27. How Do I Survive an Abusive Relationship? With Dr. Heidi Kar

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Domestic violence is pervasive and thrives in silence. But how do I know if my relationship has crossed a line? How do I identify abuse? And what exactly should I do if my partner becomes violent? Today, clinical psychologist Dr. Heidi Kar digs into what motivates violent behavior in the first place and how cycles of violence can actually be prevented. Most importantly, she provides insight on how to navigate a violent situation at home and what options are available when it’s time to leave.

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Dr. Heidi Kar, Claire

Claire  00:09

Hi, I’m Claire Bidwell Smith. Welcome to NEW DAY. Last year when the team at Lemonada first approached me about this show, the goal was to create a resource and a space where we can explore ways to make our lives better, but not just better, more meaningful, more supported. A lot of the shows at Lemonada, like last day have explored what happens when we don’t do these things. What happens when we aren’t able to get ahead of mental health issues like depression, anxiety, suicide and addiction? The fallout is immense. We are reckoning with it all the time. But we thought, what if we could look ahead and try to provide something, anything that could help people even just a little get in front of this stuff, an upstream approach, if you will, one that examines and addresses root causes rather than symptoms. In order to do that, as a show and as a culture, we need to dig a little, we need to self-examine, and we need to do the work to understand what is going on behind some of the mental health problems our country is facing. On this show, we’ve looked at a lot of different issues so far, emotional intelligence, depression, job loss, grief relationships, and today we are talking about violence. The pandemic has forced us to sit with fear and disappointment more than ever before. And those feelings can lead to other complex emotions, like anger and frustration, which can often lead to violence, anger and violence goes hand in hand, and some of us may never feel like we identify with them. But when we lose our temper, or become impatient, those emotions get real, and leave long lasting effects if they aren’t addressed. Our guest today, Dr. Heidi Kar is an international mental health expert and licensed clinical psychologist. She’s also the senior leader of the Education Development Center’s violence and trauma team, whose work focuses on designing training and evaluating evidence-based interventions focused on the prevention and or treatment of trauma disorders, violent behavior, substance abuse disorders, and suicide. Heidi opens up today about her personal experience with violence, and about the work she’s done throughout her lifetime to better understand it and help others heal from it.

Claire  02:24

How are you today? Thanks for joining us.

Dr. Heidi Kar 

I’m doing well. I’m so excited to be with you.


Well, let me see. So I start every episode by asking my guests how they are, but how are you really?

Dr. Heidi Kar 

You know, I have some stuff on both sides, Claire, you know, yesterday, I was able to get out, do a hike with a good friend and go to dinner with another friend. And you know, after the last two years of reduced social interaction, that was big, you know, so I’m grateful, feeling energized from that. You know, rekindling the friendship just having those connections. But on the other side, my husband and I are kind of starting our grief process, which I know you will know a lot about, we have a dog baby who has a pretty severe health issue we just found out about so there’s heaviness, heaviness on that side. Thank you.


Anticipatory grief, knowing that it’s coming, it’s so hard. And our sweet creatures. I know I’ve lost a few and it’s, I think people really underestimate pet grief. I’m sorry to hear that. But it sounds like you’re seeking a balance in infusing your life with some good things and getting out. And I think it’s a lot about balance these days. Right? So today, we’re gonna be talking about violence, aggression, domestic violence. Tell us why you’re a good person to talk to about these things before we kind of get into it.

Dr. Heidi Kar  04:09

Well, you know, I as a clinical psychologist, and also I think someone who has lived experience of the intersection Claire of how mental health issues and violence issues can go hand in hand. You know, I think I bring both a personal perspective to the conversation of violence and an understanding violent behavior from a couple of different perspectives. But I’ve also spent a great deal of my career trying to understand it from a mental health standpoint, from a public health standpoint. And, you know, in my role with the Education Development Center I work both in the US and internationally and so I do a lot of work. Trying to understand different types of violence, across cultures and across different groups of people. So something I’m really passionate about and excited that we’re talking about it. I think we need to talk about it much more.


Absolutely. I am glad we’re talking about it, too. I come to my work from a very personal place. My work in grief, and it’s, you know, similar got me here, people will introduce me as a renowned grief expert. And I think God, that’s not what I thought I would be growing up. But here I am. So I’d love to hear you know, how you got into this from a personal perspective?

Dr. Heidi Kar 

Sure. Well, you know, I’ll start by saying, you know, I’m 42, and I’m married. I come from a bicultural family background. So my father’s side of the family is from Iran. My father was a devout Muslim. We lost him to COVID, two years ago, so he’s no longer with us. But my father’s family is from Iran. My mother’s family is from rural South Carolina. So very unique, very, very different. Very, very unique. And, you know, it’s interesting. So I grew up in Georgia, we were very close family, I was lucky to have a very loving, supportive family. And there was a lot of sadness in our family, based on the fact that my father struggled with severe depression, all of my life and pretty much all of his life. So there was a lot of sadness growing up. And, you know, I saw the strain that my father’s depression put on himself, of course, on his life, but also in my parents’ marriage, of course, it filtered down to his children to my sister and I. And, you know, when I think about the mental health and violence link, there’s a memory I have that has really guided a lot of the way I look at, at this intersection. And it’s, I was about eight years old, and my father was in one of his most severe depressive episodes. And he often was suicidal during these episodes, so you know, and I had done something I don’t remember, at this point, what it was, I’d done something, you know, to disobey him or to go into what he had asked me to do. And I remember, I was standing at the top of the stairs, and he got so upset. He pulled me down the stairs, holding my wrist. And I remember at the time, feeling absolute terror and fear, for the first time. And, you know, begged my mom, like, we got to get out of here, and my sweet mom, you know, put me in the car, we drove around for an hour. And I was wondering, like, why aren’t we actually getting farther away from the house? Why are we circling and finally I asked my mom, like, aren’t we leaving, like, for good. And she said, something like, well, you know, your sister’s about to arrive back at home, and I thought, Oh, my God, my sister. So we went back home, you know, I’m thinking or picking up my sister and running away, and we walk in the front door, and I saw my dad, you know, curled up in a corner, crying, in a way I’ve never seen anyone cry since, the hopelessness and the complete self-loathing of what he had just done was just staggering. And that is a moment that I will never forget, when I realized his pain, the amount of pain that he is carrying, is what led to that interaction. You know, and I’m not forgiving the behavior. You know, I’m not sanctioning violent behavior. It was a violent act, but I understood that the two are linked.

Claire  09:11

What a powerful memory and heartbreaking story. I think you’re right. There’s this there’s this line between acknowledging that you’re not forgiving behavior, but really having compassion and understanding that someone is carrying a lot of pain, and that they’re struggling with it. You know, it sounds like he had no tools with which to move through an episode like that.

Dr. Heidi Kar 

Absolutely. You know, the other thing I would say is, you know, my father was incredibly spiritual man, and probably the most sincere humanitarian I’ve ever known. And so he instilled this immense sense of public service and me. And as I was, you know, going through my Master’s in Public Health Training at Johns Hopkins, I had gone Tanzania, I was living there working on a project with young men to try to understand the connection between HIV and domestic violence. And a light bulb went off for me that so much of the focus on helping men be less violent, was about punishment, and was about shame-based interventions. And I realize these men that I’m talking to, in Tanzania, overwhelmingly have so much early trauma that has never been addressed, right, it’s so much mental health struggle, that there’s no real help for because there are no mental health providers here to help them. And so that was kind of a professional lightbulb for me, to add to the kind of personal that this is something that needs some attention and violent behavior. Again, it’s not excusable, there needs to be consequences. It’s not okay, under any circumstance, but, but why are people violent? And if there is this pain that’s not been addressed? You isn’t that where we need to focus some energy?

Claire  11:41

So do you believe that there’s always a place you can trace violent behavior back to in a person’s history?

Dr. Heidi Kar 

I don’t think there’s always but there are different types. And we know a lot more about things like offensive or instrumental violence, right? And that’s violence. It’s being used to plan something, it’s a planful strategic use of violent behavior to get to something. So for example, you know, to think about some of our really sad current events in terms of the Ukraine, you know, when we think about military related violence, that is a strategic plan full process, it’s not a defensive, you know, I’m upset, I’m going to slap you kind of violence. And so there’s instrumental violence, like war, like human beings killing animals for food, right, that’s violence, but it’s not an emotional reaction. And then there’s more of the defensive kinds of violence. And that’s where I think that kind of violence where people get angry and use violence, where people are fearful of something happening, and violence occurs. I think that kind of violence is much more easily traced back.

Claire  13:04

That makes sense. Early on in my podcast, I had a conversation with emotional intelligence expert, Mark Brackett, and we talked a lot about anger. And he was talking about how often we confuse anger with disappointment. Anger can be about we can get angry when our needs are not met, when our expectations are not met. Yet, that anger isn’t always justified. But we can get angry as well, when there’s something unjust happening. And the anger is a little more warranted there. Have you thought about that kind of difference? I’m thinking about, you know, like George Floyd last year, and the violence that happened, leading up to his death, but then these kind of angry protests that were happening that were about something unjust that happened.

Dr. Heidi Kar 

I mean, from the clinical psychology perspective, I tend to think of anger as this secondary emotion. I start there, right? So I’m always searching for what is that more vulnerable primary emotion, right, that’s driving the anger. And I think that in the example, you’re giving terms of people protesting George Floyd and systemic racism and police brutality, that underlying emotion can be fear, right? Fear for others, fear for our communities. It can be, you know, a sense of being disrespected, a sense, knowledge that this is not right, right? So I think they’re cognitive pieces that drive the emotions, but they’re always these primary emotions that I’m always looking for that underlie that angry emotion.


I do the same in my grief work. You know, anger is a definite aspect of grieving but often what I always see is when I peel up the lid of that person’s anger underneath is usually fear, or sadness. And those are harder emotions for some people to sit within. You know, I think some people are more comfortable being in those vulnerable emotions, but others who either haven’t had the support to know how to be vulnerable, in those places will often turn to anger as a way to mask it.

Dr. Heidi Kar 

I agree. I agree. And I think, you know, men especially struggle with getting to those vulnerable emotions. And I think that is a failing of societies all over the world, quite frankly, you know, I think, you know, the way that we construe masculinity, the messages we give young boys about being tough and not showing weakness, all feed into this, all feed into not getting help for mental health issues, right? And, you know, there’s really good data that shows that men who are depressed are much more likely to show that depression through anger than women are. And it makes sense in terms of how masculinity and femininity are constructed in our society.

Claire  16:14

Now, women have a lot more permission to feel those vulnerable emotions than men do. What are the actual statistics around gender and violence?

Dr. Heidi Kar 

That’s hard. Because it really depends, again, on what violence right so when we look at severe domestic violence, right, it’s when we look at physical and sexual violence that leads to, you know, doctor’s visits, ER visits, overwhelmingly men are perpetrating that violence, absolutely clear. When we go up the ladder and look at couples and look at a community level on what percentage of couples use violence, and what percentage is one person using violence against the other versus what percentage are both people using violence. Is it bi directional? What’s really interesting is there’s a much higher percentage of the bi directional violence at a population level. But if you ask and these studies have been done, and they’ve been replicated a lot in the US, if you ask women in those relationships with bi directional violence, are you afraid of your partner? Are you afraid your partner will hurt you? Overwhelmingly, you get a no? Nope, this is part of our conflict. This is part of what happens when we fight. And so it’s been a very difficult thing in the domestic violence field to reconcile these two data sources, because when you look at data from shelters, when you look at data that’s coming out of domestic violence situation, severe domestic violence situations, it seems overwhelmingly clear that men are perpetrating intimate partner violence, and that is true in the severe realm. But on the population level, we do not see that kind of gender difference when you kind of look at just any kind of physical, emotional violence. Women are perpetrating that as well, but just not at that severe level as men, they’re definitely not causing injury in the way that men do.

Claire  18:33

I think we’ve all heard so many speculations about domestic violence going up during the pandemic. Can you speak about that a bit?

Dr. Heidi Kar 

Well, it’s a difficult thing to talk about actual numbers. And the reason is, a couple of different things happen during the pandemic. So number one, just to set the context, people who are already in unhealthy relationships, right. Now we’re forced to spend almost all their time in those unhealthy relationships. And that just means if there was violence before, or if there was a high level of stress that had the risk of turning into violence, the likelihood that was going to happen escalated. Right more time together. It also meant people’s support systems closed down. Right? So support systems, meaning friends and family, of course, but also domestic violence shelters, right. A lot of them were not able to see clients anymore, right? Because no one was doing anything in person. And one of the biggest realizations, I think in the domestic violence field are in COVID. As we have not invested the time and creative energy and money into figuring out how do we evaluate safety for women and men who are in dangerous situations, virtually, we’ve never touched it. We’ve been too afraid to go there thinking, well, we can’t be sure that the perpetrator is not in the house. So we’re not even touching that, we’re just going to make sure the person comes to us COVID knock that out, we couldn’t allow for that anymore. So now a lot of the services that were available dried up, at the same time that people were caught at home with these potentially very abusive people.

Claire  20:30

And what are going to be the long-term ramifications of this? So you know, where are things now? And where are they headed? And just having had this happen?

Dr. Heidi Kar 

Yeah, I think that is a field there is definite. There’s been a definite realization that we have to tackle this virtual connection, how do we assess someone’s safety virtually, and so there is money at the federal level being poured into trying to crack that nut, which has been very difficult. So I know that there is innovation going on to try to understand how do we safely assess people who are not able to be in person? I think that long term, we have to understand that, you know, if we look at the literature, and this is shocking, at least for me, it was shocking realization. But children who witnessed domestic violence, actually have worse outcomes overall, than children who are the direct recipients of violence.


Why is that?

Dr. Heidi Kar 

Well, there are different hypotheses, we believe, as a field, that it has to do with this sense of not being able to depend on caretakers. So it’s this idea that if someone hurts me, I still might have my mom, or I still might have my dad, who cares about me and would take care of me if they knew. But once I see my parents hurting each other, there’s something about the I don’t have safety in my home, they don’t take care of each other, who’s going to take care of me. It’s a hypothesis in terms of why but the data is clear that witnessing domestic violence has significant long-term effects, if not addressed. And so I think that’s something we have to keep in mind for our kids. That more of them have seen more of this situation at home. I also think you know that the stress of the pandemic, the job loss that was created, right, the health scares, the grief from people losing family members. All of those are stressors, on individuals and on relationships. And I think there needs to, we need to recognize that there are probably relationships that are struggling individuals who are struggling, who need help, right? And, again, back to the mental health situation, who need to address some of those mental health issues that may have been preexisting prior to the pandemic, but worsened and may or may have led to violent behavior, aggression, what have you that has now created a whole host of new issues, and new pain, right for other people,

Claire  23:42

And so then there’s just so much shame around what’s happening, rather than being able to acknowledge and identify the mental health aspect of it, which would hopefully enable someone to seek help if they really felt like they could acknowledge that part of what’s going on. Do you use the word rehabilitation for someone who’s a domestic violence abuser? Like, what does that look like?

Dr. Heidi Kar  24:09

Yeah, I think of it is rehabilitating violent behavior. Yep. I mean, so I think about, you know, how do we help people who use violence stop being violent? And you know, that as I’ve gone forward in my career, and I’ve learned, you know, from our indigenous communities in the work we’re doing with them of intergenerational trauma, right, and kind of seeing how violence and trauma.


That’s a huge part of all of this, right? The generational trauma.

Dr. Heidi Kar

Yeah, it’s passed generation to generations. So as violent behavior, quite frankly, you know, that, that modeling of violent behavior. So, you know, being able to stop the cycle, in your family, being able to recognize that I am Getting into the same kind of whether it’s emotional violence, it doesn’t it’s not all physical, right? There’s a lot of emotional violence that goes on that we learn from what we’ve seen. So being able to stop the cycles that almost feel normal, because that’s what we grew up with, I think is really important. I think that, you know, this phrase that I kind of say, everywhere I can that hurt people, hurt people. I mean, I think that’s yeah, kind of where we are. And it’s either, if we’re hurting, we’re going to end up hurting someone else, or we’re going to end up hurting ourselves. Right? And we’re talking about violence as something that’s directed towards someone else. But you know, suicide is a form of violence as well, right? Just directed inward. And so that’s also part of this, part of this conversation. But figuring out why someone resorts to use violent behavior is key. Is it that they don’t have the right coping skills, you know, to deal with their negative emotions, they never learn those is it that there is an immense fear of something that keeps getting triggered, you know, in some of the work from years ago, and couples therapy couples domestic violence field, we found that men report, when you ask them, what is your greatest fear related to your partner? Whereas women talk about physical violence. Men say being left.

Claire  26:48

Abandonment. That was gonna be my guess.

Dr. Heidi Kar

And so think about how that plays out in relationships. If you know your spouse saying, I’m leaving, I’m done with this relationship. If every time there’s a conflict, that’s what comes up, you know, that may be touching that most vulnerable place. So really trying to figure out what is it and for some people to lack of coping skills for some people, it is some incredible fear that they just don’t know how to talk about they don’t know how to handle. And, you know, back to the conversation about boys and men and masculinity. There’s something really concerning about our culture, when you know, up to a certain age, we look at bad behavior and boys and say, okay, we’ll help them, we can rehabilitate it, but somewhere around 16-17, now they become perpetrators who just need to go to prison, there’s something that happens there between like, child and man, right, and we just kind of forget that that pain is still there, or that unresolved issues still there, you know, waiting to be healed. So I think that there are many different pieces to this, but recognizing I think that mental health and violent behavior are not siloed and are not as distinct as we might want to think they are.

Claire  28:43

If someone is in a violent relationship right now, either they are the perpetrator, or they’re the victim, what can they do to start to get help?

Dr. Heidi Kar

So first, I would say, from the victim survivor perspective, you know, know that there’s no excuse for violent behavior, first of all, very clearly, and nobody deserves to be at the receiving end of violence. I would say that there are decision points for everyone, as to what you want to do about it. There are some people who are ready to leave the relationship. There are some people who want to leave and are afraid to leave with good reason. We know that in some relationships characterized by very severe violence, you know, the period right after someone leaves is when they’re most at risk, actually. And so, and then there are people who recognize they’re in abusive relationships, but don’t want to leave and want to work on the relationship. And I would say, all are valid, that is something that the individual women and men have to decide for themselves. But there’s help along that entire continuum. And so in terms of getting out of a violent relationship and leaving there are domestic violence shelters all over the country, right, in terms of working on the relationship, or figuring out is the kind of violence that’s going on in this relationship, the kind that we can work through, I would highly recommend couples therapy to assess that. Because there are some kinds of violence, as I mentioned that, you know, if fear is not involved, you can work on some of that, in couples therapy, and there’s some kinds of violence, you can’t, you can’t that it’s not safe to, from the perpetrator perspective, I would say, no, that there is a way to not be violent, there is a way to stop using that behavior. And it’s actually not really rocket science. And I think, knowing that there is a way to change the way you behave and looking for, there are batter intervention programs. But I also highly recommend mental health treatment to try to dig through and figure out what is it that’s leading to this kind of behavior?


Yeah. What if you have a friend or family member who you know, is in a violent relationship. What can you do? I feel like that’s got to be a really hard position to be in?

Dr. Heidi Kar

Yep, it is. It’s really difficult. Because one of the things, I think the thing we want to do is get that person out into a healthy relate right? Get them out of an unhealthy relationship and get them safe. And it can be so difficult. If that person is not ready to leave. I think, you know, the most important thing for anyone who’s in that situation is to know that they have someone they can talk to about it, who is not going to only accept one response. So being able to show support, and support doesn’t mean saying, You better leave him or we’re done as friends, right? That is the absolute worst thing. So being able to know that it’s not. For many people in abusive relationships, they can’t get out immediately. There are many factors, there are financial factors, there are safety factors that people are evaluating to figure out what is the right time to leave. And there are also people who want to work on the relationship. And in some cases, that’s appropriate, you know, depending on the type of violence again, so being supportive, communicating that you’re worried that you don’t think it doesn’t seem like this relationship is healthy for this person you care about all of those things are good, connecting them to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and letting them know that they’re, you know, available. 24/7 can always chat with someone, you’re not, you know, signing anything away. But you can talk to them and discuss options. But I think it’s just important to know it can take time for people to make decisions about what they want to do, and that not all relationships are the same. And not all types of violence are the same.

Claire  33:15

Thank you. If you have a couple of minutes, we have just like a couple of listener questions. I’d love to ask you. Okay, one of the questions is, I’m in the middle of an incredibly hostile divorce. And I recently got a restraining order against my ex. He was tracking me and showing up randomly to threaten me and the man I’m seeing. It’s been scary and hard. My problem is that now my children think I’m the bad guy. I’m trying to leave my daughters out of the messy details, but I’m also trying to be safe. Their data is basically telling them that I’m a liar, and I’m exaggerating everything to get more money in the divorce. I’m so tired and scared most of the time, but I’m starting to question myself. How do I trust my instincts when everyone closest to me is questioning me?

Dr. Heidi Kar 

That’s hard. That’s a tough situation. So, first, I’ll say this sounds like a situation where you know safety is paramount. So in terms of when stalking enters the picture, we are in a different realm. Right? You know, it is not uncommon for abusive personalities, which it sounds like this ex-husband is, two turn people against the survivor. That is part of the abuse paradigm. So what’s happening in terms of kind of this assault to turn the daughters against their mother is not uncommon actually, at all. You know, surrounding yourself with people who have known you for a long time, who you trust to tell you the truth and who you know are gonna support you, who are not. We all have people in our lives who we are like, yep, rock solid support. Some people kind of in the middle. And then there’s some people who really don’t do us a lot of good at certain points. This I would say to your listener, this is a time to really hone in on those people who we know we can trust, who have our back, it’s completely understandable that she would start questioning herself with the kind of emotional warfare that has been launched. I do think, you know, when it comes to explaining these kinds of situations to kids, transparency is important. Of course, we want to shield our kids from the really bad stuff. But therapists and professionals can also help us shape those messages and a way to be really clear, to be able to not sugarcoat things, not leave out important things because frankly, it may become a safety issue, it may be important for your children to know exactly what’s happening with their father. So I would suggest kind of, you know, test out the messages that you’ve been giving, just see if you can get some other opinions on maybe how to present it to your girls, and know that it can be kind of a long haul. As kids develop as they grow. You know, brains are constantly changing. They’re taking in a lot of information. They’re trying to sort through what’s true and what’s not true. And it’s tough. But what is true and what seems you know, to be in their heads today is not what’s going to be there necessarily six months from today. You standing clear and getting the support you need. So that you’re in it for the long haul, you’re going to be a mom for the long haul.

Claire  36:57

Role modeling, getting support is always good, too. That’s all-great advice. All right. Here’s just one other question. What advice do you have for a mother who survived a domestic violence relationship and is now having to co-parent with her abusive partner, especially when the abusive ex is telling the children negative things about her? The children are pushing limits with mom and threatening to leave her to live with dad and angry at mom? What is the healthy way to work with the mother and the kids? Similar story, this must be a really common situation.

Dr. Heidi Kar 

You know, I think there are a couple of things to think about. One is, again, this is a long haul. Once you’re a parent, and you’re in the middle of this kind of situation. It’s not going to resolve quickly, unfortunately. So figuring out what is it that’s going to keep you steady for the long haul is number one. I think number two is, there is very interesting data. That was surprising when it first came out, which looked at if someone is violent toward their partner, what’s the likelihood they’re also going to be violent toward their children. And I think as a field, we all assumed the two were connected. The data does not show that. And so if it’s helpful at all, to this listener, I would say, as much as it may hurt and feel terrible for your children to potentially be saying, I might go live with dad or I am trusting dad or I don’t believe you, there may be some peace in thinking about the fact that they may be able to have a constructive relationship with their father. That’s very different than what you had. And again, it’s a long haul. And the way that kids see things and what makes them believe things at one point in time is not necessarily the same a year later, and two years later. And so I’d say get support for yourself. Know that things can change and consistency, consistency and showing that you love and care about your kids and only want the best for them. That is what’s going to kind of submit your relationship over time as they’re trying to figure this out.


That’s a really good thoughts. Thank you so much, Heidi, I am so appreciative of the work you’re doing and the thought you put into all of this and being here today and sharing all of your expertise with us. Thank you so much.

Dr. Heidi Kar 

It’s such a pleasure, such a pleasure.


I’m so grateful to Dr. Kar for her work around this important topic, and I’m appreciative that she opened up so much about her personal story. This episode’s practice is a chance to look at your own relationship with anger. When we feel angry or frustrated, it can feel like everything is out of our control. This week I challenge you to think about expressing your aggression in healthier ways. If you feel out of control, can you temporarily walk away from the situation until you cool down? If not, breathe and try standing or going for a run to change your focus. Try to pinpoint why you feel angry. Consider what others have done to upset you. But don’t shy away from also considering the role you may be playing. Are you afraid of something? Do you feel unsafe? Are you ruminating about things that are out of your control? Once you’ve identified what is triggering you the most? Find ways to let it go, journal about it, exercise, talk to a therapist. Allow yourself to enjoy being done with what was frustrating you think about what you want to do now that the stress is gone. And most importantly, talk to someone you trust. And for those of you in an unhealthy relationship is fear involved? Do you want to leave? Are there parts of the relationship that can be worked on? Dr. Kar says going to couples therapy or finding a domestic violence shelter for support are great ways to help you sort out your decisions. Talk to someone who shows support as you make these decisions. Reach out the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. That’s 1-800-799-7233. Also, the National Coalition for domestic violence is a resource that offers programs and resources for victims, survivors and advocates for safety. You can find them at ncadv.org. That’s ncadv.org. Remember, not all violence is the same. Anger and frustration are part of everyday life. And well managed anger can motivate you to make positive changes in your community. Whereas uncontrolled anger can lead to the destruction of others and most importantly, yourself. As always, thanks for listening. And if you get a chance, send me a question through my new online forum at bit.ly/newdayask, it’s totally anonymous. You can literally ask me anything and you can find the link in the show notes. Or if you just want to tell me about one of your weekly practices, call and leave me a voicemail at 8334-LEMONADA, that’s 833-453-6662, or email me at newday@lemonadamedia.com


NEW DAY is a Lemonada Media Original. The show is produced by Jackie Danziger, Liliana Maria Percy Ruiz and Erianna Jiles. Kat Yore is our engineer. Music is by Hannis Brown. Executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, Lily Cornell Silver and Claire Bidwell Smith. NEW DAY is produced in partnership with the Well Being Trust, The Jed Foundation and Education Development Center. Help others find our show by leaving us a rating and writing a review. Follow us at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms, or find me at clairebidwellsmith.com. Join our Facebook group to connect with me and fellow NEW DAY listeners at facebook.com/groups/newdaypod. You can also get bonus content and behind the scenes material by subscribing to Lemonada Premium. You can subscribe right now on the Apple podcast app by clicking on our podcast logo and then the subscribe button. Thanks for listening. See you next week.

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