I have worked with many clients over the years who have been in abusive relationships.
Abuse takes different forms; physical, mental and emotional and any and all of these can be extremely difficult to recover from.
One of my lovely clients who has unfortunately realised that she was in an abusive relationship, has agreed to share the personal story of her divorce journey so far and the work we are doing together to help her navigate through this challenging time in her life.
Here is Mrs B’s story in her own words…
“I had left my husband of 20 years in very difficult circumstances…
and was struggling to navigate myself around the complex divorce process.
Over the course of my marriage, my self-esteem and self-worth had crumbled and I was now looking to rebuild my life entirely from scratch. Although I was at a very low point, I was also aware that I was at the start of a very exciting journey that would be better given I’d left my very controlling husband. I was very keen to surround myself with positive people who could very actively help me to rebuild my life.
A mutual friend had worked with Rhiannon during her divorce and had nothing but praise for her work.
I then met Rhiannon at a social event and found her to be an energetic, bright and very approachable individual. My initial thought was, what a great friend someone like Rhiannon would be, not really thinking about her professional hat. A month or two later, I was struggling to take the first step in the legal process and I thought what harm can there be done to reach out to Rhiannon to see what she’s all about!
When I first reached out to Rhiannon, my focus was to better understand the process I was about to embark on in terms of getting divorced.
I wasn’t entirely sure what Rhiannon offered in terms of the additional support she gives addressing the emotional impact of divorce. I was completely overwhelmed by the divorce process and with the emotional fall out too, I was finding I was procrastinating, and didn’t really know where to start.
The major breakthrough that Rhiannon was the enabler of, was understanding and realising that my husband is a narcissist*.
This explained so clearly many of the actions and control that had so been devastatingly impacted my self-esteem and my life. I had spent 20 years with the ugly voice in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough (in every aspect of my life). Finally, it all fell into place once Rhiannon and I worked through a lot of things and understanding the driver for his emotional abuse and the subsequent impact it had on me.
The legal process for anyone is complex, emotionally and financially draining.
Rhiannon has the time, interest and care to guide you through each element. I think of it as Rhiannon and I look at the ‘strategy’ of my divorce; how can we work around the personality of my husband to reach the best outcome for me. Rhiannon is very good at simplifying the process and making it easily understood and is understanding when she is talking to you, that there is a huge emotional impact which may cloud your understanding, judgment or make you procrastinate. She navigates this with care, empathy and understanding. The financial investment in working with Rhiannon is so valuable. My work with Rhiannon has enabled me to be clear with my solicitor, and she has also been of incredible value in rebuilding myself emotionally.
Rhiannon is a positive, fun and energetic individual.
She has a great deal of experience working with those going through this ugly, horrible process. She is never judgemental and never criticises if, for example, you have been procrastinating about some of the work you should be doing to progress the divorce. I can pick up the phone to Rhiannon and cry, and she’ll give helpful advice and coaching on how to overcome difficulties. Always solution orientated, Rhiannon takes the time to get to know you so her work with you is really individual and you don’t feel at all like it is a one size fits all approach.
I’m often very busy at work and Rhiannon has offered to help support in other areas, for example I needed to change solicitors and was struggling to find the time to do that. Rhiannon did the research, and recommended an alternative. This was really helpful to me.
Rhiannon is also great fun and we often laugh.
She uses examples and experiences really well to help illustrate you’re not the only person going through this. She often reminds me that there is, and will be, light at the end of the tunnel.
I have recommended working with Rhiannon to a number of people…
and whilst I’m still not divorced, I know that I would have left myself very exposed to being further manipulated and controlled by my husband. Rhiannon will never judge you, will show great empathy towards you and will have you best interests at heart, genuinely.”
Mrs B has made incredible progress in moving her life forward and re-building her self-confidence after leaving her abusive marriage. She has benefited from specialist counselling to help her deal with the damage done by the emotional abuse and is excited to have started a new relationship with a lovely man who respects and values her. I am confident she will recover from all the difficulties she faced and have a happy and successful future. She deserves it.
*Important Note: I have had no formal training in narcissism and am not a therapist. I do however have personal experience with it and have researched this complex personality type. I am able to refer clients who may find themselves in a relationship with a narcissist to specialist therapeutic support. For more details, please get in touch with me here.
If you would like to find out how I might be able to help you in your divorce situation, please get in touch with me here.
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you will find lots more in my ebook “Tips for Coping with Divorce” which you can download here: free ebook.
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