April 10th, 2007

Question...

How do you email (i don't have their phone number and we live over 13 hours away from eachother) someone you haven't talked to in over a year and tell them that  you need to talk to them about something serious. She is a friend of mine  (always has been very supportive and understanding) but we lost contact cause of our lifes being busy and everything. I don't want to say what I have to say in an email because that would probably be too much for her to handle reading it like that...
Bear got your back

Weekly Thought Stirring: "Flaws" (public)

One of abusers' more subtle ways of attacking our self-esteem is telling us or implying that we are somehow majorly flawed. Often, we are told either by our abusers or even by unsupportive non-abusers (co-workers, friends, family) that something about us flawed - when what we are experiencing and feeling is completely normal. One such thing, which we see here quite often, is reaching out for help.

Many of us have been told to "get over it" or that we "shouldn't be upset by this anymore", when in fact, reaching out for help and support is one of the most important, and most difficult things to do. Something we hear here a lot is, "It took great strength to share that with us" - it turns out that some of our "flaws" are actually strengths. Talking, sharing, and reaching out for support takes a great amount of strength.

Further still, many things our abusers tell us are flaws are actually quite normal. Often, abusers will tell us that crying or being afraid is a flaw, when it's actually the perfect response to a dangerous and abusive situation. So many times we are left feeling weak, deficient, when we're actually handling our trauma and the recovery period with an exceptional amount of courage.

By making us question ourselves, it makes it even harder for us to leave an abusive situation - after all, if we're just "blowing things out of proportion" - why would we really leave? Doesn't that mean there would be something for us to fix within ourselves in order to make our lives happier? It's one of the worst tricks abusers use to keep us with them - but fortunately by talking with others and finding out that what you've been through was normal, and that you even showed more courage than the average person - it's something we can fight.

So this week's questions are:
- Have you been told you were flawed? What was that flaw?
- Did it turn out that your "flaw" was a strength? or did it turn out your "flaw" was entirely normal?