Surviving Abuse

I am a survivor. I’ve met many other survivors online, though not to many in real life. There are two things to get over when you’ve been abused. The abuse itself, and the expectations of our peer/society. Some people have an easier time getting over abuse then others, or at least it seems to effect them less. It is from these people and the people who’ve never known or seen abuse that make both getting past the abuse and meeting societies expectations so hard. I see the problem worst when it’s parent/sibling abusing a child. We tell the child to get away from the situation or report it. But then most of society expects the abused to forgive (using this definition “‘to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt'”), to basically condone the abuse. I found this when I realized that, for my mental health, I needed to remove my mother from my life. No, pardon me, it started years before that, when I was so hurt I couldn’t stop complaining about the pain she’d caused me. When I was in high school. So for the past five years I’ve been hearing versions of this “you will regret not having a good relationship with your mom”. The connotation is there. It is suddenly my fault I don’t have a good relationship with my mom, or it’s my fault our relationship won’t get better. Or they tell me that I’m not treating my mom right by cutting contact with her. Because they were abused and didn’t need to do so. Or I shouldn’t talk about my mother that way (not wanting her to visit, or about how badly she treated me). Whether the abuse is mental/emotional, physical, or sexual if it is a family member we are expected to forgive them, to condone their actions. But suddenly, if it’s a significant other, we are told just to leave him/her, we are denigrated if we stay, or if we didn’t realize before the abuse started that the person would be abusive.  And I’m sure we’ve all heard enough about rape culture, so I don’t have to write a paragraph about that. No one asked to get raped, guys can get raped, and orgasming doesn’t mean that it’s not rape, etc. (interesting related video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow7pwIDhl5c) There’s also work place abuse.  Which is probably the hardest to do anything about. Your options are basically to put up with it or find another job (since most places don’t actually have HR departments), and when looking for a different job you or discouraged from saying anything about why you are actually leaving (“My boss was ___ abusive”), because you are not supposed to bad mouth your employer.

You are also expected to get over any abuse quickly. “20 years of abuse? it’s been 2 years, get over it.” “I don’t know why this still bothers you it was years ago”, “It wasn’t that bad”, for example. I’ve had an argument with my mother that left me shaken for days (she told me to eat less so I could loose a bit of weight (I’m like 10-30 pounds over weight, not too badly)), My grandmother told me to get over it. It wasn’t just the weight, it was that she wouldn’t drop the subject, no matter what I said, until I was forced to should “boundary” over and over to get her to shut up.

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2 comments on “Surviving Abuse

  1. Pingback: Surviving Abuse Part II | kstruggles

  2. “But then most of society expects the abused to forgive (using this definition “‘to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt’”), to basically condone the abuse.”

    Never have a heard a truer word said; or seen it written, rather.

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