Betrayal Trauma & Emotional Abuse | BTR.ORG

Betrayal Trauma & Emotional Abuse

by | Abuse Literacy

The first step to healing from betrayal trauma is establishing emotional safety.

Betrayal Trauma Is Real – And Serious

Emotional abuse and betrayal victims experience betrayal trauma. The symptoms of betrayal trauma can be severe and debilitating.

Dr. Adam Moore, owner and clinical director at Utah Valley Counseling joins Anne on the free BTR podcast to share his experiences and insights. Tune in to the free BTR podcast for more.

He shares:

“..What we’re seeing in our office is women who are experiencing legitimate trauma. So the flashbacks, the nightmares, the panic attacks, all those types of things.

Only in the last few years is this becoming more obvious in the public eye. We still have a lot of work to do. Some people still don’t really believe this is real. They think women are overreacting, or they are just being dramatic.  It is extremely real for women who are experiencing it. It is as real as getting in a car accident and breaking all your limbs.

Some women experience severe physical symptoms like autoimmune diseases, migraines, and fatigue. Others may experience debilitating mental and emotional symptoms.

For me the trauma affected me with anxiety, trying to control the situation, depression, obsession. –Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Victims of Emotional Abuse Deserve a Voice

Tragically, family, friends, clergy, and therapists further abuse victims. When they say that the emotional abuse is not real or serious, victims are re-traumatized.

 “That was the most traumatizing part–going for help, screaming and yelling saying ‘I need help!’ and having people just look at me and say, ‘Well, stop asking him questions. Stop making such a ruckus.’ It was so awful.” Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Women deserve to be heard and supported, not dismissed. Receive support at the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group.

“So, not only is there all of the pain that’s happening with traumatic things recurring in the relationship. An additional issue is then when they reach out to other people they are being dismissed and they’re being told that they are making a big deal out of nothing.

That really compounds the traumatic experience. You know, I don’t know which one is more traumatic, the experience of being betrayed, being lied to, being manipulated in your own marriage, or then reaching out for help and having people tell you that you’re crazy.” –– Dr. Adam Moore owner and clinical director at Utah Valley Counseling

Women in Betrayal Trauma May Experience Significant Grief

For most women something like this actually feels worse than a death because it is not a concrete loss. Because the person is still there and oftentimes there is this hope that maybe he’ll change, maybe he’ll figure things out, maybe he will ‘come back from the dead,’ if you will.– Dr. Adam Moore owner and clinical director at Utah Valley Counseling

Women feel immense grief when they experience emotional abuse and/or physical, sexual, or other kinds of relational abuse at the hands of a partner. Often, they go through these incredibly difficult emotions alone.

I felt like my husband had died – he was gone. He had abused me and betrayed me and then he was gone, and didn’t do anything to try and change or resolve the situation – which felt like another betrayal. And I felt so alone. My three children and I were abandoned. –Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

What Does Betrayal Trauma Feel Like?

Wondering if you are in betrayal trauma? Often, victims experience:

  • Grief
  • Numbness
  • Rage
  • Depression
  • Insomnia and other sleep issues
  • Difficulty eating or overeating
  • Anxiety
  • Terror
  • Paranoia
  • Headaches
  • Body aches and pains

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Emotional Abuse

At BTR, we understand the severity of emotional abuse and betrayal trauma. The free BTR podcast is available to victims. Tune in and hear other women’s stories of finding freedom and healing after abuse. 

Our BTR.ORG Group Sessions are live and interactive, offering community, support, and validation to women all over the world. Tune in to our free podcast and read the full transcript below to know how our Group Sessions can help you find peace and safety if you’re experiencing betrayal trauma.

Full Transcript: 

Anne (00:00):
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.

Anne (17:15):
If this podcast is helpful to you, please support it. And until next week, stay safe out there.

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  1. Togetherness Project

    Love the podcast, and love hearing from Dr. Moore! Both of you keep up the good work!

  2. Leslie

    I just found this podcast and am excited to have another resource for my recovery! Thank you for doing this!

  3. Andrea

    This is so awesome. I love Dr. Moore! Thank you so much!

  4. Shay

    Great podcast! I LOVE the Sending Light idea. So many women (and families and communities) will be blessed! Thank you for being a voice!

  5. Eva

    I love it!! This is great!! Thank you!!


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