Mother Promotes Healing for Herself and Her Children After Leaving Abusive Marriage
Rebecca came to The Family Conservancy (TFC) after a decade of domestic violence. She married young and thought her husband was amazing. She believed they would always take care of each other. Shortly after the wedding, Rebecca learned he was not who she thought he was. Her husband sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her several times a week.
When her children were born, she began to fear her husband would target his aggression toward them. For years, Rebecca focused on keeping her children safe. At times, her attempts to protect them created distance in her relationships with her children. As her children got older, she knew it was time to leave her husband.
When Rebecca came to TFC, she was having intense feelings of sadness and anger and was frequently “on edge” and jumpy. The littlest things, like seeing a man who resembled her ex-husband, would trigger memories of abuse and cause intense feelings of fear and shame. She was unable to sleep in her own room or get a job, because she constantly worried about her husband retaliating for leaving him.
During her marriage, she had been unable to hold a job. Her husband would stalk her at work and make up stories to tell her employer — which routinely led to her losing her job.
During her counseling sessions, Rebecca focused on processing her traumatic experiences and learning new skills to cope. She was able to use journaling as a way of recalling experience and express her thoughts and feelings while discussing her abuse with her therapist. Rebecca learned to accept what had happened to her, let go of her past and move forward.
After learning to cope with her own trauma, Rebecca began working to improving her relationship with her children. She improved her communication skills, learned about the importance of bonding, and started spending more time with her children.
The final step of Rebecca’s counseling was for her to find confidence in her ability to move forward without her therapist’s support. Rebecca used the tools she learned in counseling — deep breathing, journaling, and meditation — as a way of staying calm. At the end of counseling, her symptoms had dissipated, she had a stronger bond with her children, she was confident and maintained a stable job where she was able to build friendships with her colleagues.