Thought Catalog

To The Girls Who’ve Been Abused

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Julia Caesar

Sitting in a victim’s advocacy center crying and feeling without hope, an older woman walked by me and stopped. She grabbed my face, looked me in the eyes, and said:

“You will survive.
We always do.
You are loved”.

As I sat there and watched a disheartening number of women walk by, I understood the powerful opportunity this shared understanding allowed for in the realm of empowerment and advocacy.

So to the girl that has been abused, if no one else tells you, I want to tell you: I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that this is probably the only apology you will receive because a boy small enough to abuse isn’t big enough to comprehend, accept, and admit his actions.

I’m proud of you for admitting you need help out, because I know he said it was your fault. Or that you deserved it. Or that you are “crazy”. They always do because ‘crazy’ is a protective last resort for pathetic people to misplace their guilt and responsibility through ignorance and arrogance. I’m proud that despite their constant efforts to distort your reality, history, self-esteem, and understanding that you trusted your brain and your gut because they can not and will not be conquered by someone small enough to rely on insecurity driven abuse to feel big.

I know you think you love him. Or that you can change him. Or that if you could just get him to see how cruel his actions are that he will promise “it’s the last time” and you will listen. I know you said “but he is so charming” or “his good sides are really good”, but you are the only person closest to him that will see who he really is. But you do not love him. You love a wishfully created and personally perceived version of the boy that keeps revealing his true self to you. You love the potential in what he could be, the way he knows exactly what to say to make you ignore your gut, and you love the concept of settling because it’s simply just easier than accepting only what you deserve. You think you love him but that is not who he is, and only in his loneliest and egotistically drained moments will he know it too. You can not change darkness in someone’s soul, you can not make someone feel kind or look beyond ego, you can not expect someone living in their own perception to see reality. You can not change a weak heart filled with malice because the only heart it will change is yours, and they are not worth hardening your compassion.

Know that if no one else hears you, that I do. That being abused reveals the crowds of amazing friends that love you enough to move the water and the wind to protect and heal you, and that it will disintegrate all the cowards weak enough to feed into blind ignorance. You will realize that it takes strength to find truth in situations and that many times that people are not strong enough to see beyond their comfort. Know that women are freed every day and will support you because some women truly do believe that if someone is begging for help out of an abusive relationship that they will not ignore it out of comfort. The loss of such insignificant + helpless souls allows you to appreciate the beauty in front of you waiting with open arms the whole time; the type of compassion and nobility that dark souls will never be able to comprehend.

Understand that shock is nothing other than a testament to your capacity for love. That forgiving him without an apology sets you free. Understand that you stayed not because you were weak, but because you were strong enough to love despite their darkest parts.

Promise me that you will never make yourself small again, whether it is for the person that abused you or their small group of supporters. There is no greater disservice to yourself than to make yourself small for others, just because it is easier in the moment. That ease will always be made up for. Appreciate the people that build you, help you grow, make you feel supported especially when you need them; because they are the only people that matter. When you rise forward, why bring yourself down for others? Why try to drag them along in the hope that they will grow too? These people rely on you making yourself smaller just so they can prey and attempt to feel bigger.

Trust me that no matter how many times you think it can’t get worse, that sick people do not follow the same rules or moral code. That the only way to free yourself is to only surround yourself with people that abide by the same morality that you do. Trust me that no matter how many times people attempt to knock you down, that you will keep rising stronger while they sink deeper.

Most importantly, thank the boy that abused you because he set you free to yourself, a life where you don’t wake up in tears every night, and to the man that will show you what real love, honor, respect, and human decency is. A man that will make you feel safe instead of terrified, that will protect your heart instead of stab it, that will build you up instead of tear you down in the most unintelligible ways, and that will encourage your future rather than set it to flames.

Remember that a boy weak enough to rely on abuse tactics will never have the means to diminish you, no matter how hard they try or no matter if they will ever be able to accept their truth by limiting ego. Unfortunately, the boy that abuses will likely never admit or accept their darkness because that would mean acceptance of a total lack of humanity. So thank the boy that abused you because you will now love an amazingly bold and empowered life. You will thank God (or the universe, or your big toe, whatever floats your boat) every day for saving your life and allowing you to continue without another’s darkness. You have not lost, you have gained. The sting will fade + you will never look back except for sorrow you feel at their darkness.

So trust me when I say, protect your heart. Wait for the man that sees a vulnerable heart and instead of capitalizing, exploiting, and preying on your weakness will nurture and respect it. Trust me when I say you will never think of him again, for he is too small and sickening. Do not fear, for you are free.

Because you will survive.
We always do.
and you are loved. TC mark

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