Sheep And Wolves

My ex calls me a “mental midget.” Odd way to start an empowering blog post, but trust me, I’m going somewhere.

Image of a pink and brown hued beach front sunset with words: Healing Our Families, What if, "This is just who I am," is actually your trauma response masquerading as personality?" — Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist, SISTAMoms Logo, #SISTAMOMS #HEALINGOURFAMILIES #

I woke up this morning with a strong urge to get to my computer and just type. Occasionally, I engage in a form of writing that some call a “brain dump,” but I prefer to call stream of consciousness journaling. Essentially, you just grab a pen and paper, sit down at your computer, or grab the voice notes app on your phone and just let whatever is on your mind flow out. You don’t think. You just let whatever words come up flow out freely. It’s a great way to release the feeling of overwhelm.

Anyway, this morning I decided to get up and just type freely. I was amazed, when I came to the discovery that the difference between my ex and myself is our individual choices of a trauma response. My response to an unpredictable, often angry environment was to become reserved and observant. His response was to become loud and domineering. Both are merely responses to trauma.

As I typed this morning, I realized that so much of what we call our personalities is actually just individual trauma responses masquerading as who we are. We walk around in masks we picked up over time to become who we needed to be to survive environments. The loud, angry types, who are always ready for a fight are perceived as strong and scary, while the reserved, sheepish types are viewed as weak and scared. My ex calls me a “mental midget” because my response to exposure to constant anger and criticism was to become socially anxious and shrink back from confrontation. This discovery is huge because I realize that my way of being is not a character flaw, but merely an attempt at self-preservation.

I’m sharing this with you because I feel that my discovery presents an opportunity for you to look at your own “personality” and see how much of that is really you. Are you who you are because that is truly yourself, or are some of your characteristics ones you picked up to deal with your environment? Now, if you are happy with the traits you put on, carry on with your life. However, if some of these traits cause you distress, or create drama in your life, cause you to hurt those you care about, or cause you to shrink back from opportunities that really matter to you, maybe it’s time to address these attributes that don’t belong to us.

I am a huge advocate of great therapy. I have a master’s in counseling. I know for a fact that there are amazing therapists out there who can help us see what we don’t see because it has become a part of us. There are trained, licensed, well-referred professionals out there who can help us observe tendencies and patterns that no longer serve us. There are also intuitive, spiritual healers who are able to support us to move forward with our lives in healthier ways. If it feels aligned for you at this time to work on these tendencies, meditate on finding the right support for you. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even work with me.

I hope my sharing supports you in being more of the truest version of yourself. This is my primary intention in writing these blog posts.


Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

I am committed to personal development. As much as I love to share a good story, I truly do this because I believe that our individual growth has a ripple effect. As we heal ourselves, we heal our families. As we heal our individual families, we heal our communities. As we heal our communities, we heal our society. As we heal our societies, we heal our world. It all starts with us. This is the work my partner Yvonne Monique Livingston LLC The Art of Black Psychology and I are committed to with our new organization #SISTAMoms.

We are two single moms using our gifts for communication to heal our families and those around us. My parenting communication course on #Udemy, Healing Our Families: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship, is an example of the kind of quality work we are doing to promote healthy families.

Keep an eye out for opportunities for us as we are seeking speaking opportunities in schools, libraries, churches, and community organizations. (We are willing to travel.) We are also currently seeking opportunities for funding to support us in expanding our ripple. For more information, reach out to my business partner Yvonne Livingston, message me on my page Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist, or leave a comment below.

Thank you so much! Blessings!


Appreciate this post? Please send Marlene a tip.

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist is a single mom who lovingly shares her insights here for free. BuyMeACoffee offers readers a great way to support her work. You can securely send her a gift (a cup of matcha) as a thank you for this post. Simply tap the photo. Then, to the right of the screen, choose “Support” (to send her a one-time gift) or “Membership” (to give monthly). You can even add a thank you message! Blessings!

Tap the pic below to learn more about my course Healing Our Families: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship on!

Published by Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Marlene Dillon is the CEO of MDillon Designs & Publishing. I teach girls to believe in themselves and choose relationships that support their goals. I teach children that their dreams are possible and that they are lovable. I teach parents to communicate with their children in healthy ways. In short, I.U.S.E. people. Inspire. Uplift. Support. Empower.

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