*National headlines are buzzing about the rise in domestic violence accusations in the sports world, but with all of the devastating statistics, such as one out of every four women who are the victims of domestic violence attempt suicide (Suicide.org), some victims decide to stay with their abusers in spite of the deadly consequences. What is one of the top reasons people stay in toxic relationships?
According to licensed mental health therapist, Vladimire Calixte, the founder of Life Rebuilding, and the author of “Naked and Transparent: Six Vital Tools for Knowing Yourself and Attracting Healthy Relationships, “ many people don’t know who they really are, and because of this, suffer from chronic low self-esteem.
“If you don’t value who you really are, or don’t have a clear vision of yourself, your needs, and what you will and will not put up with, it is likely that you will be more vulnerable to attracting abusive relationships and staying in those relationships out of fear, shame, guilt and insecurity,” says Calixte.
According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1.3 million women are the victims of domestic violence each year. “In some situations, victims stay because they are financially dependent on their abusers, or, like in the case of some celebrity wives and girlfriends, they want to live the celebrity lifestyle. But in other circumstances, they may also suffer from Battered Woman’s Syndrome, which includes the following:
- Denial: The victim denies that the abuse was real, or that she is in an abusive relationship.
- Guilt: The victim feels she deserves to be abused because she is defective in some way.
- Enlightenment: The victim recognizes that the abuser has the problem and does not accept responsibility for their behavior. The victim stays in the relationship, hoping that things get better.
- Responsibility: The victim realizes the abuser will continue the violent behavior, and leaves the relationship.
Although this seems like a male issue, more men are becoming victims of domestic violence. According to a recent study, 63% of males as opposed to 15% of females had a deadly weapon used against them in a fight with an intimate partner, so this is a global issue that surpasses gender. In many cases, abuse is a learned behavior. Some abusers have been victimized themselves or have witnessed abuse of a loved-one while growing up, so they mirror what they have seen in their environment.
For many abusers, the key issue is that they have not learned appropriate ways to deal with their anger and they mask their feelings until they explode.
For others, abuse is used to invoke fear and create control over another person. In any case, abuse can be an emotional or physical death sentence for victims who don’t get the proper help they deserve,” says Calixte.
A revered Licensed Mental Health Therapist, Calixte has successfully counseled couples and individuals who have endured domestic violence and other traumatic experiences. Calixte points out that many people who regularly attract abusive relationship are often hard on themselves. “Some people place little value on being treated well because they don’t treat themselves well, primarily due to childhood wounds.
Since we get treated the way we think we deserve, (not the way we say we want to be treated), we tend to attract unhealthy people into our lives. So one of the ways people can heal from abuse or not attract an abuser is by cultivating self-awareness, honoring yourself for who you really are and treating yourself well. We show people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. The better you treat yourself, the better others will treat you. Abuse is never the victim’s fault, but self-awareness and self-love is the key to healing and attracting an ideal relationship,” says Calixte.
In her new book, Naked & Transparent: The Six Vital Tools for Knowing Yourself & Attracting Healthy Relationships, Calixte reveals essential tools that will not only empower women and men who experienced abuse in their relationships, but will also provide tools for people who want to attract healthy relationships. “My new book helps people break the cycle of emotional and physical abuse because it helps people reclaim their power, embrace their true selves and make healthier choices in life and love,” Calixte confesses.
About Vladimire Calixte
Renowned celebrity therapist, empowerment coach, author, and keynote speaker, Vladimire Calixte, is the founder of Life Rebuilding, located in New York, New York. Through her private practice, empowerment videos, and enlightening relationship classes, Vladimire teaches countless clients and celebrities how to heal and overcome the devastating effects of PTSD, low self-esteem, domestic violence, trauma and the addictive, self-defeating behaviors that keep them stuck in pain, mediocrity, and toxic shame.
Calixte is the official therapist for Family Circle and Parents Magazine. She is the author of Naked & Transparent: The Six Vital Tools for Knowing Yourself and Attracting Healthy Relationships, and is the co-author of The Power of Transformation: Reinventing Your Life. Vladimire has appeared numerous outlets, including Ebony Magazine. Visit www.LifeRebuilding.com to learn more information, or call (646) 470-2365.
Florence Edwards & Charla Mackey