I’ve had a thought recently. I supposed the thought has crossed my mind in some form or another a few times before… But, sometimes I feel so stereotypical.
Before I admitted even to myself I’ve been a victim (though I hate that word) of abuse, I used terminology to describe myself or my situation/past in stereotypical terms, without realizing it.
When I wrote out my original story to explain it to the youth in Australia… Well, I again described it in stereotypical ways. Things that I said about Wyatt were textbook explanations I realized when I later did the research for the lesson I was teaching on dating abuse. It had been entirely unplanned that way, yet it made me feel like my speaking it out was at least valid – I had questioned my own self at times if I was making too big a deal out of it and being unduly harsh in my memory of the relationship.
Realizing that what I had written was a word-for-word match for legit sources on the subject, well, it emboldened me at least a little to trust in myself on the subject…. to believe myself when I pointed out I had been abused. This was about 4 years ago… 16 years after the fact.
Recently, I’ve been coming across commentary and articles, etc that say that victims of abuse usually wave away concern about their abuse, or justify it to some extent, by saying “it could have been worse,” or “others have it worse than me.” They are doing a form of self-invalidation. When I say “they,” I also mean me. I’ve written on this very blog and answered comments again on this blog saying that very same thing. Hell, I probably wrote it in my book too… Now that I think about that, I should check to see if I did.
It’s a constant in my life apparently to self-invalidate, I have said that phrase or a variation thereof sooooo many times.
I feel like a stereotype.
I keep periodically finding things like this that make me think… yup, that’s me they’re talking about in that there abuse or mental health article.
On one hand, again, it makes me feel validated. On the other hand, it also makes me ask myself “Why am I this way? Aaarrrgghhh!” I want to feel like I’m not a stereotype. I want to feel like I’ve risen above and past issues don’t affect me as negatively as they actually apparently do.
For now though, I guess I will cling to the validation aspect of it all. That’s gotto be a healthier way of handling it overall, yeah?