This morning I was up at four. I’m always up around three or four in the morning. Needless to say I’m guilty of scrolling through Facebook.
One of the aspects I enjoy the most is looking at my “On This Day” section and realizing just how much I have healed and how far I’ve come.
Today, I found a poster from a couple years ago about PTSD. I saved it, but the original link was from a Facebook Page named: PTSD Break the Silence , and I linked them because I don’t want to try to take any credit for this poster. Also, people should check them out because they share some great information!
Rereading this poster now, I have a few thoughts on this that I will share.
Note: I fear sounding harsh. It’s not my intention, but I have a great passion about PTSD and Domestic Violence.
I am probably going to be writing about domestic violence often this month, because May is my personal ‘Domestic Violence Awareness Month’. It’s the month I escaped seven years of domestic violence. It also marks the beginning of my lesson in establishing self-respect and boundaries with others in my life who had abused me either mentally, emotionally, or physically in the past.
Needless to say, I was an extremely damaged human–damaged to the point that I would stay up all night staring at the door and just waiting for my abuser to carry out each and every threat he had made all the times I had mentioned leaving, and damaged to the point that I couldn’t even sit through an entire statistics class without getting up to “use the restroom”– my excuse to try out the exit in the room so that if I were attacked in class, I would know where to go.
I plan on writing more about my healing journey in later posts, so I won’t go into too much detail on this one.
But, the one thing that wore me out more than my own mental and emotional anguish was that everyone around me was suddenly becoming an expert on mental illness. It was as though they went to bed and woke up with a doctorate in how to handle one’s own thoughts and healing processes.
Now, as the poster states, I believe it was all well-intended. Even so, there’s a lot of stigma that I feel necessitates erasure.
For example, “stop being a victim”. After my mother passed away, I felt frightened constantly. I felt as though my only protector had left me. In my mind, I was all alone. I felt belittled because I was constantly being called a “burden”, and I felt as though any emotions I had were worthless because anytime anyone would tell me how sorry they were for my loss, the comment was met with, “She’s too young to understand”.
I assure all three people who will read this post of one thing: I understood the loss of my own mother perfectly well.
Being raised as a victim, continuing victimhood into the teen years, and knowing no other way of life, it is extremely difficult to simply “stop being” one.
The first step for me was realizing that I was a victim. Being abused in marriage seemed, to me, like a continuation of childhood. It wasn’t until I began seeking outside sources that I even realized that, “hey, I might actually be in an abusive relationship and this is not right”.
Once I realized it, I had to process it and that took a while because I ended up reassessing my entire life to understand that the things people said to me and some of the ways I was treated ended up reshaping my entire life-script to something I never intended.
Then and only then could I get help from other sources. The most important thing was that I helped myself.
I left, and not only did I leave, later, after years of healing, I decided to flip that script. I chose to allow my experiences to empower me to bring my story to anyone who feel led to listen to it.
This sense of personal power didn’t come overnight. It wasn’t a switch I made a choice to flip.
It came from hard work, persistence, and great inner-courage.
I wish that the same people who make the comment, “Stop being a victim”. Would offer advice on how. Have you ever asked someone who said that to you how to simply “stop”? Try it sometime. Not one of them can give you a comprehensive answer.
I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2012. I believe that I’ve managed to heal it well. However, there are certain places I continue to avoid. I ask myself this, “is it absolutely necessary that I go here”?
If the answer is ‘no’, I decide it’s not a fight that serves my higher interest. Maybe I’m wrong, but I, like every survivor, am doing the best I can with the tools I have.
I also disagree that being abused in any way is a choice a person consciously makes.
Maybe you’re an atheist, or maybe you believe in entities like angels. That’s fine–not that you need my approval. But I believe angels exist. I think they come to earth–sometimes in human form; each time I give a few dollars to someone who’s homeless and they thank me. I thank them right back for that light in their eyes when they meet my own–it’s that spark that seems to warm my heart the rest of the day.
I also think that if angels can be here, on earth, in human form, so can demons. the Dalai Lama once said, “Nothing is as it seems”. One hundred percent truth, right there.
I remember when my abuser was going into a rage, his eyes would turn into these black, almost button-like disks. I could see deep red and black all around him. I truly wonder if he was human. Could it be that demons masquerade as people?
I would answer a resounding “yes”. If angels can, why can’t the demonic?
Scary thing. Right?
Maybe I’m wrong for “demonizing”. Perhaps that is “over the top”, but I just don’t believe that actions that are highly abusive should be qualified as human. I think that the word can be as literal or as metaphorical as one would like it to be.
So, this is all that this poster prompted me to ponder today.
I don’t believe that there’s a timeframe on personal healing. I also don’t think that those who are trying to heal are “negative people”. I see them as genuine–real life human beings having genuine, hurtful experiences and coping and moving forward the best they can.
And I would say to the people who think otherwise–those who continue to perpetuate misunderstandings no matter how well-intended, the ones who say “Why don’t you just get over it”?
I’d ask those people the same thing: Why don’t you?
Stop judging. If you can’t care about that situation–move on. Don’t speak on personal experiences you have not had.
If you are working to heal just know it is possible. You are so very allowed to work on yourself at your pace and in your own time–realize that for yourself…again, you certainly don’t need mine or anyone else’s permission.
You can do this! I promise!
Peace and Love,