Using the picture I already had in my media files was intentional, it wasn’t because I didn’t want to bother trying to find another image. The purple light will always be turned on in my mind. Purple stands for domestic violence and at the risk of stretching an analogy, the lit light bulb has always meant that someone is here for you. It’s like the old tradition of keeping a candle in the window.
I decided to tackle the issue of power outages on a day when the wind outside has kept people indoors, ferries from running and camping lights at the ready around here. What about the other kind of power though? What does it mean to have power over someone? Or for many of our clients, to be at the mercy of someone with more power. This could be a financial, physical strength, or emotional advantage. It’s a situation where one person has the upper hand. They may hold the purse strings and make all the decisions about what’s purchased for the house, or what they spend the money on. This is often contrary to the actual household needs. For example, bills need to be paid but ‘he who has the cheque-book’ decides that a new ride-on lawn mower is more exciting than the mortgage.
The obvious down side of living with someone who has power and control issues is that your needs and wants always come a distant second. These people can be found everywhere, not just in families. You may have a supervisor, a neighbour, or an elected official of some kind that follows their own agenda. How do you deal with this kind of person?
Firstly, decide how much of a battle you want to have with them, state your preferences or needs clearly and stick to them. If it’s an abusive situation, learn as much as you can about safety planning. If you aren’t sure if what you’re dealing with is a power issue, call us and ask questions. We can help you sort through it.