Those who survive trauma suffer a great deal beyond the traumatic events they endured. They also struggle with anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & more. Experiencing trauma changes how your brain works & how you think. Because of this, today I want to remind those of you who survived trauma of some important things.
You are strong. I know, you don’t feel that way but you are. Even if you have some serious struggles with your mental health, you’re strong. You survived what easily could have killed another person. Yes, you have some damage from that but you still survived. That is proof that you are strong!
You are valuable. Abusers do love to convince their victims that they are useless wastes of space don’t they? The fact is though that they only say this because it keeps their victims down & easier to control, not because they believe it. In fact, if they work hard to convince you that you have no value, it only goes to show that they know you are valuable. If they believed you truly to be worthless, why would they work so hard to convince you that you are worthless?
You are not to blame for the abuse. I don’t care what your abuser said, you are not to blame for anything they did. You never made that person hurt you. Nothing anyone says or does can force another person to abuse them. Get mad, sure. Maybe even hit someone in extreme cases. But, ongoing abuse is the result of the decision to abuse someone over & over again. That decision is the sole responsibility of abusers.
You didn’t deserve the abuse. Again, I don’t care what your abuser said. Nothing you did means you deserved whatever your abuser did to you. They chose to abuse because of something very fundamentally wrong with them, not because of anything you did.
If your abuser was someone you fell in love with, that isn’t a reason for you to feel stupid or be ashamed of yourself. Abusers aren’t horrible all of the time. If they were, they’d be easy to spot & avoid. Abusers often portray themselves as just what their victim wants in a mate, which is why good people fall in love with them every day.
You are allowed to talk about what he or she did to you. Abusers love their victims to stay quiet & will not hesitate to use anything in their power to make that happen. They don’t want anyone to know what they have done or are doing because that might mean someone would think badly of them, give them consequences for their behavior or even stop them from abusing their victims. The truth though is that this isn’t just their story. It’s yours too, which means you have every right to discuss it as much or as little as you want. If they want you to talk about them in a good way, they shouldn’t have abused you! Don’t forget too that discussing it isn’t trying to ruin their reputation. It’s simply telling what happened to you.
Your wants & needs are valid. Your desire to be treated with basic common decency is valid. Normal, even. Your wants & needs don’t mean you’re “high maintenance”, needy or impossible to please.
Your emotions are also valid. Just because your abuser said you are over sensitive, overreacting or can’t take a joke doesn’t mean these things are true. Your anger & hurt over their behavior are valid, & perfectly normal under the circumstances.
It’s perfectly ok to take days off. So many abusers convince their victims that they’re lazy, & that often sticks around long after the abuse is over. I struggle with this myself, so I want to tell you what I tell myself. There is nothing wrong with taking days off. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It means you’re human & need some rest. Healing from abuse & living with the mental & emotional struggles are a lot of work! Rest is essential anyway but especially when you’re trying to heal.
I hope this post helps you to remember these important points. I wish you the best!