They never displayed any empathy.
They never asked about your feelings, sympathized with you, or cared.
When we used to get hurt, we don’t know how to react when others appreciate us.
End up we pushing people away.
Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you didn’t belong.
A child who has been abused or traumatized, the adult survivor experience feelings of low self-worth or poor self-confidence.
Like me, many of survivors tend to build up a wall and keep an arm distant from the crowd.
People might feel awkward for their behaviors, but I can speak from my own experience that we are not hating people, instead, many of us simply fear of intimacy or relationship that too close.
Because we afraid of losing or any potential damage from the investment of relationship.
It’s sad and unhealthy I know, but we just can’t help. The more you pull them out from the cave, the more they resist and desire to stay away from you.
Advice is : Take your time and give them some space, be authentic and generous for your approach, sooner or later, their heart will be melted as long as they find you really can be trust.
This is not new to many of abuse survivors, people don’t quite understand why victims / survivors don’t fight for themselves or “do something”.
Sure there are strong individuals will figure it all out and stand up for themselves at early age of abuse. But there are times when victims are abused for a longer period of time, especially without enough support system, this will lead them to this “learned helplessness” mode.
I knew it because I was there. There were times I just feel no matter I do was useless and felt stuck. This until I started to pick myself up from the bottom, read and learn as many as possible I can from other survivors / experts, sooner or later, you will notice there’s a light at the end of tunnel.
So don’t give up yourself even though others give you up. Stay strong!
You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.
Gym I used to go will soon moved to a new location. I’m feeling ….. lost.
People might feel strange about my feelings but it’s not just a “place” for me to exercise, instead it’s filled with many emotions, struggles and memories. Now the centre is close so kind of like my past was buried.
I can’t survive without the existence of this centre, and make me think about the 3 C’s of any healing journey.
Choice – only make one small change at a time
At the beginning, simply because I was sick of being trapped at my self-destructive behaviors / depression. I wanted to do something, change and take control of my life. I used to stuff myself food after food to ease my inner pain. Completely throw the towel.
I was completed gave up and messed up, didn’t know what’s the purpose to live for and swallow for how this all happened to me? I was so devastated and depressed. Life so dreadful and seem hopeless.
I somehow manage to reflect when my emotion is on track, not staying in bed for days. Thought if nobody care and love me, then let me love myself. So I started to join gym membership and spent lots of time in gym.
It’s a safe place for me to hang around, simply relax or did nothing. Just need a break from chaos life. Finally I have a place to go to, didn’t need to wander around the street wait until everybody sleep so I can back home; can read, watch TV etc., love the sense of freedom. Sooner I started to hop on machines to do bits of exercise.
Exercise habits begun and when I see the progress and all biological / physiological changes of my body, I exercised more. Besides, heard how exercise can help depression so I tried to force myself to do it though sometimes I didn’t have mood to do so.
Day after day, eventually shed off 100+ lbs. I didn’t take a big leap but just tiny bits by bits.
Chance – aware new opportunities
Then one day a dancing class attract my attention. I thought SCREW IT, just try it. Never a good dancer but love music or catch up the beats. Instead, I’m always the most clumsy one in the class, but just kept on pushing myself to attend class….
Then started to set some goals for myself, such as “lose 2 lbs before next class” so I can look better in the mirror.
Although I never feel comfortable to social, look extremely cool, unfriendly and kept everyone an arm distance, scare people will ask me too many personal questions, but I take the opportunity and gave myself a chance to try new things.
My confidence / self-esteem start to build up, and start to think again : well, if I can conquer such a big challenge, what else I can’t change?”. Thus I take the healing journey a step further.
Change – your life will become better
It’s like a snowball effect.
Because I have more confidence, I’m more willing to put myself out to explore and learn, in such, able to encounter / meet more people I admire. Started to observe why some people are so confident and charming, how can I become them?
There’s a saying “If you don’t see you are changing, it means you did nothing for the past months / years so your are not growing”.
That’s true, I used to admire some people but after months / years when listened / read their opinions again, I no longer agree them as much as I was at the beginning.
In the past, I thought this was my problem but now I understand because if we are growing continuously – our mindset / perspective will be different. That’s actually a good sign of self-development.
Remember the movie “Cast Away” by Tom Hanks? The main support for him when he was in the island was the “football”, it’s the only “human” he can rely on while he’s lonely and frustrated – help to maintain his spirits and soul without going sane.
Similar to me, gym is not a gym. Feel sad,lost and sure will miss it, but at the same time feel blessed for its existence during my tough / foggy years.
How about you? Do you have any place that you seriously attached to? where it filled with unforgettable memories?
Photo Credit : Unsplash – Graphic Mama
This is a very common attribution, happens not only in abusive stories but all kinds of incidents at work / in public.
People tend to blame the victims and that’s why make it difficult for survivors to speak up or stand up for themselves. Lack of supports and misunderstandings make victims take all responsibilities of abuse on their own hands.
The worst, after the abuse, survivors are those who need to forgive and forget even though it’s impossible in many of cases. Once again we put extra burden on their shoulders and give permissions for abusers to escape from their faults, saying something like, well…he / she didn’t mean to do this. That’s terrible.
Have you ever behave in similar way? Please comment and share this post so more people aware what’s our unconscious behavior lead us to.