I make my living from telling my story to enable businesses to understand the Domestic Family Abuse (DFA) and its impact. It is exhausting and draining work. But, I don’t share that for fear of seeming weak or incapable of running my business and worry corporates will not work with me.
I have agreed when people tell me that this has made me stronger and I couldn’t be who I am without what I have been through. As somehow this has made the abuse worthwhile.
I have let the fear of seeming weak and self-indulgent allow me to hide my truth by agreeing that the child abuse, (DFA) and the fact I have had to alienate from all my family to survive was a good thing which has created the space for me to be who I am. That somehow the payoff is worth it.
The thing is you see I don’t agree! I don’t get tougher with every blow in fact it gets harder and harder to pull myself up. Each blow making me wearier. Sometimes I want to fall asleep and not wake up for months. I am tired and sometimes the bright side can be hard to find.
I wonder almost daily who I could have been, what I could have achieved if I had grown up in a safe and loving family. Would I have had more potential or would I have squandered it? I will never know.
One thing for sure from now on I am going to start being true to myself and share my real journey, maybe there’ll be a price to pay and maybe people will lose respect for me, maybe I will lose business, I can’t know the answer to that yet.
But after years of working hard to find out who I am, I am no longer pretending to be somebody I am not to stay safe, be accepted and included. It’s time for me to be true to myself and see how it plays out. Because continuing this cycle of burnout is no longer an option for me.
I hope my clients see this as a positive in what I can bring to their organisations. Trust me the people in your organisation who are being bullied and harassed or living with DFA are feeling disenfranchised and being told this will make them stronger is putting pressure on how they deal with the abuse and its aftermath.
I wrote this open letter before Christmas when I was dealing with burn out so bad I could not motivate myself to do anything. I never intended to share this letter, but it has led to some important decisions in my business and my offerings.
Being seen as a victim or a heroine is exhausting and from now on I am going to live in the murky grey and the multi-coloured which is life. The truth is I am a victim and a heroine and lots of things in between.