“What would you do if …. “
Is a self-analysis I like to do to check in with myself when I’m on the fence about something.
It almost always works. Self reflection is a powerful tool. Keep it close by.
I’ll give you an example.
What would you do if, someone wanted you to write or collaborate on a book with you, but you didn’t agree to anything.
You just had a little feeling that caused you some trepidation and your inner voice (soul, Holy Spirit, Universe, etc.) said, “There is something not right here”.
The 1st question and presentation made you think, “Wow, this is exciting!” Someone with a big title and name wants you to edit their book (or whatever job you have), then co-write with them. Still. In the back of your mind, you’re thinking, something is off about this.
But ~ you try to remain logical. You want to stay professional.
Then, you finally meet the person who is saying things that seem, … odd.
They don’t make sense. They are conflicting with everything they discussed in the past. They act, strange in person.
But, you think, this is a business transaction. It’s not personal. It’s business.
The person brings you little gifts. That could be interpreted in a variety of ways. Then, they start talking about things that have no business in your discussion about the book. The next thing you know, they are asking you personal questions that have nothing to do with your job.
Then, they start commenting on your appearance, your clothes, and your personal life (love life) followed with telling you about theirs, without any prompt. You bring the conversation back around to the job at hand.
They bring the conversation back around to something less savory.
That gut instinct of yours is now in the orange zone of warnings. Red flags were waving all over the place.
Finally, the person drops a little amusing story bomb that they did a back ground check on you. They actually did a full background check on you. Pulled your credit ’cause they had a connection that gave them full access to being able to do that.
FLYING RED FLAG
Also, super illegal but possible.
What do you do?
I know what I did ~
Run. Do not walk. Do not saunter.
Back out of all of it. Get the fuck out of there.
This person had NO right to invade your space, but if you are also a female with little to no connections or resources, you also won’t have ties to any legal system that would help you.
What if that person were your male professor and promises to get you through your graduate program faster if you just … “understood” his poor tragic story?
What if that person is a much older man who tells you that he’ll help you with your financial struggle if you just spent some time with him (which too often translates to the man is going to try to have sex with you).
- What if someone creeps you out? Believe yourself!
- When someone is icky (and so many people are), believe yourself.
- If someone is pushing themselves into your life, you don’t owe them ‘nice’ and yet, women and girls are ALWAYS being told to be ‘nice’ or ‘smile’ ~ even when men are being creepy.
I’ve seen, heard about and experienced these types of men so often that I’ve lost count.
Girls and women know exactly what I’m talking about.
When I hear people in the psychology business tell girls and women to stop trusting their intuition because it’s usually wrong, I want to scream.
Trusting our own internal voice (our intuition) is EXACTLY what we need to do to protect ourselves.
This is the WORST advice given usually by people (researchers, scholars, and “experts”) who have never themselves been on the receiving end of trauma.
Trauma-informed-counseling or healing includes helping people to remember who they were before the world told them who they had to be.
Freeze, Fight, Flight and Fawn were programmed into females in particular from the time they were little girls. Our trans-females had it as bad, but also almost always included a fear of being killed simply because they are trans.
So when I refer to female, I mean female ~ but this isn’t a conversation about who is considered a female
**I saw female because it’s not just women who experience danger, it’s also children of all ages**.
I wanted you to know that when I hear a financially secure male [or female] professional in the psychology business tell women and girls to stop trusting their own intuition or sixth sense, or inner voice (whatever you want to call it), I and other trauma informed providers are furious.
Instead of condemning anyone for listening to that part of your body that they don’t understand, they could help you to reconnect to it so you can strengthen your own first line of defense.
The red flags are so often missed because our brains are trying to navigate a world filled with contradictions.
What would you do if …
You knew exactly who you were and what your clearly stated boundaries looked like.
A person who owned her own whole person without excuses, apologies or regrets.
Not all parents know how to raise a strong child. Not all parents know to protect their children from predators.
That’s how we grow up falling into traps set by predators who are also teachers, clergy, or other trusted professionals.
They groom their victims. As many predators do.
Some of us were raised believing that we were not worthy, so fell for it, again, and again, until we became aware of the pattern, then ~ and only then ~ do we give ourselves permission to speak up and speak out against the predators.
The simple truth is ~ there are a LOT of professionals in the psychology field who have never in their lives experienced abuse, let alone financial hardship (and the shit show that goes with that), or base needs security.
They have no idea what it FEELS like to be abused.
They are running on learning about it from those they help. That isn’t the same thing.
IMO, the BEST helping professionals out there are also people who’ve been through some shite in their lives, and know the pain of the experience, first hand.
I personally have little patience for a pampered, elitist, entitled individual telling anyone how to live, when they themselves have never had to fight for the right to be treated with dignity or respect, as so many millions of survivors have.
Keep focused on those green flags.
If you ever experienced abuse, remember that the abuse will feel “normal” if that’s also how you were raised. It may be the norm you were raised in, but it’s not the norm of the world at large.
It takes some of us years to realize that they don’t HAVE to suffer, or be made to feel guilty for wanting to speak their mind. You don’t have to struggle or tolerate disrespect. There is no rule on the planet that says that some are entitled to comfort and ease, while you force yourself to relax for a whole day. You are also entitled to the comfort and security.
You are entitled to feel worthy.
You are entitled to feel a sense of belonging.
You are entitled to a thriving career, in spite of community wide gossip about you. Something that is a residue of surviving a narcissistic domestic violence abuser.
So now it’s time to ask yourself,
What would you do if … you allowed yourself to be you? When will you return to that? Your soul is patiently waiting for you.
p.s… I’m in the process of a name change ~ to better reflect this new chapter as a full time writer. Henry Healing is five years old + and ready to take on a new path into the world of digital nomad travels.