Normalizing Objectification: Empowering Choices Versus Disempowering Choices and the Underappreciated Difference

Trauma is likely to be repressed or partially repressed from childhood. However, whether the trauma is consciously remembered or not, it is likely to be normalized into adulthood as a means of survival and false empowerment unless there was something in that child’s life that taught them what happened to them was wrong and not their fault. For example, if a child was objectified, that becomes his or her normal unless something showed them it wasn’t normal. If they are conditioned to believe they are objects as infants or children, which direction they go in – in adulthood is contingent upon whether they have normalized their childhood or not.

Objectification is celebrated in our culture under the veil of sexual liberation and empowerment. While it is the free choice of the man or woman who chooses to be ritually objectified and while choice is symbolic of freedom, there is an underappreciated distinction between empowering and disempowering choices. And sometimes we need to make choices that disempower us FIRST in order to later on make choices that actually give us our true power back. Real power comes when we have faced and healed the old wounds and as a result, make decisions that come from that place.

“Some people need to create a nightmare far worse
than the one they came from before they will go back
and heal their early wounds. We see this in trauma
survivors all the time. They pile hell upon hell, until
they have only two choices—die, or heal the wounds
they are fleeing. I used to find this confusing, but I
no longer do. Sometimes the first hell was so bloody
bad that it takes a far worse hell to uncover it. Bows
to those who choose to heal their hells, after so many
years on the run. Bows to those courageous beings
who give reality a try before they have any evidence
that it will serve them. If this isn’t courage, I don’t
know what is.” –JEFF BROWN

Whatever choice another person makes, disempowered or not, is not worthy of judgment, but compassion for their individuated path and their own way to heal. Everyone will eventually find their real power. Let people discover that on their own. They are probably judging themselves much more than we can imagine and much more than we might ever judge them. If we learn to see the world through the eyes of others, we might treat people much better.

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