Intimate Partner Violence
There you find yourself: Frustrated. Angry. Hopeless.
You silently wonder if this will be the last time. Your body braces for the onslaught of emotions you were able to stuff inside, locked down tight for the majority of the day. You feel alone, and you tell yourself that it has to be this way. You have to keep this part hidden away, especially from friends and loved ones because the words feel too big…too scary…too heavy to admit out loud.
“I’m being abused.”
The acknowledgment of this truth reverberates throughout your entire body, and brings a flood of other familiar thoughts:
“Who will believe me?”
“It’s all my fault.”
“I drive him to his limit….he can’t help it.”
“I deserve it.”
If these thoughts are all too familiar to you, or currently keep you up at night; You are not alone! We are here to support you!
1 in 4 women will experience Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in some form, and over 43 million women will experience psychological abuse by their partner in their lifetime, and go on to experience some form of IPV-related impact. IPV is not limited to physical abuse, it also includes the more subtle, but no less harmful, forms of abuse: emotional, psychological, and verbal.
At the root of an IPV dynamic is the abuser’s need for power and control. This is more than an “anger issue.” These are pervasive and chronic behaviors (perpetrated by fear, intimidation and coercion) that abusers use to intentionally and systematically assert and maintain power and control over their partner’s emotions and behaviors.
An early and frequent tactic abusers use to maintain power and control is isolation. Isolation has the ability to create a deep-seated dependency within the IPV dynamic quickly, which can sometimes develop slowly. This tactic allows the abuser to reinforce the narrative that they have constructed to keep their partner feeling powerless (
“No one loves you like I do”
“See, no one cares about you the way I do.”
“I’m the only one who can stand to be around you.”
“See how everyone always abandons you”
This level of control will often leave the victim feeling completely alone; believing they have no one to turn to who will support them, or believe them. The quicker the abuser can strip their partner of their support system, the quicker the victim will come to rely solely on their abuser, leaving the victim vulnerable to more abuse tactics. It’s a vicious, tiring, and overwhelming cycle.
We are here to help you break this never ending cycle! We are here to help you learn that his “truths” are actually not true at all, but instead full of lies and deception. We will help you learn how to become your true, grounded, and healthy self again!
Guilt, embarrassment, and shame are three of the strongest emotions you will face when experiencing intimate partner violence. Shame and guilt will keep you feeling stuck, and effectively reinforce the negative core beliefs you may hold about yourself (“I’m not good enough, I am unlovable, I am unworthy). Intimate partner violence is not limited to physical violence; it includes an assault on your sense of self, mind, emotions, and safety. You may believe these types of thoughts:
“If only I wasn’t so sensitive.”
“If only he could love me more.”
“If only I could make him stop.”
“If only I could escape the relationship.”
“If only I could forget.”
“If only I could just get over it.”
“If only…if only…”
Of course these thoughts would overwhelm you, it’s your brain’s way of protecting you and trying to get yourself out of the feelings of powerlessness.
The impact of trauma is powerful and long-lasting when there is no safe outlet to express your experience, and process it in a meaningful and safe way. The unprocessed “raw” memories of those traumatic incidents can stay stored in your body for a lifetime; that’s how powerful the impact of trauma can be. But are you ready for some good news?
Research is finding that the power of healing, and trauma recovery is equally as powerful!
Therapy is a way to explore your experience in a safe and contained way so that you are not having to fight off flashbacks, nightmares, and hopelessness for a lifetime. Instead we will help you find strength within yourself again to embrace your true worthiness!
I know what you are thinking: “A therapist won’t understand…” “No one will believe me….” “It’s not that big of a deal…” “it’s my fault anyway….” and my response is this: those are the very thoughts that are the result of someone who has experienced minimizing, denying and blaming—additional tactics an abuser will use to maintain power and control of the relationship dynamic. Are you ready to begin building emotional armor against these thoughts that keep you stuck?
Imagine for a moment what it would feel like to be able to take off that mask you’ve been wearing; that mask that has served you so well; has helped keep you safe, survive, and get through. With the help of a therapist, you have the opportunity to take off that mask, explore the right relationships, and what leading with your authentic self could be like.
Regardless if you identify as “still in” the relationship, “out of” the relationship, or “just left” the relationship, therapy can help you move towards healing the deep hurts, shame, and guilt you have experienced within that IPV relationship.
During your first session, we will partner with you to establish an internal sense of safety, and find empowering ways to process your experience. It is through this process you will begin to increase your capacity to hold space for your truth, and begin sifting through the negative core beliefs that left you vulnerable to the abuse you experienced.
I invite you to take the first step towards healing. Contact us today to schedule a 20-minute consultation to begin freeing yourself from the aftermath of IPV.