(Ryan Stevenson—All Yours)
“The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal.”
This quote opened a blog post I read recently about ambient abuse. This article contained a list of traits that make someone an easier victim and therefore more likely to be abused. Wow. Most of that list characterized me pretty well. I know that it doesn’t describe everyone who has been abused (and that certainly doesn’t negate the fact that the abuse happened or make it any more or less their fault—it is NEVER the victim’s fault. No one asks to be abused). It does, however, describe me for the most part, and reading the list made me feel like maybe it wasn’t my fault that I got abused. Yes, I know I just got done saying it is never the victim’s fault, but it is infinitely easier to say that and believe that cognitively than to believe it at the heart level. I know intuitively and logically that it is SO not my fault. I know that being abused is not a reflection on who I am as a person. It is a scar I bear, but is not a self-inflicted wound. Sure, we could go through if then statements until the cows come home that all point to something I could have done differently that would have changed things, but at the end of the day, I did what I did, and what happened in the past cannot be taken back. A lot of the things that could have changed are just not who I am. I do let people take advantage of me. I do overlook people’s issues and try to find the good in them. I do value developing others more than I value my own comfort…I guess that developer part of my strengths is pretty accurate. So basically, yes, if I were someone else I might not have been abused, or it might not have been so bad, but I am not someone else. I am me, and I like me.
I also read another post recently that resonated with me. (http://pro.psychcentral.com/art-private-practice/2016/09/the-1-factor-in-private-practice-success/)
“Picture this: You’ve just finished a grueling work day…You’ve not driven far before your car starts sputtering and eventually rolls to a stop…Like any normal person, you assess your options. I mean, your back seat would make a pretty decent bed. You realize you could maybe fit a nice cooler in your trunk and fill it with ice purchased from the gas station across the street. You figure, there must be a library nearby, so you could get a new book first thing in the morning. Who needs that dirty ole bath anyways? Your car would make a perfectly reasonable home…Wait? WHAT?! No, no, no. You wouldn’t do that…Yet, when it comes to [our lives], we so often get discouraged, confused, frustrated, impatient and simply give up.”
The article goes on to assert that it all comes down to perseverance. In the car we have a clear achievable goal in mind, making it easy to persevere, because we know our time, money, and intention will ultimately get us where we would like to be. In life, however, it is easier to settle for the side of the road because we don’t know what is ahead. We don’t know if all the effort we put in is going to do absolutely nothing but frustrate us. The going gets hard and we decide we didn’t really want what was ahead anyway.
Maybe it is just me, but while I am stubborn up to a point, eventually I give up and just accept where I am as where I’ll always be. I loved that analogy—so true and really makes you evaluate where you’ve been giving up. I have to admit I am not always ready to jump right back in, but acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it.