“You’re asking for it.”
I want to write this down so bad, I want to share it, I want to talk about it, I want to scream at the top of my lungs from every rooftop and street corner.
I want to say “Stop, baby, think before you talk”.
Shit happens, you know. It happens to you, it happens to me. It happens to our friends, our families, our enemies, to strangers and acquaintances. It happens to everyone. Shit happens; one kind of BS or the other. You can’t compare the traumatic experiences one person has had with something someone else experienced. You can’t label them and color code them according to intensity, pain level, brokenness, unfairness, etc. You just can’t.
Or at least, you’re not supposed to.
You tell your friends, those who manage to break through those walls and shields of yours, you tell them everything. And once you do, something weird happens. Where a comment or a word or an action from a stranger would be something you could easily brush off, coming from the person you confided in, it destroys you. And in that moment, you’re not thinking “they’re human too, they make mistakes as well, you’ve done so much worse than that, they probably never even intended it that way”.
You try to tell yourself those things. But you fail miserably. You try to go back to being a normal, wholesome and rational adult around that person. But you fail at that as well. Because you let them in. So now, in your twisted brain, it is impossible to go back to a state where one isn’t hyperaware of triggering another. Why would you single out this person if they were going to be just like everyone else? Why would you let them see all the dirt inside you, only to have them throw it in your face when things go south?
And then it comes down to this:
“Don’t victimize yourself. Don’t play the victim. Don’t ask for it. Don’t make it ALL about you, about your pain, about your past, about those horrible ugly things that happened to you. Don’t use that as a green card out of every difficult situation. Pull yourself together. You will regret sorely that when you finally do, the person you want the most to witness your success will just not be around anymore. Pull yourself together, everybody is suffering. Pull yourself together, everyone is depressed. Stop whining man, stop making it all such a big deal. Don’t be selfish. Don’t be whiny. Don’t be moody. Don’t be depressed. Don’t let it out all the time. Don’t give in to it. Don’t stew in it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t. Just don’t.”
And then they say
“But hey, I’m your best friend/mother/brother. You needn’t hide anything from me.“
Well then, people. Stop it. Don’t use that word. Don’t imply, directly or indirectly, that someone is playing the victim. They might be throwing a fit, they might be being selfish, they might just be trying at normalcy with you by being crude and gruff and laughing it off, they might be snapping at you like they would at anybody they consider precious enough to rely on when everything else is falling apart. Sometimes, they just might not be strong enough or brave enough to pull themselves out of the pit they’re in. So call them out on all that, if you must.
But don’t say those things. Don’t point at someone who has been a victim and accuse them, even lightly, no matter what the context, of playing the victim. This is someone who has been there, down on the floor with everything disgusting and evil towering over them, and who has managed to somehow with the years crawl away from that spot, inch by inch. No matter what state of peace or tranquility, or even trigger-unrelated anger and sorrow that person is going through, that word, that accusation, it’s always going to break something.
Yes, it’s a big deal for us. Yes, you will NEVER truly understand unless you’ve been in these shoes. Yes, it overwhelms us and often makes us the most pathetic human beings ever, those constantly in need of attention and understanding and care. The very essence of our beings was once steeped in disgust, guilt, fear, self-hatred, distrust, anger, mortification and pure sickly-shame. And we never want to revisit that. Which is a hard enough ongoing battle, even without external triggers. So when you promise us your trust, and your understanding, that’s a bed you’re gonna have to sleep in forever. Do not lie there, next to a bleeding, broken, mess and say “stop playing the victim”. Instead, if it’s not something you can take, which is perfectly okay, by the way – sometimes, you can’t take another person’s endless shit, you get broken in the process as well – so, it’s okay, if you can’t do it, then push those sheets aside and walk away. And don’t look back. And you will not have to be subject to a universe where you constantly feel someone is playing the victim.
And you, yourself, will NOT be playing the victim anymore.
And nobody will think any the less of you, or of that mess you left bleeding all over the sheets. Shit happens. To everybody.
Either you play by the rules that absolutely cannot be broken, or you walk away.
Both are okay. And there is neither any shame, nor any glory, in choosing one over the either.