I won’t bother to “out” the person who chose to run his mouth today about an issue that is really not a huge thing. I also will not go on to tell anyone who it was whose fracture of peace that was hard worked for almost wrecked, just because that person felt a little bit disgusted by the remnants of what someone else did. While I get it…really, I do…it – the ‘it’ that caused this havoc today, and surprisingly no, the “problem” has not seeped into my marriage to this person, was such a minor thing that it really is making me wonder if who in the lives of the abuse survivor and survivors-in-training are really listening to the people who are going through the mess called domestic abuse?
If you don’t listen, you won’t have a clue
This is not meant to insult anyone reading this, but if you are a loved one of someone who is being emotionally abused and you are not listening to what it is that they are telling you and if you are willing to compare your own childhood with your own abusive father to what it is that your loved one’s children go through, please stop. Though the technical similarities are there, I know, for a fact, that no two situations are alike, so please stop behaving as though you know how to fix your loved one’s problem because, no, you do not know.
You want to be there, and that is fine, and you want to help, and that, too, is fine. What is not fine is the idea that you think that what you yourself have been through in any way at all somehow validates that you know better than the victim does. Again – no, you don’t, and there is no more bigger an insult that someone who goes through the abuse can receive. You cannot begin to know what is happening, are not qualified to give advice, can never fix things for them because the bottom line is that you do not know what to do and your attempts a trying to get your loved one through their time of heartache, though appreciated, may only serve them with more grief.
Believe me, I know this one personally. If I didn’t, I would not have anything to write about today.
You cannot make things better by making your abused loved one feel like he or she is not doing enough to get out of the very volatile situation by making a phone call to the nearest shelter or even to the police.
From experience I can say that yes, calling the proper authorities when your loved one is being physically harmed is the best thing that you can do for them. Yet, when there is only an exchange of words, and this is not to tell anyone that verbal abuse is less damaging than physical abuse (because it is lots worse on the victim, and yes, I know this one, too), there really is nothing that calling any authority, any shrink, any person will do to help. And please, spare me the “they don’t want help. If they really wanted out, they would get out.” To those who would think and believe this, let me give you the biggest “go fuck yourself” that you have ever had.
You do not know what it is that abused people go through, even after their abuser is not in their lives. You do not know how to make it go away, and you can suggest all you want what you THINK you would do, but you are not in the situation and you cannot try to make an abused person get into your head when most assuredly it is YOU who needs to get into theirs.
To suggest that any abuse victim or survivor LIKES being told who they are, what they do, blah blah blah, is just adding huge insult to permanent emotional injury that the abused person has to heal from all on their own, and your adding your two fucking cents to a matter that you know nothing about, that you have not researched and that you are basically clueless about only pisses your loved on off. You are not helping the problem. You are adding to it, and you are quietly being placed on that list of people who abused them as well. Watch your mouth and your ass, because you do NOT get it and if you say horrible things to them about their life situation, you are just as creepy and clueless as is their attacker. You know nothing when it comes to what other people go through, and you will remain to know nothing as long as you continue to flap your fucking jaw muscles about an issue that you have some very real feelings about but not an ounce of real knowledge. Knowledge is key in these kinds of things, and without a scrap of even knowing at least your own part in their pain, again – you are no longer a part of the solution but have, without realizing it, become a part of the problem instead.
Way to go, hero!
…and arguing with an abused survivor or with someone in the middle of their crap over what YOU think they should do is like a sin against God and mankind
The term STFU completely applies here, because getting up in the proverbial ass of someone whose life is in utter turmoil is just like telling them what to do. Telling them what you would do if you were in their situation is a bad thing. You do not know what the hell we go through, so shut your sorry ass up and no, you WOULD NOT do all those things that you are telling your loved one to do. Stop turning them into your newest science project in societal bullshit. You do not know what you would do. You are telling your loved one this because you are not in the middle of the same pot of shit soup that they are in and you keep making it seem that they are somehow indebted to you for being the foremost expert on something that is foreign to you.
If you have not been hit by someone who outweighs you at least by 100 pounds, shut up. If you have not been bullied by someone who outweighs you by at least 100 pounds, shut up. If you have not been afraid of someone who outweighs you by at least 100 pounds because you have a memory of what happened to you and you cannot go through that shit again, please, shut the hell up, really. You cannot glean from television or the internet enough knowledge to get your ass out the door in terms of and in regards to having been abused in some way, shape or form.
Again, please, shut up. You do not know what the fuck you are talking about. Unbeknownst to you, and I am just telling you this as a favor to you – you, not so coincidentally, do not know it all, and no, your fucking big fat graduate degree does not make it so that you know more than a survivor or victim of domestic abuse and family violence. While you may know a lot more about whatever it is that you studied, unless you studied psychology and at least have a passing interest in the thinking of the abused…shut…the…fuck…up…today.
One more time…
You want to know how to help your loved one? That’s easy – shut the fuck up and listen to them, because that is what all abuse victims and abuse survivors really do need, just someone to listen, to not judge them, to not put their own two cents in about how they feel about the abuser – talking about the abuser to the abused only places the attention and your attention on something that you do not need to further etch in the abused person’s head.
Shut your foolish ass up and fucking listen. Listening will give you the opportunity to really know what it is, even in a very tiny way, what it is that they have gone through, what we have all gone through, and what a lot of us always go through, even after the abuser is no longer in our lives.
The very best thing that you can do for your loved one if you really want to help them is to simply just be there and to listen, because anything else you tell them will fall on deaf ears, as their entire lives are lived on the idea that they must always look over their shoulder, must always sleep with one eye open, must always have that sixth sense that tells us that we have to be careful…
Since we know that we have to be careful, perhaps, too, you might also want to be careful as well.
Wouldn’t want to be the cause of yet another fight, or worse, another bruise caused to your loved one because you had shit to say, now, would you?
I Love You All…(yes, even you idiots with no idea of what you are advising to your loved ones)
(Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. If you want to exact change and cause a Stir, you can contact Roxanne by clickinghere. Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com)