Trauma and pain can not be measured or compared, it’s not a competition.
Your journey matters !
Stop brushing aside your own experience as though it doesn’t matter. So many times I have heard people saying things to me like “well it wasn’t real sexual abuse because I wasn’t penetrated” “I wasn’t actually abused really – my parents just tried to drown me when I was four and so I was taken away” “I wasn’t abused as such, they just used to lock me in a cupboard so I guess at least I was safe there” and “he didn’t touch me though, he just got me to do things to myself while he took photos from when I was about 3 to around 7. So he didn’t actually abuse me, it was my own doing.”
Yes, these are legitimately all things that people have truly said to me, and they have said them in all seriousness. Many of us who have survived childhood trauma find that we have more empathy than others, and that is great but we need to own, value, acknowledge and recognise our own suffering too.
Burying the pain is soothing, helping others instead of thinking about our own issues becomes like an addiciton – it masks the true depth of our suffering.
We need to learn to love, forgive and validate ourselves in order to truly move forward. I personally am not comfortable with the notion of forgiving my abusers, but I do know I had to forgive myself – to let go of the shame, guilt and humiliation that they had caused. It really is okay to feel the hurts we have been dealt, to grieve for what might have been, to admit that we too have feelings. It’s all about taking back your rights, your self-esteem and your life.
You matter too – we all do and no child ever deserves to be abused or neglected in any way. It doesn’t matter what form the abuse takes or how “bad” it is or was – it is all abuse. It all causes damage, it is all wrong and it is all the fault of the abuser and only the abuser.
Trauma and pain can not be measured or compared, we all experience our own journeys in our own ways. (GE)
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