As many of you know, my most recent blog post was quite personal; in this blog post, I exposed my own experience with sexual abuse. I discussed the person I was at that time and how I have most definitely changed for the better since then.
The feedback I’ve gotten regarding has been wonderfully supportive. Thank you to those of you who commented on my post or made a point to personally tell me how much you appreciated it.
Despite all the positive feedback, I feel I have to clear some things up. I only published this post yesterday, and I am already extremely irked by one thing in particular.
That is, please stop apologizing.
Multiple people have told me they are so sorry this has happened to me.
I understand this is meant to be a kind gesture. I understand people want me to know that they care. I understand all of this.
However, that is not what I was intending to hear with the publication of my story. First of all, you, dear reader, have nothing to apologize for. Two people were involved in this situation, my ex-boyfriend and myself. Unless my ex-boyfriend happens to read this, none of you have any reason to be sorry for what happened to me because it wasn’t your fault.
I had no intention of painting myself as a victim or my ex-boyfriend as a terrible villain. I even clearly stated in my original post on this subject that I don’t believe he is a bad person in general in an attempt to make that point. I don’t think he is a bad person. Do I still think he did wrong in his actions? Absolutely. But everybody does wrong things at times. I dated my him for almost two years. I knew him better than almost anyone. I saw parts of him that I guarantee you he never let anyone else see. I know he wasn’t a bad person. I can’t comment on his person anymore since we no longer speak, but when I dated him I don’t believe it was his intention to hurt me. He did sexually abuse me and that was wrong. There is nothing right about sexual abuse ever. I believe that this emerged out of a frustration with not just me as his girlfriend, but also in an inherent fear within himself that he must be doing something wrong too.
But how can you stick up for someone who was so incredibly terrible to you, Britta?
I’m not sticking up for him. I’m just incredibly perceptive (I’m an INFJ, probably the most intuitive personality type of them all). I knew him and I knew how he ticked. I’m not excusing him for his actions. More so, I’m very aware of how complex human beings are.
To get back from that digression, my intention of this post was to show what I took away from this incredibly bad relationship. How I got through it and how, in the end, it made me stronger.
It may be difficult for certain people to understand this, but I’m glad this relationship happened to me. It made me stronger. I firmly believe that I would not be who I am today if I had not experienced this relationship, both the good and the bad of it.
I don’t want people to get the idea that I think sexual abuse is a good thing, because I don’t. I think, like all forms of abuse, it is terrible. The fact that it still happens to people all over the world on a regular basis is terrifying and incredibly sad. What I am trying to say is, I could either look back at my own story of sexual abuse and view it as a negative experience and only that. Or, I can view it–and I do view it–as a negative experience that ultimately forced me to learn and grow and become a better person.
I am extremely proud of the person I am today. I have come so far from the girl I used to be; the girl who feared loneliness so much that she was willing to sacrifice her own dignity. As much as it might pain people to read this, I think I needed this relationship to wake me up from the sheltered, fairy tale world I was living in. This experience forced me to become aware of my own insecurities. It forced me to realize how dependent I really was. It allowed me to realize that I could be so much more than all of that. How I could become stronger and more confident.
I would never, ever, ever wish sexual abuse upon anyone. I wouldn’t wish it upon my younger self either. The thing is, it did happen. I could spend my life filled with regret for that or I could accept it and learn from it.
I was so blind and I needed something to wake me up. Perhaps something else could have done that just as well without so much pain. Perhaps I could have waken up sooner. There are so many things that could have happened, but they didn’t. Instead of searching for all the “What if’s” of the world, I have accepted the situation as it happened. I do not belief it is healthy to live a life full of regrets. I told this story as a way for me to show how far I’ve come. To emphasize how, despite how bad life might get, so much good can still emerge from that bad.
So, please don’t apologize for what happened to me. For one, you had nothing to do with the situation in the first place. More importantly, I am not looking for apologies. I am looking for understanding. I am hoping my story will give hope to others. The true nature of my blog is to promote learning and growth within myself because that is really my own philosophy towards life. I honestly don’t think I would have developed this philosophy without experiencing the good, the bad, and the ugly of this relationship.
I am not trying to claim that this is the case for everyone who has been through similar experiences. It can take years, even a lifetime, to move on from sexual abuse situations. This is my own experience and my own story and everything I have related in this post and my previous post are just that. My own. Just because I dealt with this specific situation in the specific way that I did doesn’t mean other people will do the same. This not my guide for how to deal with sexual abuse. Hell, no. This is only meant to serve as a reminder that things can get better. People can become stronger. Reaching that point might take years, but it is possible.
I don’t want apologies.
That doesn’t mean other people in similar situations will feel the same.
However, this is my situation and apologies are the last thing I’m looking for. Please respect that.