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At the CT Women’s Consortium’s 2022 Trauma & Recovery Conference, there was a breakout session about Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). I was drawn to this breakout session because I am a survivor of IPV and always want to learn more about it. Side note, if you’d like to learn more about my conference breakout sessions, visit my first post!
In this session, I learned the impact it has on children. I had witnessed IPV in my early childhood and in high school, I found myself in a violent relationship. I learned about the ways that children develop differently and the struggles they have when witnessing IPV. In summary, they develop attachment issues and have a higher risk for having mental health struggles, addiction, and be in an IPV relationship themselves in their future.
I can relate to this a lot. During this conference, I noticed that a lot of my childhood trauma was coming up. Fears and insecurities were starting to surface. I was grateful that the CT Women’s Consortium had rooms available for people to practice self care and wellness. There was a room with a labyrinth, sound healing, yoga, and more. I found that I was feeling both empathy and rage towards the people in life that had hurt me from IPV, whether I witnessed it happening to my mom, or by my ex’s that were abusive.
I noticed that I had empathy only for my mom’s situation, but not for my ex’s. Additionally, I noticed the ways that I have a challenging time with being comfortable in a healthy relationship. My fiancé is incredible, and this is the type of relationship I would close my eyes and dream of when I felt trapped in past relationships. So why can’t I enjoy every moment? Why do traumas resurface and cause me to doubt my worth? Doubt the validity of my partner’s love for me, and doubt the chances of our marriage sustaining a lifetime?
It all comes down to trauma for me. I’ve realized that I can’t simply process my trauma and then, poof, things are all good. My body remembers things, my mind remembers things, and my subconscious remembers things. Right now, I can sit with my emotions, utilize my coping skills, lean on my support system, and continue to be curious.
What’s been helpful for me lately is challenging the negative thoughts, approaching them with compassion, and letting the emotions flow rather than suppress or numb them when possible.
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