19 Aug Power and Survivors
For some of us, feeling confident when dealing with powerful people just doesn’t happen.
The fear, the paralysis can be so strong that even finding words is a struggle.
This also has the potential to retraumatise us if ignored.
Question: Why would we expect to magically have the confidence to stand up to people in positions of power, when power and control underlined the abuse we suffered.
As we know, one of the hallmarks of child sexual abuse is feeling powerless. This is commonly cited and weaves its way throughout our lives until we can face it.
As we were children, the power dynamic could not have been greater. What was happening was way beyond our control, how we felt was of no consequence. The person who did the abusing, carried on anyway, therefore it seems inevitable that dealing with powerful people later in life, would trigger us in some way.
It could be as simple as a loud angry voice, or the sound of a door being closed, we cannot know what will trigger us, and though we know the situation is not happening now, the feelings still exist, and it can take a lot to shift from that place of terror.
There are some practical steps you can take that will empower you:
- Establish boundaries: Setting healthy boundaries is crucial for you to feel safe and confident at work. E.g., I will advise project completion date.
- Become more assertive: Lack of confidence often stems from feelings of powerlessness. By upskilling, you can learn to advocate for yourself effectively, thereby building self-belief.
- Build a support network: Surround yourself with supportive colleagues or friends, this helps provide a sense of security and helps minimise the impact of encounters with people in positions of power.
- Practice self-care: Engaging in self-care activities can significantly boost confidence and resilience. Engaging in activities such as yoga, meditation and exercise, can help you reconnect with your body and regain a sense of control over the working day.
- Use grounding techniques: such as deep breathing or focusing on the senses. This can help you stay present in the moment and manage anxiety, when needed.
Please take charge of your confidence by noting down that what you have to offer.
Yes, you read that right.
What you have is a skill set beyond belief. In case you didn’t know, because of what you went through, you have mastered conflict resolution, stress management, people management and resilience, just to name a few. You didn’t just survive your trauma, you adapted to it, and that, right there is worth feeling confident about.
Think on this, the person with the power, probably doesn’t have half the coping mechanisms you do because they never had to employ them. You, my beautiful survivor did, and it is to your credit that you have emerged through to be the wonderful person you are today.
Here’s more: Have you considered that the people you consider powerful are like that because they may not have undergone anything of what you did, didn’t have to dig deep to survive, and even more, had a wonderful upbringing and always learned to believe in themselves.
It’s time to know your worth, and your strengths and be proud of them.
Nothing can be taken away from you anymore unless you let it.
You are more than you know. You always were.
Repeat after me:
I got through.
I am powerful.
I’ve got this.
Finally: those two words I am, are two of the most important words you can ever say.
Anything that follows them is powerful, which is kind of a reflection of who you are becoming, powerful.
With love and light