Abusive Relationships/Spousal/Partner Abuse
Domestic Violence is the Number 1 crime in Marin County, SF Bay Area. Although I offer the information below, I am limiting domestic violence survivor individual clients. Be alert to warning signs of unhealthy or abusive relationships, awareness of your perception of "red flags" in beginning stages and throughout the course of your relationship. My training and clinical experience as a Domestic Violence Advocate and Group Therapist with the Center for Domestic Peace in San Rafael and with High Demand/High Control Group education and recovery enables me to work collaboratively with you on many relationship challenges. This often includes educating about personal rights, healthy boundaries, effective communication, self-empowerment, self-care, safety plans, conflict resolutions and more.
Abusers often alternate kindness with abuse. They can be masterful con artists, sweeping you off your feet when you first meet them. For a period of time, you might feel entranced... "Is this too good to be true?" But behaviors soon appear that you question. You may wonder who the person really is. You may be taken aback by his putdowns and increasing demands. Some of the behavior you are experiencing may be familiar to you in your family of origin, by a parent, or in another relationship you left. Your partner may start claiming that his or her way is the "right" way, that your thinking, feeling, values are "wrong". He may unleash his rage and scare you, throw something close to you, seek to isolate you from your family and friends by demanding more and more time with him, catering to his needs and wishes. His or her abusive behavior becomes a recognizable pattern that increases in harm. You may increasingly question yourself or blame yourself....hope that he will change. You become depressed, scared, confused... wonder who you have become in the abusive environment. He exhibits the three traits of an abuser: superiority, possessiveness, and jealousy.
Recommended Reading: "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" By Lundy Bancroft and Jac Patrissi, 2011; "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men," by Lundy Bancoft, 2002; and "Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People -- and Break Free" By Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, 2017.
Below is the Wheel of Power and Control from the Center for Domestic Peace, Retrieved 7/31/2014. You can also go to the Center for Domestic Peace Website for more helpful information at www.centerfordomesticpeace.org.