Reclaim Your Personal Power

In this episode, I talk about regaining my personal power after a financially and emotionally abusive relationship

We talk about:

  • External sources draining your power
  • The Concept of Heaven and Hell
  • My experience of an emotionally and financially abusive relationship
  • Regaining Control


Episode: My Mom the Windrush Generations Immigrant

Episode: My Boyfriend Died Suddenly and it Shattered My World

Episode: Music Mental Health and Me

GUAP Magazine

Woman to Woman


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Read the full show transcript here

Transcripts are 90% accurate, please do not trust them for quote or news media purposes. If you need clarification for a story, a blog, or a reference, please contact us directly.

Intro Hook: If you come from a religious background, there’s this idea of a heaven and hell. But what I really came to believe is that Heaven and Hell is how you experience life as we live in, I started to believe that how it wasn’t some mythical place that you go to when you die. But hell is actually something that you can experience while you’re alive. 

Hey, Curlfriend, welcome back to the Curl Squad’s Curl Power Podcast with me, your host, Zoe Fox, you might hear the title of the podcast and listen and thing. This doesn’t actually have anything to do with hair. But for me, a curl power comes from just the journey of self love and self acceptance. For a lot of us naturally textured hair folk, particularly us melanated women, we’ve really had to fight to come to love ourselves growing up in a, just a world that is surrounded with a European beauty standard that we just don’t fit within a standard that tells us that we’re not beautiful, or desirable, and that we need to actually alter our hair in order to be accepted. So the kale power podcast just basically represents that transformation, the point where we begin to like, think you know what, actually, I accept myself as I am. And once we begin that journey of accepting our natural hair, and our natural beauty, we can begin to really start the healing process, after years and years of rejecting our natural beauty. Because once you start to fall in love with yourself, there’s so many layers to the healing. And once we begin to heal, we can begin to level up. And once we begin to level up, we can start to self actualize, and to start consciously creating the lives that we want for ourselves and the lives that we deserve. So we will be having some more guest interviews. Once again, in the near future. I’m just kind of finding my groove, getting into a routine again with the podcast. But yeah, I’m definitely going to be inviting more phenomenal, naturally textured women onto the podcast, who are leading the way in self acceptance, finding their passion and finding their purpose. So yeah, that’s why it’s called curl power. Because it all starts with the power of falling in love with your curls. So I’m actually a little bit last minute calm with this episode. And it’s Mother’s Day. And I’m in the studio recording on Mother’s Day, I had recorded an episode, but I don’t know, wasn’t really poppin. So I thought, let me just come back down to the drawing board. And let’s go again. But yesterday, I attended an amazing event, I was invited to speak on a panel, which was put together by gwap magazine, a woman to woman, it was a really beautifully curated exhibition, just highlighting motherhood and celebrating mother’s. And that was over at the London Lighthouse gallery in Canning Town. And it was a really emotive event, highlighting the rewards and the challenges of motherhood. But it also held space for mothers that are no longer with us, and to those whose time is limited by terminal illness. So on this Mother’s Day, I am just sending all my love to all the phenomenal mothers out there, to the people that healing wounds have complicated relationships with their moms and two beloved mothers who are no longer with us. And a big special shout out to my mama Debbie. Actually last Mother’s Day I celebrated with a podcast interview with my mom is called my mom, a Windrush generation immigrant. I’ll drop a link to that in the show notes. So you can check that out. Love your mama, thank you for everything you have done for me and continue to do


who, because of you. So in this episode, I’m going to be talking a little bit about your personal power, my experience of a financially abusive relationship, and trying to claw my power back after that. And that’s important because so much of what is possible in life boils down to having confidence. but confidence is something that I’ve always lacked a hard time at school, because the girls they’re wanting to put me in my place. And that whole experience developed quite a sense of shame for me around my mixed race identity, which in turn knocked my confidence. Then I had kids at school that used to call me tree trunk legs, which created really, really deep and long lasting issues around body image, which I’m still working through. And this is the thing about these these childhood wounds, you know, they they can really cut deep and impact your experience in to adulthood, then there was the event of my boyfriend’s death, which just totally shattered my world and really, really knocked a lot of my confidence, not just in myself, but in life, and within my security in the world. So it’s fair to say, it’s not always been easy for me to be so optimistic and resilient and excited about life, like, I haven’t always been this person, which is why I thought it was important for me to share some of my story of my journey with the podcast, just to really show that transformation can be possible, but had some super, super dark times, seriously dark days, suicidal thoughts and moments that just made me think I didn’t want to live. And you know, what is actually those dark times that made me realize that if you come from a religious background, there’s this idea of a heaven and hell, but what I really came to believe is that Heaven and Hell is how you experience life as we live in, I started to believe that how it wasn’t some mythical place that you go to when you die. But hell is actually something that you can experience while you’re alive. But when we’re going through a difficult time, it’s so easy to get so deep into the day to day functions and misery of life, that it’s so easy to like to reject the beauty that surrounds us, and the positive things that do surround us. And this is when I believe that we experience our own personal hell, when we lose all sort of concept of, of the balance of life, when we get consumed by the darkness. And it’s a perspective, which is really based upon what we choose to focus our attentions on. It’s like putting on a pair of glasses, some a rose tinted, some do do tinted. But I think those those spectacles are what help you to experience heaven or hell as we live in on Earth. And I certainly lived in my own personal hell for many, many years. But it’s not easy to pick up the rose tinted glasses is it when, you know, you’re living a life where you’ve been ground down by tragedy and trauma, or perhaps we’ve been living inside toxic relationships that have really just really just bought us to our knees. And I think within that it’s really difficult to become conscious and aware of our ability to be able to define our own experience, because we do lose a sense of power. It’s very easy to lose your power when you’re going through hardships. So picking up the rose tinted glasses is definitely easier said than done. So going back in my journey to life just after my boyfriend died, I spent years and years alone, like not in the slightest bit interested by men, which is probably, you know, unsurprising. I just was not interested. I was so deeply wounded by losing my boyfriend. So suddenly. And if you haven’t heard that episode, I’ll drop a link in the show notes. But yeah, I was just not open to even thinking about any form of relationship. And I find it really difficult actually, when people would refer to him as my ex boyfriend. I’m like, he’s not axe, he’s died. There’s no axe, it’s just you know, he died. But yeah, so I basically spent years alone, just totally uninterested in unbothered. But when I did eventually decide to open up to the possibility of, you know, love, and men again, well, I ended up getting burnt. And at this point, it really started to sink into me that not all men were like my dad, but my dad set a super high example of what a man should be as a father, as a partner. And it really screwed my head when it started to dawn on me that not all men were like that. So I’m really fortunate in the sense that I’ve got some really, really amazing men in my family that have done nothing but set, set a real good standard of what I should expect in my life from men. I met a serial cheat, gosh,


someone that just went totally ghost, which was a total head screw. And at that point, I’m just like, Yeah, I’m adamant that men are trash, and that my dad was one of a kind. And actually, I was just over these ways, men, especially because they knew what I’d been through. Like, they knew what had happened with my boyfriend. And they still decided to treat me the way that they did, which was like, really insulting to me. But anyway, there was this guy that I knew and he was my friend, and he was cool. And it wasn’t the slightest bit attracted to him. No offense, but like, I’m like, five foot nine, and no disrespect intended, but I prefer to sort of look up to someone in a relationship if you know what I’m saying. Like for me, it’s just, it’s a thing. But anyway, this guy, this friend, he really went all in to try and woo me. There were flowers on the doorsteps he was bringing me gifts. He basically loved bombed me into submission until I gave to all of his efforts, despite every single answer of my soul, screaming at me, that this was not the one So I decided to give it a chance. I’ve got into a relationship looks like I’m now somebody’s girlfriend. But he slowly began the process of breaking me down. Bit by bit. It started really with slacking off my friends. Because at this point I was going out really enjoying my life raving, as I’ve spoken about before. How music really helped me with my mental health by providing the distraction, really from the grief that I was experiencing. So he started to call my friends, groupies, and slags. And that just made me want to sort of like, distance myself, from my friends, really, because I didn’t want to be seen to be being that. And these types of men just chip away at you really slowly. You don’t even realize it’s happening, until you just become a ghost before myself. And at this point, because I’ve been going so hard on raving, it was just really escapism for me to avoid facing the trauma that I’d been through, like going out at the weekends was like, that was my healing. While I say healing, I don’t really think I was giving myself the opportunity to process what had happened. So it was definitely escapism. I’ve just prefer anything than to sit basically with myself and my feelings. But I’m getting to a point now where I’m not going out. So I’m starting to have lots of time by myself at home alone, while he was going out and about but I was expected just to stay home. And there’s so much that I really want to say about this relationship, there is so much that I would love to say, but you know what a lot of it really is his story. And it’s not really for me to tell in as much detail as I would like to. But I was basically just the front passenger seat in a one man self destruction program. And he basically took me down with him, but I let it get that far. Because I lacked the confidence and lack the power to back out and call time on it. But with all of these ways, men that I’ve briefly sort of mentioned, I would love nothing more than to put their class on blast, man, trust me, because I just think some guys really get away with so much, but they don’t deserve my time or energy. And they’ve had enough for me in the past. Being in a relationship with an emotionally and financially abusive addicts. It wasn’t a very pleasant experience. It really, really, it got me down to the point where I didn’t even want to live anymore. At the end of the relationship. I was emotionally broken, he grabbed me down to my lowest ebb any little bit of energy that I’ve been using to survive. I didn’t I just basically didn’t have any more resources to keep pushing. I was in debt. And that wasn’t my debt. That was his debt, like, oh my gosh, 1000s and 1000s of pounds worth of parking fines that he would intercept in the post while I was at work. So I wouldn’t even know there were fines and then the fines were stacking up because they weren’t getting paid. Then I started getting bailiffs letters. And my honesty, I can’t tell you how low this cracking got me. Not to mention that he wrote off my car. So at the end of the relationship, I was left with basically nothing, no home, no money, no car, no personal power. And it was really only the love of my family that kept me going. But he left me with a nervous breakdown.


But the thing is, I allowed it. And I kept my truth hidden because I didn’t want to worry my parents. Do you know, I mean, I kept it all to myself, because I just didn’t want to worry people. I’m living all the way in London away from the mum and dad. They couldn’t really see what was going on. I was protecting them from it, or I thought I was protecting them from it. But in doing that, what was I doing? Damaging myself. But for me, the straw that finally broke the camel’s back was when I’d been in Birmingham for the weekend, spend some time with my parents and had a really amazing time, as I always do. I’ve got back. And he was I will say it was the car. I’d given him a grand actually just before I’ve gone to Braun to pay the rent. And then I received some contact from the landlord to say that the rent hadn’t been paid. So I’ve come home now. The rents not been paid. I’ve got no money. There’s no money for food. There’s no food in the house. And I didn’t even have any money to get into work the next day. And I was just like, You know what? Now, this guy’s taking the pay. And at that point, I thought you know what? I’ve got to speak to my mom about this. And I knew that once I’d spoke to my mom about it there was not going to be any Korean back because she wasn’t going to allow that. Being in a relationship like that. That grinds you down. Took me to really really really dark places and really lonely places as well because I’d become isolated I’d cut myself off from my friends from my social circle. From the things that I love doing and the people that I’ve loved, and because it wasn’t going anywhere, I had no choice really, but to look inwards at myself long and hard. All of these emotions and traumas and things that I’ve been suppressing or bubbling up to the surface. And finally, I was like, starting to realize that I have to gain some control over my life. But this was a real huge step for me, actually, in regaining some personal power, even though it took me years too long, like now I’m just like, What the hell, you should have ran at the first sign. But this is what I’m talking about. When you, when you lose your confidence, when you lose your power, it’s not so easy to make decisions in your favor, is it? You know, I’m sure many of us can relate to knowing women that are in bad relationships, and they’re always saying how bad the relationship is, and you just like, leave him then. And then. And then they end up staying there. And you’re just like, you know, you’re a glutton for punishment. But yeah, that was me. But while I was trying to find my power, he was still trying to grind me down, when I started giving him signs that, you know, this was it, I’m not standing for this anymore. And that went over, he started coming with things like, nobody else can ever love you. And if I can’t have you, nobody else can. And you know what, I was actually really frightened, he was making out as though there were going to be consequences if I left him. And God forbid, if I ever even thought about looking at anyone else. And I was scared, I was actually scared. So in the end, I finally got the strength to move out of the shed flat, moved in with a friend, to really beautiful, flat, really quiet, calm space where I could start to heal and start to build myself back up once again.


For way too many years, I allowed my experience to be deeply impacted by the actions of others, whether it’s school, you know, the things that people have to say at school bosses that tried to carry confidence, some teachers that aren’t really feeling, you know, your brightness, and unhelpful relationships with waste men, I gave away so much of my personal power until I had nothing left to give. But one thing that I have come to understand is that you can’t change other people. And believe me, there is an empath in me that for years and years, I don’t know basically took in the waifs and strays on a mission to try to help people. But it’s this is what is taking me all these years to realize that I think my purpose here is to help people, but not in a way that is detrimental to my own well being. There’s no point in trying to save souls that can’t even save themselves. You’re literally fighting a losing battle, because only they can do that. But one thing that we do have is free will to certainties in life, is that life on this earth is going to end for us at one point. But that we also have the freewill to make decisions. We can choose to continue in situations that don’t serve or empower us. Or we can harness our personal power and call time on the people and things that do not serve our highest purpose. And I’m wondering whether you’ve ever found yourself in situations where you’ve allowed someone else to impact your personal power, there’s a certain confidence that comes from asserting yourself, and in saying, You know what, May? No no more, whether that’s no more succumbing to the pressures of European beauty standards, or no more toxic relationships are no more carrying the weight of bullies from the past, it’s time to let it go. It’s time to embrace our free will. It’s time to say no to situations that no longer serve us. So repeat after me. I am powerful. I am beautiful. I am enough. And most importantly, I am the master of my own destiny. So girlfriend, thank you very much for your ear today. You know, I appreciate it. I would really appreciate if you do find any value in the podcast, please share it with someone who perhaps needs to hear about taking back their own power. Share it with your friends. I do realize that not everybody is on Instagram and I’m always banging on about it. So I am really going to be trying to build up the content on the website. Create a little bit of a conversation over there. So if you do want to sign up, you can head over to the car Drop your email address in and we can start a conversation away from social media. But if you do use the socials, please do find us at the curl squad where you can find me Personally, at Zoey dot e dot Fox, if you do feel moved to to write and review the podcast, I’d really really appreciate that. You could do that on Apple. By tapping on the podcast you can see where you can give it a cheeky little five star rating. And you can either comment, or you can write on Spotify as well now, and all that sort of stuff just helps to boost the podcast, boost the conversation. Yeah, and try and get more people on a mission to fallen in love with themselves or realizing their own power. Girlfriend. I appreciate you, sending you Big Love and Blessings for the week ahead. Big Love Peace out and I’ll catch you next week.

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