• Abuse manipulates and twists a child’s natural sense of trust and love. Her innocent feelings are belittled or mocked and she learns to ignore her feelings. She can’t afford to feel the full range of feelings in her body while she’s being abused—pain, outrage, hate, vengeance, confusion, arousal. So she short-circuits them and goes numb. For many children, any expression of feelings, even a single tear, is cause for more severe abuse. Again, the only recourse is to shut down. Feelings go underground

    Laura Davis
  • Survivors often develop an exaggerated need for control in their adult relationships. It’s the only way they feel safe. They also struggle with commitment—saying yes in a relationship means being trapped in yet another family situation where abuse might take place. So the survivor panics as her relationship gets closer, certain that something terrible is going to happen. She pulls away, rejects, or tests her partner all the time

    Laura Davis
  • Many survivors insist they’re not courageous: ‘If I were courageous I would have stopped the abuse.’ ‘If I were courageous, I wouldn't be scared’... Most of us have it mixed up. You don’t start with courage and then face fear. You become courageous because you face your fear

    Laura Davis
  • Although healing brings a better life, it also threatens to permanently alter life as you’ve known it. Your relationships, your position in the world, even your sense of identity may change. Coping patterns that have served you for a lifetime will be called into question. When you make the commitment to heal, you risk losing much of what is familiar. As a result one part of you may want to heal while another resists change

    Laura Davis
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