Identifying Allies, Building Support, and Reclaiming Power
After you assess your situation and identify unacceptable behavior, the next thing to do is to identify the allies around you that will support you. You don’t need to build a formal group or have meetings or anything, just be specific about the people around you whose opinions you trust and provide you support. Even if your list only includes your cat, put her on there. An ally is someone you can tell about your experience and get realistic feedback and perspective from or someone who supports you no matter what. It’s not necessarily someone who agrees with you (although it can be), but it is someone whose opinion you respect and someone who will give their opinion with respect to you. It is okay for your support group to include people who also are just going to agree with you no matter what. The purpose of this group isn’t to question your perspective (although that could be a helpful side effect), it is to remind yourself that there are people who respect you.
When you are identifying your support group, you don’t need to tell them your story, although you can. The first step, though, is just figuring out where you are and who supports you.
If you can’t think of anyone else to put on your list, that is not a crisis, and it happens quite often. It is just information for you to know. Go ahead and put me on your list because I absolutely support you. And then be curious about whether it could be possible in the future to find one other person who supports you. I’ll give you the answer: it is completely possible.