Courageous Pathways is a non-profit formed for the purpose of supporting women who are in relationships that are harmful.
Sometimes the destruction that is happening is overt, clear, and interventions are obvious. However, for many women who are being emotionally harmed, it is not so clear. The signs are sneaky, subtle, and undetectable - like carbon monoxide. The clients come to us because their bodies, minds, hearts and emotions do not feel well, and they are longing for something that they oftentimes don't know how to articulate, yet feel. They want peace, hope, a feeling of safety and security.
Let me tell you a story as an example. This isn't the story of any particular woman, but it is the story of many women.
Christie came to The Broken and Beautiful for Storywork counseling and Spiritual Direction. She was chronically exhausted, perfectionistic, and frequently experienced thoughts that death would "be better" even though she was not actively suicidal. She would wake up tired even after sleeping a full night and felt that it was a chore to get through her days. She sought help from us because she had come to the only conclusion that felt good to her: she needed to figure out what was wrong with her so that she could feel better and be better for her family, friends and community. It really mattered to her how she showed up to the people she loved.
Her primary reason for beginning with a professional at The Broken and Beautiful was because she kept exploding at her kids and wanted to be able to "get herself under control." She referenced this by saying, "I need to suck it up and be better." She also felt overwhelming urges to eat when she felt sad, angry or lonely. As we began to unpack the story of her life, we as her helpers, began to have questions about the dynamic within her marriage. For instance, she would report that she could not contact her husband while he was at work because it messed up his day to do so, yet there were times that she was left trying to figure out an unforeseen circumstance with the house or kids on her own. Then when her husband got home from work, he would be critical about the way she handled the situation. When she once tried to bring it up with him, he told her she was, "always so dramatic."
Some women are taught that being kind and godly is to never need anything or certainly to never be angry. That indeed, anger is bad and that need is simply neediness or selfishness and exposes their lack faith. Some women are even taught that they need to surrender every "bad" emotion or need "to the Lord" and be "satisfied in a relationship with him alone." It's stunning how well we can actually succeed in doing that using dissociation, fantasy and other means to remain functional without being loved or supported in our primary human relationships.
It can be deeply challenging, and indeed life altering, to consider the perspective that the reason for exhaustion, blow-ups and chronic pain, or any number of other symptoms, can be caused by a lack of ability to say, "no, I don't like or want that." Or, "I need you to stop hurting me in this way," and be heard and responded to in a loving and supportive way.
When this problem is chronic it can be necessary for survival to take the blame and therefore mitigate and deny the depth of harm that is happening. This kind of ongoing experience can certainly be difficult to spot and even may feel familiar. Sometimes we have a set up for re-experiencing harmful relationships because we've never found someone to see what we see, hear what we hear, and believe us.
Very often people in harmful relationships have a sense of feeling "crazy" or being utterly confused. Often times they are told in no uncertain terms that they are crazy. It takes time and skilled help to narrate the story in support of the person being hurt because they have become convinced that they must be the problem or they have been programmed to believe that it is up to them to solve the problem.
When harm in relationships is understood, there is help and hope, however not without intentionality. It can't change without support and support is expensive. We want to help in a practical way.
Courageous Pathways will pay for a number of sessions with one of our skilled professionals at The Broken and Beautiful. The pathway to this assistance is by contacting Patria at email@example.com or filling out the form below.
The Broken and Beautiful offers professional services to help women (and men) find their voices and feel more whole, healthy and hopeful. The Broken and Beautiful is partnering with Courageous Pathways in an effort to match services to people who need them - and pay for those services.
Courageous Pathways has been formed because we have discovered that as women find their voice, they may need to make changes in their lives. Sometimes that means getting ongoing help to address the shame and fear in which they live. When this decision is made, it often comes with a financial implication that is either nearly or completely untenable. Therefore, as soon as they find themselves understanding the reality in which they live, they are not able to afford the ongoing help they need.
Courageous Pathways is here to help in practical ways by providing financial support for services on a case by case basis. For a designated time frame, dependent on each client's situation, we will pay for 100% of the cost to obtain our services and/or other needs that come up for women in relationships that are harmful.*
Mission of Courageous Pathways
CONNECT women who are in financial need and are in harmful relationships (marriages, jobs, children, spouses, etc.) with the services we provide at The Broken and Beautiful: licensed mental health care, life coaching, Spiritual Direction, and Storywork.
PAY for the services rendered
PROVIDE hospitality - a space to come and just be - at The Well**
GIVE free/no cost classes and groups to provide additional support and education to our community
*We are not able to offer financial assistance for legal services due to liability reasons.
*The Well is a space for safety and nourishment: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We will have it open at least once per week for women who are weary just to stop and rest.