It should be no surprise that in the helping (advocacy/abuse) world there are those whose motives are mixed — who bring to the table their own hunger for notoriety and legitimacy. There are those who, having supposedly “recovered” from their abuse, go on to consume others using abusive tactics.
I have grave concerns about those people — moreover I am concerned for the vulnerable people whom they seek to influence. I have wrestled with what to do? I will do what I feel I do best: inform.
Anyone and I do mean anyone — male or female, who aggressively promotes their product (books, blogs, platform, path, skills, service, ability etc.) over people, may be problematic.
Anyone who seems to be passionately attached to a platform rather than people — no matter how good — is a potential problem. Institutions should NEVER and I do mean NEVER, be more important than individuals.
Watch carefully how they care for their critics. When someone dismisses honest discourse, is diminutive, or is derogatory to those who question them – beware. She or he who is mean in public may be meaner in private.
Watch carefully for people with power and platform who claim to be powerless or victimized without any proof of said victimization. Beware of the person for whom a question becomes an immediate “attack.” The person who cannot be questioned cannot be trusted.
Be aware of your own hunger to belong, to be seen, to be part of, to be known, to be heard, and to be understood. Anyone — and I do mean ANYONE — can use your hunger to feed themselves; their own ego; their own ministry machine. Choose carefully whom you entrust yourself.
He/she who treats others as pawns in the snakes and ladders game of life — will do the same to you. It is not a matter of if — it is a matter of when. Forewarned is forearmed. Not all are trustworthy. In fact, trust is earned. Make people earn it and make them keep it.
To be clear, I am not “outing” anyone. It says something about you, if you think this post is about you. (Let that thought alone be a sober self check.)
Even those who I can name — I do not. These notes are not directed at any one person in particular. Unfortunately, many people have informed these cautions.
And finally, Survivors, I urge you — attend to the red flags you see. Do not dismiss them. Abuse obliterated and betrayed, causing you to not know what you knew. Recovery restores that inner voice you lost. You are worth listening to and protecting.