Have you ever heard Lady Gaga's song “Till it happens to you”? It's such an emotional song especially for those it relates to. I appreciate music like this, informative and revealing, unlike the mainstream music of today. I would also like to point out the brainwashing in the mainstream movement... but I won't get into that right now.
This is about the basis of this song. I wept as I listened and I smiled at the end where everyone is matching out with the victims, hand in hand, supporting them and bringing them out of the miserable space they were in. Such inspiration. This could very well give someone out there the courage to speak up about what they’ve been through, with hopes of getting support, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Not all live to tell what’s happened, and not all want to.
As the lyrics goes, ‘til it happens to you…‘til you’re standing in my shoes…you won’t know how I feel," many out there are stuck. They feel no one understands and how can we blame them? One could argue that two people who have been sexually abused would understand each other better because they have gone through a similar ordeal. However, let’s not forget they can’t actually be each other and thus their reactions and coping mechanisms may differ. One may be able to handle it while the other may crumble. So how could you blame them when they respond with words like don’t tell me you understand. The struggle of being emotionally trapped causes a turmoil deep down in their soul. Fully aware that they are still struggling with something they should be progressing from, it only further aggravates when someone, especially one that has not gone through what they have, tells them to get over it.
The next time you’re relating to someone that has been sexually assaulted/abused, please, I beg of you, no matter how many times you’ve tried to lift them up, no matter how long it has being, please don’t let those words come out of your mouth. It can kill them. And when they know they've being down for so long, it can be especially disastrous to hear. They are trying but end up getting knocked down. The memories keep coming back and it often feels like it happened just yesterday. It’s happening all over again.
Yes, some do heal over time, but sometimes it’s all for show. They had stupidly but helplessly attempted to lock it up all inside, and of course something or someone smashed the lock and they are back to square one or even worse, zero. Handle them with care because their minds are fragile. The wrong words “get over it, at least…didn’t happen, it’s been a long time since it happened, when are you going to get over it?" Or being unmindful of your expressions, showing that you're tired of hearing it. We get it, you’ve heard it before and you know why they're sobbing, it’s exhausting we know, but please don’t sigh.
Truly Listen. No, just don’t listen waiting to hear something in particular, and don’t worry about getting it right because you have been trusted to share their abuse, don’t be afraid to be silent as they speak. Just listen. And as they finish don’t rush into saying whatever comes to mind. Take your time and think carefully before you let the words out of your mouth. Everyone has their own reaction, but if I can be of any advisory, I'll just say that starting with why rarely turns out well.
Nevertheless, I won’t say I understand either, because I honestly don’t; how could I? Your experience and your responses are unique unto you; you are the expert and nobody else can define your experience. Sure, some may get through it faster, with more ease, but that’s not what's important. Don’t rush yourself. Take your time. You can do it. You will do it.