Overcoming Toxic Relationships
You Feel You Have Been Wounded by a Relationship
Are you feeling humiliated, blamed, and controlled in your relationship? Do you try to make things better, but nothing seems to work…for very long? Are there times when you aren’t sure who your partner will show up as – loving and supportive or angry and mean? Do you feel isolated and alone, like you have no one left to confide in? Have you lost the confidence, clarity and internal strength you once had? Are there times when you feel threatened or afraid?
These are some of the signs of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can be the cause of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts and plans, low self-esteem and the inability to trust others. You might uncertain if what you are experiencing is the result of poor communication or another common relationship difficulty or if you are being abused. We can help you identify which it is and help you move forward.
Is it Just Me?
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, over 48% of both men and women have experienced at least one psychologically aggressive behavior by an intimate partner, and 4 in 10 have experienced at least one form of coercive control by an intimate partner in their lifetime. In addition, almost 18% of women have experienced a partner’s trying to isolate them from family and friends.
Often, emotional abuse remains hidden because it feels like your fault, or because you don’t think anyone will believe what’s happening to you, or because you fear that your friends or family will dismiss how it feels. How you deal with emotional abuse will make a difference in your life.
Begin to Heal
Our counselors understand your situation and can help with healing from emotional abuse. And, that is truly the first step – WE UNDERSTAND. We understand that you need a safe, confidential, caring, accepting and nonjudgmental space to unfold your experience. We understand that the process needs to be slow and gentle, and in consideration of your needs. We understand that it will be difficult and emotional. There will be uncertainty and discomfort. We have the patience to be there for you and guide you back to being yourself.
The Process of Healing
Counseling for emotional abuse is most effective when it fits you. Our first goal will be to understand what you are struggling with and to begin to ascertain what kinds of relationship issues are contributing to those struggles. We also want to educate you about the consequences of a toxic relationship. You will begin to know if what you are experiencing is the result of a toxic relationship or if there is a separate and distinct mental health concern you should address.
You will begin to view the patterns in your relationship with a new awareness. If a cycle of abuse has been occurring, we’ll want to understand what it looks like, it’s intensity, and the frequency with which things move from happy to tension to intimidation or fear.
We’ll also help you to be able to see your strengths are and what capabilities have allowed you to maintain the positives in your life. Those positives may range from getting to work every day to taking care of children or other family members to just getting out of bed on some days.
Healing and growth is likely to be gradual and slow. Eventually you will be able to see yourself gaining awareness and strength and recovering parts of yourself that have been cut off or buried. You will eventually find hope.
I Think It’s My Fault
You might think that you are to blame for how you are or have been treated by your partner or by past partners. If you have experienced abuse, that is understandable, because you are always being blamed or manipulated. It’s not your fault.
Often, others whom you are close to also wonder if you are to blame. Unless someone has been in an abusive situation, it may be hard for her or him to be able to empathize and support you in a helpful way. Part of the manipulation you may have experienced has likely been to convince others that you are the problem.
With counseling, it is possible to begin to understand what you have experienced and how to overcome the pain and uncertainty that has resulted.