I leave my social media private messaging open for anyone who may need a friendly ear or some advice and have received countless kind emails and messages from people of all ages, in all types of situations. It is humbling that random strangers can muster enough trust in me, also a random stranger, to not only reach out, but to express their deepest fears and emotions. I am by no means a counselor, just a survivor who may be able to offer a different perspective based on my knowledge and experiences. I want to thank those of you that have reached out for having the courage to do so. As the saying goes, the first step is the hardest.
I started a blog last year to not only help heal myself but with the hopes that maybe some aspect of the traumas I have endured will make at least one person feel less alone, or perhaps a bit more understood. I am completely open about my experiences and almost always have gotten positive feedback and encouragement. The people who have been ignorant have been few and far between and generally their comments just roll off my back. However, for the first time this got under my skin to the point where I am now going to respond with the hope that a little education, ignorance does not have to be.
I won’t bother copying and pasting the entire message as you should get the idea with the following few quotes…
“Why do people like you insist on reliving your past in a public forum for everyone to see? It’s the past for a reason, get over it. Everyone had their own childhood issues but do you see most people whining about it online? You had plenty of time to tell someone when you were being abused or sometime shortly after, but after thirty years, it’s time to move on. Complaining will get you nowhere…”
“…are you not embarrassed enough that you were abused and now decades later you think anyone is going to believe you…”
“…and anyone who has attempted suicide three times and not succeeded is simply seeking attention. There are enough resources online that you shouldn’t need three attempts to end your life. You are obviously sick in the head and should seek professional help.”
The message continued for another few hundred words but I am guessing you get the point. So, Mr. Ignorant, allow me to reply.
The fact that you say people “like me” screams the type of mindset that you hold. We are not a stereotype, we are warriors. We are survivors of atrocities and horrors that you could not comprehend. We went through more trauma in our early and formative years than you will likely suffer in your lifetime. As a child I was afraid to speak for a multitude of reasons, and that carried on through a large part of my life, until one day I found my voice and so now, I speak because I can. I am no longer bound in fear and silence as I am no longer a victim. I use my words to in an attempt to educate people like you who are bound in stigma. I write on behalf of those who have not yet found their voices and to let others know they are not alone. The fact that you asked if I am not embarrassed enough about my abuse already says a lot about your mentality. The last time I checked I did not molest myself, so what do I have to be embarrassed about? I was merely a child who was preyed upon by some very sick people and was unable to defend herself, and whether or not anyone believes me or not does not sway me from my purpose. Those who don’t believe me simply don’t have the privilege of being in my life.
Your comments about suicide actually left me stunned for words, which is not easy to do… so shame on you for not only saying that, but for thinking that. People like yourself who’s views are based on stigmatisms believe that you are untouchable, and that nothing like that could ever happen to anyone you love, and just based on statistics alone, if you know more than four people you likely know someone affected by a mental illness, which in some cases leads to suicide attempts. I won’t even begin to try and explain to you the complexities of suicide as you are too close minded to learn. Just know that anyone who has sunken low enough to make an attempt to take their own lives is suffering a sense of hurt you could not comprehend, and in most cases, for them, at the time, it seems the only way to truly end the pain is to end your life. 99% of the time it is not a cry for attention like you have insinuated.
So, to sum it up, thank you for reminding me why I speak and write and advocate for mental health…it is people like you that keep me motivated.
I speak because I can.