This is not the most pleasant of ways to introduce my new blogs for harmless, but most definitely an important one. Both personally as a victim, a professional but more so as a society; because we need to talk more about it abuse. However as a victim, I am past awareness and think I can safely say many of us are. Because let’s face it, we are more than aware abuse happens it just sits more comfortably to bury it, both as a society and individually.
If I had a pound for every time someone told me “you don’t really need to tell them, it will upset them” I would be a rich women. The burden sits so heavily on victims; to prove, to know when it’s ok to share, to heal, to manage others feelings of your abuse and to “blend in” like it never happened. Well I refuse to blend in; because it happened and denying it might be easier for you, but it’s invalidating for us.
I like to think some part of people not believing victims comes from a good place, because I like to believe that beneath the narcissistic society we are creating that we still know how to be human. Humans naturally find it easier to accept more positive things, things that sit better with us and thanks to the conformation bias of social media you can now be fed your own version of truth constantly. Here’s an example, victim vs perpetrator; the victim shares a gruesome event, the by stander can barely hear it. The perpetrator sugar coats, scape goats and it sits more easily with the by stander, so automatically although wrongly it becomes easier to accept. After all who wants to believe someone is a monster? Just as victims are daughters and sons, perpetrators are also. Of course misogyny is the chocolate to the digestive of this crap biscuit and plays a huge part in resistance, but needless to say it’s a sad and prevalent tale of events.
The #metoo movement was a prime example. Various people, ranting of stories made up for attention. Misogynist fantasizing of gaggles of women around cauldrons stirring me too stories, rubbing their hands together that patriarchy may finally collapse? Get real. It’s not to say that people do not make false accusations but the vast majority and then some more will and have been abused.
I will let you into a secret, to those that think there is something to gain from having a #metoo story…there isn’t. Unless that gain is disappointment sandwiched between trauma and injustice. The truth is, being a victim is already a really isolating and scary experience, without being trolled by someone with a toxic masculinity complex.
As a child hood survivor I often found myself desperate to attain the “normality” that those that aren’t victims had. I tried to be quiet, get on with it, go to my therapy and work hard for my silver lining. Only to get a silver lining and find it’s lined with asbestos and that justice is as much a fairy tale as those Disney princess films I was dragged through as a child. I spent so long thinking someone will save me from the feeling of it; the police, family, my therapist. I remember my therapist telling me when I was 16 “it will never leave you but one day you will know how to live with it”. It took several years to realise I was actually more ok with living with it than anyone else around me. Because I have accepted what happened was wrong, it wasn’t my fault, nothing could have been done and no justice will be found. What I would like is for my abuse to be accepted by society, not shrugged off as the unspoken topic or turned into some hysterical narrative. Because my abuse is a part of me whether I or others like it or not, it shaped me into realising my capability and strength. No, I am not thankful for it and its not some profound comment that “my abuse made me who I am”, hell no I will take that credit thank you. I (and my various wonderful therapists) made me who I am.
My progression in recovering has been my truth; it’s been wearing it fearlessly, shamelessly and unapologetically. So if you are reading this as a victim, keep your truth with you and never ever be ashamed. There is freedom within it, but the path to it is to be paved by you. Just make sure others help you lay the slabs, or you will do your back in. Do not carry it all alone.