Some of us were abused when we were kids- verbally, physically, emotionally or even sexually. Others may have seen their parents go through the same. Some others might have just read about it in the newspapers etc.
Abuse is traumatic and when it comes from people close to us, which happens in most cases, it has severe effects on the person. It is not only a matter of ill treatment; it also includes cases of neglect. Men also suffer due to abuse, be it of any kind.
The first and most important question that springs to mind when one thinks of abuse is that how does one get over something as heinous as child abuse. How do you get up every single day as an adult who has suffered it in the past and pretend that everything is all right with you, that you have forgotten everything? In the question lies the answer.
Many people who have suffered directly or indirectly due to the abuse simply forget it. But this forgetting is at a superficial level and is not truly complete. It is repression, where the anxiety producing events are forgotten or there is some sort of psychologically induced episodic amnesia i.e. you simply don’t remember the abusive episode/s.
Victims of abuse often suffer feelings of guilt, shame and fear. They feel that may be some action of theirs might have brought about the abuse. But this is not true. The only person responsible is the person who is abusing, and this needs to be accepted at an intellectual as well as emotional level. Patterns of relationships vary across survivors of abuse.
Some are extremely afraid of intimacy, both physical and emotional. Others have been found to subconsciously choose partners whose traits are similar to that of the original abuser. But this generally occurs in cases where there has been long term abuse. Yet others go on to have healthy and fulfilling relationships, but this requires a lot of hard work and maturity from that person.
We have often heard the saying “abused children make abusive parents”. There is conflict amongst researchers regarding the authenticity of this belief, but many people do not have kids in the future to avoid a scenario where they might incur the same hell on their children as they had suffered in the past.
Others become extremely over protective of their children and are not able to give them enough space to grow. But, there are people who realize that they have to learn from what they have suffered in the past and try their personal best to not repeat the mistakes that were made with them.
Resilience is a trait which has brought human beings to the 21st century. It is because of this trait that thousands of people who have suffered horrifically at the hands of people, who they thought cared about them, not only face the challenges of life but also succeed and rise above their personal journeys.
There is no shame in fear; rather there is courage in asking for support. It is the hope that things will get better, that once you have hit rock bottom you can only go up that truly emboldens them to get up each morning, stop pretending and face what is called life.
Courage doesn’t always roar,
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
At the end of the day saying
“I will try again tomorrow”