Today, I have opened my eyes to a very harsh truth that I knew to be true on some level, but I hadn’t exactly realized how badly I had overlooked it. I realized today that ‘normal’ to most people is having been in an abusive relationship for so long that the slightest bit of kindness made them feel like there was something fishy. Which is an extremely heartbreaking thing to realize because to a lot of people, ‘normal’ is going through a day of abuse, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional.
The worst part is that the abuser is usually someone close to the victim. It could be a parent, it could be a friend, an employer or even a partner. These are the people we are supposed to put our faith in. These are the people we call our safe space in times of need. And for those of us who have been abused by at least one person in our lives, we can tell you that it isn’t easy to figure out the signs because it doesn’t happen overnight. It happens on a very minuscule scale and snowballs into something bigger. And what’s even more heartbreaking is that by the time we realize what’s going on, the damage has already been done.
Recovering from an abusive relationship (no matter what the nature of the relationship was/is) isn’t easy. It’s often one of the most painful things that we have to do because you’d be surprised at how much we truly believe that things are going to change for the better. And despite everything, when we are going through abuse, our first thought is never ‘Why me?’, instead, it’s always ‘I must have done something wrong.’ That’s the kind of brainwash that victims and survivors of abuse have to face.
I feel like a lot of people fail to understand this when they ask the victims why they never called for help. It is never all black and white. We might not know how a person has been abused/ how they are being abused. Which is why it falls to the rest of the world to be kind. Reach out to people. Be patient with them. Don’t go off on somebody and blame them for having trust issues because they could be victims/ survivors of abuse. It takes a long, long time to get back to ourselves and sometimes, it ends up changing us forever.
I cannot speak for my friends/ family who have been abused because, in spite of everything, it is their story to be told and I cannot do so without their consent. But at this moment, it’s clear as day to me that so many of us are going about our lives as usual without letting the horrors in our past experiences show outside. It isn’t easy. My heart goes out to everyone who has broken out of an abusive relationship and to everyone who is silently struggling with one.
I know that this isn’t something I would have normally written about, but I felt like it needed to be said. Please, please be kind to people. You never know what they might be going through.