Self-advocacy becomes much easier when we have the support of friends, family and peers.
Author: Glyn Butcher
Glyn Butcher is a leading self-advocate and champion of peer support. However, as Glyn explains here, speaking out for yourself is difficult and we need peer support and the encouragement of family and friends in order to find our voice.
Believe it or not, I struggled for many many years to speak out and stand up for myself. It wasn't something that came naturally I had to learn how to do it.
I had to learn that I had a right to be heard and to say how I feel, without feeling guilty or ashamed.
I felt I had nothing worth saying, and no one would want to hear me anyway.
Lots of the time when I wanted to speak out I froze in fear. I used to shake and get a sick feeling in my stomach. I used to get overwhelmed with anxiety and I just felt dizzy. I felt like I would look like an idiot and for a long time I had pressured speech where all my words shot out at 100 miles a hour and it was difficult for people to understand what I was saying anyway.
I was trapped in a world were I was in fear of speaking out but also living in fear of being silent.
And then, after speaking, I would spend the next 4 to 6 hours telling myself off for speaking out.
Every time this happened it made me even more depressed, I lost my self-confidence more and it destroyed my self-esteem. What also came along with that was the self-loathing; calling myself names and the anger for looking and feeling foolish again.
This was my reality.
Being part of PFG (the People Focused Group in Doncaster) changed all that.
Being with like minded people and being accepted for being me changed my mindset and my relationship I had with myself and my voice.
I was set free to speak out.
Discover more about PFG and Glyn at:
The publisher is Citizen Network Research. Speaking Out © Glyn Butcher 2021.