**DISCLAIMER** (Again): The following is drawn from my own personal experience and contains my own personal opinion regarding the topic.
I know I said I was going to continue down my road of addiction, but I’m changing my mind! Why? Because I can!
I’m going to be going into the topic of abuse. Physical, sexual, psychological/emotional and any other type of abuse that I have experienced in my life. I won’t be going into explicit detail of the things that have happened to me, but more of why I feel these things happened and how my feelings regarding these instances have changed and/or stayed constant over time. This may be difficult for some to read, but I ask that if you start reading, please read to the very end. You may gain some insight into why someone is the way he/she is or even yourself; maybe even gain a new mindset regarding those who have been abused.
As the title of this states, we are NOT weak; I am NOT weak. If anything, I feel that I am stronger that someone who has never been abused because I had the strength to endure what I went through and I’m still alive. I’m still here. I’m actually a fully functioning member of society. I did not give up.
My first experience with abuse occurred when I was around 5 years old. A little detail on this one because this set my brain into thinking “this is what happens when you tell someone”. I was sexually molested by a close “family friend”. It only happened a few times. I was so young. And I really didn’t know what was going on. I did not tell anyone until I was 6 or 7. And people ask why. Why didn’t you just tell someone? That question I really can’t answer. Maybe it was because I wasn’t really sure what was happening. We were just playing “house”. He was an adult and was trusted by my family. I hadn’t really learned about those things yet. When I did learn those things were wrong, I felt ashamed. I was so scared that I would be in trouble, especially for not telling someone. And I didn’t want to have to relive that again. Once I did tell, I regretted it. I still regret it to this day. Because this set the foundation of what I thought would happen if anything like this ever took place again. When I did go to someone about this, at the age I was, I felt this person was angry with me. I now know that this person was not angry with me, but with him. However, at that time, I just knew this person was angry; and felt the anger was towards me. I was also asked why I didn’t tell any sooner. And I had “statute of limitations” and “physical evidence” explained to me at 6/7 years old. The “family friend” never suffered any consequences of his actions. The person I told and I have never spoken of it since.
My next experience involved an actual family member. A family member that I should have been able to trust above all others, one of the people I should have been closest to. It mainly began as psychological. And just mean. This then turned into sexual molestation when I was around 11 and continued until I was 17. I did not tell until I was 17. This was mainly due to fear; fear of retaliation, breaking up the family, not being believed, the anger, the reliving all of the instances. And because of how my first experience with abuse was handled. Why should I tell when nothing will be done about it? I’ll just deal with it. This is when I turned to drugs. I wanted to go to another world and not feel anything. I wanted to be numb. Do I blame this person for my drug abuse? No. That is all on me. It was my choice, and my choice alone, to deal in that way. But I will say this person FUCKED (no pun intended) my brain.
Throughout the abuse I suffered at the hands of a trusted family member in my teens, as well as my drug abuse, I was raped. I do not wish to go into detail about this, but just know that it didn’t help my situation. Also during this time, I chose some really shitty boyfriends. These guys were all either psychologically, emotionally, or physically abusive. I felt I was just an asshole magnet. I don’t feel like that anymore. I feel that I didn’t think that I was worthy of anything good. I had extremely low self-esteem and felt that I wasn’t worth anything. I thought an unhealthy obsession and sex were equivalent to love. That’s what I felt all men wanted. I do believe that I still have some of that mindset, but not as extreme as it was then.
After high school, I got into a relationship through drugs with a man who was extremely physically abusive. I was probably the most scared I have ever been in my life. He threatened my family, and I believed that the only way to keep them safe was to stay with him and just do as I was told. I stayed in this relationship out of pure fear. I knew what this man was capable of, and I was completely terrified. I knew I had to stay alive and I wanted to make sure that my family stayed alive, so I stayed; foolishly thinking that I was keeping everyone safe.
After a while, I reconnected with someone that I had known since I was 14. He was amazing. And I thought he was going to be my forever. We were the couple that everyone envied; everyone wanted our relationship. We had children and had a happy home for quite a while. Things began to go downhill and his drinking got out of control. We had issues, like every relationship, and I’m not saying that I didn’t have a part in anything. I did wrong, he did wrong. We both had a hand in our issues. However, he was extremely manipulative and used different tactics so that I wouldn’t leave. It took me a long time to realize that I was being abused because I had always believed that abuse had to be physical. But I was terribly wrong. I learned that I became numb and shut down as a coping mechanism that I had developed during the years of abuse that I endured during my younger years.
With all of the abuse that I’ve experienced in my life, I do not feel as if I am weak for not speaking up or not leaving. I feel that all of this has made me stronger. My past is part of who I am and where I am today. I do not want to be labeled as a victim. I do not want anyone to ever feel sorry for me. I simply want people to know that it is not weakness that keeps someone with his/her abuser. There is so much more to it than just being weak or strong. There are factors of being manipulated, fear, children, ignorance, as well as others. It is NOT easy to speak up about these things. Never, ever think that anyone who has been through things like this are weak.
Now, to address the issue of why someone abuses another: power. I believe an abuser needs that power over another to make themselves feel good, to make them feel strong, feel better about themselves because they have control. Power and control, along with mental illness/issues. This is what abuse is about, in my opinion.
As for me, I have come to terms with all of these things that have happened to me. I know they still bother me in some ways, but for the most part, I’m OK. I feel holding on to these things still gives my abusers power over me. And I am the only person who has power over me. I think I am doing fairly well considering the circumstances of my past. Shockingly, I’m even decently confident. And I’m a bomb ass bitch!
So, there you have it, kids! This is not all of the abuse that I have endured throughout my life, but these are the main situations that I believe had the biggest impact of who I am today. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the impact of abuse and maybe even understand someone you know better. And please, if someone ever reports abuse to you, especially a child, do not react in anger. Regardless of the anger that you feel toward the person that did this horrible thing, do not react in anger. Show concern. Ask questions. Try to do something about it. Help the person seek counseling. Just do SOMETHING.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you take something constructive out of this special mouth hug!