I spent part of my day at the dealership. I love that place! No really I do. They have great coffee, computer room, free wi-fi and a kicking TV. Not to mention they are just all so nice. It is one of my favorite places to sit and think.
Today I was thinking about the comment made by Ali on “The Aftermath of the Abuse Part 1″ about not being believed. That happens to so many of us. We face denial from others. The question is why? So here are my thoughts on it.
When some one is abused or raped there are more people involved than just the abuser/rapist and victim. There are all of those people who care or are in some way involved in those people’s lives. Now this is where my experience with therapy comes in. All of these people have ego’s. So a lot of the denial that we face comes from the ego’s of others. Putting it another way the denial comes from people thinking “how does this affect me”. If we are talking about the people who know the abuser/rapist the denial comes from a place of “how does this reflect on me”. People will think they were a bad parent or a naive girlfriend/wife or husband/boyfriend. That their siblings must also be evil. I’m not saying that they don’t believe the claim of abuse isn’t true, but often that belief is tied to how they see this behaviour affecting their lives.
On the side of the victim it is in many ways the same. The parents may feel that they don’t deserve to have their child put through this. Feel inadequate to support their loved one. The partners may feel helpless in supporting or protecting their loved one. Again, they are faced with the idea that they may fail or have already failed the victim. In the case of parents who are, well, crappy you may have them truly feeling like it is easier to ignore the situation than work on it.
Understand that coming from a place of “how does this affect me” is completely normal in the beginning. It is a survival mechanism. We all do it. What we have to move to is “what do we do now” stage. No one can make it go away. There isn’t a magical do over button. What we can do is step back, acknowledge that we are not the only ones involved and then move forward to healing. This understanding is helpful for the victims and all of those involved. Actually it works in about every situation.