Tag Archives: sexual

“Why Didn’t You Tell Someone?”

When victims of abuse first tell their story, people often ask why they didn’t tell someone when it was happening.  They figure it couldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t even tell anyone.

 

This thinking is incredibly faulty!  Nothing could be further from the truth!

 

Abusers of all types have some things in common.  One of those things is they love secrecy.  They don’t want people to know what they are doing to their victim, so they threaten & scare their victims into silence.

 

Some abusers tell their victims things like, “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill your child/parents/sibling.”  Others beat their victims upon finding out the victim told someone what the abuser has done.  Narcissistic abusers usually aren’t so obvious with their intimidation, but they value secrecy nonetheless.  When I was growing up, my mother used to scream at me when she thought I was “airing our dirty laundry” as she called talking about her abuse.  She would shame me for needing to talk about things, like there was something incredibly wrong with me- everything she did was completely normal, I had no right to think otherwise or talk about her behind her back.  I stopped talking.  It wasn’t worth the screaming & berating.

 

Then sometimes if we tell, people either don’t believe us anyway or they think we’re exaggerating.  When I was a teen & told some people about my mother, no one believed me.  One school guidance counselor said “it didn’t sound so bad.”  When my mother threw me into a wall, I went to my friend’s parents’ home to see if I could stay with them.  Her father laughed at me.  26+ years later & I still don’t get the joke.

 

Reasons like this are why victims don’t tell someone when the abuse is happening.  We’re terrified the abuser will follow through on their threats or hurt us in some way, or afraid no one will believe us.  As painful as staying quiet about what’s happening is, it’s easier than facing the wrath of the abuser or apathy of someone we turn to for help.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Narcissism

Comparing Experiences Isn’t Good For Victims

Many victims of abuse downplay what they have been through.  Maybe you’ve even done it yourself, saying things like, “What I went through wasn’t nearly as bad as what you did!”  “At least my mother didn’t beat me!”  “It wasn’t so bad…” “My uncle only raped me that one time, & he was drunk…It wasn’t really his fault..”

 

The simple fact is though, that abuse is abuse.  There is really no point in comparing your situation to someone else’s.  Yet, victims do it often.

 

Many victims of psychological & narcissistic abuse were abused mentally but not physically or sexually.  They often believe because there was “only” mental abuse, it wasn’t so bad.  Psychological abuse doesn’t leave visible scars, which means many people don’t think it’s as bad as physical or sexual abuse.  This is completely untrue!  All abuse causes pain & damages a person’s mental health.

 

Often abusers have their victims completely convinced that they are so incredibly unworthy, that they don’t even deserve sympathy, understanding or pity for the pain they have survived.   The lower a person’s self-esteem, the easier a person is to control, so obliterating self-esteem is a very preferred tool of all types of abusers.

 

Also, narcissists love to blame their victims.  It doesn’t matter if you were absolutely 1,000% not responsible for the problem, they will still find a way to blame you.  One year while working in the yard with my husband, he dropped a very heavy log on my foot, which broke my toe.  My mother blamed me for him dropping the log on my foot!

 

Narcissists love to flaunt to their victims that they care about someone else’s suffering & not yours.  If you experience the exact same thing as someone else, the narcissist will offer sympathy for that person while simultaneously letting you know they couldn’t care less about your problem.  For example, in 2010, one of my cats passed away suddenly.  Within a couple of days of losing her, my parents’ neighbors’ small dog passed away.  My mother shed tears over the dog’s death, telling me how wonderful she was.  Yet, when I told her about my cat, she responded with “Oh well.. at least you don’t have anyone sick anymore” then she changed the subject.  This type of behavior makes a victim feel like anything they experience isn’t a big deal, yet what other people experience, even if it’s exactly what the victim is going through, is worthy of sympathy.

 

Narcissists also are professionals at invalidating their victims.  After enough invalidation, you learn that you don’t deserve any validation.  Nothing that happens to you is a big deal, & everyone else is much more important than you are.

 

If any or all of this sounds all too familiar to you, you need to know something.  Dear Reader, what you went through was bad.  The worst.  No one should have to suffer any type of abuse!  There is no comparison between you & anyone else.  Every situation is different, & every person is different.  It’s completely unfair to say someone else had it worse than you because of those differences.

 

Instead of comparing, how about validating your experiences to yourself?  It’s OK & even healthy to admit that they were bad.  In fact, if you hope to heal, then you need to admit & accept how bad things were.  Once you do that, you can grieve or get angry or whatever you need to do to process what happened to you.  Acceptance is an important first step.

 

If you’re having trouble validating your experiences, try thinking about things from a little different perspective.  If someone you love came to you & told you their story that was just like yours, would you tell the person it was no big deal?  Would you tell that person someone else had it worse, so they need to just get over it?  Or, would you hug the person, say what they experienced was wrong, & try to help them cope?  Guessing you would do the right thing & be there for that person.  If you’d be good & understanding for someone else, then why can’t you do it for yourself?

 

If you’re having trouble being that good to yourself, then I would urge you to start praying.  Ask God why you aren’t being that good to yourself.  Let Him help you to see what the problem is, & help you to fix it.  Also don’t forget to ask Him to help you to learn to validate yourself while you’re at it.

 

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Filed under Narcissism

Recent Revelations

Recently, I had a rough evening.  I had a nasty flashback to start with.  It was something I remembered, but I hadn’t thought of in a while.  A few hours later, I went to bed & had nasty nightmares.

 

As miserable as this experience was, it had a purpose.

 

The experience in the flashback & the nightmares showed me that there is a VERY common thread in my life with those who have abused or at the least mistreated me.  The abusers may have done different things to me, but they all believed that I was supposed to be their personal punching bag, obey their wishes at any personal cost to me, sacrifice anything for any whim of theirs, & take any abuse they dished out with a smile.  And, anyone I told their behavior was unacceptable acted the same way- as if I had a problem for being upset about their actions.

 

When this occurred to me the morning after the whole experience, something clicked in me.  No normal human acts this way!  While I already realized it, it really hit home to me just how messed up abusers are to think such things & act this way towards those they abuse.  How can anyone think that it’s OK to abuse & there is something wrong with victims for calling an abuser out on it?!

 

My point is that although you probably know this already, I wanted to remind you, Dear Reader, that NO ONE has the right abuse you!  You have every right to speak out, to set & enforce healthy boundaries, to stop the abuse, & to call out your abuser!  You do NOT have to tolerate abuse just because some sick person thinks you do.  You have rights!  Never listen to an abuser who thinks you should tolerate anything they dish out with a smile.  They are WRONG!  No one has to do that.  No one.  You deserve better than to be abused!  Never doubt that!  If you don’t believe me, remember, God thinks so to.  He loved you enough to send His only Son to die for you, so you could become His child.  Do you really think He would be OK with you being abused after that?

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism