into what the other broken person in the toxic relationship wanted you to be. What you haven’t figured out yet, is that you are expected to return the favor.

Not the favor and disarming and molding. The worship.

Love-bombing isn’t done just for the sake of it. It is done to pull you in like nothing else has so you can stay all in. Once you have demonstrated that you are all in, the love-bombing ends. That is too much energy to put into any one person for an extended period of time.

The other person in the toxic relationship wants to be worshipped just like you were. However, the rules for their worship is different. Unlike love-bombing that leaves you in a sea of shame, they want the worship without the shame. You can’t ever give constructive criticism, feedback, or point out any wrongdoing.


Giving your take on any of these areas means that you are tarnishing the perfect, distorted image of what the other broken person in your toxic/unhealthy relationship has created. And that is a no-no.

The worship that belongs only to God has now gone to man. God never intended that to be.

He made that clear when he gave Moses the ten commandments on the mountaintop.

Somehow, as women, with Satan’s help, we twist around the word of God, making ourselves believe that God has told us to do everything that our husbands want us to do. When “obeying” your husband lies in direct conflict of obeying and worshipping God, we definitely have a problem.

You don’t realize the severity of it because your brokenness of unworthiness, low self-worth, and not enoughness is leading you in making decisions. You, as the wounded person is depending on the other broken person in the relationship to provide the enoughness that you are lacking. But only God can do that.

Until next time,


Love-bombed! Part 2

In our last post, we discussed what it means to be love-bombed. In this post, Love-bombed! Part 2, we are tackling why we are left swimming in a sea of shame from being love-bombed.

First of all, our bodies are aware of and respond to things that are happening around us before our minds get wind of it. Our heart starts racing, our bodies start shaking or tensing up, and other times our posture starts to shrink as if we are cowering within or trying to brace ourselves.

By the time our minds have caught up with what our bodies already know, we are then able to decide if this is a good thing or bad thing. Having all attention on you may seem like a good thing. However, we must remember that the spiritual energy that accompanies being love-bombed is nothing good.

The energy is toxic. And it is the toxic spiritual energy that causes the reverse of what would be expected to happen.

The response itself is the warning sign. But again, if we are too caught up, we will miss it.

If we are not, it is then that we can stop, reassess the situation, and then use wisdom in whether to move forward.

Nine times out of ten, there is no stopping. No “Be still and know that I am God”. (Psalm 46:10)

You are intoxicated by being love-bombed. Knowing and feeling something is off, but entangled in a web of energy that’s indescribable.

In the next post, we will discuss what usually happens after being love-bombed.

Remember: You are enough. You can reclaim your power and identity at any point in the relationship cycle.

Until next time,


Episode 120: “The Word Healing”-Interview with Cherlyn Decker Part 3

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 120: "The Word Healing"-Interview with Cherlyn Decker Part 3

When you think of the word healing, what comes to mind? Is it all pain, all comfort, all work, or a combination of all three? When it comes to healing, everybody’s journey is different. However, it’s all in the way that we look at it. Listen in on this interview between Cherlyn Decker and I as she gives her take on the subject, as well as some inside fun things about herself. Be blessed!

Podcast Outline Topics

  • Healing In All Its Glory or Not
  • Fun Facts About Cherlyn

Meditational Scripture:

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Psalms 147:3