In Reply to: Repost from crossfire. I wanted to acknowledge and suppoert our victim posted by Rocky on July 11, 2002 at 00:31:17:
With no reference to Ray's post(s) which I haven't read!
Thanks Rocky for your insightful post. It was really good of you to spell out your bias openly (don't we all have them!) and detail the stages of recovery so carefully. Now I will spell out my bias:
As a victim of severe childhood abuse, including sexual, I can totally relate to what you have described. I consider myself fortunate in that most people when they hear my stories consider I'm actually amazingly "normal" and so doing well for all I've been through.
(one funny example: me and a few best friends were reminiscing childhood days and getting into trouble with teachers, and the question was raised about "what was the worst thing that a teacher ever did to you?" The answers were all "I got slapped once" "I got yelled at", etc. Mine was "my gym teacher tied me up to a chair, attached some wires to me and electocuted me. I could smell my own hair and flesh burning...") OK... apart from joining a cult, launching a controversial website and being wild and restless at heart, I'm fairly "normal" and well-adjusted. I think... They tell me so...
All joking aside, as someone who is on the "normal" side of things and well into the "gotten over it" stage, I can also see the importance of forgiving and moving on, but much more in your vein than the general "the bible has all the answers" "love cures all" "you have to forgive and forget" vein. (I am NOT accusing Ray of having said this - I haven't read his post) This is what I mean about the path and journey being unique for every individual. If anyone is so fortunate to arrive at a stage where they are able to move on, in all probability it WON'T be through anyone telling them to "forgive and move on!" It will come from somewhere inside, something the individual has managed to process in his/her own way. And it might not even be through popular therapy ideas of venting either - as far as I remember, I never really did vent much at all. And I never had therapy. (But the times I did vent, if someone had said "get over it", man, I would have freaked!)
I was most definitely a victim of abuse, but I don't look at myself as a victim now, and I believe that thinking like a victim makes you live like a victim, be a victim, etc. But for all I know and have been through, I could still never walk up to a victim of sexual abuse and say, "stop thinking like a victim." You know, it's just something not done, unless you are pretty clueless in my opinion.
I can completely understand when someone is enraged by people who might even suggest "get over it" - even though I am not an "angry" type, don't feel like a victim anymore and have "moved on". You just never really do move on. There are things which affect me to this day in personal relationships, things which I will continue to work on till the day I die.
Up until 1 year ago if someone patted me on my cheek as a friendly affectionate gesture, I'd freeze, go blank for a second or 2, break into a cold sweat - it came from being slapped around a lot. As a parent, I had to fight hard not want to slap my own kids around when they were out of it. And the stuff I put my loved ones through over the years, I am begging forgiveness for to this day.
So how "moved on" am I? I don't really know. It's nice to give the impression of having moved on anyway *sigh*