***Podcast disclaimer: Early in Anne’s healing journey, as are many women, she was exposed to the codependency model for recovery from being married to a sex addict. She has since realized that she and other wives of addicts have truly experienced betrayal trauma.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery no longer supports the codependency model because it has been found to cause more harm than good. Betrayal Trauma Recovery strictly uses the trauma model for assisting women who are seeking peace and safety amid the chaos of their reality.

Anne continues to utilize the 12-step manual for developing and improving her own relationship with God. Anne now uses the trauma model for her own healing. You can find more about her thoughts on this podcast here.*** 

How Do I Find Support On The Path To Recovery?

From Anne, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery:

“I thought I was in recovery for a long time, and I wasn’t really. I didn't know I wasn't because I was doing it alone. On my own, I started toying around with boundaries; I was kind of making my way into being in recovery, but not quite there. Just sort of dipping my toe in the water. After my husband’s arrest, I knew I needed to really, really do something. I was going crazy and I didn’t know what to do.”

When we find out about our husband’s addiction, sometimes, we don’t know what to do. We feel lost, and we aren’t sure which way to go. One thing we can do is to find someone who has been through a similar experience of betrayal, and understands the feelings of confusion, grief, anger, and fear.

As we enter this world of betrayal trauma, we meet more women who have shared our experiences. As we meet these women, we may find that our safe and trusted person or people change. As we progress through our own recovery and healing, we find ourselves relating to different people.

We may find that we are surrounding ourselves with women who are further along the path than we are. These women can provide us with hope for a time when we can feel peace again.

As we attend a support group, we hear other women’s stories and know that we are not alone. We hear stories of marriages that last and marriages that end. We hear stories of women who have endured years of abuse and women who are newly married. We hear stories of women who struggled to find themselves, and women who have finally found themselves.

All of these stories help us in one way or another. Ultimately, knowing that other women have experienced similar feelings is validating and can set us on the path to healing.

One way that we can find our footing on the path is by reaching out to another woman who is further along the path.

Not every woman is going to be a great fit for us, so how do we find someone to help us navigate the long and winding road to safety and peace?

Find Support To Guide Us Down The Path

7 Steps For Finding A Support System

  1. Find a weekly support group meeting. Finding a meeting that works for you doesn’t always happen the first time you attend. Give it at least three or four meetings in a row to see if it’s a good fit for you. Once you find the meeting that you feel safe in, you can start finding someone to help you on your path. If you are unable to attend a meeting in person, you may find that the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group sessions work better for you.
  2. Get to know the women in your support group. Some women open up right away, and some take time to warm up to someone new. Some women are still in trauma while others may be through the worst of it. Getting to know the women in your group will help you find someone that you can confide in.
  3. Find someone who is safe. These safe women will just listen when you are in trauma or triggered. To find out more about finding a safe person to confide in, read this post.
  4. Find someone you feel comfortable sharing with outside of the group setting. Sometimes, when there are new women, there are things you may not feel safe sharing with the group. Having one or two women to talk to can help when that situation arises. If someone isn’t working out for you, it’s okay to find someone else.
  5. Find someone who is willing to be there when you need them. You may need to have several women that know what you, specifically, are dealing with that you can call. Some women find that having a list of women they can reach out to during a trigger or crisis is extremely helpful.
  6. Reach out to your support people when you need them. Even if you just leave a voicemail or send a text, that one small act could help you find your way back out of trauma. If you find yourself in desperate need of someone to talk to, go down your list until you find someone available.
  7. Offer to be a support for other women. As you move along the path yourself, you may find that you can be a support person for someone else. Once you have the capacity to do so, be willing to let others reach out to you.

Once you have your support system in place, make sure you reach out to them when you find yourself in need of support. When you find yourself triggered or dealing with your husband’s most recent relapse, reach out. When you find you are feeling depressed or anxious about one thing or another, reach out.

We Need Support To Make It Down The Path

The biggest reason for finding a support person is to have someone remind you to do self-care and set boundaries (for more information on boundaries, read this post). They can also remind you that your feelings are real and valid. Having someone, that you can trust, remind you of your worth can make a big difference in your healing.

A support person is just that, a support person. They are someone who has been through the same thing who is a little further down the path than you are. They share their faith, hope, and experiences with you.

A support person will also support your image of God. She will help you remember that He knows what you are going through and will support you as you make tough choices regarding your life and your relationships.

It’s also important to prayerfully seek a qualified therapist who can help you work through your feelings and experiences on a deeper level. Betrayal Trauma Recovery has APSATS-trained coaches available for Individual Sessions.

Using Our Support Will Help Us Find Healing

Finding the right support people who can provide us with the tools we'll need for our recovery can help us move along the path to healing.

From Anne:

“I often tell people that recovery is kind of like Yoga. You must do it to understand it. You can’t learn about yoga by just reading about it, you have to do yoga. Same thing with recovery. Before I was really in recovery, I read a lot about recovery, went to seminars and retreats, but I wasn’t working the program. Working on my own healing and recovery has made a huge difference. Having a support person has changed my life.

“I want to thank my support person for everything she’s done for me, for the hours and hours that she’s spent on the phone with me. I know that God is working in my life and I am so grateful for her example, really, it’s just her example, that she has been through very difficult things and put God in her center. I’m grateful to know her, I’m grateful for her support.

“I appreciate all of you who are walking the path to healing or thinking about walking that path. I want you to know that my love goes out to you, and I hope that, through this post, you can be encouraged to attend a meeting and start your recovery. As you put God in your center you can start to find the serenity you desperately need in your life.”

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