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The APPROPRIATE Response to Abuse

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

"Your silence is deafening.” “Why aren’t you speaking?” “You need to listen.” “No, you need to speak up.” “You’re speaking? You have no right.” “Show your support.” “Stay in the background.” “God, don’t you know how you’re supposed to behave?” “Do I have to spell EVERYTHING out for you?” “You’re guilty.” “You’re wrong.” “You’re weak.” “You’re ignorant.” “You don’t agree? You’re a piece of shit.” “You don’t have all my opinions? You’re my enemy.” “You dare stand for compassion? You’re a coward.” “You refuse to be extreme? You’re evil and immoral.” “You refuse to hate and condemn other people? I knew you didn’t love me.” The last few weeks have felt like deja vu. They have felt straight up abusive. But don’t you dare say THAT. “You’re too fragile.” “You’re too sensitive.” “How dare YOU have feelings when I am expressing MINE.” “You see my PAIN? It’s YOUR FAULT.” “You see my WOUNDS? They are why I can’t control hurting YOU.” “The only response you’re allowed to have is ‘thank you for telling me’, or silence.” “Aww, I’m so SORRY… did I hurt your little FEELINGS??” *eye roll* “If YOU weren’t such a PROBLEM in the FIRST place, we wouldn’t be here.” “You have NO RIGHT to speak to me and you should be ASHAMED of the pain and anger you have caused.” And this is where I get maxed out. This is the place where I want to be SMALL. This is the place where I want to crumble and DISAPPEAR. This is the place I feel CRIPPLED by INADEQUACY.

I remember this place WELL. This is the place I thought I left behind FOR GOOD. But the one thing I know about mastery is this: The lesson WILL ALWAYS reappear until the lesson is LEARNED. My old trauma response to abuse was constant performance. Be ACCOMMODATING. Work HARDER. LOVE harder. BEG for validation and understanding. BEG for belonging. EXPLAIN, EXPLAIN, EXPLAIN. SUPPRESS MORE. NUMB my own needs. MINIMIZE myself. The struggle to be GOOD ENOUGH and LOVABLE was REAL. Well, it was as real as long as I was willing to PARTICIPATE. So one day, I decided to PEACE OUT, which as it turns out, is the APPROPRIATE response to abuse. For the last few weeks, I have been vacillating between old abuse responses and my new commitment to be true to myself without searching for a sense of belonging from others. It’s been agonizing. Sometimes, I’m stuck in trying to perform “good enough” to be loved and accepted. Other times, I find my way back inside myself. I listen for my own truth. I remember I don’t have to diminish myself to serve others. I remember it’s ok to be fragile and sensitive. I remember my needs matter. I remember my way of showing up doesn’t need approval from others. I remember I don’t have to sign up for hostility or abuse.

This has all served as a reminder to tighten up my boundaries. I’m available for constructive, solution focused conversations. I’m not available for hostility in any form. I’m not available for negotiating, proving, or fighting for my worth as a person. I get to unapologetically release anyone who does not honor my space at the same level I am committed to honoring theirs. Goddess, don’t let anyone fool you for a second. You do not have to diminish yourself for any reason. Don’t buy the lie your shame and suffering and submission serves ANYONE. No one has to compete for space to heal. Anyone who tells you they need you to harm or diminish yourself for their benefit can FUCK OFF. Goddess, people benefit when you SHINE. People flourish when you radiate LOVE, COMPASSION, and HONOR. What honors YOU, honors EVERYONE.

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