Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

My Voice for My Friend

I talk to my friend and she's hurting, I want to help her and don't know how, she hurts all the time, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I tell her all the time she doesn't deserve the pain she's going through, but she won't (cant?) listen, she thinks she can deal with everything on her own, and if she accepts help then she has failed. I think she's terified of failing, or feeling like she's failing the people she loves most in the world.

She's spend a good portion of her life listening to and believing what other people have said to her, just because she thinks shes not worth an opinion, or that people won't value what she has to say. She's been through much more than any one person should ever have to go through in ten life times never mind one, but shes still going.

Yet no matter how many times I tell her how brave she is, or how amazing she is, she can't see it, she won't see it, because she thinks shes allowed herself to be in the situation she found herself in, even though she was too young to realize what was happening at the time her trauma started. I've told her abusers are super smart people, and can make you think a certain way, and even though you think the way you behave and talk are your own, it's not. It's what you have been trained, or (as much i dont like to use this word) groomed to think.

I see how she flinches when we go anywhere, she gets upset when she hears loud noises, she gets sick when there are too many people around, and has panic attacks when ever she's in the company of the opposite sex, but to her all these behaviours are normal, she accepts them as part of her everyday life.

Just like she cleans all day everyday; some say obsessively. I personally think she just likes things clean, and can control how she keeps her home, plus she knows she's good at it, maybe that's all she thinks she's good at, god knows she's had years and years of practise. I'd pretty much say she had her routine down to a perfect science.

The only thing she can't get down to an exact science is getting the evil out of her life, the thing that hurts her, makes her cry, makes her sad, makes her feel like she less than nothing!

Still she tries to smile, and do the things she knows need to be done, but underneath all the fake smiles and gestures are scars that not only look ugly but that tear her soul to pieces, even the ones that no one sees.

Don't get me wrong she has good days too - but they never seem to last long because the evil in her life is super strong and always seems to win. She's getting stronger slowly but surely, speaking out more and starting to realize she's a person of worth, and deserves to have a happy life, a safe life, not threatened with mean and nasty acts constantly.

I really hope she has the strength to stay on the path she has started down, she's had years and years of being told she's nothing, a waste of time, and a lot more wicked and nasty things, and considering she was thinking about suicide not so long ago, she's come really far, even if at times she doesn't think so.

I/m really proud of her and I hope she keeps going, little steps at a time. I'll be there.


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