Have you experienced any of the following?
- Being physically injured
- Having your personal space invaded
- Threats of violence
- Your property being damaged (holes being punched in the wall, phone being broken, car being vandalized)
- Feelings of anxiety around your partner
- Fear of upsetting or disagreeing with your partner
- Becoming isolated from friends and/or family
- Have feelings of never being good enough
Survivors of a physically abusive relationships live with the pain that has been inflicted long after the bruises are healed. Because physically abusive people are also emotionally, and often sexually abusive, the pain of surviving can be difficult to process even after the relationship has dissolved. Often, survivors feel that no one understands what they have gone through. Having been isolated from friends and family, the survivor may feel they have no emotional support and are alone with their grief.
Understanding the cycle of violence, we at Noyau know what a confusing time this is for survivors. Abusers are often very caring and passionate people. They posses an ability to make their victims feel incredibly important, special, and loved. These reasons are why it is such a shock when the abuse starts.
The process of an abusive relationship is a slow progression. The beginning of the relationship is often ideal. Feelings of finally being understood and appreciated slowly give way to possessiveness and jealousy.
What started out as a normal desire to spend time together may turn into an obsession. A constant need to know your location and who you are with at all times, not believing you when you answer these questions, and anger over your having close friends or other sources of self-esteem, are all signs of an unhealthy relationship.
Emotional abuse such as name calling, humiliation, and isolation leads survivors to believe that there is nothing they can do to end the relationship. Once the emotional abuse gives way to physical assault, survivors are often already in a mindset that they deserve what has befallen them.
They try to make changes in their own behavior to stop the violence believing that if they did or didn’t do this or that then it would end. However, because abuse is more about power and control, what the victim does rarely changes the outcome. The abuser projects his feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and inferiority onto their victims, blaming them for their issues rather than working through them in healthy ways.
Therapists at Noyau Wellness have specialized training and experience to help you make sense of the confusion and pain you have experienced due to an abusive relationship. Whether you are currently in an unhealthy relationship or have fears that your relationship may turn violent, we can help you determine your next course of action. We understand that ending an abusive relationship is a difficult decision to make. Feelings of fear about your safety and your future are normal and having support during this time can be of great benefit.
Even after leaving, healing can be difficult. Working with a trained specialist to make sense of all you are feeling can help you move forward and regain the emotional stability and satisfaction you once felt.