I know, I know – not cool, not PC. Victims of child abuse have had it very bad, and at the worst possible time in their lives, brutalized and used by the ones who were supposed to be looking after them. I’m not “for” abuse, believe me.
But those people who have suffered extreme abuse, the outright, illegal, everyone-knows-that –is-abuse sort of abuse – those people have at least a chance for clarity. Those people have a chance to say of their abusers that they were wrong, they were the bad ones. Those people have a chance to say “it’s not my fault.”
Taking ‘don’t get me wrong a level deeper,’ I must say, I mean they have a chance, at least some of them. Still, the enemies of clarity are very powerful. Guilt, the mind control that abuse can create, social pressures, religious and cultural biases and injunctions . . . of course victims of abuse are often mired in a fog of uncertainty, which is a big part of their pain. But the cavalry is coming. The support for victims is on the increase, awareness is growing, and many survivors are getting more validation from the enlightened members of our society. If a person living in this kind of pain can find themselves among these elements, around these ideas, they will have a better chance to know that their suffering is not their fault, a much better chance to lay the blame where it belongs.
(Some find this sort of clarity among other victims, some in the roughest neighborhoods and in the poorest demographics find some belonging and solidarity in each other as children and young adults, in times and places where most people get abused. Sad to say, many grow out of it.)
I support this sort of awareness fully, of course.
But what of the rest? What about the people for whom the chance of clarity remains remote? What about the people for whom the abuse is ubiquitous, everywhere, people suffering forms of abuse in times and places where no-one will validate their suffering?
Of course, this has been the case for many, many people, always, suffering the sort of things that we are only now outlawing and beginning to prosecute for, but it must be said: much of what is now thought to be clearly abuse was legal and dare I say, “normal” in the past. Slavery and child slavery, beatings and corporal punishments of the worst sort, all these things have been socially sanctioned in the past and though they are now considered to be immoral and abusive, victims were, uh, unsupported. To say the least.
If our enlightenment is not yet complete, if there is room for improvement still, and if our improved humanity continues to march forward, who will today’s unsupported victims have been, in a better future? Who is suffering today and no-one knows it, so that no-one can care?
You and me. The “normally punished” children.
Reblogged this on I am a survivor.
To be blunt, this makes no sense to me. It’s very short sighted. Very male-brained (NO offense). But I forgive you what you have no empathy for. Enlightenment isn’t something anyone fully reaches. (Not even Buddha because if that fella had fully reached it the nuns wouldn’t have a unequal standing, in service to monks, with harder and extra rules to be included at all and then only to be excluded from the 9th level) Anyhow, enlightenment is not a lasting state. It’s different for everyone.
I could give a shit about being P.C. as you can probably tell. But This post is too general to be successful. There’s no specifics to support your irritation regarding survivors of abuse. The victim-blaming is built into your language and you are picking and choosing while blaming this on others. There are no victims. . . just survivors actually. And those coping skills we use when we are young have to change over time or we are stunted. But survivors are strong regardless of how you see them. They made it through more that “normal” people and they therefore have potential to tap that and become the most empathetic people. This support of others doesn’t worry about where they are in their ability to heal. It greets them as an equal because of understanding something about the darkness and not judging that but rather understanding that. It isn’t a free pass. People have to own their actions and work.
We could talk more if ya want sometime about what you mean and what I mean. refine our understanding of what types of abuse and factor in that some never recover and this is not their “weakness” and you don’t need to worry about what you can’t “fix” or “cure” because that’s about a lack of interest and curiosity in helping someone who may be chronically ill. But enough of that. I can’t speak to your post until I understand what you are focused on and why.
Thanks for the link tho. I appreciate it! 🙂
wow, the universe brought me you to show me how poor a writer I really am! I think maybe the thing is, I go after minority points, or large points from a very minority POV and I hurt my cause by trying to do that in shorthand, by trying to be concise. I try to write stuff I think no-one else is writing, so if I have any measure of success at that and it’s any sort of new, then I guess I need to take more time, explain it as well as just say it.
“Victim blaming?” Never, not a chance. I see what it needs to say, maybe I’ll edit, I need to be clear: the worse the abuse, the worse the experience, generally, with some variance, of course. The more extreme the abuse, the more extreme the resulting trauma over a large enough sample, for sure,no question. All I’m trying to express here, is the more extreme the abuse is, the less likely it is that the victim will be to blame themselves, or at least only themselves. Everything gets worse as the abuse gets more brutal, more extreme – but maybe except this one part, the cloudiness a victim’s (false and imagined or not) own guilt causes should in theory be less. I’m saying confusion and self-blame are probably bigger parts of the problem for people whose abuse wasn’t completely blatant illegal and obvious to all who know about it than for those whose abuse was more extreme.
No way would the universe do that! You’re not a poor writer, you just hurried on this I’m thinking.
By “victim blaming” I mean just by calling people victims at all rather than survivors or just people dealing however best they can where they are at. They aren’t worse and others aren’t better. People are just where they are. We meet our own limitations and some of face them earlier than others and that’s okay. Like we don’t all have to get to the top of the mountain. If we do go all the way, that’s just what we can do. What we can face. I don’t know if I’m making sense. I’m actually not a great writer and I piss everyone off with my lack of manners and stuff by being honest . I think I can be mean but I don’t really want to be or intend to be…
I think you should say it like it is how you feel it. That’s the only way to be. I like that and I think that’s a strong thing about your writing.
Victims shouldn’t “blame themselves” regardless of the level of abuse. It is someone else’s issue. If we become abusive to we need to be aware of that. Try to be gentle without our “reasons” for being.
I can be a wrath of terror and punishment when I’m angry… I can hold grudges. I also always want people to feel as deeply as I do about the same things and that’s impossible… but I am working on this stuff. These are just points of reference, because I’m failing more than succeeding in my own life, but I do understand the basics… and that includes not knowing much.
You’re right that self-blame gets in the way… and things aren’t cut and dried and that confuses things for sure. People need room to learn from the abuse on both sides and be given a chance to evolve.
You’ve been great about just listening to me. Thanks Jeff. You are not a poor writer. I’m sorry for making you feel like that.
of course I know by now you’re old enough and smart enough to know the old chestnut about “making people feel” stuff, LOL. No worries, and I’m enjoying your forthrightness. Yes, I see I’m doing something else I do, trying to speak in a generic old fashioned language and not giving the new language around these issues their due. yes, I should alternate ‘victim’ with ‘survivor’ some, or say both. I sometimes do mean both the survivors and the ones that didn’t. There’s a bit of a word game there, I guess though: calling someone a victim is the opposite of victim-blaming, isn’t it? It would be hard to make both mistakes at once.
But I hear you now, I’m not granting them any power in this. I wouldn’t deny them any, of course, it’s just not the point here. The larger point I was hinting at with this, that sometimes less abuse – meaning all those people who say, sure I was spanked but I’m fine – is still damaging and often is because of all the confusion and denial about it. this is my overall point: we are ALL abused, because the “normal” sort of punishing we all get is abuse too. So “normal,” unabused people really are abused, we all have problems/symptoms – but the “normals” have no-one to blame but themselves, because everybody thinks “normal” isn’t abusive.
There are plenty of people addressing the abuse of the clearly abused and people are talking about it, but I see a crack the rest of us are falling through, the idea that punishment and negative experience generally aren’t granted any power to damage at all, even when it’s unrelenting for years and years, as long as no-one’s passed a law against it yet. I think it all hurts some – plus real extreme abuse survivors also have all that damage the rest of us do as well, and it’s denied any agency in them too.
don’t believe my self-deprecating. My writing is the thing I’m probably feeling best about in my life at the moment.
This was a good point you made:
So “normal,” unabused people really are abused, we all have problems/symptoms – but the “normals” have no-one to blame but themselves, because everybody thinks “normal” isn’t abusive.
And I would say that everyone is abused and there is no “normal” just some better coping skills than others as our culture is abusive and violent. And some people really see the blood sports and the violence as normal male behavior and so aren’t aware of actually being a part of the problem. They think they are a part of a natural order. The thinking is where they’ve been conditioned, emotionally abused by our gender roles and so I think men and boys are often more abused… but they are supposed to be so tough and warrior like… so we call it being a real “man” or whatever.
I agree with what you wrote here as well: ” I see a crack the rest of us are falling through, the idea that punishment and negative experience generally aren’t granted any power to damage at all, even when it’s unrelenting for years and years, as long as no-one’s passed a law against it yet. I think it all hurts some – plus real extreme abuse survivors also have all that damage the rest of us do as well, and it’s denied any agency in them too.
Good, I’m glad you don’t think you’re a poor writer. You listen… so that’s gonna make you a good writer I think. Thanks for taking the time with me.
I’ll let you get back to writing that book now!!! 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
I couldn’t disagree less! All well said, it seems we are on the same page completely. The book is about that exactly, that violence and toughness are evolved traits and no-one seems to question whether they’re causing more problems than they’re solving in our new modern circumstances. You really get me. I mean, you get it, long before you met me, clearly.
Awesomeness Jeff!!! Thanks you too. It’s been soooooo long since I met a man who understood gets it too. Love your blog and thanks for the healing work. I need it. It’s been rough lately and I got a lot out of this.
My best to you and family and KEEP writing! I know I don’t have to say that. You can’t help it, but I’m glad you’re a writer. (not a hobby, but be humble about it. that’s fine.) 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person