"It changes your perspective to realize that the baseline isn’t a good guy that loses it, but the baseline is an abuser who can put on this act, then that mask falls off. I think being able to differentiate between those two things is really helpful for victims."Anne Blythe, Founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery
Victims of emotional abuse may spend years or even decades trapped in a vortex of confusion, trying to understand the abuse that is happening to them.
Betrayal Trauma Recovery Affirms "Safety First"
As soon as victims suspect abuse, they must immediately seek total safety from abusive treatment. This means that they take courageous actions and set boundaries to protect themselves from all abusive behaviors of others.
On the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Podcast, Connie, a member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community, shares her heartbreaking timeline of dating, marrying, and then separating from, a sexually, physically, and emotionally abusive man.
Using her experience as a guide, uncover the three disturbing tactics that your emotionally abusive partner is using to keep you stuck, and begin your journey to healing today.
#1: Emotional Abusers "Love Bomb" Victims To Keep Them Stuck
"The love-bombing would be so intense and so sincere and so... just euphoric."Connie, member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community
Love Bombing is a distinct phase in the cycle of narcissistic abuse, and is present in every abusive relationship. It is also known as the "honeymoon phase".
Love bombing occurs when an abuser creates an illusion of obsessive love for the victim. The sense of belonging, being desired, and being genuinely treasured is deeply moving and powerful for human beings. Abusers use this to their advantage when they love bomb victims.
For Connie, love bombing created a powerful incentive for her to continue to stay in a toxic relationship for over 11 years, until she was able to recognize that love bombing in and of itself is abuse.
What Does Love Bombing Look Like?
How Love-Bombing Typically Presents
* Putting the victim on a pedestal* Constant communication (texting, phone calls, letters, dates, over-nights, trips together)* Early, strong commitment (getting engaged, entering into a relationship, getting married, sleeping together soon after meeting or having reunited)* Putting down previous partners ("my other girlfriends were never as beautiful as you," "my ex-wife was psycho," etc)* Buying expensive gifts* Entrusting victim with intimate knowledge and secrets* Entrusting victim with personal belongings (car, apartment, credit card, etc)* Constant, "ultimate" praise ("hottest in the world," "perfect," "best," etc)* Intense, passionate, and frequent sexual encounters
#2: The Manufactured Emotional Tether Is Real, And Dangerous
"I would be discarded in this horrible way and I’d be like, 'Okay, I’m just going to get healthy. I’m going to move on,' and then he would come back. He’d come back healthier, gentler and more loving, and say things like, 'Connie, I’m going to figure this out. I’m going to be the man that I know you deserve. I love you so much, you’re so incredible.'"Connie, member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community
When emotional abusers discard victims (whether through abandonment, overt and/or covert abuse,