Are you in it for the long haul?

A person does not just “get over it” after they are abused. If for one moment this is your mentality or your reality, then you are not with the abused. Are you in it for the long haul? If you are, that means never saying,  ” You need to move on,” or “It’s time to move past that,” or “You need to focus on the future,”or “Haven’t you talked about that enough,” or ” That still upsets you, it happened so long ago,” or ” I think it’s time to get over that,” or ” You need to just forgive and let go.” A victim of abuse wishes and dreams of a day when what was in the past stays in the past. They wish for a day when moving forward means they never have to think of the past again. If those things were true for everyone then PTSD would not be a diagnosis. 

A few days ago I had a memory. Of a procedure done on me that my mother says she can’t really remember. I had asked many times and got vague answers. Well, I finally remembered. What I remembered I am sure everyone thought I was so young I’d forget. The past does not stay in the past. Memories remind us. This memory was a painful one but it answered a mystery. I tried to share it and felt minimized and invalidated. I wish I could say I understand. I don’t. You are either there for someone or you are not. You are either in it for the long haul or you aren’t. Better to fess up and say it now if you can’t hack it. The last thing a person recovering from abuse needs is another loss. You don’t want to hear it? It’s been going on too long for you? Imagine how long it has been going on for ME!!!!I didn’t speak for 30 YEARS and now I have a time frame on how long I can discuss a sexual predator and what I was put through and memories that keep coming forward now that I am in therapy? No. I do not accept those friendship parameters. Oh, hello anger, I have not seen you for awhile. It is amazing how a little invalidation can bring you back full force!!!!

I told my dear friend about this a few days ago. She reminded me that a true friend is there for you unconditionally, no matter what, no matter how long. Friendship is a two way relationship. You talk. You listen. You console. You comfort. You laugh. You support. Unfortunately for other people in my life, she sets the bar high. And frankly I am tired of friends that fall below that bar. Hey, don’t blame me for setting the bar! She’s the one that put it there and allowing me to see how badly so many others SUCK.

Let me tell you about our friendship. We raised our two children together. We spent almost every day together. We know how to be angry for each other. We know how to jump on whatever bandwagon there is to jump on for each other. She and I could not be more opposite on so many things and yet we share our foundation which is how we love and how we parent. She eats cookies. I eat granola. We both love boiled peanuts. We both have our struggles and we each have each others’ back. No judgment. Unconditional. 20 years of friendship. We hold each other’s most deepest thoughts and worries and hopes and we cherish them. That is what friendship is. 

She has listened to story after story about my family, my father, my brother, the ski team, the child molesters, the abusive boyfriends. That’s what friends do. In 20 years you go through a lot together. She “gets” me. I trust her and it takes a lot for me to trust. 

She has been in it for the long haul since day one. Since before she even knew I was abused. When she signed on as my friend it was for life, and did not have restrictions or conditions, based on what I was going through at the time. 

So, 

If you aren’t in this for the long haul. Get out now. I don’t need another loss down the road from someone who I thought was invested in my heart and healing. I don’t need those first quotes in my first paragraph and neither does any other abuse survivor. Abuse recovery has no time table. If you think it does, if you are putting time constraints on an abuse survivor, stop.If you can’t stop, then just walk away now. We need to know now. Not one month from now or 2 years from now when we’ve trusted you with our truths.  The last thing we need is another fucking disappointment down the road. Really. We’ve lost enough already. I don’t need pretenders who just hang on to me as a connection or an aquaintnece. You are either with me, all the way, or you are not. Unconditional or gone. Every abuse survivor deserves to never ever hear “It’s time to put that in the past” again. Be in it for the long haul. We are worth it. 

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16 thoughts on “Are you in it for the long haul?

  1. Yep. This weekend is very much about this. I have not even been allowed to talk about it in family and nice society in over 2 decades. Now it upsets them that I can handle it and I own it. They are scared. I have suggested it may more be guilt than fear. My brother was killed a couple of years after it happened. He tried to protect me. The night before he went missing the last time I ever saw him we hugged each other and he said he loved me. I never saw him again and his body was found 5 days later. Corrupt police made a buggery of the crime scene we were told. My parents were big career people with big connections. Part of what my father did meant that he maintained the relationship for the biggest Coca-Cola account in Australia. My brother’s strange death was kept out of the media as we had connections. Within a few years the Australian cricket board was called Cricket Australia and all sponsors went over to the other side… ie Pepsi. Growing up I knew more from my dinner table and my friends at school than a paper could tell me.
    People just don’t like good recall. Several doctors and judges like my recall very well. Even doctors I have had fights with. It is very bizarre. What powerful people are doing to the children of people who fall out with them in business is very real.
    When I was 2 or 3 my brother first protected me from 2 blokes in an expensive car late at night after my folks had been to a dinner party at a surgeon’s house who is now pretty damn big. Small world really…. and some of us have fear anymore because we have nothing left to lose ever again. Bless you all.

    Liked by 1 person

      • He’s never left me. My karma is that of being a sibling. I will never be an only child although everyone i know today never knew him.. . 500 at the funeral… Probably not seen 8 of them since over 22 years

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      • Wow! That is a lot of people that came to the funeral. Was it just to say they did? Just for show? Doesnt sound like it was to really support your loss. I’m glad he is always with you. What a blessing to still be able to feel that and know that.

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  2. Better than well said. In this post you’ve give me permission to remember. You’ve given me permission to cry. You’ve told me that it’s not my fault that I can’t get over it. You’ve told me that it’s okay that my eyes are blurry with tears as I respond to your post. Love ya xxxxx

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  3. It hurts so much when family members tell you to, “Get over it.” Or, “You’ve told me that before.” Yes, that hurt a lot. I heard that from my older sister. No one wants you to talk about it. I think, for my grown daughters, it hurt them very much to see me have breakdowns when I remembered what happened. I could tell they didn’t want me to talk about it or give details. My husband also. Well, I can understand that. The only person I could talk with was my therapists. Thank God for them. They saved me from suicide.

    Isn’t it sad when no one understands what you are going through? You feel so alone in the world. Well, I’ve had God since I was 19, and that made a huge difference. He has helped me get through years and years of this pain. The nightmares, the fear of men. I still have those, but I’ve learned to live with it and have joy anyway. I won’t let my father ruin my entire life. There has been tons of good in my life too, that he couldn’t touch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a beautiful thing to have God help us through these times and bring awareness to the good, like you said, that was untouched by the abuse and trauma. I am so glad you have a therapist you trust. I do too. She is always very validating and understanding. She has put no time limit on my healing and recovery. But yes, when family does it and friends, it really cuts to the core.
      Thank you for sharing your story. It means a lot that you have done that. I am sorry that you were abused. So sorry. When we finally see it for what it was and break the silence, to have others not want to hear is very frustrating. I want to say…but i found my voice! Please hear me!!!! You are always welcome to share here!

      Liked by 1 person

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