Counselling Social Work
Most of my career has been spent working with people who have either experienced family violence, perpetrated violence against others or have been an anxious family member or friend who has felt stuck not knowing how to support their loved ones.
There are agencies at present who support people going through these experiences but very few are able to offer long-term support services to people who are living in the aftermath of violence. After the initial shock/trauma of experiencing any form of violence from a loved one (physical, psychological, emotional, financial, etc) there is an expectation that because the situation has passed, you're supposed to be fine again and move on with your life.
Family violence is a very complex phenomenon and involves multiple layers that need to be looked at from a different perspective. The long-term effects of abuse are very real even though it might be invisible to everyone else looking in from the outside.
There is no time limit on how long it should take someone to recover from what's happened to them. This is usually determined by how much time you have had to heal from it as well as support from those close to you.
If you are someone who has experienced this type of violence in the past and need someone who can help make sense of what happened and how to move forward, please contact me for support and to regain the sense of self you might have lost during this very challenging period in your life.
How we can help:
Although this category is mostly about career and work roles, whatever we have going on at work impacts our time and wellbeing when we are with our loved ones. If we ignore what’s happening at work and think that our lives will stay balanced, we are only fooling ourselves.
The aftermath of an abusive relationship:
Likely to experience more depressive mood states impacting of self-esteem and overall wellbeing
Returning feelings of guilt due to everything that was lost during the relationship. Also, guilt around staying on the relationship, or guilt around still loving the person.
Experiencing flashbacks and anxiety pitfalls.
Afraid of trusting new people in your life because your ex-partner was the nicest person you ever met.
Thinking it was your fault that you were abused and that if you had done things differently it would have stopped.
Still wondering if things happened the way you remembered them happening. Feeling out of touch with reality and blaming yourself.
Struggling with low self-worth because the things that were said and done to you are still present in you.
Although the relationship has ended, you still feel like you need to look over your shoulder. It's almost like they're still there even though you know they're not.
Worried about entering a new relationship because you fear that this might happen again.
You tend to lose yourself in relationships – you change who you are when you’re with them?
You don’t mean to but all of the sudden all these demands and expectations arise based on what you think your partner should do or be?
You're scared of your partner leaving you so you don’t communicate how you feel and notice how you start having more passive aggressive behaviour or wishing your partner could just read your mind?
You have jealous tendencies and have a hard time controlling it? When it gets out of hand you find excuses to justify why you felt jealous?
Repeating old patterns/mistakes from previous relationships
Talking matters through and identifying what you need and want at present.
Psychoeducation around the dynamics of intimate partner violence and the impact it has on people who have been abused.
Freeing yourself from guilt and building up the person you are now.
Developing strategies to deal with the aftermath of the abuse (court matters, children going against you, still having to communicate with the abuser.)
Develop ways to deal with the anxiety that follows and the constant safety concerns.
Understanding how abusers think and act- helps you to separate yourself from what happened.
Asking for help and developing strategies to communicate your experience to others close to you.
The aftermath of an abusive relationship cont:
The children are still missing the other parent and have a different perspective on what happened.
Although the relationship has ended, you find that there are still opportunities for the other parent to control you (through the children, friends and family, court, etc).
You are trying to move on and find your sense of self but have no idea who you are anymore.
You struggle with internal emotions but feel that there has been enough time in between and things should be better now, although they're not.
Your friends and family were understanding in the beginning but are now getting frustrated with you and want you to stop reliving the past.
You want to make sense of the trauma you have experienced but it's hard finding the appropriate external support for what you now need.
Often times, the court expenses, the extended leave from work and the overall detachment from everything that was important to you creates a major void in your life and keeps you feeling like you need to start over again.
I offer fees on a sliding scale for abused people with financial hardship.