Why do we victim blame and shame? It has been simply something that does not make sense to me and has never really, truly made sense to me.
Why do we look victims in their face and say, “How did you not see the signs?”, “How did you let this happen?”.
Well first, I can promise you I did not wake up one more and look myself in the mirror and say “Today seems like a good day as any to be sexually assaulted”. That was never a thought in my mind, ever. I also have never look at myself and said “Holy shit, he is doing everything I have ever asked for and wanted in a man, lets assume he’s going to abuse the shit out of me and turn me in to a human rag doll.” For those who have NEVER been through a situation as such do not have room to comment on why something happened to someone. Because I can tell you whole heartedly, if I could’ve seen any of that coming, I would’ve ran in the other direction.
How master manipulators work is that they go undetected for so long. They are very good. They are not going to show signs in the beginning or even for a long time because they have to manipulate you. And the only way they can do that is act and pretend. But nevertheless, they
I’ll tell you a little story.
Once upon a time there was a girl named Nia Renee. She met a boy and fell in love. In the beginning things were absolutely incredible. The boy spoiled her, he gave her things she never had been given in a relationship. She was able to open up and be placed in a vulnerable state to speak about the things that had been so close and damaging to her. She told him about her sexual abuse as a child, she told him about her rape in high school and her rape in college. She told him about how she was neglected, abandoned, and abused by her birth mother. She told him everything. He led her to believe that he was nothing like her past. And I guess he was right about one thing, he wasn’t anything like her past, in pieces. As a whole he became everything her past had thrown at her in one devilish package. He was there for her for the beginning of her serious health issues. He held her hand when she was scared. He held her on his chest to sleep at night and held her tighter when her nightmares kicked in. He was prince charming. He was everything. Until he wasn’t.
And there was no sign of it happening. But one day, it switched like a freaking light. He just turned off his personality and turned on his anger and possessiveness and controlling behavior. You see, manipulators wait until they have you in a position of trust. Until they know that they have you so sucked into their honeymoon spell, then they drop the bomb. But he would do his subtly. He would say things like “I just never had anyone to come home to, never had anyone to hold me down, everyone left, just like my father did”. He would guilt trip. And then as soon as he got the emotional response he wanted, he would flip the switch. He would do something, like send an inappropriate picture of himself to another woman that was not me. And then when he would get caught, he would say he was never going to do it again, and then blame it on his abandonment issues.
He would word play or emotion seek. Because I have a past of abandonment, I was trying to be understanding that he needed time to grow. So I would make excuses in my mind for him. And that was his way of winning the manipulation game. And those little things that he would use to make me believe that he was “going through things” was his way of playing manipulation. And he succeeded. Manipulators play a game they are so good at. And it is abuse.. it is abusive to use someone’s true intent and someone’s true emotional capacity against them. He new I was an empath, he knew I was empathetic and understanding of a lot of situations. And you shouldn’t ever have to second guess the integrity of your partner. And I didn’t. And slowly those things turned into bigger things. And I was young and naïve.
But, not for one second does anyone ever get to tell me that I should have seen it coming. Because you can’t see it coming. All of what was stated above is in no way a clear picture that abuse was coming. It was not a clue that he was not who he said he was. And being told that I should have paid attention to the red flags, is complete and total bull shit. I shouldn’t have to ever question the integrity of someone who says that they love me or who I lay my head down next to at night. There has to be trust in a relationship and I am in no way a fool for trusting the heartfelt words he told me. Or the horrible situations he said he had endured. Because if I do that with him, I would have to do that with everyone. And this is NO way to live and I refuse to live that way.
Now that I am older and I am able to see certain behaviors that I can walk away from, I still do not think I would see signs of an abusive partner based on me being human and believing someone. Now, with habitual behaviors, yes. But in my past experiences and with the stories people have told me of their pattern of abuse they endured, matches a pattern for sure. It is a pattern at playing off of emotions and keeping up with appearances. And then the switch flips and one day you are being used to be thrown around a room. And when hindsight is 20/20 I can see that I would never have see that coming. And I should NEVER be victim shamed or blamed for that.
Stop victim shaming or blaming.
Stop asking questions you do not deserve to ask.
Stop saying, “Why didn’t she/he speak up sooner?”
Stop saying, “Why did she wait 30 years to speak out?”
Stop asking these questions. It is not fair. It is not okay. It is not productive.
Instead of asking those questions.
Why don’t you ask yourself why you condone the behaviors of an abuser and an assaulter rather than asking why we aren’t we doing more to protect our survivor’s? Why aren’t we doing more to allow these conversations to take place? Why are we not teaching our kids, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, grandparents the value in consent? Why are we teaching boys/girls/men/women to keep their hands to themselves and control their anger?
Better yet, why aren’t we doing more when trauma happens? Why aren’t we doing more to get help to those who experience trauma, neglect, abuse, abandonment, PTSD, anxiety, depression help? Because far too often those who have been through this heavy shit continue to spread these behaviors.
Why don’t we ask those questions instead of questioning the innocence and integrity of our survivors?