A Teachable Moment


There is no positive twist you can put on abuse. And how to help us is counter intuitive to our human nature, I get that. For every well meaning positive twist or unkind comment made regarding our abuse, it sets us back in our recovery exponentially. It may sound crazy, but it is a fact. And even worse, it often causes us to have triggers, flashbacks, and panic attacks. The only thing you can do is validate our feelings.

For example: When we write an extremely painful poem or post, it is hard to hear someone say, “Things will get better” or “Can you write about something more positive” or “Everybody feels that way or has experienced this” …I don’t think so! Also, it is hard to hear comments that compare our trauma to someone else’s or to somewhere else in the world. REALLY? Do we really have to be someone else or live somewhere else in the world to experience trauma? I, along with many others have lost everything, how much more do we have to lose to be enough? The other comment that is unbearable is to say or imply that we just need to be positive or just get over it.

All of this messes with our minds and already broken spirits! I have almost shut down my blog more times than months I have been blogging. Trying to put a positive twist to something tragic or being unkind are equally harmful.

We don’t need much support, but we cannot handle an ounce of unkindness or someone being positive about what happened to us. This isn’t easy to say or admit. But we have been damaged physically, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually. The mind games and control, the manipulation of abusers is palpable. It leaves a sense of crazy inside of us that we have to deal with. Being made to feel any worse than we already do is quite frankly unbearable.

This is not to bash anyone, it is meant with the most kind and sincere form of education and awareness.

One of the reasons we go to therapy is to get help, obviously. But another major reason is because no one gets us, NO ONE, not really. We feel utterly alone and misunderstood. In therapy is often the ONLY place we have to speak our truth with an openness that is safe and healing. That is why we often write in poetry and riddles and just fragmented pieces of what happened to us. We are afraid!

With most of us, for everything we say, there are ten things we do not. This is one of the reasons you cannot compare trauma. Some people take drugs to help them, and that is understandable and acceptable. And some of us choose to not use drugs and suffer through the pain. Neither of us are weaker or stronger or hurt less or more. We are living in hell inside of ourselves. Hell is hell, you don’t compare hell. We already know it is torture. How tortured do you have to be until you have been tortured too much?

Once the human spirit is broken, it is broken. Some people experience one very traumatic abuse that may last a long time, some incredible unbelievable abuse, and some multiple ongoing abuse from multiple people and situations in their lives. For many of us it never ended. But abuse is abuse. We don’t have to have multiple labeled diagnoses, take drugs, have more horrific stories than the next to be suffering. We all have survived against incredible odds.

Our stories are all so very different, but our suffering and responses to them are so uncannily similar. And that is what we all need to focus on: readers, supporters, and victims alike. How much pain is too much pain? We have been sexually terrorized, for crying out loud, enough to lose our memories. This is called trauma. Everyone reacts to trauma differently, but one thing that is absolutely true, we all suffer unthinkable agony.

We have been abused in ways that are excruciating to talk about. And even when we do, it leaves us with fear and anxiety. Now after all that we have been through, I feel as though we must spend the rest of our lives being harmed further by either careless or well meaning individuals. This is heartbreaking for all of us. And it isn’t helping us to heal one bit. It is what plays a huge part in us isolating ourselves. How long will we write about it? Until! One thing is sure, as long as we keep being harmed further, it will NEVER end for us.

It seems as though people believe that by writing or speaking about our pain, we are trying to keep it alive. In reality, we are trying to get rid of it!

I know it is counter intuitive, but the best thing you can do is to just listen and empathize with our pain. There isn’t ANYTHING you can say to make this pain go away. There are no words to heal a wounded soul. We must grieve. How long? I don’t know. I am not even sure there is an end to this type of tragedy. I am not saying our lives can’t get better and that we can’t eventually find more joy in our lives. But what I am saying, is that there is a very good chance we may always have periods of being thrown off, caught off guard and spiraling from time to time. I don’t know if the pain will ever truly go away. Maybe the best we can do is learn to manage our pain and these painful times. It doesn’t make us any less of a person. And to a large degree we are all effected by the level of support and validation we have received in the past, and the support we receive in our present and future. But having to always be healing from remarks that wound our already broken and sensitive spirits is beyond sad.

There is lots you can say and do to make us feel safe and validated. One thing that might be helpful, is to see everything that we write or say, no matter how dark or painful, as a positive thing. We are getting it out and it gives us some relief from the pressure inside of us! For me, writing is what lets me grieve. And it also has a release in the fact that it has a hint of feeling like a small taste of justice has been served. It is bittersweet! For most of us, it is the ONLY justice we will ever experience.


33 thoughts on “A Teachable Moment

  1. Fantastic lovely XXXX Couldn’t agree more. You have put your feelings forward in a more dignified subtle way than me. I am sure no one could possibly disagree with what you’ve expressed here. You have my full support. I know your story, and it’s tragic. You always have me X

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  2. Blue, I want to thank you for this! You have put into words what I have felt and have not been able to express. The source of my pain was not sexusl abuse, however I did it to myself in a sense with my addiction. The pain and the suffering I think is remarkably similair, as you pointed out, maybe only different in degree. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Blessings, ❤ Barney
    (Please don’t think that I have implied in any way that my emotional/vebal/physical abuse is equivalent to the sexual abuse of a woman. No way I think that. I misused sex to self-medicate and the consequences for me are relationally and in my ability to love. I feel as though I am starting all over again but the knowledge, the herstbresk, grief and regret for what i have done keeps dragging me down)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a society and as individuals, we are only as healthy to the degree in which we own our own stuff… each and everyone of us. Abuse is not a free meal ticket. Everyone, abusers and abused alike must own our own behavoirs and lack of character and the choices we make in life. I have seen a lot in my life and I can tell you, one of the most destructive things I have seen from people who either abuse themselves or others is NOT forgiving themselves. It keeps them in the same cycles of abuse. Eventually it can even become an excuse to stay there, whether consciously or not. The best thing you can do for youself and your wife is to forgive yourself. There is NO place for self pity in abusive behavoir or lack of character or bad choices any of us make in life. Thank you Barney!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Blue, thank you, I have been getting just that message from a lot of my friends recently but honestly, I don’t know how, I even wonder, if unconciously, I don’t want to. How do you forgive youself? I’m not even sure where to start. And then, sometimes I feel like such a frsud, am I making on this shit up, is it just one really long bad dream? I don’t know. Somedays I just don’t know anything. This feels like the meltdown returning…. 😦

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        1. The only way to forgive yourself is to truly face what you have done… the gravity of it. You should be able to see that clearly in your wife. Don’t be afraid to look into her pain and sit with it with her. Let it hurt you and wound you. She can be your best teacher right now. She can help you to face the raw painful truth. It can be enough to shake you into a reality that makes you run to the altar of your own heart and in utter desperation find forgiveness. You need to face what it has done to your wife and your relationship, and what it has done to you as a human being. Sometimes I feel as though we are all terrified to face our own truth of who we are and spend our whole lives running from it, when in reality it is the most freeing thing we can do. We have to face our own humanity and then deal with it. Sometimes we are so concerned about what everyone else thinks about us, but never stop to ask ourselves why our behavior is okay with us… why do we permit ourselves to do such things. What we think about ourselves and how we interact in the world needs to matter to us. Otherwise none of us can or do speak the truth, instead we lie and hide. And sometimes the biggest lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves.

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  3. Blue, thank you! You put intio words thoughts and feelings I have never been able to express, at least not with any clarity. I was just about to share this with M when we got into a, I don’ t know, sometimes she can just be so heartless, she has no idea how hard I take these disagreements. I just wish she would shut up sometimes and validate me, hold me, accept me, what I think and feel. I am not a child! I am a grown man and I wish she would recognize that, I may have issues but I am not a moron, There I guess this is everyones day for a rant. And now I get to go to work and suck on this lemon for awhile. 😣 Barn

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    1. If I can be candid with you, this problem with your wife isn’t about you Barney… it is about what YOU did to her. How can she possibly validate you? You broke her spirit and crushed her heart… and haven’t yet truly validated her or what this has done to her. She is the real victim in ALL of this. You broke every promise, hope, and dream she had for the two of you. Women don’t see or feel the same as men about these issues. Men can view pornography, sleep with other women, and their wife without loving or caring about any of them. NO wife wants to be with their husband when his heart and mind is with the images of other women. Men freely feed this appetite in themselves. But this is what makes them so undesirable to the women who love them. In many ways I am often shocked that we as women have the ability to be intimate with most of you. Men don’t get it, but want us to get you. You are asking something of your wife she cannot give you without you FIRST seeing her pain and what this has done to her. How long…. until she believes you really get it. There is no quick fix for this. You have been getting needs met in yourself. Your wife has not… she has just been getting her heart broken. I am sure the last thing on her mind is YOUR needs. She needs you to demonstrate in every way you can that what she needs and wants matter to you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are so right and I thank you for being brave enough to answer this honestly and truthfully. Although it hurts to hear this, I needed to and I do appreciate it, really! Please, please don’t ever hesitate to call me on my shit whenever you think I need it. I need friends who are brutally honest with me. I know I have become very selfish, that’ s what porn does when it rewires the brain. Blue, I can’t thank you enough. You have no idea how much respect I have for you and what you just did. At the right moment I will share your post and this conversation with M.
        ❤❤❤ Barney

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is beautifully expressed. Often due to other ignorance we are forced into complete absolute isolation, after having every door slammed shut in our face when we tried to honestly express our pain. I think it is realistic to know often people wont get it but that is their defect/deficiency, not ours. Validation is essential to healing and often it IS only in therapy we get that fully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are those who love us and strive to get it right. So hopefully for those who truly want to know how to be supportive, a little education will be helpful. It is sad how hard it is for others to get this right. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes that is why it is important for sufferers to speak up in a way that doesn’t alienate others. Some survivors carry a load of anger which is understandable. We need to remember it is just ignorance and ignorance can be battled by expressing certain truths and working towards enlightenment.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “That is why we often write in poetry and riddles and just fragmented pieces of what happened to us. We are afraid! With most of us, for everything we say, there are ten things we do not.” Yes! Well said. I enjoyed reading this post, and agree with everything you wrote. *hugs* ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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