Have you ever listened to someone’s story and found yourself shocked at how many times he or she was a victim of abuse or assault? Did you find yourself wondering, even a little bit, why they were victimized repeatedly? Or maybe it’s you — you have been hurt by many, like I was. You can’t figure out why you were singled out, even if you’d rather it have been you and not, say, a sibling or friend.
In the last year, I’ve received different pieces of advice concerning the work I am doing here. Many say that if I specialize and bring the focus in tighter on one subject, like domestic violence, the site will grow. As it is, they say, it’s too broad.
At first, I really considered what they were saying. But then this snippet of pretend conversation popped into my head:
“Sorry, you can’t assault/abuse/hurt me because someone else already assaulted/abused/hurt me before you got here.”
“Oh, I didn’t know. My apologies. Moving along now.”
Kinda silly, right? If you’ve been hurt once, no one else can hurt you. That almost sounds like a dream. But the fact is, many get victimized over and over. Many factors come into play as to how this happens (age, the level of the assault, etc.), but it does indeed happen. I am a victim of many different types of abuse, all culminating in what I can only term “a painful past.” I don’t specialize in one topic because my pain didn’t come from one place in one way. I was built from a foundation of hurt.
Let me tell you what I do specialize in. I specialize in healing, in taking back what was taken, in tearing down the walls built of lies and rebuilding from truth and strength and love. I specialize in holding my hand out for someone else, whether his or her pain is from one experience or many.
So many of us carry around a million pieces of pain that we’re trying to let go of, and the load is heavy. I don’t have easy answers for setting it down, but I do know that each day forward is another day of trying to heal. There’s no deadline to get there, to get as close to healed as we can get, but we’re trying — I’m trying.
My goal here isn’t always clear because I’m still trudging through mud. I’m in the shallow end, but it’s still a mud pit all the same. Every once in a while, it sucks me back in deeper and I cry and feel all the pains from long ago. But each step forward eases that pain a little more each time. And maybe just by sharing, just by saying I don’t know how to do this completely because I’m still learning, we can keep growing together and help others avoid becoming victims in the first place.
As always, I invite you on this journey. Read, share, comment, or just nod silently. I know you’re there.
Photo Credit: Pixabay