Last week another brave, rising beauty of a woman said “YES” to private coaching with me. Like most of my private clients, she had reached that pivotal moment where she was tired of focusing on her partner’s behavior and was ready to focus on healing herself.

This pivotal moment, shared by all of my private clients, can truly become a turning point in your journey if you embrace it.

However that’s not the story I really need to tell. What I need to share with you is the exchange between us right as we were getting ready to hang up.

Her: “Can I ask one more quick question?”

Me: “Of course.”

Her: “When someone betrays you, is it abuse?”

Me: {Sad sigh}
“YES. And here’s why…”

I went on to explain that in order to cover up the betrayal – especially if it goes on for months or years – the betrayer must lie, manipulate and gaslight the betrayed in order to maintain the illusion that nothing is going on.

All of those willful and intentional actions are forms of emotional abuse. They are the reasons why you feel like you are going crazy, or can’t concentrate at work, or struggle to remember conversations that you had with them.

Emotional abuse results in profound and long-lasting effects on our brains and our bodies.

It is the reason why you began doubting yourself and no longer trust your intuition…or you body.

So why on earth don’t we treat victims of emotional abuse in the same way that we treat those who are being physically abused?

I have been asking this question for quite some time now. It came up during a session this week with another private client who is separated but still regularly being emotionally abused by their spouse.

They know that the abuse is occurring and they’re working their way towards safety. When I told them that emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse, they wholeheartedly agreed that the psychological abuse was far more long-lasting than the physical (not trying to minimize either here).

All forms of abuse are atrocious and might make you wonder, “Why don’t they just leave?”

Great question! For the same reason that victims of domestic violence don’t “just leave”. The road out of those situations is perilous and fraught with contradictions rooted in our minimizing of the victim’s experience by using qualifying words like “emotional” or “domestic”.



Can we all make a promise to discard the words that downplay our pain and cast doubt on our experiences?

Can we encourage all abuse victims to stand up for themselves and to believe that they deserve, and are worthy of, MORE?

Yeah, I think so too.

At the very least…we have to try.

If you are currently in an abusive relationship, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence hotline for help – 1-800-799-HELP (7233).

You have a right to ask for what you need to feel safe…