Are you ignoring YOUR power?

Domestic abuse conditions us to feel helpless. But, we are more powerful than we often realise – and we can release that power whenever we want.

Upraised fist

The dynamics of domestic abuse mean we feel powerless. We focus on trying to change an abuser that we can’t fix. Pouring our energy and resources into getting him to behave like a decent human being leaves us exhausted. Our health and wellbeing deteriorates. Eventually, we stop trying and concentrate on coping with what he doles out.

We feel there’s a million reasons why we can’t leave. We relinquish to him the control that he craves. We ignore our own power. In the soul-sapping avalanche of abuse, we forget that we are able – always – to improve our lives.

However, no matter how helpless we feel, we can seize back control. We can unleash our power, and use it to close the door on our abuser. Any time we want. That’s pretty amazing.

“The most common way people give up their power, is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker

Photo by xJasonRogersx

Photo by xJasonRogersx

What will you do when you recognise your power? If you’ve already left your abuser, how did it feel to seize back control?

ALSO SEE: Information on disengaging from domestic abuse, in Escaping Abuse.

© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14


20 responses to “Are you ignoring YOUR power?

  1. Reblogged this on The Cut-Throat Clubhouse Online and commented:

    This post looks at releasing our power to make positive change in situations of domestic abuse – but power is equally important in dealing with any form of trauma. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what makes you feel powerful, and what you’ve done to dig out of the hole of helplessness!


      • Do you know anything about Bulimia? Last night she sent out an SOS, I did the best I could but that’s not an area I know much about. Since I’m new it might help if we all knew what traumas we are familiar with.
        I have a lady that followed me today, I looked at her sight before commenting. I am way out of league on Single mother w/ 3 kids one with PSTD and she is going crazy. All I can do is offer generic support. Any thoughts. Let me find the person with Bulimia, maybe you could look at my comment to see if appropriate. I’ll write back in a bit.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It is exactly this… the conditioning… that reduces us to feeling like we are powerless, trapped with no options. The invisible chains of bondage are often as strong, if not stronger, than physical restraint. At least with physical restraint, once you are free of it, there is nothing to pull you back. Mental and emotional bondage is something much different, because it feeds on so many things, like the fear, the threats made and carried out, physical punishment, possible rejection if you reach out for help, worry that no one will believe you, and even affection or love that you had for the abusive partner. Children and their well-being, financial concerns, and even pets. Mental chains might as well be iron fetters. But these chains are different in that they come back to haunt you, test you, taunt you, and torture you. Even years out, they will creep their way back in and try to immobilize, subdue, and bring back under control.

    There are cases that victims are actually not only victims of mental bondage by the abusive partner. Mine, when he actually DID work, worked from home. He was always there. When I was on unemployment for a year and a half, it had become impossible to extricate myself from the mess. In cases where he was not home, he had people watching the house, he would take the phones with him when he left, show up randomly to give me warning beating, and leave again. On rare instances where I was let out of the house alone, he had people following and watching everything I did. I had to call at certain times, and if he called I had to pick up on the first ring. He would force me to stay in the bedroom for days at a time, and I was not allowed near the windows. He wanted me downstairs as little as possible. I had to get permission to do anything, including going to the bathroom. If he told me to wait, I was expected to comply.

    As intolerable as the physical entrapment was, once I was able to take a rare opportunity and walk away from that life with the clothes on my back and my purse, the mental conditioning persists even 17 months later. I still battle the fears of being worthless and incapable of making decisions. I worry that I will fail in a big way when trying to do something so sometimes I have to fight myself to not give up and continue through to the end (I haven’t failed yet). Sometimes I feel the need to ask for permission to do things that we all should do without question either way. Simple things like, “Can I eat this?” “Are you going to mind if I listen to this?” “Is it okay for me to watch this?”

    I don’t care anymore how long I will have to battle the emotional damage that has resulted from the abuse I endured for 1551 days. I don’t care if I have to struggle some days more than others. For I will always overcome. Fighting this conditioning is difficult on so many levels, but there is no feeling in the world that can compare to looking down at the fetters holding you in bondage to your abuser and watching them shatter and crumble before your eyes. There is no hope greater than realizing when you begin to run to get away that you are free. That freedom, that relief, that stripping of the abuser’s power and the subsequent gratitude and hope and peace that follow are still all so overwhelmingly indescribable that it still brings tears to my eyes today. And I overflow with hope, love, peace, security, gratitude, and compassion to the point where even though I endlessly shower it on others, it still keeps coming. The deluge still comes. This is one inundation I don’t mind, because the last time I was caught in a flood, it was hopelessness, and I almost drowned in the churning chaos of the whirlpools.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for being – as ever – unswervingly open and inspiring in your comment.

      You say you feel still limited by the conditioning you went through, in the respect that there is that lingering ‘habit’ which says you must ask permission before doing some things. So I want you to know that whenever I read of new dimensions to what you suffered, it breaks my heart and awes me that you have come so far, and work so hard to help others on their recovery journey.

      You’re a great example of the power of a survivor. Truly.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Blog is abstemious2eternity. I get concerned I should not go into depth if I don’t know what they have. My mind says, abuse and trauma is the same to the brain and body and go from there. Thanks.


    • Have you got the full link, Looking? I just searched for the blog but couldn’t find it.

      Also. just want to say that even if we haven’t directly experienced another’s trauma, it doesn’t mean we can’t empathise. I’m sure your support will be so helpful to the blogger 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. Bulimia lady has sent me several Bulimia jokes today. I can’t laugh at that. Not sure it’s healthy. I was a cutter when I was young, before they had a name. Not sure I would find it funny now.
        Have a great evening.


  4. Excellent post. I had begun to feel powerless when I looked at a particular abusive person (who must be in my life at present b/c of certain dynamics). You captured exactly what I was going through- I was focusing on her, and becoming depressed when I know she won’t change. I could feel my health and inner peace suffering. This posting was a great wake up call to get my head out of my a** and focus on myself.


    • Thank you, Kimberly. I feel for you, having to have this woman in your life but I love how you have recognised and responded to that.

      Abusive people do sap just about every physical and emotional resource we have. Resources which, if we direct them toward ourselves instead, can produce such positive benefit!


  5. I spent months in therapy at our DV center before I had a glimpse of the freedom and empowerment. People could have told me all manner of uplifting, empowering statements about myself, and I really tried to internalize…but it didn’t come for many months later. Still a work in progress.AoA

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make a great point here AoA – we DO have to work hard to overcome the conditioning and unleash our full potential. And, as you say, recovery really is an ongoing process. It takes hard work and determination, and I’m so happy to hear therapy helped you on the journey 🙂


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