“I deserved it.” “If I wouldn’t have mouthed off like that, I wouldn’t have gotten hurt.” “If I would have just agreed, he wouldn’t have gotten so angry.” “If I wouldn’t have been so passive, he wouldn’t have felt it was ok to touch me like that.” “If I had covered myself better, he wouldn’t have been so tempted to do the wrong thing.” “If I had been a good enough wife, he wouldn’t have drank.” “If my love had been enough, he wouldn’t have chosen drugs over me.” “If I had not been so inconvenient…” “If I had been a better helper…” “If I had been more considerate…” If I hadn’t have been such a handful…” “If I had had a better attitude…” “If I had prayed more…” “If I had BEEN BETTER…” “If I had DONE BETTER…” “These are just the consequences of my actions.” “These are just the consequences of not being good enough.” I have heard versions of all of this, over, and over, and OVER again. We often find ways to justify our own abuse and mistreatment. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, emotional rage, manipulation, cohersion, and every kind of violence is often twisted with some justification about how YOU were the ACTUAL problem in the first place. Whether you experienced your abuse from a parent, a partner, a stranger, a church member, a family member - you NEVER deserved it. Never ever. Part of your healing is not MINIMIZING what happened to you. Part of your healing is fully acknowledging your abuser’s responsibility for their own actions. Part of your healing is being “inconvenient” enough to acknowledge the hurt and damage that was done. Regardless of their justifications, they are responsible for their choices, as we all are. If someone talks to you in a rude tone of voice, you don’t throw a chair at them. If a man is topless, you don’t grab their chest and make a sexually explicit comment. If someone rolls their eyes at you, you don’t verbally assault them and degrade them. If someone disagrees with you, you don’t call them horrible names and belittle their intelligence. If someone disrespects your request, you don’t beat them with a belt. No, you don’t excuse these behaviors in yourself because you know they are UNKIND and CRUEL. No matter what behavior someone else has toward you, you very likely would never think these actions would be an appropriate or justifiable response. Because they aren’t. You will continue to be victimized and entrapped by your trauma and abuse as long as you minimize and internalize what you experienced. Stop holding shame and blame for something that IS NOT YOURS. You are a warrior for overcoming the trauma you experienced. You never deserved it, but you have survived it anyway. It’s time to stop making it your fault. It’s time to stop saying it wasn’t that bad or that someone else had it worse. No. YOU. ARE. A. BADASS. FOR. SURVIVING. Don’t allow your past trauma to continue to shame and victimize you. It’s time to own your power and write the end to your story. It’s time to speak. It’s time to join the collective voice of justice and transparency. If you know this post applies to you but you aren’t sure where to start, message me. You know if you feel the call.
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