I was reading this post from the wonderful and insightful Laurie Works, and it sparked what you are about to read:
I went through a relationship from hell several years ago, it lasted from 2009-2011, and felt like a million year nightmare. It was like I was dating a beautiful version of Mike Tyson meets a bear trap with a power trip. She bit me, hit me, and so many more wonderfully fun things that I totally do not ever want to encounter again. If hell exists, it was in that relationship. I was ruined mentally when I got out, and it took a long time to get my shit together enough for getting out of bed to not be a chore, but…
People think I’m full of shit because of how I react when talking about it.
Because I joke and laugh about it. I never cry over it when I talk about it. I smile a lot as I’m speaking, and I certainly don’t seem very upset. I get that, but I wish people would understand that it’s a method of protection.
To this day, if I did not disassociate when I talk about it, I would lose my shit.
People seem to think that you must show obvious concern or stress if talking about something that was truly terrible, and that is not true in any way, shape or form, and it is harmful and degrading to have people think like that and disregard your problem as false or over inflated because of it.
I’m open about pretty much everything past and current with me on this blog, and yet, other than vague/overarching statements about my abuse, I pretty much haven’t written about it. I want to. I want other’s to have a place where they can see they are not alone. I want people to understand what I went through, so that hopefully they can either help their own situation or be able to understand and help others…
but I still can not write about it.
Spoken words aren’t tangible. I can still get this sense of non-reality when I talk about it… Written words though… They are so incredibly tangible, it hurts to even write what I’ve written, and I panic when thinking about writing about all of it, and part of that is because of people’s reactions when I talk about it.
I’m certain people will think I’m full of shit and tell me to get over it, because I’ve heard it before.
I try to joke when I write or speak, no matter how heavy the topic is, because I require humor for life and sanity, and it helps make other people more comfortable with the presented information, but to dare do that in super heavy situations like abuse, rape, surviving a homicide situation, etc, then you aren’t taken seriously, people expect you to react a certain way, and won’t listen to you if you don’t.
It hurts, and every time it happens, my cuts get deeper, and I wonder more if they are ever going to turn to faded scars. When someone tells me that my experiences and pain aren’t valid, it hurts even more. When I’m disregarded and thrown away like trash because I “respond wrong” I feel that much more vulnerable, and well, like trash.
I haven’t talked seriously about my history with this woman for the better part of three years, because I’m scared.
I am so scared that I won’t be believed again. I need to talk about it. It still haunts me, but I feel like I can’t because people want me to act a certain way.
They can’t seem to understand that I can’t. If I did, if I stayed so tied to it that I was crying while talking about it, that I showed hurt when talking about it, it would ruin me for a long time after that. I have to disassociate, or I will drive myself to a suicidal depression.
All I can say to sum up is this:
Listen and love. Be there for the people who are trusting you by listening. Don’t offer advice unless asked, and do not ever discount what they have to say just because they have a reaction you don’t expect. Be there for hugs and hand holds. Be there for breakdowns and awkward humor. Be there for the person and let them guide you in how to help.
Thank you so much for reading and have a beautiful day sunshines.