“I am abused.” Those words are so hard to say
Every survivor of abuse will identify with those words. Saying “I am abused” means passing through a membrane into a whole new reality. In this new world everything is different, scary, confronting . . .
- “I’m one of those women — a victim of abuse!”
(I admit: I used to subconsciously look down on victims of abuse . . . until I realised I was one myself. Then I looked down on myself too, for years, until I learned to hold my head high again.)
- “I’m afraid I’ll be ostracised, judged, disbelieved, shunned . . .”
Like the surface tension on the skin of water, or the surface tension on a soap bubble, there is a tension at that membrane. Will the victim pass through it and acknowledge “Yes, I am abused.”? Or will she shy away to avoid going through into that unknown world where everything will (at first) seem upside down, inside out and back to front?
Only when she has passed through the membrane and has educated herself more about abuse will she realise that the world that was actually upside down, inside out and back to front, was the world the abuser imposed on her.
Once she’s learned to breathe the air in the new world, and smell the flowers and fruit (and maybe even grow some) she realises that this new world is actually the place where things are upright, right side out, and facing forwards.
Dear reader, whether you’re approaching that membrane, newly transitioned, or have been across for years, or whether you just know someone on that journey, I’d love you to share what it’s been like for you.
And if you’ve gone through the membrane, what was the thing that precipitated you going through it? What was the thing that overcame the surface tension?
Note: this post (“I am abused”. Those words are so hard to say. [Internet Archive link]) was first published at my notunderbondage blog before I’d made contact with Jeff Crippen and joined ACFJ. [Click here for the new Not Under Bondage website. Editors.]