Emily grew up in an unsafe home where the main rule was, “Don’t upset Mom.” If mom got upset, Emily’s step-dad doled out the beatings. Not surprisingly, Emily married and left home as soon as she could manage it. Unfortunately, the charming high school boyfriend that became her husband slowly changed from charming to controlling to downright abusive. Everything that went wrong, Emily thought was her fault. Her husband’s yelling and name-calling escalated to pushing, shoving, and eventually to the point where he kicked her in the stomach when she was pregnant. Emily did everything she could think of to avoid any type of conflict. Nothing worked for long. She began having anxiety attacks and nightmares as her situation spiraled downward. For Emily, the final straw was when her husband pushed her down the steps. She called the police and didn’t let her husband back in the house. She also called Safe Connections.
Once a week for years, she came to Safe Connections to gain strength and perspective. As her divorce progressed, counseling at Safe Connections helped Emily detach from her abuser and get to the point where seeing him no longer provoked fear or anxiety. “I saw him walking outside the courthouse one day, and I didn’t panic. I felt confident and unafraid. I knew I would be able to keep doing what I needed to do.”
Emily left Safe Connections two years ago. Together, she and her counselor decided it was time. There are no more nightmares for Emily, no more panic attacks. She is able to speak up for herself and her children when necessary. She sets boundaries and feels good about what she has accomplished. She is enjoying a healthy long-term relationship with a man who she loves and trusts. She enjoys good neighbors and supportive family relationships. For Emily, the violence has ended.