Invalidation

I realize I haven’t written on here in over a year. Two years ago, something horrible happened to me. One year ago, I finally mustered up the courage to speak about my trauma. I decided, with the help of a mental health professional, to branch out and tell my friends and family why I had been so distant. Why I had changed and become this different person.

 

One person who I thought was a friend was incredibly insensitive and invalidating. They demanded to know whether I was drunk when it happened, whether I knew him, whether I really wanted it. As if it was my fault. They asked me if it was really “that bad”, why I didn’t come home, why I didn’t report. I was in tears, in shock, unable to speak as they berated me and further assaulted me with questions.

 

After that, my progress halted. I went back to the nightmares, sleeplessness, and shame. I repeated my “friend’s” demands in my head. Why didn’t I report it? Why didn’t I leave? What if it was my fault? What if I deserved it?

 

I became silenced. I stopped writing.

No more victim blaming

Implying that a person’s preexisting mental illness meant they deserved their trauma or abuse is like saying any other vulnerable population deserves to be abused. Saying that a mental illness that causes people to make “bad decisions” is placing the blame on the person, not the perpetrator. This is victim blaming. This all leads back to the stigma surrounding mental illness. A child does not deserve to be abused. Nor a homeless person, a sick person, or any other vulnerable individuals.