Get to know ''Fear''

Something all of us know is the emotional state of fear. It can be something that happend quickly and scared you, or fear can be experienced through a trauma. But what is fear? And why do we feel scared in some situations?
Fear itself is mainly starting in your thoughts, followed up by a fysical reaction. Our bodies are using fear to warn us for danger and to make sure we will survive. Fysical reactions are mostly related to a phenomenon called 'fight or flight mode' and I want to add to the the possibility of 'freeze' to that. These fysical reactions differ per person and are part of a very deep subconsious evolution structure. Before the fysical reactions actually happen, a whole mental process is going on in the brain. Sometimes the brain responds to fear  by quickly looking for all the ways out of the situation, or by overthinking and blocking your ability to react. Just know, all of these reactions are totally okay and before being able to be aware of them it is very hard to understand, let alone change them.
So now let's link these explanations of fear to the topic we advocate for: Domestic violence. Is there a pattern regarding fear in these violent situations? Yes, most of the time there absolutely is. In many cases the survivor has reached a point of fear where they are too scared to even leave the situation.
But how does it get this far and can you recognize this before hand?
One of the first  things thats starts to inflict fear into a person's mind is: the perceivance of lack/dependence. When you feel like you really really NEED this other person you are more likely to compromise or even agree with them even when you actually do not. You feel like you need them and that you should not do anything that could possibly make them leave you. How to solve this? Only start a commitment when you have sat with yourself as a person, know what values you stand for and what you have to offer. Be very sure of yourself!! I will write about how to get more confident soon :).
Once you sense this other person is trying to force control over you by trying to push you into compromising against your will, this is a red flag! By being aware and knowing yourself it is easier to see this technique through, detach and react accordingly.
The second technique of how fear is inflicted in a violent situation is by repetition. You can think of the example of teaching a puppy how to sit, by repeating it over and over it will become second nature and the puppy doesn't know any different than to sit.  If someone is lowering your self esteem repetitively, and you do not reflect on this behaviour with people on the outside, it is almost impossible for you to remain confident! This is for every single human being in the world, it doesn't matter on your culture or education etc. Once someone dear to you repetitively drags you down, you will get scared or turn inside yourself more often to avoid this situation from happening.
This technique, combined with only receiving information from one person (some people are detached from family and friends) is a very toxic manipulation technique that most of the time always works.
Inflicting fear actually is one of the most important tools a person can use to gain control over another being. This technique is used for centuries and as well by governments or in wars. It is the repetition and lowering self esteem that are the root of trauma. How? Because by repetition something can become a subconsious habit, and this is exactly what survivors suffer most from once they are out of the bad situation. It can be in all shapes and forms: not daring to voice your opinion, running away when someone makes a certain gesture, feeling the need to defend yourself etc.
I personally struggled most with having a healthy argument in new relationships after the domestic one. I never wanted  to argue and wanted to sleep on the ground after (because I was used to having to sleep on the ground after an argument). A lot of these underlying trauma's can be solved by reprogramming them and unlearning them. Some ways to do this? That is the next topic <3

This can be your story

This can be your story coming soon!

Taking your power back!

After the ''sharing your story'' process with a therapist or others, comes the ''take your power back'' phase. In this phase you probably still lack self-confidence, worth and find it hard to set your boundaries to others. It is very common that you can start to gain your sense of self-worth of of people feeling sorry for what you have been through, or just recognition by others in general.

This is were you have to be very mindful, because you will not have the power over your life back unless it comes from within instead of being based on external factors. It is very important, even though it's painful and confronting, to give yourself the time to process your experiences in a healthy emotional way. You have to sit with yourself and treat all the wounds that your experience has left you. It can absolutely make you feel down and vulnerable for a while but you have to go through this in order to experience that you are worthy of healing and way stronger than you think you are. (It can really help to listen to motivational speeches about self-worth, perserverence and spirituality.)

When you heal yourself with the intentions of coming back stronger than ever before it will keep you motivated during the healing process and prevent you from getting stuck in the dark place of pain, anger and trauma.  But honestly, the biggest gift of self-love you can give yourself is healing, a chance to take back full power over your live and live it exactly the way you want to live it. You have to go through a period of pain, but after you will be free and ready to build your life back up with you as the leader!

When you feel alone..

Most of the time when someone has experienced the trauma of domestic violence they have to deal with regaining their self confidence and their worth. Even after, when someone has gotten out of the violent situation, they often feel very alone and misunderstood. It can be that you have tried to talk about your thoughts and experiences with your loved ones, but a lot of times these people stand emotionally to close to you to hear about all the painful moments you have been through when you were all alone in this violent situation.

They try to understand you, but their first response can be bursting into tears or getting too uncomfortable once you start telling your story. Very important, don't blame them but as well don't shut down! It is a very natural response of human beings that as soon as someone close to them was in a lot of pain and now is out of the threatening situation, to not want to hear about it while they try to forget the memories.

When you feel alone and you doubt yourself because of the patterns that have been projected onto you while you were in a violent situation, it is best to talk to someone that has no relation to you. I know it might be too scary and too confronting at first, and thoughts might be occuring to you like "It wasn't bad enough.'' or ''I can fix this myself, I don't need help.'' This is completely normal, just please keep in mind no harm ever should have happend to you in any form, but it did and so you absolutely deserve full attention to be able to get rid of your underlying trauma and move on with your life in peace.

Once you start sharing your story with others: you feel heard, have a third person's view on your experience and you are able to better understand the pattern that you unknowingly took over as a survival mechanism. Patterns and survival mechanisms that you can start to get rid of while you no longer are under control of an abusive person. That's why we highly recommend talking with a  therapist that you feel you can trust. Keep in mind we are no certified therapists, but sharing experiencing and ways of healing can get you a long way already!

If you feel the need to ask for advise, just want to reach out or share your story with the world feel free to send us an e-mail. Because honestly, you are such an amazing being that has not been put on earth to keep dragging around emotional trauma, you deserve to be free!

My story

When I think about a few years back when I overcame one of my darkest periods of my life... a violent relationship.

Stripped away from my own opinion, self love and self worth... having to rebuild myself back up again from zero dealing with the fact that it’s hard to understand how I felt and what happend to me for others.

First thing I did after I got out of this relationship was participating in @missnederland to feel that I was in control again and was worthy of everything I wanted. But then I wasn’t ready... I wasn’t as confident as I used to be and I had no purpose to stand for.

But now I DO... it took me some time to start to openly talk about it, but on my healing journey I found out that a lot of people have been through domestic violence in all forms themselves. I was so shocked that no one ever really speaks about it and when they do they speak with shame.

Me standing proud and fighting against domestic violence is something that before I would never dare to do... when I came out of my violent relationship my reality was completely disorted and I didn’t even trust or believe in myself at all anymore. By traveling all by myself to Los Angeles as a beginning to grab my power and self acceptence back... I soon found out that even while I was starting to get better on the outside, some deep trauma was still on the inside.

For example, everytime I saw a certain car brand I got sooo scared or when I watched a violent movie I just started to panic and cry. Something that I didn’t feel coming at all but completely overwhelmed me!

I soon began to understand that the trauma was deeper than I thought and I started to become more spiritual which made me as well more accepting of me as a human being and young woman at the same time!

Even last year (4 years later) when I finally decided to go and talk to a psychologist, we both made the conclusion that I already was advanced in my healing and she asked me how I did it... I realized that by becoming more interested in spirituality I had at the same time tapped into something deeper than life itself which as well (I figured that out during the talk) made me tap into a deeper part of myself as well!

Understanding how powerful we are as human beings and how we can steer our minds to anything we wish (even healing traumas!!)
This, after mental treatment, is what I believe is the most important for survivors... because this is where they learn to tap into their own love and spiritual power that they so desperately, anxiously need and search for outside of themselves.

The most important step and which I believe is the first step, is to take away the control and fear that domestic violent survivors are left with when they come out of their situation. Scared that they or their family will get hurt by their abuser once they share their stories and tell the truth. There will be threats, and there will be fear, but I found out that I have all the power to decide if the fear exists or not and who I give the power of fear to. Once I realized the control I gave my abuser by fearing him even though he wasn't in my life any longer, I made a mental switch.

As children we are taught that no person should harm another person and if they do they will get punished, so why did I completely gave up on this lesson when I got hurt? It's because during the fear process you feel like you are not worth it or it is not bad enough to be taken action upon... but it is! Once I realized how blessed we are to be on earth in the first place and when I started meditating and more accepting of myself as an imperfect human being, I promised myself that I would never ever let anyone speak ill about me or treat me in a bad way. The power and self love that it gave me was overwhelming and made me realize that I owe it to others to share my story and make the biggest strength out of my once biggest weakness!

That is why I decided to start 'Power Circle Foundation' as the start of my life goal. A platform where all survivors can share their stories and healing journeys together in order to help each other and be sure that the world hears about them. Power circle will eventually be a story telling platform, motivational speakers platform and finally a working charity focusing on the mental recovery process of domestic violence survivors. I promised myself that I will never be silent or ashamed again about my story and that I will use every single tool and platform I am given to stand proud against domestic violence and I want you to be next!

Please read more about my story and speak with me, because truly... OUR VOICE IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON!