• April Hardy

Stupid questions like "Do you really think he/she would really hurt you?"


Based on my personal experience, it seems like a lot of people do not understand the dynamics of being a victim of violence.  While violence happens all around us all of the time, it's one of those things that you have to have experienced yourself (or be close to someone who has experienced it) in order to begin to comprehend what it's like.  Do you know what it's like to move your kids around in fear for your lives?  Do you know what it's like to excitedly go to see your favorite movie's sequel in a theater only to be force to run for your life while people are falling down dying around you?  Do you know what it's like to hide in a closet at school and call your Mom to say your goodbyes because there is a shooter in the building?  Or at the airport, on in the mall, or at your job?  Friends and family try to express the concern they genuinely feel for you, but it doesn't fit.  Comments like "I'm sorry you are going through this" and "You can't hide in your house forever.  It's not healthy!" seem to bounce off of you like rubber bullets to a plastic wall.  They're not helpful, even though they're meant to be.  The truth is, they're annoying.  They may even enrage you.  Maybe you're mad at them for their obvious lack of understanding.  More than likely, you're angry that your life is in this situation in the first place.  Why did it have to happen to you??? You're a good person.  You treat people decently.  You didn't ask for this!   


The truth is you're right.  You're probably a decent person.  In fact, when it comes to abusive relationships, it's likely that you're a very caring person.  The truth is it rains on the good and the bad alike.  Bad things happen to everyone at some time or another, albeit we experience different bad things.  For some it might be a life-threatening disease, for others it may be poverty...maybe your boss sucks or the marriage that you put everything into ends...

The thing to keep in mind is that the bad thing isn't necessarily a reflection of you and their misplaced words aren't necessarily a reflection of their concern for your feelings.  Find people who have been through the same bad thing and lean on each other through the healing process.  They understand, empathize, and can encourage you as you climb back out of the hole that the bad thing knocked you into.  I have found a wonderful community of people on Twitter.  I hope to foster other such communities in other places too.  As I do, I'll try to link them here.  Until we talk, my dear friend, know that my heart goes out to you because if you're reading this entry, you are part of the family...we're a family of survivors. 

P.S. You are stronger than you might yet know!       

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