Purim is a holiday full of noisy parties, a celebratory time when we dress in masks and costumes. At SHALVA, we see clients who wear a mask year-round, hiding their abusive relationships. They may be embarrassed or ashamed about the abuse, wondering how this could happen to them. Or they may not understand or be in denial that the problems with their intimate partner is domestic abuse. No matter why they are wearing the mask, SHALVA therapists help them shed it and find empowerment in their true selves.
What does emotional abuse look like?
With four children and a job, most people think of Lori as a super-mom. At home, however, she feels as though she can never get anything right. Her husband finds fault with her parenting, cooking, and friends. When she tells him how she feels, he says she is too sensitive and insecure. Lori does not understand how her husband can profess his love for her and then treat her so badly.
An emotionally abusive partner may:
- blame you for all their problems
- have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement
- manipulate you with lies or contradictions
- have an explosive temper/ fly into a rage without provocation
- ridicule you in front of the children
How do I recognize financial abuse?
Sue is perceived as a strong and confident businesswoman, but her husband of 20 years undermines her confidence by keeping her financially dependent on him. Sue receives a fixed allowance and is not allowed to use the credit cards. Her husband allocates plenty of money for his own needs.
A financially abusive partner may:
- demand you work harder
- want details of how every penny is spent
- limit your access to bank accounts and tax records
- get angry and defensive when questioned about finances
- undermine your ability to succeed
What is physical abuse?
Anne seems withdrawn and on edge. At home, she walks on eggshells for fear of triggering her boyfriend Dan’s temper. In fits of rage, he throws dishes and has even put his fist through a wall. One time he used his body to block the door when Anne tried to leave. Although Dan has never touched Anne, she worries he will.
A physically abusive partner may:
- have a severe stress reaction to minor incidents
- create fear through intimidation and physical threats
- destroy personal property
- withhold food, sleep, transportation, medication and other necessities
- use emails, tracking devices, text messages and web cams to stalk you
If any of this sounds familiar, you are not alone, and SHALVA is here to help. Give us a call at (773) 583-4673 and find hope here.