“I was a victim of sexual abuse, mental abuse, trauma; all from someone I dearly loved, and with the abrupt ending of that relationship, I lost someone that once meant the world to me. I also lost trust in the functioning part of my world. Worst of all, I lost a sense of who I was and what that meant.

“One of the hardest parts is remembering that I am not defined by the way she treated me; in that even though I was treated like a worthless human, that does not mean that I am a worthless now.

“It’s difficult not to internalize negativity in today’s oppressive society. Some of the people that knew her/us best empathized and some treated it like “you knew she was a little crazy since the beginning so…” It belittled the problem at hand and almost made it seem permissible.

“Too often the victim is blamed, as if we don’t already face enough shame and regret. At first, I blamed myself, and the last thing I needed was society blaming me too.

“I thought “how did I let myself become so vulnerable? How did I miss the warning signs? How did I allow myself to trust such a sociopath? What could I have done differently?”

“What did I do to deserve this?”

“The answer is nothing. No one deserves it.

“It’s important to acknowledge and nurture the psychological effects of abuse. It is too often overlooked because of its intangibility. Mental health is a field that is still very difficult to navigate. It is nearly impossible to understand the workings of another’s mind because absolute objectivity is impossible.

“While physical symptoms can be seen and treated, psychological relief is a much longer process. The effected must feel and face the issues and then attempt to identify and communicate them. It’s hard turning feeling into language that sometimes doesn’t seem to exist. That’s probably why writing this dang thing is much harder than I thought.

“Although I find myself still struggling to connect to those around me, I realize that I have instead harnessed that energy and used it to strengthen my relationship within. I am paying close attention to my thoughts and honoring my own desires. I am understanding what I need to thrive, and I can only hope that this new found strength will carry me forward with a greater understanding of myself and all the things that make my world beautiful.”

Photo credit: Arielle Pina
Photo Editing: Harriet Evans

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