Saturday night, I literally fell asleep tweeting. I woke up after six hours and began tweeting again. This is not me.
Why did this happen? I was pumped. I was tweeting about Josh Duggar and his sisters. I tweeted my outrage and my concern for the increasing number of sexual abuse survivors who are screaming their pain on Twitter.
What’s the connection between Josh Duggar and the obnoxious name I’ve given to the toxic, inner self-talk that plagues us and misdirects our energy—girly thoughts?
Girly Thoughts Begin At Home
Families communicate in many ways from favorite stories that are told and re-told, to what is said—or not said—when abuse occurs. But actions speak even louder than words when parents respond, or don’t, to hurtful events within the family; when consequences don’t match the severity of the violation; when a girl’s attempt to disclose abuse is met with disbelief or accusations of lying.
In these ways families strongly influence not only teaching what is right, and what is wrong, but also how girls learn to feel about themselves. What girls should:
- blame themselves for
- take responsibility for
- expect from others
And what girls should accept in life from:
- being second best,
- feeling “less than,” to
- in many families, not being as valued as the males —
This we learn early in our own families based on how we are treated when we are hurt.
Sexual Abuse and Incest
Family messages influence what we feel we deserve in life and this is part of the tragedy of incest (sexual abuse within the family). If incest is unaddressed, children are taught that they indeed are less worthy—less deserving of protection, understanding, and love than the abusing relative, neighbor, teacher, clergy, or coach.
Is it any wonder that women conclude we are indeed:
- less important than men,
- have to do more to earn love, and
- have to be perfect to be desirable?
These are all girly thoughts.
Voice Your Concern
Begin by identifying how your own girly thoughts are limiting you. Then consider how women are blamed in situations that a man would not be, such as being seen as responsible for the abuse she endured. Watch for these stories on twitter and in other media. Express your concern.
Join with me:
- Follow me on Twitter: #drogorman
- Friend me on Facebook, and
- Subscribe to my free blog on my website, patriciaogorman.com
- Share your feelings about how women are being treated
- Share how your girly thoughts affect you!
Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my latest book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.