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.
Welcome to BTR.ORG. This is Anne.
I honor all the women who listen to this podcast who are searching for answers, who are genuinely trying to save their families in the face of abuse and not knowing what to do and getting harmful information from therapists or internet articles or clergy resources that haven’t helped them understand the abuse. I wanna thank everyone for listening. I hope that BTR is helpful. The thought of any woman being in an abusive situation and not understanding what it is, is heartbreaking to me. Also, a thank you to all of you who have shared our material on social media or shared it with friends in an effort to educate more women about abuse. So with that, here are their shares.
“I Have Felt the Expert Care & Clarity That I Have Been Searching For For 12 Years”
Group Session Client (04:33):
I just wanted to say that I have been in therapy for 12 years and only now have I felt that I have the expert care and clarity that I have been searching for for 12 years. You were what I call proactive, where before it was just wishy washy, hit or miss. If you wanna get psychobabble about it, Rogerian type of therapy, like how are you? What’s it? You know, this is exactly what women like this group needs and I cannot thank you enough.
Group Session Client (05:23):
Hi, this group is new to me. I have been going through, uh, not a good place for about three years and this is the first time that I have had other people share their stories where I felt so validated. I could totally relate. This isn’t just me. I’m not going crazy. I can stand my ground and create boundaries to keep myself safe, to keep my kids safe and have multiple daily options to check in, check out, share, not share. Listen, the isolation that I felt before is starting to dissipate.
“I Will Be Forever Grateful”
Group Session Client (06:07):
I arrived at BTR in full-blown trauma, uh, never having known what he was doing for years and prior to we were married. And thank God that this is the place that I found because there was love and nurturing and education and somebody, all coaches, friends, to walk with me and support me and I will forever be grateful.
Group Session Client (06:37):
I had been in therapy for a while, years and at least a year with Chuck before I found BTR and there were no breakthroughs or anything. It was just the same cycle of, now that I know what it is, it was the same cycle of abuse happening over and over and over again with no real solution. When I found BTR I honestly was trying to find reasons in my head as to why the group wouldn’t be good for me because <laugh> I, I knew it was gonna change everything about my life and it did because I joined the group right before I initially separated from Chuck. So having BTR during that time of separation got me through and then helped me make the decision to separate permanently and just not wanna be with him anymore. And you know, I wouldn’t be here and be growing the way that I am without BTR.
“I Can Say That BTR Has Saved My Life”
Group Session Client (07:56):
BTR has been very important for me through this journey. I can just very consistently say that it has saved my life. I would say just simply that without BTR I wouldn’t be here probably.
Group Session Client (08:13):
For years I would always search like we’d have fights and I would go to the internet to find out how I could be better so that we could stop having fights. And article after article was never right. I just knew. And finally one day I stumbled upon the BTR podcast and I don’t really like listening to them. I like to read them. So I’m thankful for the transcript and I finally knew that what I was reading was right and when I had a name for what was going on in my marriage, I could finally start to work to fix it. And fixing it has meant not what I thought it would and it has saved my life too. So without BTR I wouldn’t have a name for what I experienced and I wouldn’t have a place to to live after the healing.
“The Connection That We Have & The Love That We Share Is Real”
Group Session Client (09:09):
I didn’t ever think that I would be in the position that I’m in. I was with my ex-fiance from the age of 13 for 20 years and I had no idea that he was living a double life. I found BTR when I was staying in hotels. I had nowhere else to go and I booked a one-on-one with a coach and I haven’t looked back. I have learned so much and tomorrow is my one year anniversary of having left my ex-partner. And every single day that I hop on group, I see women that I am inspired by and women who are ahead of me in the journey and women who are following me on the journey. And we’re all on different journeys, but somehow the connection that we have and the love that we share is really real. So thank you so much. I dunno what I would’ve done without BTR for the last 12 months.
Group Session Client (11:14):
I found BTR to be really helpful. The groups are really helpful at connecting with other people going through this and not feeling alone and recognizing that there are lots of actually super capable, strong, determined people experiencing abuse at different stages along the way. And I found the group sessions to be really helpful and the podcasts really nice just to like listen to and understand broader patterns and trends. And I wish people didn’t have to find this on their own and I’m really glad BTR exists.
“I Am Now Free And I’m Now Safe”
Group Session Client (11:48):
Discovery was in 2011 of sex addiction. There’s just no support out there for women other than the groups that are available in that realm. And my therapist of many years never mentioned the word abuse. I felt like I was duped. As I got into BTR I learned so much education from the coaches. I was terrified with a learning disability, thinking I could never do this. I could never ever, ever be free from a covert narcissist. And I have moved twice across state and also an alienation from my daughter as I’m going through all this. The post separation abuse was just heinous. And since then, um, with the help of BTR through this process and as I am safe in my new place, I’m now starting to process it even more. Cause I had been so busy going through all the, the process of divorce and everything else. And due to all the coaches and, and the love and support they have allowed me to have such great strength and realizing I am worth it. I am enough. BTR is a lifesaver and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped save my life and I am now free and I’m now safe.
Group Session Client (13:30):
I feel like being in BTR Groups has been an opportunity for me to create some routine in my life, like something I can do every single day. It has just created some routine and structure and support in the life that I currently have, which is very chaotic and unpredictable and challenging. And I genuinely feel like I like meeting with all the coaches cause they have different perspectives. I know when I want some tough love, I go see Sharon. Each coach like has a different vibe. That’s really helpful. That’s been great. I’ve only been doing this a couple months, but I’m really happy and I don’t think I’m gonna stop anytime soon. It seems like a really beautiful community of women who’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s really cool to see those connections and to be building them.
“BTR Has Changed My Life”
Group Session Client (14:15):
I’ve been through this for over 30 years. I’ve dealing with this in my life and I’ve been in B T R for five months. My life has changed more in the last five months than all of those years that I went through. And I so appreciate Coach Denalee. Just the clarity that she has helped me through a lot of individual sessions, the group sessions and all of the coaches, I really appreciate. Everyone has something different and all the shares help you understand other ways to do self-care and stay safe. And I really appreciate BTR, I can’t say enough about it. It’s changed my life.
Group Session Client (14:55):
BTR was literally an answer to prayer for me. After disclosure, I really didn’t know what to think about my situation. After almost 30 years being with my husband, I felt like I was brainwashed. I didn’t know what to do and I prayed and I did a Google search and I found the podcast and it literally changed my life. After a year, I feel so much more empowered and connected and validated. I have so much clarity on the trauma that I had been going through and everything just started to make sense. I’m a completely different person than I was a year ago. I just love this group.
Safety, Encouragement, and Support
Group Session Client (15:44):
BTR groups and individual sessions have all been an amazing space for me to be able to find safety, encouragement, and support. BTR has helped me and continues to help me as I’m still in this process to be reminded that I’m not crazy and that there is a cycle of abuse and I can watch for the signs and I can check in with myself and check in with my body. I’m grateful to have this community. It’s been really important to help me, um, be able to recover and I look forward to recovering more.
Group Session Client (16:24):
Well, I found BTR through the Instagram posts and listening to Jane and she would post reels and other things and just realizing that’s me. Those things are about me. They helped me when I decided to join group. It was like finally having the place where everything in my life that didn’t make sense made sense because there could be words put to it and I wasn’t alone. And to be able to literally like put the voices from group in my, in my ears and be able to hear that as things are happening in my life has just been life changing. It’s been a great support.
If this podcast is helpful to you, please support it. And until next week, stay safe out there.
This is brilliant brilliant brilliant!! Thank you for posting this one today! Without BTR, I would 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 your programs and your profound understanding of what is really going on are the key shifts all of us victims need to hear. CARSD men are abusers and need a completely different model. Thank you Coach Joi for your bravery, insight and skill! Thank you Anne for the best possible help in this miserable sewer! You have saved me! Change in this field can’t come quickly enough!!
Linda, thank YOU! I’m so glad our content is helping with your situation!
I am listening to this for the first time ever. I definitely found that therapists and clergy were clueless about the abuse.