Sunday 22 January 2023

Thought Picnic: In the omerta of abuse

No perfect narrative exists

There are taboo topics that society, community, or situation makes too difficult to talk about for many reasons from not having a frame of reference in which to conceptualise and understand to the need to avoid engagement so that the horror of that reality does not inflict on our comfort.

In the matters of child sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, or bullying, some of which I have addressed in my almost 20 years of blogging, finding the form of words to discuss with the hope that it does not upset is one for which there is neither art, skill, nor perfection to convey silent suffering and the associated issues.

Why they suffer in silence

I would guess that is the reason that obvious and apparent victims do not share their experiences and mostly never report anything because of shame or embarrassment, worse still the default audience sits in judgement with the view that there is much more that could have been done to prevent things happening to oneself.

Yet, reporting any abuse is not as easy as making a customer complaint or reporting a theft, the violation of the person is visceral, it starts with the body, as the mind considers what has happened, and the spirit is grieved in the realisation of that truth. Maybe, the bruised body can be healed, and the conflicted mind can with time find peace, to reach into the spirit to enliven it is a whole different matter. A person must find their way just as they have to work with the dreams and imaginations that play in their heads.

Wrestling back some agency

That these taboos need to see the light of day through expression, sharing, and talking about it so that perpetrators realise that they do not hold any power over the people they violate or are emboldened to act with impunity is necessary. However, navigating the present to gain the support, sympathy and empathy needed to grow would never be an easy task.

The child abused who on mentioning it is shut down because the adults who should protect them cannot deal with it, the person who has suffered domestic abuse takes the blame for instigation rather than the abuser getting excoriated, sexual assault is seen as opportunistic and victimless that partners of victims are more hurt than the one molested, being on the receiving end of bullying considered an act and state of weakness when one is expected to fight back and put a stop to it.

Help, don’t worsen it

The long hard mile that others would never walk in the shoes of the wearer is deemed the easiest feat of endeavour. People in pain from living through it are doubly hurt by others taking on the same pain for what they never lived. It is a strange world, you begin to believe that the cruellest thing to allow to happen to yourself is to suffer pain, to be a victim, to be caught in circumstances you should have controlled but you failed to.

Whilst silence cannot be the answer, we have to find it somewhere in our human nature to consider, to appreciate, to understand, to commiserate, to empathise, to feel, and to know, that others will have experiences beyond our comprehension, if we cannot help them, we should not make it worse. Sadly, this all is part of the story of our humanity, much as we would love better stories. I do not have the answers, we should be careful of taking offence in the hurt of another.

Once again, “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” [Romans 14:22b] The journey of self-healing is lonely, scary, unsure, and not guaranteed. You take each day as vulnerable and human with the hope that there is better ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are accepted if in context are polite and hopefully without expletives and should show a name, anonymous, would not do. Thanks.