How to Transition from Victim to Victor after Relationship Trauma

At Hello Divorce, our mission is to support good humans going through tough times. We reached out to Tiffany Denny and Kierstyn Franklin, founders of The Relationship Recovery, a wildly popular online coaching and course platform aimed at helping women recovering from abuse, co-dependency, and poor self-esteem transition from victim to empowered survivor.

There's no doubt that Tiffany and Kierstyn align with our mission to help people realize better, brighter versions of themselves. Our CEO and Founder, Erin Levine, sat down with these powerful entrepreneurs for a Q&A.

Erin: I consider both of you to be experts in finding joy,  especially when going through trying times. Everyone else is focusing on "surviving" 2020, but you are taking it one step further with your new workshop. Is it really possible to find joy during a breakup? During a global pandemic?

Tiffany and Kierstyn: Absolutely. You start by shifting the focus back to yourself rather than using your energy to try to change a situation or person that cannot be changed. It's fine to feel all the [miserable] feelings. In fact, it's vital that we feel our feelings and don't stuff them. But we don't want to unpack our bags and stay there. That is when we get stuck

Erin: What are three key things we can focus on to bring more joy into our lives?

Tiffany and Kierstyn:
  • Changing our beliefs systems
  • Setting and holding boundaries
  • Living on purpose and in the present with gratitude

Erin: You've spoken a lot on transitioning from victim to victor. Can you help us understand what that means and who might benefit from this?

Tiffany and Kierstyn: As coaches, we focus on taking you from point A to point B. Being a victim of trauma is so difficult. We work with people who are at the point that they want change (they are done being the victim) and don't know where to start. They are willing to do the work, but they need a (roadmap) to do this. What makes us unique is that not only do we have a proven roadmap, but we have both walked through and healed from relationship trauma, and we feel like we are really able to help create change for our clients. 

 We feel like anyone who has or is experiencing a traumatic relationship benefits from working with us. Whether it is with a spouse, family member, or friend.

Erin: What do you consider to be relationship trauma?

Tiffany and Kierstyn: We consider relationship trauma as anything that you experience inside your relationship that is unhealthy, whether it is psychological, emotional, verbal, or physical abuse.

Erin: Do you think it's possible to have an "amicable" or mediated divorce when one or both spouses have experienced relationship trauma?

Tiffany and Kierstyn: Difficult but possible. Typically if you are dealing with a toxic person, everything is difficult to navigate. However, we have tools and resources on how to deal with that type of person when going through a divorce.

Erin: Any tips on navigating divorce in this circumstance?

Tiffany and Kierstyn: Our number-one tip is to document! A lot of toxic people use a tactic called gaslighting. This tactic makes you feel crazy and question the truth. When you document the conversations, you will know when things are being twisted because you will have a record you can refer to.

Related: How to Divorce a Narcissist and Win

Erin: Any tips on navigating co-parenting after divorcing a toxic personality?

Tiffany and Kierstyn: Parallel parenting works best. Limit the conversations ... and the conversations you do have should be through text and email.

Erin: What are some of the reasons people wait to file for divorce even after they are aware that their relationship is toxic?  

Tiffany and Kierstyn: Leaving a toxic relationship can be a very dangerous time. It is important to have a plan in place before leaving. A lot of times, there is financial abuse involved, which also makes it hard to leave and sometimes keeps people in the circumstance longer.

Erin: How can we industry folks better support people who are navigating divorce with a toxic ex?

Tiffany and Kierstyn: We would say education around toxic people and personality disorders is important. Toxic people tend to be very charming and are able to manipulate the situation during a divorce.

Tiffany and Kierstyn focus on helping clients recover, heal, and move on after relationship trauma. This comes through doing self-work rather than focusing on a past that cannot be changed. Learn more about them at The Relationship Recovery, and follow them on Instagram here.
Head of Content
Communication, Relationships, Personal Growth, Mental Health
As Hello Divorce's Head of Content, Katie is dedicated to breaking down the stress and mess of divorce into clear, helpful content that delivers hope rather than fear. Katie most often writes about the emotional toll of divorce, self-care and mindfulness, and effective communication. Katie has 20+ years of experience in content development and management, specializing in compelling consumer-facing content that helps people live better lives. She has a Master's in Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin. Katie lives in Texas with her husband and two adorable cats, and you can find her hiking and bird watching in her free time.