One thing I have noticed a great deal of in the community of abuse survivors is comparisons.
Those without PTSD or C-PTSD sometimes think those with either disorder are weak, & shame them for being so weak.
Those who have siblings shame those of us who are only children, because they think we had it so easy growing up without abusive siblings.
Still others who were older children look down on their younger siblings for having it so easy as to be “spoiled” by the same parents that abused them.
The problem is that these mindsets make no sense whatsoever.
Someone who managed to escape an abusive childhood or abusive marriage without PTSD or C-PTSD should be grateful for that fact rather than judging others who live with these disorders. Those without such disorders are in the minority. The fact is that surviving an abusive relationship often causes either disorder, & it’s not very common to escape without them. Rather than looking down on those of us you may deem weak, instead be grateful that you don’t live with PTSD or C-PTSD. Be grateful you don’t have any idea what it’s like to live with crippling anxiety & depression, or have nightmares every night, or live with being so hyper-vigilant that your own spouse coming into the room where you are can make you feel blind terror for a few moments. Living with such horrible things is an absolute nightmare. Be glad you don’t suffer with this!
If you think those of us who were only children had it easy, then think again. I won’t say it’s easier for only children to survive an abusive upbringing than those with siblings, because each situation has its own unique challenges. I will say as an only child, I can speak from experience in saying that being the sole focus of a narcissistic parent’s rage is a nightmare. It’s just as bad of a nightmare as it is for someone who grows up with siblings who turn out like their parents, & abuse their scapegoated sibling. One is no better or worse than the other, simply different. Different does NOT mean one had it easy & another did not.
Rather than waste time comparing your experience to someone else’s, I would like to encourage you today to accept not only your experiences but the experiences of others to be valid. Everyone who has survived abuse has seen some horrific things. While yes, some experienced worse than others, that does not make the experiences of those who experienced less horrific abuse any less valid or abusive. Abuse is abuse & it hurts. Period. Accept that. Validate your experiences. There is nothing wrong with this! In fact, doing so can help you to heal. Not doing so, & comparing your experiences to that of others invalidates your pain. It makes you feel your experiences don’t matter. They weren’t so bad, so just ignore them & pretend they never happened. That mindset is incredibly unhealthy! I know facing your demons is hard, but it also is healthy, brave & a strong thing to do. It’s necessary if you wish to heal from the trauma in your life. So why waste time comparing your experiences to those of other people when you can help yourself to heal?