Never the Victim’s Fault

It was not my fault. It is never the victims fault. Over the years, I convinced myself that all the abuse I received was my fault, which I have read is a normal thing for victims to do. I even convinced myself that it wasn’t a serious thing because it was just emotional abuse. Compared to sexual and physical abuse, it hardly seems half as bad. Since I could have had it worse, I told myself I had no right to complain. My mom would tell me that kids in Africa had it way worse. She would also talk about how she had it way worse as a child. It was her way of justifying everything she did. So, I kept quiet and held everything in.

It is only in the last six years that I finally started accepting the fact that what my mom did to me was not right. The way she treated me has contributed to the many self-esteem and confidence issues because when you hear something enough times you believe it. She would say things like ‘that dress makes you look fat’, ‘you may be school smart but you are stupid in everything else’ and even at one point she called me ‘a stupid teenage bitch’ which I found quite offensive. Despite how much these comments hurt me, there were ones that hurt more. Often, she would say things like ‘I want to set the house on fire’, ‘I wish the world would end’ or ‘I don’t have any reasons to live’. The little girl inside of me wanted to say ‘But what about me mom? Aren’t I enough? Don’t you want to live for me?’

When I was young, I sought my worth from my mother’s approval because I didn’t know any better. Now I know I was never going to find my worth that way. Sometimes she would build me up a bit, but it seemed to be only so she could tear me down. My mother did not have confidence in herself so to feel better about herself she would make me feel terrible. Through her behaviour, she taught me that I didn’t have any worth.
I felt so alone because the one person who should have been on my side simply wasn’t. A mother should want to protect her child more than she wants to feel good about herself. At times, I think she was jealous of my happiness and my school smarts. When I started going to church, it brought a light to my life where before there had only been darkness. After my mother noticed this she actually tried telling me I wasn’t allowed to go to church anymore but I was not about to let her stop me. I fought for my happiness. It wasn’t easy to stand up to her but I told her, “I’m sorry mom but you aren’t going to stop me from going to church. It is the only thing in my life that is making me happy right now and I am not about to lose that.”

As I have grown, I have been inspired by people who have great confidence in themselves and the fact that they have accepted themselves for who they are. They taught me to believe in myself and to know it was not my fault. I don’t have to carry that blame anymore and neither should any other victim. It is a heavy weight that has been lifted from my shoulders. I have also learned that no matter how she tries to justify it, what she did was her actions and it does not take away from the trauma she caused. Abuse is wrong and there is no excuse that would ever be able to justify it or make it okay.

As I used to doubt but now believe, healing comes with time. Your happiness is worth fighting for.

Nerissa

Learning to Let Go

There is a song called “Kristy Are You Doing Okay” by The Offspring and when I am having trouble letting go of something there are a few of the lyrics that run through my head.

“A rose that won’t bloom

Winter’s kept you

Don’t waste your whole life trying

To get back what was taken away.”

I had been having a really tough day and my thoughts were anything but positive, when all of a sudden these lyrics began to run through my head. At the time, it was really what I needed to hear. I had been thinking a lot about my past and how much I was hurt by it. There were regrets about things I had done and wishes that things would have turned out differently running through my head. I wanted to get back the childhood I thought I deserved, one free of all the hurt and depression.

When the lyrics ran through my head, they reminded me that the past is the past. If I keep trying to hold onto the past I wish I could change, I will keep myself frozen in it and prevent myself from truly embracing the present and all that lies ahead. I can’t bring back the innocent happiness of a childhood that I lost too soon. All I can do is let go so that I can begin to move on. Once I begin to truly let go, I can begin to bloom and grow into the person that I am meant to be. A person that I can’t wait to meet in the mirror someday soon.

As I used to doubt but now believe, healing comes with time. Your happiness is worth the wait.

Nerissa

It’s Time to Talk

For most people depression is a silent battle and one faced alone. They do not want to face the stigma attached to depression. Instead of being called the depressed person they want to be called what they really are, a PERSON with depression. It is a very important distinction to separate the disease from the person. If depressed people didn’t face so much of the stigma maybe we would talk more about how we are feeling. The most important thing to do while fighting depression is to find someone you trust to talk to, someone who can lift some of your burdens. Keeping everything to yourself will weigh you down, I’ve felt it. When I am going through a rough patch I still tend to isolate myself, and while some time alone is healthy too much is not. I have noticed that just getting out of the house for a while can brighten my spirits especially if it is with friends. Talking to my friends about how I feel during my lowest points of depression helps me to let go of some of my pain and worries. Most important of all is to reach out to other people who are depressed because they are the people who will understand you the most and you will understand them. We can truly help one another if we just reach out with love and support. Also raising awareness about depression will decrease the stigma and help so many people. Remember you still have a voice. It is time stand strong and speak up for all the people whose voices have yet to grow. Even if it is just a whisper someone will hear. It may just be you at first, but you will strengthen yourself until your voice is so loud everyone will hear. You can make a difference, if only you just SPEAK UP and end the SILENCE.

As I used to doubt but now believe, healing comes with time. Finding your happiness is worth the wait.

Nerissa