Brave

girl in thought colored pencil

 

“I’m not courageous, brave, or strong.  It’s not like I was being beaten every day.”

I still have to fight back the urges to constantly justify the terrible way that I was treated for so many years.  Always repeating to myself that yes, I am a survivor, I have overcome obstacles that would have kept me a prisoner in my own home.  There is no form of abuse that is justifiable.  Regardless of the severity, we need to understand that it is an incredible accomplishment to free ourselves from it.

“How could you cry while singing the song at the funeral?! It was your job to maintain composure for the sake of the family and you completely ruined it. I never should have let you take my place, I should have just sung through my hoarse voice.”

“It’s all your fault we’re overdrawn again, I should be in control of  the finances.  You will give me your paychecks from now on.”

“I’m calling in to work again today, I’m going to say that one of the kids is sick and you aren’t able to stay home from work with them.”

“If you don’t like it then just stop reading my text messages because I’m not quitting pain killers.”

“F@%* you then! You do nothing but nag!”

Over and over again, I would repeat to myself, while alone in my misery. . . “It could be worse, at least he doesn’t hit me.”

We ALL have stories.  Varying in degrees on the platform of abusive behaviors, but nonetheless, abuse.  Whether it be that one night when you were in high school and that boy made you think the only way you were attractive or worth anything was if you performed sexual favors for him. Or the girl that constantly put you down and made you feel like you weren’t good enough. Or the guy that beat you senseless because you used a “condescending” tone with him. Or the spouse that made you feel like you were worthless, incapable of success, and crazy. These are all abusive situations that have undoubtedly left an impact on your self-esteem, self-worth, and on your life.  None are to be excused with a “well it could have been worse” attitude.  Never let yourself think that you were in any way deserving of those situations. Never let yourself justify their actions because you don’t think it was severe enough to be considered abusive.  Never tell yourself that it was no big deal.

~Christa G.

6 thoughts on “Brave

  1. Janet

    Thank you for this article.. I was in a terrible abusive situation for 9 years. My children were also abused. I kept thinking or telling myself that it was petty stuff not enough to divorce over. I didn’t want to be that divorced woman with two ex husbands. Then one day he said something that I couldn’t get out of my head, “I’m living in hell.” I thought if he thinks he is living hell I know I’m not happy and I started looking at my children, they were miserable.
    I kick myself everyday for putting my children through this. They have suffered into young adulthood. They are both finally getting their lives together. Thank God!
    I wish I had read anything about this years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet,
      I am so sorry that you lived through that. You’re not alone! There are so many that suffer through years of abuse because we don’t realize that it’s abuse. We have been manipulated into believing that we are the problem, we are the one that’s crazy, and so we justify the terrible treatment because we think that’s what we deserve. It is my biggest hope that more and more people will read this and maybe we can save someone from years of torment early on. I am so happy that you did finally get away from it, and that you and your children are healing and moving on. The pain incurred during abuse is one that takes a very long time to heal from. Best of wishes to you and your family! Much Love!
      ~Christa G.

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  2. Minimising abuse and comparing ourselves with others seems to be a persistent behaviour amongst Survivors. I’m beginning to wonder if we do it to protect ourselves–like a defence mechanism? I can’t find the evidence for this in research but it has got me thinking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Serena,
      You make a great point! I agree it is a very persistent behavior among survivors. Victims of abuse are used to being made to feel inadequate or that they are over exaggerating circumstances. I think this plays into how we view our experiences after we’re free from it. We are inclined to minimize every thing we’ve been through because it was minimized for us by our abusers. We are all survivors, no matter the extent of the abuse we experienced. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with us! Blessings ~Christa G.

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