“You can recognize survivors of abuse by their courage. When silence is so very inviting, they step forward and share their truth so others know they aren’t alone.” – Jeanne McElvaney,
Maybe you’re empathetic.
Maybe you’re a healer.
Maybe you have a savior complex.
Maybe you’re a fixer – and yes, that is different from being a healer.
Whatever it is that you are, you need to be prepared for the hard road that is truly loving and helping a person broken by a life with an abuser.
See, if you’re lucky, you’ll walk into the person’s life at the tail end of hardship, where there’s nowhere but up to look. But in reality, you will mesh lives in the middle of their pain. Are you prepared to endure someones rock bottom? Are you prepared to stay down there as long as they need? Because if you aren’t, then you need to go.
Drop your ego, and walk out the door before you become yet another hardship they have to endure.
This is not about you.
You don’t get to dictate how many hardships a person goes through.
You don’t get to choose what does or doesn’t hurt a person.
You don’t get to decide how long of a healing process a person needs.
You don’t get to restrict them from opening up and sharing their heartache with others.
You don’t get to judge whether someone speaks out for awareness, healing, sympathy, or attention.
You don’t get to choose when the person should be happy.
You don’t get to be annoyed by having to constantly reaffirm them.
You don’t get to be a hero. You only get to be a passenger.
The hero is the shattered one. They are the ones who wake up every day with the memory of pain on the forefront of their mind. They are the ones who blame themselves more often than they blame their abuser. They are the ones who believe they are doomed to only attract toxic people. They are the ones who drive the fine line between self-destruction and self improvement. They are the ones who have to put one foot in front of the other when all they see is pitch black ahead. They are the ones who fear and pray the next step won’t lead them off the edge. They are the ones who sometimes wish it would.
“Often it isn’t the initiating trauma that creates seemingly insurmountable pain, but the lack of support after.” – S. Kelley Harrell,
So, if you’re looking to be the victim’s knight in shining armor, you better realize that the only dragons you’ll be slaying are the voices in their head. The voice that doubts every kind thing you say. The one that suspects foul play at every turn because they spent years with someone who couldn’t be faithful. The whisper that tells them they aren’t worthy to have someone good. The nagging that convinces them they are useless, and that something is wrong with them. The voice that tells them they are too sensitive, and what they endured wasn’t that bad.
You only get to speak life, and encourage counseling for however long it may take before the victim finally goes.
This is not for the faint hearted. If you need gratification any time soon, go find someone who hasn’t been abused. If you tread ahead despite your inability to endure the passenger seat, you better take blame when you abandon ship. You better admit your own weakness. You better not blame the victim. If you do, you are the same voice that abused the victim all of those years. A set back in recovery. Another heartache to endure.
“There is no one way to recover and heal from any trauma. Each survivor chooses their own path or stumbles across it.” – Laurie Matthew,