Some times when we disclose our abuses, people who don’t understand the long term effects can start to undermine us.
It isn’t always malicious, it may be rather like when we have a bereavement, people don’t quite know what to say and so often say the wrong thing! Your revelation may come as a shock to them, and perhaps after a bit of “thinking time” they will come back in strong support of you.
It could also be though, that your disclosure threatens their own belief system, or they feel uncomfortable, and would prefer to bury their heads in the sand. It is indeed an ugly subject, but the ugliness comes from the abuse and the abuser, and does NOT come from you, it was forced upon you.
I reiterate what I said earlier “The people that matter don’t mind, and those that do mind don’t matter!”
Please don’t buy into the bullshit of shallow people.
It is very easy for us to sacrifice our own recovery for what others see to be “the greater good” isn’t that one of the ways the Church has kept us quiet?
It is so easy for our fragile self esteem to be shattered again, and we are further abused…
After a bit of practice you will quickly be able to recognise and deflect the kind of barbs that might undermine you and set up the self doubt and misplaced guilt. You may need to develop a “bullshit detector”!
Here are a few of the common ones that you may hear, don’t listen to them, and don’t believe them!
– Are you sure it really happened?
– It was a long time ago, you should have talked about it before !
– Can’t you just forget about it and move on?
– You must have given him some encouragement!
– It only happened once or twice was it that bad?
– Why didn’t you stop it?
– I don’t believe it, a priest would not behave in that way!
– God will punish you for saying such terrible things!
– You have always been a bit crazy!
– Can’t you forgive and forget.!
– He must have been going through a break down himself, you might feel sorry for him!
– Well he didn’t actually penetrate you did he?
– You are just jumping on the abuse bandwagon!
– How did you bring this on yourself?
– What exactly did he do?
– You must have enjoyed it!
– Why didn’t you tell me?
As soon as you hear one of these remarks,or something similar, bat it away in your mind – and don’t absorb it. Don’t feel either that you have to answer these people, tell them you don’t want to hear this stuff from them and walk away.
(I have had to walk away from some ignorant people for good, and as painful though that is, it is necessary for me to now surround myself with “those that matter”. You have been fighting for your life, and that is what is now important!)
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