You are tired of love hurting so damn much
Two things first...
1. You are so resilient for being here.
2. You are deserving of healthy love.
The thing about relationships with the dynamics of power and control is that what is occurring is not always apparent. When thinking about the dynamics of domestic violence, you may be thinking that: "You should've known." My response is always: "Actually, no. You were in love."
When you're in love you are not thinking that the person you love wants to bring you pain. But, the pain happens and it feels inescapable and defeating. Love feels you're in a ring fighting and losing.
Illustration by Troy Howard for exclusive use at R.I.S.E MD LLC
Therapy for domestic violence survivors can help you fight for you again
Let's be real, fighting emotionally has literally saved your life. Your power and your determination have been your guiding light when life and love have let you down. I am not here to tell you to be less powerful or determined. Instead, trauma therapy will help you rediscover the light within you that pain has diminished. We will work together to discover the you before the pain. And, we'll work together to bring to life the vision of yourself that you envision.
How do I know if I am a domestic violence survivor?
You are an individual with unique experiences and stories. So, please know that this is not an exhaustive list of signs of domestic violence, but you may relate to some of these examples of how your past relationship may affect you today:
- Distrust of love interests
- General distrust in others
- Avoidance or fear of new relationships
- Regret, sadness, low mood
- Difficulty believing in yourself
- Withdrawal from family, friends, loved ones, and pleasurable activities
- Crying, difficulty sleeping or focusing
Common concerns I hear about therapy for domestic violence survivors
I feel shame because I am educated and successful. I should’ve been able to recognize what was happening...
You have been your own biggest supporter all of your life. It's so hard to feel like you let yourself down. You didn't. Life threw a curveball and you did the best you could to ensure you survived the relationship. You are a domestic violence survivor. Emphasis on the survivor part.
I can’t talk to the people closest to me about my relationship because they judge me. Are you going to judge me?
There is such a stigma surrounding relationships and domestic violence. This can feel so isolating. No, I am not going to judge you. The fact that you are even reaching out to me is an act of bravery.
Photo by @pixabay on nappy.co
I was in a same-sex relationship when I experienced domestic violence, is this a safe place for me?
Absolutely! Domestic violence occurs in same-sex relationships. And, often times the power/control dynamics are different than that of heterosexual relationships. Considering this, it's important that the therapeutic experience is safe, individualized, and personalized. Look y'all, as a Black queer therapist, I stand firm in creating a safe, trauma-informed space. It would be an honor to share it with you. Thank you for considering me.
What does therapy look like with you?
I am a trained integrative trauma therapist. This means I don’t just talk and nod my head. I am also not here just for you to talk. I am here to support your healing. Here's what you can expect from trauma therapy at R.I.S.E.:
- I begin most sessions with a centering exercise of breathing, noticing bodily sensations, or setting an intention for our session.
- I listen to survivors of domestic violence with empathy. We will discuss ways to deal with unhelpful and unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
- I will teach you creative and holistic techniques to help you lean in, manage distress, and enable you to move forward. Techniques include movement, art, journaling, writing, deep breathing, meditation, guided visualization, and the use of sound healing.
- You’ll learn to express and come to terms with the broad range of emotions involved in the healing process, from those that you may expect – such as shame, sadness, or confusion – to those that come as a surprise – such as relief or anger.
Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash
Begin Therapy for Domestic Violence Survivors in Pikesville, MD
Again, you are a domestic violence survivor. You have survived. Now it's time to begin to heal. I’ve helped other women reach healing at my Pikesville-based therapy practice. It would be an honor to help you. Follow the three steps below to get started.
- Reach out to me using the contact form.
- Connect with me, Christina, and we will schedule a consultation appointment to see if we are a good match.
- Start working through the pain and freeing yourself from the past.
Curious about beginning trauma therapy as a domestic violence survivor but not ready to start? Read our blog posts related to trauma therapy and being a domestic violence survivor.
- 5 Domestic Violence myths everyone needs to stop believing, right now!
- 3 Manifestations of Domestic Violence in the LGBTQ+ community
Other Services at R.I.S.E.
At my Baltimore-area therapy practice, I specialize in trauma therapy. It is an honor for me to provide therapy for homicide survivors and domestic violence survivors. My identity as a Black queer therapist allows me to see the many pieces of yourself that make you unique and special. So, I will pay attention to you and your needs during therapy. My personalized approach to trauma with Mind-Body Medicine and EMDR in mind will help you pick up the pieces and feel empowered as a survivor.