They say when things get tough, that’s when you see people’s true colors.
In each of my trials, I’ve been shown the “true colors” of my friends. I’m lucky to have so many good friends. I appreciate all the calls, messages, shows of support, and offers to hang out now that I’m stateside again. And, I truly appreciate my online friends as much as my in-person friends.
Blog of many colors
Right now I’m coming to grips with how this atrocity even happened. I was handling all that Mother Nature was dishing out; no electricity, no running water, violent storms, horrendous heat, Typhoid Fever, with a fair amount of grace I think. And then without warning, at the end of my weakest state, John Goosen went on an unprovoked ape-shit rampage and decided to fling me around like a rag doll to make me listen to his drunken rant.
Some days are good. Some days are bad. That’s normal. I write more on my good days, but lately it’s writing about my bad days. That’s also normal.
I value being able to read through other blogs to see the uplifting and helpful information out there. Feeling like there is a community of people who understand the process I am going through is so wonderful. Sometimes it can be difficult for my in-person friends to understand.
And then there is always the hope that through this blog someone else can be helped as I work through everything and keep living the day to day as well. Life goes on and this is how I’m trying to learn as I go.
All the Colors change
Once something traumatic has happened, you see the world differently. I see the world differently. Not better or worse, just different. Things that were once important aren’t any more. Things that weren’t important suddenly are. Everything is colored a little differently.
Different or not, I’m still trying to walk through this world. I’m still trying to learn from this and become a better person for it. I still see the beauty in the sunrises and sunsets. I love listening to the birds in the morning and the coyotes in the evenings. I enjoy conversations, cold beers, painting, reading, laughing.
But behind it all I’m trying to find my voice, give voice to those who don’t have it, and blaze a trail for change.
I pick at and piece through the trash pile that is the ways abusers work. It is alarming how often I pick up a piece of that trash and think, “Oh, that looks familiar, that must be mine.” Only to turn it over and see an Abuser’s name on it. It’s a bit disheartening to see how pervasive the blaming/ shaming way we treat victims is.
For example, we all have heard “there’s a way victim’s walk, or hold their head, or (….) that clues abusers in that they are a good target”.
and I want to scream this at the top of my lungs,
NO ONE SHOULD EVER. BE. A. TARGET.
It doesn’t flipping matter if PersonX walks around with a real sign that says, “I let people abuse me”, PersonX should not get abused. PersonX should not be a target. PersonX should feel and be safe. End of story. Even if the sign has shiny flashy lights with arrows.
No one should be a target.
Think about that for a minute. If PersonX has poor self-esteem, (and that shows through their posture), there are people out there who are compelled to hurt PersonX because of it. Abusers look for people who already feel inferior, then Abusers humiliate them, isolate them, manipulate their emotions, make them feel crazy, makes others think they’re crazy.
And instead of denouncing the Abuser, instead of stopping the Abuser from finding and hurting others, the general population looks at PersonX and says, “hold your head up more, walk straighter so abusers won’t target you”. Everything gets shifted over to PersonX.
Why are people so afraid of Abusers that they can’t stand up to them? I stood alone in trying to get people to see see John Goosen as an abuser. The other people in Mozambique were so afraid to stand up to him. He needed to work. He needed his space. It wasn’t good what he did, but he’s sorry. He needs medication.
Not a single person, other than myself, looked at him and called him out. Not one person actually stood up to him, except me.
It has been enlightening to say the least, to realize every single person I’ve discussed abusive situations with has given ways to change PersonX.
Ex: “I’d try to get them alone to tell them I could help them if they leave the abuser.”
“Abuser has a (…) problem. PersonX needs to be more understanding. I mean get away, but then they need to worry about themselves, not Abuser. Good riddance, they can deal with themselves”
“If you just tell them to leave, they say ‘it’s only one time’, or ‘Abuser loves me’. You have to give them little examples how to leave without really saying they need to.”
“I don’t understand why PersonX would go back after that. PersonX needs to get their head examined.”
Not a single person suggested that the Abuser needs to change.
The Abuser straight up thought, “Hey PersonX looks (insert adjective of choice ie, lonely, sad, etc.). If I make them a little less (adjective) they’ll take any shit I dish out.” “If you feel bad, I want to make you feel worse.” “And I’m going to make you and everyone else think it’s your fault.”
And everybody else thinks, “PersonX should’ve made themselves look less like a victim.”
This is what abusers do. They work the whole scenario from the beginning. From the initial lure to the end, everything and everyone in their environment is part of the set up to get off scott-free.
Our True Colors
I think we are so entrenched, as a general population, in generations upon generations of dysfunctional families, war torn memories, secrets, and lies that we don’t even know how to see the first red flags anymore. Abusers have done such a trick on the mainstream psyche that when we finally see the red flags, we all point fingers at the victims.
But how can we stop the abuse from happening if we start at the end?
What do you think?
As you’ve heard/ read my and other stories, how many times have you asked the ‘questions of change’ to the victim rather than the abuser?
How can we change that scenario? How can we really stop abuse if we don’t change it?