One of the major effects of childhood trauma is that in our adult lives we often feel powerless, worthless and unimportant. This has a major impact on our ability to heal ourselves and impedes our ability to love ourselves.
The biggest and deepest impact of trauma is a feeling of powerlessness because we could not stop what was happening to us. This post will look at the feeling of powerlessness, why we experience it, and how to overcome it using positive aspirations.
What does powerlessness feel like?
The feeling of powerlessness is pervasive and debilitating. It is the feeling that:
- We do not have control over decisions that we make
- We do not have control over our bodies
- We are not in charge
- We do not have the right to have our needs met
Why do we experience the feeling of powerless?
The feeling occurs because, when we were children, it was true – we had no control at all. We were totally powerless to determine the outcome of what was happening to us.
A large part of the powerlessness comes from the fact that no one helped us, or perhaps no one noticed what was happening to us. No one did anything to stop the abuse.
As a result of this, we don’t believe we have the power to be anything or to control our own destiny as adults. Put another way, this sense of powerlessness holds us back from reaching our true potential in life.
Powerlessness equals being stuck in victimhood
We become a victim when we think that someone else determines how we feel, or when we allow anyone to tell us what to feel or think. Powerlessness equals being stuck in victimhood.
It is victim behaviour when we say things like:
- ‘I always get it wrong’
- ‘The world is so unfair’
- ‘Nothing ever goes right’
- ‘It’s my fault’
We are a victim when we do not believe we can heal ourselves, and blame our perpetrator for the ways our life seems to have failed. However, it’s important to remember that we can choose how we feel at any time, which we couldn’t do as children.
Victim-like behaviour can destroy our relationships with others
Perhaps we received attention by being a victim in childhood. As a result, we develop a belief that we receive the most support from the world by continuing victim-like behaviour.
Is that true of you?
Do you look to friends, family and others for support because you feel you are a victim and cannot help yourself? This is very easy to do. But in the end, it can lead to us losing friends, as healthy relationships have to be based on equality and want, rather than need.
Remember, only we can help and heal ourselves. No one can do it for us. We have to believe in ourselves and our ability to heal.
Taking back your power: 16 aspirations to work towards
In order to truly heal from trauma, we must make the change from being a victim to being a victor. One of the ways we can do this is via aspirations.
An aspiration is a hope or ambition of achieving something. Here is a suggested list of aspirations we can work towards.
As I continue my healing journey, I aspire…
- To love myself.
- To genuinely believe the abuse or trauma was not my fault.
- To give and receive in life, with balance.
- To truly know that I do not have to be powerless any longer.
- To be fully responsible, at all times, for my behaviour and decisions.
- To choose my own input into situations created by other people.
- To strive for quality and leave the need for perfection behind.
- To honour my own feelings and values even when others don’t agree with them.
- To know that I must work towards not fearing rejection, as my fear will work very hard towards creating it.
- To be able to trust and allow myself to feel my emotions, knowing they cannot destroy me.
- To know that no one can make me feel anything unless I give them the power to do so.
- To know that I am responsible for the way I feel – that I cannot blame anyone else.
- To practice tolerance and respect at all times.
- To succeed, I must first of all believe that I CAN succeed.
- To regard problems as challenges, and mistakes as opportunities to learn.
- To become the cause of my future and not just the result of my past.
These are the Heal For Life aspirations. Learn more about Heal For Life, including how to put these aspirations into practice.
Learn more about healing and trauma recovery...
Heal For Life, by Liz Mullinar
How to Heal Yourself from the Pain of Childhood Trauma and Abuse
This practical guidebook for survivors of childhood trauma or abuse, presents the Heal For Life model of trauma-informed self healing that has already empowered thousands of survivors to find inner peace and hope for a brighter future. This book is highly recommended by survivors and mental health professionals alike.