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. 

The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group is a live, interactive support group. BTRG offers community, support, and validation to women all over the world. Join today.

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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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