I have a post to make, not a relatively negative one. Even though I'm sure nothing would be wrong with that. This place is such a wonderful sanctuary for help and comfort. But i have a question. And it may sound incredibly silly. But still.
How many people watch Law and Order SVU and find it (besides wonderfully entertaining) to be a type of therapy for them? Fiction or not, when they find those abusers, and those rapists and those pedophiles, and give them justice. Do you not get such a powerful sense of satisfactory after watching it? I just love that show! I notice alot of survivors watch it.
If this needs a cut for triggers, please let me know :)
Feeling like we have a valid claim to be upset about the abuse we've survived is a common thing for survivors to struggle with. No matter what form of abuse we've survived, it's often difficult for us to remember that the terms abuse or rape apply to what we've survived.
Sometimes, it's a matter of the stereotypes society has for abuse, which makes us feel like what we went through just couldn't be abuse or rape. Other times, it's just that we feel we shouldn't "still" be upset about it, or feel like what we went through wasn't "that bad" compared to others.
Something that has always amazed me, especially after coming to this community, was that each type of survivor felt that other types of abuse from what they experienced was "worse" than what they experienced. It's one of the reasons why we don't compare abuse in this community - because when you look at it, no matter what you've been through, there is a common thread there - someone chose to hurt you, and it can leave really horrible lasting effects.
It's easy for us to forget sometimes that we have a right to call ourselves survivors, to say that we were raped or abused. So much of our life is spent feeling like we need to hide a dark secret, hide our nightmares and fears, that it often spills over into how validated we feel about what we've experienced. Sometimes, it's not even that someone has told us that what we went through wasn't rape or wasn't abuse, but just that we feel uncomfortable applying that label.
So this week's questions are:
- Do you have a hard time calling yourself a survivor?
- Do/did you have a hard time acknowledging that what you experienced was rape or abuse?