A Confidant: Why Every Successful Woman Needs at Least One & the Result of Trusting No One
By Eryka T Johnson
Do you have a confidant?
A trusted individual who you don’t mind revealing your private matters or personal struggles with that will not judge or scandalous your name. It’s no secret…life happens to us all regardless of social status or career success. What’s most challenging however for successful women is feeling safe enough to be vulnerable.
Our standard as professional women is set so high. The expectation is perfection in our careers and in life. A successful woman must be the perfect wife, mother, sister, friend, leader, and professional. This is not reality. Life can be messy. Home life is not always happy. Work life can be stressful and degrading at times. We are simply people like the next individual.
Because perfection is the standard, we can suffer in silence out of fear of judgment, embarrassment or even a tarnished reputation. Just last week, my best friend Rose was fatally stabbed by her husband. No one knew anything outside the ordinary was happening in the home including the neighbors. They had been together since high school and were committed to each other. Although 38 years old, Rose had so much life and light left in her.
Domestic violence is a topic not often discussed because of its private nature and in the black culture its downright taboo. When you’re not the only one involved, you try to protect the name and honor of your spouse.
Rose was a successful woman who served as a mentor to many. As an Engineer, she travelled the world providing solutions to everyday problems. She was a self-less individual who often gave more of herself to others than she kept. She was so magnetic that her light with put darkness to shame. But, she was suffering in silence and no one knew which ultimately led to her death.
I’ll always remember her as a strong woman and mother who made others “stand tall” in her presence. If you knew her, then you knew she placed a strong value on personal connection and effortlessly made each individual she made contact with feel significant. That was Rose Mary. A soul gone too soon.
Abuse Is Just Not Physical
Because awareness is the first step to overcoming abuse, The National Domestic Violence Hotline (www.thehotline.org) outlines abusive situations on its website.
Does your partner ever….
- Insult, demean or embarrass you with put-downs?
- Control what you do, who you talk to or where you go?
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?
- Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Control the money in the relationship? Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
- Make all of the decisions without your input or consideration of your needs?
- Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse or tell you it’s your own fault?
- Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
- Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
- Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges?
- Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you?
Who Can You Tell?
If any of these situations look familiar, tell somebody!
If you are wondering who is a good confidant to share your personal struggles with, I’ll give you a few things to consider.
- What is the person’s track record? Has this individual in the past protected your vulnerable conversations and offered support? If the individual similarly has a history of a “bladder mouth” or “loose lips”, please don’t think things will change with your situation.
- Is the person a gossip? Has this individual shared others’ secrets with you without hesitation? Remember if they gossip to you, they will gossip about you.
- How does this person interact with their significant other? For women, we typically absorb and reflect the atmosphere in our homes. If the wife is never happy, her relationship with her husband is probably not a good one as well.
- What is this person’s outlook on life? If they view everything in life as doom and gloom, they will view your situation as the same. A negative person will never give you hope or wise advice.
Listen to instincts as they never lie. If something feels awkward, this is probably not the person to open up to about your struggles.
If you’re still not sure who you can trust, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
I know as successful women, we have a reputation to uphold. Portraying the perfect life, career, and business is the society in which we live. But, you must realize that you do not have the power to control others rather you can only manage the relationship and control your next steps. Make the call or find a confidant to tell.
Please share this article with your friends and family. Save a successful woman’s life today and be a good confidant.