Internalized oppression is when we have been oppressed and unwittingly use the methods of the oppressor against ourselves. The oppressor could be family of origin, your unfulfilling job, negative friends, or any other area that feels oppressive. Wow that is a heavy realization.
How do we recognize this internalized oppression?
- Where am I punishing myself. Am I continuing a behavior that is keeping me down.
- Are my beliefs based on an oppressors opinion?
- Do I want to assimilate or fit in with my oppressors to feel of value?
- Do you have oppressive views of your identity?
- Do you believe you have no power?
Here are some remedies. I am sure there are many more.
- Stop a negative behavior and sit with the feeling. There’s a good chance there is shame and guilt present. Express any feelings that come up.
- You now have permission to have your own opinions and don’t need any validation but your own.
- You are not supposed to fit in, you are supposed to be your own person without apologies.
- Your identity is your own, no one can tell you who you are.
- Power can be overwhelming, take baby steps in reclaiming your personal power.
We learn to oppress ourselves, and it can be unlearned. This is the work of an empowered adult.
So get to work, you are worth it.