Are you in an abusive relationship? Or, maybe you recently got out of one? Perhaps it’s been years since you left, but those memories are looming. And you just can’t seem to move on. Regardless of where you are in the process, you’re likely wondering: when is the right time to get counseling for the domestic abuse I’ve experienced? The answer is now.
It’s important to know that being ready is not the same thing as feeling ready. If we only did things in life that we felt ready for, we wouldn’t be doing much. The truth is that if you feel like you’re suffering from the effects of an abusive relationship, it is the right time to seek counseling. The skilled and caring domestic violence counselors at Thriveworks Counseling in Durham are awaiting your call—our trained professional domestic violence counselors know just how to help you and will work alongside you to collect all of the pieces of your life again. All you have to do is give them the chance.
Understanding Signs and Implications of Domestic Abuse
Oftentimes, an individual denies the need for counseling because their partner rarely or never acts violently. The sad truth is, however, that abusers work in many ways. In addition to physical abuse, an abuser may use emotional, mental, or sexual abuse. The following behaviors are common signifiers of domestic abuse:
- Criticizing or blaming
- Shrewdly putting you down
- Coercing you into sexual acts
- Talking you out of going to work or school
- Outright harming you or your kids
In any form—physical, emotional, mental, and sexual—abuse is wrong, as well as harmful. And the implications are often devastating. Some of these effects include:
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorders
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Social isolation
- Ongoing aches and pains
The above mental illnesses and psychosomatic disorders can hinder your life in more ways than one. Fortunately, however, getting the help you need from a trained counselor at Thriveworks Counseling in Durham can help you handle these and other fallouts from the abuse you’ve lived through.
The Pattern and Repetition of Domestic Abuse
No two cases of domestic abuse are exactly the same, but a similar pattern proves to emerge: the couple enters and exits the honeymoon phase, tension builds, and then the abuse recurs. Take a look at the stages of this pattern below.
The Honeymoon: When we first enter a relationship, everything is new and exciting. Feelings are predominantly positive and we’re focused on making each other happy. This is why we refer to those first few weeks or months as the honeymoon stage. Unfortunately, however, these happy, peaceful times are what make domestic violence so inconceivable, so hurtful. When it comes to the honeymoon stage in the domestic abuse cycle, this is the time for apologies and reassurance. Violent partners say they’re sorry and promise it will never happen again. The couple then looks hopefully to the future.
The Tension: As the honeymoon stage comes to a close, the couple enters the tension-building stage. Here, tension returns and continues to build. The victim of the abuse often tries to ignore returning signs of abusive behavior, does their best to keep their partner calm, and even refuses to believe the tension could escalate further—into the abuse they’ve previously experienced.
The Abuse: The aforementioned tension escalates and escalates until the violent partner chooses to abuse again—physically, emotionally, mentally, or sexually. It’s important to note that it is never the victim’s fault; the responsibility is solely the abuser’s. Another significant note is that domestic violence is illegal. Nobody deserves to be abused and left with the detrimental effects that follow.
Start Domestic Abuse Counseling at Thriveworks Counseling in Durham Today
As you read through the warning signs, the implications, and the cycle of domestic violence, did anything strike a chord? Did anything feel a little too close to home? Did anything click and cause you to realize a difficult truth about a past or present relationship? We know just how hard it can be to admit, even recognize when a relationship is unhealthy. But doing so is crucial to your wellbeing and starting on the road to recovery.
Many people have incorrect beliefs about what exactly it means to get domestic violence counseling. Some suspect it’ll help them come to terms with what they’ve gone through, but they often fail to understand all of the different ways it can help. This is because they often don’t realize the extent of the impact of their abuse. You can trust that the counselors at Thriveworks are willing, able, eager to help you. They’ll help you in more ways than you can count, you just have to give them the chance. Give Thriveworks Counseling in Durham a call at (919) 629-3854 to schedule an appointment today.