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4 Things Emotional Abuse Victims Need to Know

by | Betrayal Trauma

Abusers condition their victims to believe lies.

Lies that tell them that they are not really being abused. That they’re overreacting to the abusive behavior. That they’re powerless and weak. That they are alone.

At Betrayal Trauma Recovery, our number one goal is to help women identify abuse and find safety.

Just Emotional Abuse” is A Big Fat Lie: Emotional Abuse Is Destructive

Abusers and their enablers condition victims to believe that forms of abuse that do not include physical violence are less serious forms of domestic abuse – or shouldn’t even be considered “abuse” at all.

This is tragic and dangerous for victims. And it enables abusers to keep on abusing.

Emotional and psychological abuse are extremely damaging to women. Just as serious as physical violence.

You Are Not Powerless Against Emotional Abuse: You Can Set Boundaries

Women who experience betrayal and other forms of relational abuse often feel a lack of control, a sense of powerlessness, over their own lives.

As victims begin to process the reality of the abuse, they may feel suffocated by the knowledge of the abuse and the simultaneous feeling that they can’t do anything about it.

Victims are not powerless. They can set effective boundaries to separate themselves from abuse.

You Are Not Overreacting: You Are a Victim of Abuse

This is an abuse issue, and if we don’t look at it as an abuse issue and we don’t see victims as victims and perpetrators as perpetrators, we’re not going to get anywhere.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Hidden abuse, including pornography use, infidelity, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, sexual coercion, marital rape, financial abuse, and spiritual abuse, are easy for abusers to hide and cover up through manipulation tactics. Tactics like gaslighting, lying, blame-shifting, and grooming of family and friends so that his true behaviors are never shown outside of the home (or bedroom).

Regardless of what your abuser says about you, or your clergy, family, friends, therapist, or anyone else…

You are not overreacting.

You are a victim of abuse.

Access our BTR Group Sessions and receive the support you deserve today.

You Are Not Hopeless: You Can Take Baby Steps, One Day At A Time

Setting boundaries to separate themselves from abusive behavior can seem daunting to women in trauma. At BTR, we understand how difficult decision-making can be for victims of hidden abuse.

You are not hopeless, pathetic, or stupid, if it is taking you time to make a plan, if you are still trying to figure out how to do it, or if you have tried and it hasn’t quite panned out yet.

Be patient with yourself. Get support. And remember that above all else, your safety is what matters.

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3 Comments

  1. Linda

    Dear Anne, this is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!! Thank you! Without BTR, I’d still be lost and confused by the terribly damaging models that SA field promotes.

    I could never figure out what was wrong with that CSAT model and why they made me feel so bad (on top of all of my horrific trauma at the disclosures). And why they promoted my husband’s ignoring me and my feelings in order to protect his “fragile emotional state” after his double life of decades came out. But BTR and The BTR Living Free Workshop and your profound understanding of what is really going on are the key shifts all of us victims need to hear. Thank you Anne for the best possible help in this miserable sewer! You have saved me!

    Reply
    • Coach Debra

      Linda, thank YOU! I’m so glad our content is helping with your situation!

      Reply
  2. Susie Pothier

    I am listening to this for the first time ever. I definitely found that therapists and clergy were clueless about the abuse.

    Reply

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