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.

Why don’t they report?

Why do sexual assault victims wait so long to seek charges against their alleged abusers?

In light of the Kavanaugh situation going on, I wanted to post this extremely informative thread. There are a lot of great comments explaining why people don’t immediately report assaults.

Trauma trancends rational logic. You’re in shock. Would you ask a victim of a collision why they didnt get up and bandage themselves together? Of course not, you would understand they’re in shock and pain. So why do we treat assault survivors like this? “Why didn’t you run? Why didn’t you report?” A lot of people who ask this just don’t understand. They don’t understand the situation or the pain, they don’t know how to help.

Some people dont like to hear this, but assault is much more prevalent than we would like to believe. I know too many women (and men) who have gotten through horrific, traumatic situations – a disgustingly high amount of them sexual assaults.

Have some compassion. Stop victim blaming.

Firsts

I used to think that you were the one for me
Because you were the first.
The first to treat me how I wanted to be treated
And how I deserved to be treated.
You were the first I was with while I began to
Realize my worth.

I used to place so much value in Firsts.
I remember my first boyfriend,
My first kiss.
I thought because he was my first
We were meant to be.
I wasn’t really in love with him, though,
I was in love with the idea of the First.

Instead I was introduced to my first heartbreak.
My first betrayal.

After a long line of Firsts,
I ended up with you.
I was certain this was the be all and end all.
You were the first to treat me with that level of respect.
You were the first to truly listen and share my pain.

I clung onto you for so long because
I felt that you were my most important,
Significant First –

And for the first time, you didn’t want me back.
For the first time, I let you go.

The one for me
Is not a First in many ways,
But is a First where it matters most.

And in the end, maybe Firsts aren’t important after all.
Life isn’t that simple.

He is not my first kiss,
Nor my first love.

But I remember our firsts
As being sweeter than honey
And I remember feeling
Lighter than air
Happier than ever.

So goodbye to all my last Firsts.

Anniversary

A year ago today I began writing here.
I was about to embark on the biggest adventure of my life.
I was about to meet so many new people,
Have so many laughs and
Shed so many tears.
I was about to break my own heart
Say goodbye to someone who meant
So much to me
And then meet the love of my life.

What a wonderfully, terribly, awesome year.
Words cannot express the emotion,
Pain
Fear
Love
Excitement
Surprise
Joy
Pride
I feel.

So much can change in a year.
Happy anniversary.

Into the mirror

To the girl I ruthlessly harmed,
Both physically and mentally –
Please find it in your heart
To forgive me.

To the girl I told wasn’t good enough
Over and over,
Please find it in your heart
To let go of the pain.

I was hurting
So I hurt you,
Hoping for relief.

I should have been there for you.
I shouldn’t have let you go through it alone.
I am sorry.

Constructively criticizing a friend

A true friend is someone who has your best interests in mind. A true friend is NOT someone who tells you what you want to hear all the time and sugarcoats everything. A true friend is NOT someone who tiptoes around you, always afraid of offending.

Susan was someone who believed everything should always be butterflies and rainbows. She hated conflict, and avoided confrontation at all costs. Dana considered Susan to be her best friend. Sometimes Susan would get on Dana’s nerves. She would avoid any confrontations and always changed the subject when Dana wished to speak about more serious topics. Whenever things didn’t go her way, she would avoid anyone and everyone who she felt was being unfair to her and wouldn’t talk to them at all. One day, Dana became fed up and spoke to Susan about this. Susan clammed up, and rejected Dana from her life. She claimed that she was “practicing self care” by rejecting a toxic friend like Dana from her life.

This is not an example of a friend being bullied by another. This is an example of someone trying to be a good friend, and having that sentiment taken the wrong way. Now, with Susan’s refusal to communicate, this could lead to the loss of the two’s friendship.

As long as you are not relentlessly putting down another person and you have the best intentions in mind, you have every right to voice your concerns if they are directly involving you or your relationship with the person. Do not feel like a bully or a bad person for honoring your own frustrations and issues with your friend. Be true to yourself. If you would want a friend to point out their concerns when they came up, then it is not wrong for you to do this to another friend.

Lack of good, constructive communication destroys relationships. Remember this.