Introduction and Background

Introduction and Background

Module 1: Lesson 1

Introduction and Background: An overview of the course

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[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]Welcome to the Emotional Abuse Course. My name is Barrie Davenport, and just in case you don’t know much about me, I’m a certified personal coach, self-improvement course creator, and author of numerous personal growth books. I also run the personal growth site called Live Bold and Bloom.

First things first — I’d like to applaud your courage and desire to reclaim your life by signing up for this course. You’re taking action on something that is really difficult and emotionally draining, and action is what leads you to change. You should feel proud of yourself for doing this.

If you’re here, you probably recognize or suspect that you’re living with an emotional abuser. You may be just coming to terms what’s going on with your partner’s behavior, or you may have suffered for years, and you’re simply at the end of your rope. What matters is that you don’t have to live this way any longer, and you know something has to change. You’ve taken the first step to implement change, and that’s empowering.

When I’ve coached or talked to clients who’ve suffered with emotional abuse from their spouse or partner, I hear things like this:

  • I feel powerless and used.
  • Why can’t he change and show me real love?
  • Why does she have to be so manipulative and controlling?
  • I’ve lost my self-respect.
  • I feel like a prisoner and I don’t know what to do.
  • I don’t know how I’d live without him.
  • I have to keep the peace for the kids.
  • It feels like I’m the one who’s crazy.
  • She always turns things around to blame me.
  • I don’t have any options. I’m stuck.
  • How do I stand up for myself and demand my rights?
  • I feel like I’ve been brainwashed.
  • Is possible that he could change?

If you can relate to these questions and concerns, you’ve come to the right place. We will address all of these throughout the course, and you will walk away from this program with more clarity about whether to remain in the relationship or leave it. And you’ll have the strategies to reclaim your personal power and self-esteem no matter what you decide. Everyone’s personal situation with an emotional abuser is different, but you all have the same goal — to end the abuse and live a happy life. That’s what I want for you, and that’s what you deserve.

Before we begin, please be cautioned that if you’re experiencing physical abuse or violence, this course is NOT the solution for you. Emotional abuse can lead to physical abuse, and there are three types of emotional abuse that appear to predict physical abuse. These include threats, restriction of your actions, and damage to your property. (Follingstad et al, 1990) If you are the victim of physical violence or suspect it could happen, you must seek professional assistance right away for your own safety and the safety of anyone living in the home with you, particularly your children. Please contact a local abuse hotline, a licensed counselor, or the police as soon as possible. Your life really could depend on it.

That said, I’d like to also mention that I’m not a doctor, psychiatrist, or licensed counselor. I’m a professional coach and personal growth teacher who has worked with emotionally abused clients and clients suffering with low self-esteem and low confidence. My work is to help people move forward in their lives wherever they happen to be right now. I firmly believe that positive action is the key to having a better life.

The information presented in this course is thoroughly researched and based on the professional advice and recommendations of various qualified resources which I include for you as a supplement to the course should you desire additional reading.

My job is to facilitate awareness, both of the emotional abuser in your life and of yourself, and to present options for managing your situation, making change when you need to, and healing from the damage emotional abuse creates.

The course is presented in 6 modules with 4-5 lessons in each module. After each lesson, you’ll complete a worksheet related to the lesson that furthers your awareness and asks you to take specific actions for change. These worksheets are the most important part of the course, as you can’t improve or change your life in an abusive relationship unless YOU make it happen. The emotional abuser is not going to initiate change on his (or her) own.

Yes, women can be emotional abusers as well as men, and we’ll discuss this during the course. Many studies reveal that women and men physically and emotionally abuse each other at equal rates, and emotional abuse can occur in any type of relationship including parent and child, boss and employee, and friend with friend. However, this course focuses on intimate love relationships, whether you are a woman or man, gay or straight.

Before we get into the first lesson of the course, I’d like to share a comment from one of my blog readers who is a victim of emotional abuse. Here’s what she says:

“I put up with it, and put up with it, and put up with it. Because I love him and I know his mom abused him and his ex wife had a string of affairs, he struggles with trust issues. And I thought if I could just prove myself enough, I’d make it all ok, and he’d realize I was honest and loyal and loved him.”

Does this sound familiar? Those who are emotionally abused do put up with it. They often take the blame for the crazy-making behaviors or justify them because the abuser makes them feel guilty or stupid. The abused partner tries so hard to prove their love and loyalty in the hopes that the abuser will finally wake up and connect in a healthy, loving, and mature way. Sadly, unless the abuser is highly motivated to change, this doesn’t happen.

Each person taking this course has their own unique set of difficulties and circumstances affecting their actions and decisions related to their abusive partner. The emotional abuse may be constant and severe, or it might be just enough to make you think it will get better, like the slow drip of water torture.

You will need to understand and navigate your particular situation to reach the result that works best for your life. But that result should never be accepting the status quo. You deserve better, and you DON’T have to take it any more. So let’s get started with the first lesson of the course to help you understand exactly what you’re dealing with.[/text_block]