Sefton and Liverpool Women in Business

Confessions of a Domestic Abuse Goddess – Self Doubt, It’s A Woman Thing!

Well hi there everybody, hope you are all happy and well!  Apologies for my absence, I had a family issue to attend to which did need my full attention.

So anyway, today I am going to be writing about something that unites all us women and girls, regardless of any other factor in our life like age, race, religion etc (other than DV that is!).  It is almost like it is written into our DNA, and it causes us so many issues.

Self doubt, or lack of confidence, self esteem issues, fear of failure, imposter syndrome, whatever you want to call it, affects us all at some point in our lives, hell let’s be honest, it affects most of is at some point in our day or week never mind our lives!  And it can make us excrutiatingly vulnerable, it can affect the choices we make in every aspect of our lives, it stops us aspiring to achieve more and aim higher and it makes us settle for less, sometimes substantially less too.  It makes us sad and unhappy when we feel like we don’t measure up to ideals presented to us in the media, we are over critical of ourselves and our bodies, and then it spills over, and some of us become catty and critical of others, subconsciously we hope to divert attention away from our own imperfections by shining a 100 watt spotlight on someone else’s.  Then we hate ourselves for turning into, well basically, a huge bitch.  We judge our achievements in life these days not by what we have done or achieved, but rather by what we haven’t done, and what we failed to achieve.  We are told daily that we need bigger, faster, smarter flashier everything, and unfortunately we all too often believe it, and we beat ourselves up inside if we haven’t got what we think we should have!  We don’t ever seem to take time out to be kind to ourselves, yet we can be so very kind to our friends and family!!

But the really cruel twist of fate is that even when we do achieve,  even when we have the thing we think we need and have done the things we feel we should to feel validated, we feel like we shouldn’t be there, because actually in real life we aren’t clever enough or good enough to be there, so we worry there has been some terrible mistake and that someone is going to realise the error pretty soon and then everyone will know that we were never actually good enough in the first place!   It’s called imposter syndrome.  Google it and you will see some pretty famous women go through exactly what you and I and our mums do.

But we never talk about it, not really, we don’t ever say how we feel, you know, the times we get scared and think we aren’t good enough, the times when we have a huge lump in our throat or our heart feels like it is going to pound out of your chest, the times when we just want to turn around and run.  And it can happen at anytime and be about any aspect of our lives.  It could be parents evening, supermarket shopping, job interview or in the middle of a huge presentation for work.  There is no warning.  But we say nothing most of the time,  we just keep it in because we don’t want to worry people, we feel embarassed or ashamed,  or we are afraid whoever we tell will affirm our deepest fears that we really aren’t good enough.  So this cycle continues through generations, because mums and daughters don’t talk about it, and because we don’t talk about it, we don’t realise how common it is and we all feel privately, a little bit like a circus freak.  And then the magazines, the pop videos, the t.v. etc don’t help.  And because most of the time we are all too busy to dwell on these feelings, we try and bruch them under the carpet and just get on with it.  But I am a firm believer that this can be quite a dangerous practice, and do you want to know why?  Well I am telling you anyway,

Perpetrators of domestic violence/abuse can sense the vulnerability that self doubt leaves in us a mile away.  Doesn’t matter how well you hide it (or not), they feel it and they feed on it and they use it against you.  And domestic violence is much like self doubt, we suffer it in silence mostly.  But you and I know that things need to change, so next time I will tell you all about the things that happened to me when I was young, that heaped extra self doubt on me.  And as much as I tried to work through it using a big smile and a loud personality as a mask, I let me abuser, my ex husband know exactly how to hurt me, but more importantly, how to control me.  And it wasn’t just him,  his family facilitated his abuse by covering for him, trying to manipulate me to believe the problem was with me, or that his abuse was normal, or that I exaggerated the abuse or by just outright lying to people so they didn’t think badly of them!  And I wasted 9 and a half years of my life on this looser, and I can honestly say I have not one happy memory of marriage (unless you count the part after I left him and I got my freedom back!).

So I will tell you more soon, but know this ladies, especially those of you who are suffering right now, you are not alone, you will be surprised how similar the M.O. of all abusers is, there are so many women out there who have walked your path, I am one of them and I am living proof that you can get out, you can rebuild your life, reclaim your freedom and get reacquainted with happiness.   You are all wonderfully talented and skilled, beautiful human beings.  Never let anyone have you believe different.

 

Take care all, be safe,

 

Steph xx

 

 

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