Given the recent events in the media, I thought it was the most suited time to express my experience with trauma and emotional abuse. Recently, a lot of celebrities have come forward, revealing harrowing details of sexual harassment, emotional abuse and rape. I commend them for coming forward and speaking up about this matter. Suppressed emotions surrounding these traumatic events really can block a victim of reaching out and receiving the help they really need. They will sometimes even place positive judgements on their abuser, justifying the repeated behaviours and keeping zip-lipped about the event so they don't displease others.
As I have stated before, I come from a background of this. Where I dissociated to the point I suppressed all this pent up anger and pain. So I would fluctuate between feeling a whole lot to feeling nothing at all. Its only recently through DBT I have come to accept what has happened to me. Because I was in denial about a lot of the pain I have experienced, I never was able to validate my suppressed emotions. I placed people on pedestals instead of taking a step back and calling them out for their inappropriate behaviours. I cannot control what people do to me, I however can separate myself from these situations now. Before I didn't have the skills to be able to walk away or communicate my morals and values.
A year and a half of my life saw me in the denial stage. At this stage of my life, I thought I was in a relationship where my partner valued me. Unfortunately, this wasn't the reality of the situation. I was forced to suck it up and 'move on' from all the trauma that was created by our co-dependent relationship. I was reacting each time betrayal happened. I guess the hardest thing with BPD is walking the middle path. That means trying to balance your rational and emotional mind so you can sit in the wise mind. If I had those skills back then, I would've cut it clean the moment I noticed the behaviours were consistent. However, I spent the whole time justifying these retraumatizing behaviours with positive judgements. There is a saying of 'seeing the best in everyone'. In my experience, that was detrimental to my own personal growth and healing. My partner was very aware of my past trauma. So for them to re-traumatise me over and over again, that was not a beneficial thing for my recovery process. Each time I have tried to confront the person, I am still invalidated. I am still asked why I am 'living in the past'. Why I haven't 'moved on'.
Throughout this year and a half, I was summoned to silence. Each time I tried to voice the hurt that was caused, I wasn't believed as people around us had a different perspective of my partner. I never wanted anyone to turn against my partner, I wanted to be validated and for a change to occur. I didn't want my close friends interacting with this person as she had inflicted excruciating amounts of pain over and over again. I believed interaction only reaffirmed to my partner at the time that she hadn't done anything harmful. Our morals and values never aligned, so to see people around us validating her behaviours and invalidating mine was very hard to watch. I have worked very hard to be at ease with the whole outcome of this relationship. There are days painful memories will sweep over me. I am able to sit with that, knowing that I have acknowledged my part and I am now surrounded by a network who support my recovery process. They never once did not believe me, or ignore me, or invalidate me when I wanted to speak about the pain I was suffering with at the time. Instead of being accountable, I was made to believe that I was the one with the issue due to my own diagnosed mental illness. It was easier to point the finger of blame at me, then admit that they had added more pain and suffering into my life.
We cannot silence victims of any form of abuse anymore. I believe abuse is a form of repeated behaviours. A room of invalidation and a space of disregard. You are made to believe your own truths are not true. Truths are surrounded with evidential facts of repeated behaviours. I remember growing up I was made to believe that I was imagining things, that it was all in my head. There is evidence to prove that in fact, these events did occur, I wasn't imagining it and I have every reason to come forward and speak about my suppressed pain. When I was listened to and given the chance to vocalise all this pain, the healing process then started to begin.
Stop invalidating peoples trauma. Stop excusing peoples hurtful behaviours. It is all well and good to give different perspectives. However, having a perspective doesn't mean you disregard someone elses pain. Surround yourself with people whose morals and values align with your own. You will reduce your own suffering by seeking that throughout your healing journey. There are people out there who go through similar experiences. By supporting each other you can guide each other through every flashback, every repressed memory, every breakdown and every bedridden day these memories bring you. Do not underestimate the power you have by voicing your trauma. The only way the people will change is if you speak out. Do not silence yourself. You are not defined by the pain you have received.