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Sharing not comparing Is what we are about
Posted 16 November 2003 - 05:17 PM
Feeling how you feel is validation. And you have every right to feel the way you feel. What you feel is inside you and nobody can judge that, or take it away. Pain knows no limits
that convinced me. i hold onto that as evidence. my body does not lie - my body would not do that reaction randomly.
thank you rainbow's edge, this answers the question 'why do i minimize my experience?' - something i hadnt had the courage to even ask, let alone answer.
Posted 17 November 2003 - 02:04 AM
OK, I don't remember who said this now, but something *just* occured to me. Literally a year later, this occured to me. ...And I used to think I was pretty quick to catch on. LOL.
Anyway ~ Last year, when I remembered what my oldest brother did, I was completely at a loss. I didn't know if what I was remembering qualified as abuse or if I was basically just a dirty whore. And I didn't have anyone that I cared to ask. So, I found a site that provided free counseling via e-mail, wrote an extremely brief description of the abuse and asked if it was, indeed, abuse. I'll never forget the reply. He said that he thought it sounded like abuse, though part of it would depend upon my age at the time ~ or something along those lines. And then he said, "What really matters more is whether or not you feel it was abuse."
I was thinking earlier about this thread and the quote above and it hit me -- THAT is what he was trying to get me to see! He was trying to get me to validate myself, to use my emotions as validation.
I did eventually get to that point naturally, but I cannot believe that I didn't see that before.
Posted 17 December 2003 - 07:56 PM
Some time ago, when I was getting some counseling for panic attacks, my counselor was trying to teach me "positive self-talk" as a means to help myself when I had an attack. Boy, was that HARD! I just COULD NOT be kind and caring to myself--everything was the boot camp drill sergeant saying,"Enough of that! Get yourself together! Stop your damn whining!" and so on. I mean, I really seriously COULD NOT treat myself nicely, it was absolutely impossible! When the counselor, after watching me struggle with this, finally asked me,"Well, how would you respond to a friend who was experiencing this same situation w/panic attacks?", it became so EASY to offer comfort, to be gentle and loving.
The point I'm trying to make, I guess, is that the 2 phenomena seem to be part of the same mindset--that we each feel that we as individuals are not as "worthy" of kindness, caring, etc., as other people, that other people's problems are worse somehow. Don't have any great deep insight into why that is--but if a person has any doubts about whether or not a problem or feeling is "real" or "deserves attention", I'd sure suggest the little viewpoint shift of imagining someone else telling you that THEY are feeling what you feel.
Posted 19 December 2003 - 02:15 AM
Posted 22 December 2003 - 07:51 PM
Anyway, when I first came here, I compared myself to others. I was afraid to call it "rape," and I thought that since I didn't have any physical bruises or scars, and because I was unconscious for the vast part of the event, I didn't have the "right" to talk about my pain. Immediately, people reassured me that I did. And I will forever be grateful for that.
Three days ago, I found out that on that same night, I allegedly performed a sexual act with someone else that night. This was the only other person who was there that night, and he was the one I trusted, the one I didn't think did anything wrong. I actually went to him because I thought he would support me. But he didn't. And this may be why. And now I have to deal with not just one rape, but two.
After I found this out, I didn't have any question in my mind that this was rape. On both counts. And I want to thank everyone here from the bottom of my heart. I couldn't even use "the 'R' word" (as I used to call it) for the longest time. And now I can. Because you're all right: the pain you feel is validation. It's not a competition. We're all here because we're hurting, and we're all here because we deserve to heal.
Again, I thank each and every one of you with everything I have.
Posted 21 October 2010 - 11:47 AM
They provide short term crisis counseling and I kept thinking "it was 15 years ago, does that qualify as crisis?".
I still remember what she told me, if you are trying to deal with it, and you need help, that is crisis. That's what we are here to help you with.
Posted 25 October 2010 - 06:49 PM
Posted 13 January 2011 - 04:02 PM
There's been quite a lot of discussion lately about people fearing that what happened to them isn't "serious enough" to be heard because others have been through "so much worse".
I do think that considering somebody else's lot and saying "that was more severe than I experienced" can give our pain perspective, but NOT if it's something that silences us and makes us afraid or ashamed of expressing our own pain.
I think that socialization plays a powerful part - at least for me, I've had to overcome deeply internalized cliches such as "there-is-always-someone-worse-off-than-you-so-just-be-grateful". To say nothing of course, about the myriad social messages about rape being "no big deal", "get over it", "lucky it wasn't "violent", "but he didn't actually penetrate you, aren't you lucky" etc.
Because my rapist was my partner, I was consistently told it wasn't real - "just think of that poor girl dragged into a car, Louise - THAT'S a REAL rape". This is secondary wounding - something many of us have faced, and that can really stick with us for a long time, making us think that everybody will similarly reduce our pain.
As well, many of us have known people who practice one-upmanship bullshit, you know - "you call that a wound? Wait till you see the size of MINE!"
I like to think I've overthrown many of these messages but I'll admit there are still times I've felt some embarrassment at posting about feeling traumatized by events that happened nearly 2 decades ago when we have members who were raped last week and are obviously in more immediate crisis. I feel guilt for taking focus away from them, whom I percieve to be more deserving.
To all you people who feel that your pain isn't "enough"; this board is for YOUR healing. If what happened to you hurts you, that matters. You're not here to be silenced again - this is YOUR space to speak about YOUR pain.
Some people are struggling with wondering if what happened to them was rape, or have unclear memories they're not certain of, and they wonder if they have a place here. You have; please let us be a part of walking through your confusion with you.
I'd love your thoughts. What can other members suggest about overthrowing this troublesome comparison factor? How can we counter it? What secondary wounding experiences have you had that imply or directly state that your experience isn't worth hearing about?
To those lovely members who compare their pain unfavourably to others, please have a look at this thread started by wonderful Jes awhile back:
Love to all
Thank you for writing this, I got teary eyed because what you said is me. I feel like my pain isn't "as bad" and maybe I shouldn't be here because so many other's have been trhoguh so much more. that maybe I am being selfish in wanting help and I should just get over it. I can't explain why I am doign this but you saying that it's all the same has helped. Why do we seperate our selves like that? I don't get it. I will try to not compare. I will defintely try, but that is my main struggle right now.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 06:28 PM
Posted 20 May 2011 - 12:49 PM
Maybe it's one of those things that is easier to believe, it wasn't that horrible. Like it wasn't real rape, it was my fault, and he didn't know what he was doing.
I remember my first rationalization, "it wasn't a classic rape case".
I told that to my friends - they said "it never is".
15 years later, here, one of my earliest posts was in Grey Rape, that's still how I saw it.
It was like IPSA exept we didn't live together, just in seperate dorms on a college campus. My first post to that forum began "I don't know of this counts".
The only episode of SVU that really triggered me was Olivia sitting in the couselors office saying "I feel like I don't deserve to be here". I could absolutely relate to that. It's how I felt when I called the rape crisis center.
I couldn't tell my story out loud, I still can't. It took three meetings but I worked up the nerve to give her the story I posted here.
She read it before my next meeting and I asked, is that rape.
I think it is the first time I could really accept the YES.
After all, mine wasn't that bad.
Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:52 PM
Thanks for listening to me.