Abuse Survivors Need Emotional Support……the reasons you need your friends are more important than you think they are!
When this madness of being someone else’s victim became a part of my life I’d already “lost” a lot of my support system. Even as I take a quick glance back to the past and know that there were some ‘friends’ who were not really friends I see, too, that there were others who were there for me, who are still there for me, and these are the friends that I am talking about.
The main objective when it comes to an abuser is that the abuser wants to make sure that his or her victim has no support system – they want their victim completely dependent on them. Many victims fall prey to the line “…I want to be your everything – you don’t need your friends. I am all you need,” and while that, on its face, might seem like the abuser totally loves their victim, the truth is that the abuser is simply trying (and usually succeeds) to make their victim live in a world of social isolation.
For some folks this is fine – they love being alone and they love the solitude, and I know this because this is the way that I had been for a long time. Yet, when it comes to the idea that even the lonest of lone wolves having at least the smallest circle of friends -which I did at the time – even these people end up losing what little they have in means of a support group. I loved my friends, needed them, wanted them around and wanted the person I’d married and my little group of friends to like each other. My first red flag should have been that this person did all he could to make sure that I knew he was all I needed according to him. Eventually he wore me down and little by little, day by day, he’d made sure that what he thought of my friends was what I believed that I thought of them, too.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that we all grow out of the people who served us with our life lessons when the time was that we were learning said lessons, but to not be able to fulfill the need for friends in my life was almost like trying to run a race with one leg and a flimsy dowel – while it might have been able to happen, the most likely thing to happen did happen – I gave up my relationships with people who I’d loved and been with for much of my life, and it was not for my own benefit but for his. He was not comfortable with people, his self esteem crushed by a selfish set of parents who’d only wanted children for the sake of living vicariously through them.
We cannot pin our hopes of self-actualization on anything substantial if we are more willing to give away the power to connect with someone else. When we are willing to do more for one other person and take more away from our own selves for the benefit of their self we ultimately also give up our rights as free beings, and this is the thing that is the hardest to recapture – the freedom of just Being who we really are. Abusers, I have found, like being surrounded by people who are just like they are and the more self unaware their victims are the better they feel about things. This is a good reason as to why it is not a good idea that the age of “adulthood” and the age at which we are allowed in this country to do as we please be left at the tender, fresh-outta-high-school age of barely 18. When a person is that young they have not yet had a taste of life the way that it is meant to be. NO one that age can make any sort of adult decision, at least for the collective most part, because they simply have not had time yet to have experiences such as paying their own bills, buying a house, and getting married. Young people have no idea of who they are yet, so how can they even begin to know anything about anyone else?
Your real friends will be there for you, with you, through it all – cherish them
If there is one thing that this entire two-decade time span has shown me is that I really do know who my true friends are. They are those people who, for whatever reasons they have, have been willing to get in my face about what I am going through, telling me that they are worried about me, that I am worthy of so much more than only what one person thinks is the truth of me, and while it may be that it is his truth, it doesn’t mean that it is also mine or that it ever has been.
Your real friends are the ones who, even when they are very angry with you, love you enough to tell you when they have seen you go through too much and that they need you to be strong, if not for them then for your damned self. Your real friends are the ones who, even though they know, and even though you know, that the things that you are telling them about your situation are not all the facts and your real friends are the ones who will not pry, will not tell you what you have already heard a million times. Your real friends will never tell you anything to put you in danger, and your real friends (and this is the biggie) will Love you, always, no matter what, and they will not be shy with what they know to be their truth about your situation, but also are not the people who will leave you with no one and nothing to fall back on.
In short, through it all, your real friends will be there, even when they aren’t. They will have your back and you will know that they have your back. They will not judge you, even though they have their own opinions of what you are going through and how you are handling your own situation. They will never question why it is that you would bother with this person, but when you give them your reason, they will accept it and still Love you anyway. Your real friends will never tell you that you should just leave and your real friends will never tell you to kick this person out because your real friends will already know that doing either will leave you in very real danger. They will never assume you to be the “typical” victim because they will already know that you are not.
Your real friends will be there, regardless, and your real friends will make sure that above all else, you are Loved and Cherished, and your real friends, yes, will always, always, always tell you that they think you should get out of the situation, but they will also make sure that you understand that the most important thing that you need to know is that they are only telling you this because they care and not because it is what they would do. Your real friends will know that they are not in your shoes, so your real friends will not ever “go there” because your real friends are your real friends because your real friends Love you because you are You.
I Love You All !!