If someone has hurt or abused you in the past, you may be feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and hopeless.
You fight with your partner over nothing.
You’re irritable with them but you don’t know why. You feel triggered by innocent conversations or simple requests from them. You say things you don’t mean in the heat of the moment.
You feel terrible about yourself.
You get sucked into a ‘negativity cycle’ where you can’t stop obsessing over all the terrible things that will happen. A small fight with your partner spirals into fears about your aging parents, worry about your pets and questioning every single one of your life choices.
You don’t ask for what you need.
You say yes when you want to say no. You feel like that you are always giving, without getting anything back. Communication is a challenge. When it comes to physical or emotional intimacy needs, you’re afraid to ask for what you truly want.
You have constant anxiety about your relationship.
You are constantly worried about if your partner is going to leave you, even though they say they are committed to you. You never fully trust them, even though you desperately want to.
Although it’s in the past – you pretend the abuse, domestic violence, or sexual assault didn’t happen.
You can’t stop thinking about what happened – or you have completely blocked out what happened. Either way, it’s this feeling that your life has been taken over and it is no longer your own.
You feel misunderstood, alone, and hopeless.
Your current partner is not abusive, but the effects remain from previous traumatic experiences. You don’t know why you jump at every loud noise. You can’t explain why sometimes intimacy with your partner is too much. You want to understand why you can’t feel safe. On top of this, your partner has not experienced abuse like you have, so they can’t understand your anxieties and worries.
You throw yourself into your work.
You are a leader, innovator, and changemaker at your job. As such, you have a busy schedule and lots of folks that need your attention. This means that you never have to slow down – but you also never have to feel your feelings.
You’ve tried #allthethings to feel better.
Talking to friends. Throwing yourself into work. Couples counseling. Dieting. Retail Therapy. Obsessive budgeting. Antidepressants. Non-stop Cleaning. Numbing out with Netflix. Your wine ‘hobby’. Cigarettes or marijuana. It works for a short time, but then it doesn’t. Why?
You won’t admit this to anyone, but…
Sometimes you wonder if the abuse or sexual assault was your fault. You wonder if you are damaged goods. That you will never feel good enough or worthy of love.
You have no idea why your partner stays with you. They reassure you how much you mean to them and how much they love, but you can’t take it in. You don’t believe it.
You know you want to spend your life with your partner – or reenter the dating world – yet a part of you feels afraid to make the same mistakes.
Here’s where I come in
I’m Arianna Smith. (she/her/hers). I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor providing individual counseling and EMDR therapy in Littleton, Colorado.
I guide high-achieving, successful women in how to go from anxious, overwhelmed, and hopeless…to feeling happy, loved, and secure in their relationships.
In therapy with me, you can learn how to:
Stop fighting with your partner and start communicating openly.
Feel happy, loveable, and whole regardless of what’s happening with your family, partner, or job.
Feel less triggered or overwhelmed by interactions with your partner, friends, or family.
Feel secure and safe in your relationship, even if you still have disagreements.
Ask for what you want and say ‘no’ without guilt.
Process and move past the abuse, domestic violence, or sexual assault you experienced – once and for all
Feel safe and empowered when it comes to intimacy with your partner.
Explain the impact of past abuse to your partner, so they know how to support you. You’ll feel understood, validated, and heard.
Identify and practice coping skills that *actually* work for you and you’ll stick to.
Nothing is wrong with you.
Seriously. Nothing is wrong with you. I’m willing to shout it from the rooftops. Go to your place of work with a singing telegram. Hire a pilot to have the message scrolling throughout the skies.
Deep down, I know that you are built for growth, change, and healing.
If you are reading this, a small part of you knows it, too.
What are the next steps?
Our first step is to have a brief phone call for me to learn more about you, explain the therapy process, and answer any questions you have.