reevaluating, “abused people, abuse people”

Abused people, abuse people.

I’ve heard that a lot.

It’s easy to find yourself trapped in that mentality. As angry as I’ve gotten at my ex-metamour, I know that she’s mostly repeating what her own mother did to her. This is what she believes love looks like. It’s what she’s known.

Abused people, abuse people.  That’s why she does it, I tell myself. She can’t help it.

But, after listening to others, I think I’m being unfair to the abused people that overcame their trauma. Imagine growing up in an abusive home, escaping an abusive lover– only to be told, “You know you’re just going to do the same thing to other people, right?” Yes, abusers were often abused. No, abused people don’t always abuse other people.

But there is something else.

Traumatized people, traumatize people.

I’d personally like to see the phrase, “Abused people, abuse people,” replaced with “Traumatized people, traumatize people.” Might not roll off the tongue as easily, but I like how it acknowledges that experiencing abuse isn’t an excuse to abuse. And that not every abuse survivor inflicts abuse on others.

When you live in trauma, that is all you have. You continue the cycle. How else could it be? That is all you have to give. I pity such people, because it wasn’t fair to them. But I still cannot ignore the hurt they cause to others.

It isn’t easy, but it is possible.

When I say it isn’t “easy,” I mean, it will be the most difficult challenge of your life- but it is within your grasp. I’m already seeing my own munchkins work past their hurt (I feel I have, too, but it’s different to see someone else work through theirs). They are still young, with a very, very long way to go– but they’re taking the first steps.

They will never leave behind their memories. But that doesn’t mean they will remain traumatized, in the sense that they will stay trapped in that mindset and that world where they hurt others. Whether as a means of survival, simply not realizing it, or whatever the reason.

Sometimes they even tell me. “Kitty,” my youngest munchkin reflects, “I’ll listen to my children. Cause you should listen to children.” Yes, they were hurt. No, they don’t want that to be their whole existence. That doesn’t mean forgetting. It means forgiving, of themselves, for being stupid, gullible, manipulated. It means letting go of what needs to be let go.

People that suffer abuse cannot change their reality.

They were (or are) abused. They almost certainly suffered trauma (reactions) to that abuse. That’s human, to react. But not all abused people stay in their trauma. Not all abused people, abuse people.

Traumatized people? They are trapped in a world where even helping people means hurting them. They do this with and without self-awareness of the actions they are choosing. Please do not take this as justification. It is not. But it is what they do. They hurt others. And they will keep doing it, again and again. Whether they understand it or not.

Traumatized people, traumatize people.

At least until they free themselves.

@the_stormyone, thank you for helping me think about this and hopefully find a way to be more sensitive to abuse survivors!

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