Are You in Control of Your Life?

Sexual abuse is always about power and control. How better to have power over someone than by violating their body? The perpetrators know that, the victim rarely does. Even a great percentage of the public think that sexual abuse is about sex. Patriarchal (or matriarchal) families and religiously regimented families have members that fall prey to this insidious perversion so often because of the power and control the perpetrator craves.

As the victim grows up they become more and more fearful of losing control, of having no power. As a result of their abuse they generally are not in control of their own lives but are not always aware of it. Periodically a spurt of rebellion surfaces, as if there is a nucleus of need deep inside of us that wants to prove we have power. In my case it happened when I ran away from home at the age of 18. How I ever got enough courage to do that is sometimes a mystery to me. The Twelve Steppers often refer to that as hitting bottom. I had had enough and it was a case of fight or flight. Fighting was not an option. It had just taken me a week to heal from the last beating my father had inflicted on me. I wasn’t sure I would survive another.

But my power was short lived. I had a few weeks of being happy, being free and being in control of my own life and in no time fell in love and gave my power to another male. Had I not been abused so severely as a child and teenager I would have known better than to even date someone who was a heavy drinker and certain to become a raging alcoholic. I spent the next two and a half decades giving my power away to not only other males but anyone who wanted to bully me into submission. I had lost the will to fight back. Being in control of my own life was lost in the many behavior patterns that had taken control of my life: people pleasing, insomnia, obsessive compulsive behavior patterns, being needy, low self-esteem, suicide attempts, co-dependency, weak boundaries, my addiction to sex, emotional extremes and especially severe depression. Once I completed almost five years of recovery in my mid-forties I was once again in control of my own life.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to see if you are in control of your own life:

  • Are your decisions truly your own or are they based on a co-dependent frame of mind?
  • Do you think things through before making a major change in your life or do you impulsively jump into something even though your intuition (your inner voices) is saying something different?
  • Are you happy with the way your life is going or are you just muddling through and hoping something good will happen to change it?
  • Are you afraid to say no or to speak your mind to your significant other?
  • Are you being held back by a goal that you dream of because of someone else’s negative input?
  • Do you fear change?
  • Do you feel held in chains by the dark passages from your childhood?
  • When is the last time you did something daring, something you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid to?
  • Are you exactly where you want to be in your life and if not, why?

These are a few questions you can ask yourself to find our where your life is going and where it is currently.

In the beginning of my book REPAIR Your Life, A Program for Recovery from Incest & Childhood Sexual Abuse I ask the following:

If you are happy

and your life is working well,

you don’t need this book.


If the partner you are with

treats you with care and respect,

and your world is peopled with those

who make healthy choices,

you don’t need this book.


If you have no

dark and painful shadows

from your childhood

lurking in the corners of your mind,

you don’t need this book.


If you are in control of your own life you’ll know it and you won’t need any help. If not, buy a copy of REPAIR and get started earning your own power back.





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