Are you a peacekeeper? Is it your role to keep things calm and avoid a confrontation?
What happens when someone becomes angry and verbally abusive? Are you willing to sacrifice your personal truth and right to be respected for peace in your life and environment?
There was a time in my life when speaking up was not an option. It would have been like entering a war zone with no back-up. My marriage was in bad shape. I felt vulnerable with little income, 4 kids and battling MS. I had no energy left to change our situation.
I truly believed that staying quiet would keep peace and stability at home.
It didn’t work.
My husband still did his bullying thing. Inside me guilt, frustration and anger festered. I wasn’t just angry at him or at the MS, I was angry with myself for being caught in the situation. A nagging voice in the back of my mind saying I should have known better.
Trying to maintain peace was actually making things worse. My children watched me accept the unacceptable. That hurt the most.
Was I teaching them that bullies win? For how long? The thing about procrastination is that things don’t magically get better. Something has to happen. The question becomes, who is in charge of your life?
Friends and family sympathized offering support and advice. Some of it conflicting, much of it judgmental. I knew they cared and I appreciated their concern, but that kind of help was not what I needed to move forward. The right support came from someone totally objective, who helped me grow my confidence to get back on my feet to face whatever challenges that lay ahead.
I realized that not standing up to him enabled his controlling behavior. It was time to take my power back.
It became clear that the peace I sought began inside me when I acknowledged my potential as a good, strong and capable person. That ‘aha’ moment was so grounding it helped me finally express what needed to be expressed. As I respected myself, he learned to treat me with the same respect. It was not an option!
It worked! Things calmed down for everyone.
Peacekeeping can work, but if you find yourself compromising your inner peace and values, that’s a big red flag.
Be strong, stand strong, believe in yourself.
It’s not magic. You deserve it.
With love, Caroline