Being abused is horrible, and it affects people in ways that those who have never been abused cannot begin to understand. That is an obvious statement, one that has been drummed into the minds of those that try to help but realize that reaching those that have been abused is not quite as easy as it might sound like. But the effects have one of two fundamental outcomes.
The abused individual is going to keep gravitating towards the abuse, which is frustrating for them and for those that genuinely care about them and are forced to watch it. They will think that they deserve this, that they are fundamentally flawed, and therefore are not worth the love and attention that others are willing to give them. But there’s a darker side to this.
It forces them to mistrust pretty much anyone and everyone that has never been abused. In the minds of some that have been abused, not everyone but some, those that have not gone through it are entitled, privileged, and thereby can’t possibly hope to understand them. They become the enemy somehow, the privileged people that can’t possibly feel their pain. In doing this however they sink into the mire and the uncertain darkness that is their own pain, which is a personal decision that leads to the hopelessness they feel. Not everyone does this, a lot of people really do want to get better and find the light, but this hopeless feeling of being wrecked and living in a victimized state of mind becomes an addiction that many people can’t break free of since it becomes an armored shell that they can’t see past.
Then there are those that want to get better, but know that it won’t be easy. They understand that they’ve been abused, that some vital part of their life was ripped away from them, but they somehow find the nerve, the guts, the sheer willpower to refuse to give in and give up. They deny the efforts of those that try to break them down and make them feel small. They might have trust issues, but they don’t tend to just believe other victims will seek to understand them.
Such individuals find that believing in people is still important since they find that there are those that will be trustworthy, that will seek to help when it’s needed, not simply force themselves and their help upon them. The best friend an abused individual can have is someone that’s there when they need them, not there all the time, not there just to say “I feel your pain” because quite honestly, no we don’t, not unless we’ve been through what they’ve been through.
Stretching towards a life spent in a positive manner is possible after being abused, but quite honestly the trick is to be there when they need you, not when they need their space, not when you feel the need to check on them, but when THEY need YOU.
Abuse victims will choose their path, the only thing that any of us can do is be there, and hope they will find the light.