Survivors of AbuseAbuse Survivor Counseling for sexual, physical and emotional trauma
Are you an abuse survivor still carrying the burden and pain from past abuse?
As an abuse survivor, are you having trouble trusting yourself, feeling vulnerable, worthless or unlovable?
When the innocence of youth is punctuated by sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, it can leave invisible wounds that last a lifetime if not given help to heal. Survivors of abuse have witnessed or were subjected to:
• threats of violence
• bodily injury from an adult or older child
• constant shaming ridicule
• unconstructive criticism
• public humiliation
• incest or rape
• harsh punishments in the name of discipline
• frequent rageful outbursts from others
• excessive over-control of every day choices
Living through one or more of these types of experiences may have conditioned you to expect more of the same later in life, despite your circumstances being entirely different now. Even if you weren’t physically or sexually hurt, being on the receiving end of threats, and emotional manipulations can do psychological damage that feels as deep.
It’s hard to feel alone with those painful memories. As much as you try to put it behind you, feeling overwhelmed, and tired of the pain, confusion, and helplessness has never fully gone away.
You’re coping the best you can, but it’s not always helping
Or, maybe your childhood was truly warm and wonderful, and for you the abuse came later, in a marriage, or in another intimate relationship. Or from an abusive co-worker or boss.
You tried to be understanding and forgiving, but the abuse continued, or even escalated, and the best you could do was to shut down emotionally, or to flee. And now, instead of feeling like a survivor, you feel anxious,depressed or confused.
Whether you experienced sexual, physical, emotional, or verbal abuse — no matter how long it’s been, or how much you have tried to move on — it’s likely part of you may still feel ashamed, bad, unlovable, even dirty or damaged.
As an abuse survivor, you may be having one or more of these experiences now:
- feeling like you are different from everyone
- believing something is terribly wrong with you
- constantly belittling yourself
- thinking if people knew the real you, they would flee
- inability to engage in emotional intimacy
- trouble showing empathy
- difficulty trusting yourself and others
- expecting the worst
- reluctance to give or get nurturing
- repeated “testing” of people
- being drawn to relationships that are abusive because they feel familiar
- unable to imagine a healthy relationship
These feelings and responses can be hard to manage, even when you are trying your best to get on with life. The underlying sense of being right on the edge of danger again can create insomnia, panic attacks, flashbacks, and hypervigilance. And if you keep feeling unsafe no matter where you are, you might sabotage your chances to make a new start.
Worse, ineffective coping can lead to self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, over-eating, and other risky or self-destructive behaviors.
If you recognize any of these difficulties – you are not alone. I’m here to help.
You survived, and now you want to move beyond the pain. I can help.
Good people like you can secretly – even unconsciously — hold beliefs like “I am what happened to me,” or “I caused him to treat me like that”, or “I deserved it”, or “I should have been able to stop it.”
Sometimes survivors of abuse feel like nothing will change what has happened to them, so why dredge it all up again. These thoughts are emotionally understandable, and it may help to know that there is much research that shows how effective psychotherapy can be in healing the wounds of the past.
Somewhere within your heart and mind a healthy part of you knows that those beliefs are not true. You did nothing to deserve how you were treated, but shame, guilt, and anger keep haunting you.
Survivors of abuse sometimes think that they are unworthy of being helped, or too fragile to put themselves through it. They don’t want to let down their protective walls. And that’s understandable too — although it take a lot of energy to close off to the full range of happier emotions and opportunities life may offer.
Maybe it’s time to transform the anxiety, depression, and fear.
I know how to help you do that.
Many people just like you have come to me for counseling, and have gained the strength and resources they needed for finally moving beyond the past, and thriving in the present.
It’s time to break the code of silence and shame, take back your power, and claim your right to healing.
The human mind is amazingly resilient. The fact that you survived abuse is a testament to that. And yet, the powerful and long term effects of abuse linger, whether experienced in childhood, college, or later in life.
Survivors of abuse can learn to trust their emotions and feel safe in the world — perhaps for the first time. Healing from abuse takes enormous courage. But the alternative is a life of self-doubt and emotional isolation. There’s a better way.
Take the first step now.
Find out how counseling will help you.
Make an appointment at:
Healing can start today.
Read more about the Effects of Abuse here
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