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.
Connie, a member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community, shares her powerful story of triumph over abuse as she courageously separated herself from abusive behavior and began her own journey to healing with BTR coaches and the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group. Listen to her story on the BTR Podcast or read it in the full transcript below.
"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.
Connie affirms that gaslighting was the ultimate tipping point in her decision to separate from her abusive husband:
The reason I left my marriage was the emotional abuse. That was what put me over the edge. If you are “only being emotionally abused,” “only being gaslit”—which is actually psychological abuse, which is much more calculated than emotional abuse—if that is what’s happening to you, you have every right to leave your marriage. You have every right to be going crazy right now.Connie, member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community
You Are Not Powerless Against Emotional Abuse: You Can Set Boundaries
The only thing in my power is boundaries. The only thing I can do is step away from the abuse.Connie, member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community
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,