Alice asked her husband, “Don’t you want me to feel like I’m loved?”  Her husband finally told her the truth in so many words, “I’d rather have you feeling like you’re in prison.”

Bullies and narcissists had wanted to control her in almost every relationship.
Alice felt like she’d been punched.  That really was what her husband wanted; complete control of her life.  With a shock, she allowed herself to feel that same blow from her toxic parents, her critical, abusive sisters, her selfish, arrogant, entitled adult daughter, the friend who always used her whenever she needed, and her sarcastic, back-stabbing boss.

They all wanted her in the prison of their choosing.  They might have different desires – power, money, guilt, someone to kick – but, ultimately, they all wanted submission and obedience.  Some wanted her to protest so they could beat her down; some wanted her to pretend she loved them.  They wanted her in prison, like a Stepford Wife who loved her master.

She knew her husband lied when he said he didn’t really mean it.
This time Alice’s realization remain in her.  He might say anything, they all might smile once in a while, but their behavior never changed.  They still did everything they could to keep her in prison.  Their behavior told the truth.

The degree of difficulty in freeing herself.
Since Alice had let so many people in her life be her prison guard, she had a difficult task ahead.  She had to free herself from prison despite their attempts to keep her locked up.  Also, she had to free herself despite the fear she’d become a bad person.  She was also afraid she’d lose all those people and then she’d have no one.

The crucial step is freeing ourselves from our self-imposed prisons, despite the fears and second-guessing.  Of course, the prison guards would keep trying to lock her up; it had worked for them for decades.  But the most important step was her own resolve – her courage, strength and determination.  She remember the stories of caged birds who are set free and return to their cages where it’s secure.  She remembered the stories of long-term prisons who can’t function when let free.

Alice commanded herself to get free; one step at a time.
Every time the distant future looked too scary, every time she thought of too many “what ifs,” she grabbed herself and made herself look at only the next step.  When she focused on the next step, that seemed do-able and she could move herself.

Hers was a journey made step by step, but she did find and create a new family and community; a family of her heart, mind and spirit; no prisons, no cages, no guards.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling