To me, this was the hardest to overcome but once I did, learning about my own power is a key element to my continued healing.  As long as I believed I was helpless, I could not believe I could be responsible for my change.  I needed to take back my power.  I needed to believe I could make a difference in my life.

You’re responsible

by motivatingdaily

Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.

Les Brown

As a child, I had no say in what happened to me.  I was not responsible for the abuse that happened to me.  I did not attract it.  I did not deserve it, no matter what my abusers said about me.  I couldn’t fight back.  I was little, my abusers were big. My few attempts involved brutal reminders that I was helpless.  Emotionally I believed I was crippled, I felt I had no power, no control, and no hope of this changing.  School was different.  I started to feel success in school.  I started discovering that if I wanted to change I could.  Then I would go home and life was the same….I was helpless to change my circumstances.  I tried and tried to make changes…but I did not understand the influences in my life that continued to reinforce my feelings of helplessness.  My last resort was counseling.

The first time my therapist told me I had to take back my power, I was totally confused.  What power?  I didn’t have any power to take back.  Or so I thought.  Weeks and weeks of discussion about what power I have and how could I use it.  I would start to say something like, “I have to do__________.”  Or “I have no choice___________.”  Any time I implied I was helpless my therapist disagreed with me then pointed out my options.  I pointed out to him the ugly consequences.  He would shrug.  On more than one occasion I had intense desire to do him bodily harm.   Couldn’t he see I was helpless?  He would get frustrated with me, couldn’t I see how powerful I was?  We started with little choices.  I had to ask someone that wasn’t family for something with the expectation of getting it.  DH and I were at a restaurant and I asked for more bread sticks.  I went back to my next counseling session and reported gleefully that I asked for and got the bread sticks.  My counselor was less than impressed.  He pointed out that the restaurant gave everyone more bread sticks.  I childishly pouted and pointed out that I did ask.  This was one of those defining conversations that pointed out to my counselor how damaged I was and how much work needed to be done.  Finding my power was not without consequences.  I lost friends.  People that always pushed me around didn’t want to be friends with me when I stopped letting them push me around.  I lost my job.  I started fighting back and they labeled me difficult and not a team player.  I lost my crutch.  I could no longer blame someone else for my failures.  I lost my excuses.  I was now responsible for my actions.

I am not or never was responsible for my abuse.  I am responsible for choosing to heal.  This is a significant difference.  If someone throws me into a pile of poop, I did not ask for that to happen to me.  I did not attract it.  I am responsible if I choose to stay in that pile of poop.  I chose to take back my power and change my life.  There was nothing my abusers could do to stop me.  Once I chose my power to be my guiding light, nothing in my past could stop me.  My past still influences me.  I still struggle.  But as soon as I say “I have to_________”, I remind myself that I have power to choose.  I start to look for my options.  I step back for a moment and consider who is big enough in my life to make me do anything.  No one.  I choose to work with loved ones, coworkers and others to bring about positive results and build relationships, however, I choose it…no one can make me.


Religious perspective of the power we have.  I believe this is true for both men and women.  The first step to abuse a child is to prove to them they are powerless.  Believing that I am powerful was one of the most difficult challenges I faced.

Men version

Women version


3 thoughts on “Helplessness

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