Friday, February 17, 2006

I don't understand...

How do you explain to someone the effect of sexual abuse who has never experienced it?

How do you convey the damage it has caused with mere words?

How do you express the magnitude of how it's affected every facet of your life?

There's a person in my life who knows what I've experienced. I told them I was sexually abused by my father and date raped. They witnessed the physical and emotional abuse of my ex-husband. I told this person because they are my best friend...

This person said something yesterday... they said that I'm a "big girl" now, it happened years ago stop dwelling on it and forget about it.

I can understand their position as they have not experienced trauma. They have not been violated, tainted. They honestly don't know what it's like to lose your innocence, trust, protection, nurturing, to feel completely and utterly worthless...

I get that.

If I can understand, accept and appreciate that, why can't they understand WHY it's affecting me?

I'm really uncomfortable with this person now and I feel very invalidated.


Holly said...

Dear survivor,
It is hard to understand the comments get over it, move on, forget, etc.
You and I have most heard comments like that we would be posting them for years.
I did find it difficult to ignore, it is hard to do, then I considerd the ignorance of the person, the lack of compassion. Realize it will never change if I have them in my life. I limit the time around that person, for myself. Sometimes I say ****-**! That is another story, hope you understand.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I think that person misstated what they were trying to say. It was not a "get over it and move on" type comment. It was a "It's not fair that the person that did this to you gets to go on with merry little life as if nothing ever happened while you are affected by what happened" type comment. It is not fair that people can do so much harm to others and then walk away from it without facing any consequences. I am deeply sorry if this person ticked you off or made you feel uncomfortable by messing up his/her words (and this person probably does it often!). This person probably has a problem with communicating to others (especially with feelings) but this miscommunication was not intentional AT ALL! It was pure ignorance what they said and how they said it. Is it possible for him/her to ask for forgiveness?

The Missing Link said...

A best friend of mine said similar and hurtful things to me the night of her bridal shower! I was so unbelievably hurt and angry that SHE was telling ME to just "fix" whatever is "wrong" with me. What a bitch for judging me and my life, telling me I was broken and wrong. I have already felt like that too much of the time to need to hear it from someone very close to me, especially someone I trusted w/that part of my traumatic, painful & confusing life.

Needless to say, our friendship has never been the same.

And I am perfectly fine with our demoted friendship.

I am doing a fine enough job beating myself up day and night - don't need any help in that department, thank you very much.

Do whatever is best for you. Whatever is right for you. Whatever makes you feel human, whole, and alive.

This is your right. Survival is our right, dear survivor. Keep breathing one breathe at a time and surviving one day at a time.

Anonymous said...

People who haven't experienced what we've experienced don't understand. I have found that it's a waste of time to try and talk to people who haven't been through these traumas that we've experienced. Only someone who has experienced extreme trauma can understand what's going on and why those words of "move on and get over it, blah blah blah" are so hurtful.