When we rush to do something for the children, there’s a long history of implementing changes that do not help children. Running out to block teens from using social media might also cut them off from the only source of support they have, especially kids who do not have support at home from their parents. Creating age verification requirements threatens our privacy and creates unlimited risks for identity theft. Rushing to do something because a few studies show a possible mental health risk is dangerous.
I think this is important to understand because so often we assume that someone with negative thoughts or doubts about themselves and the people around them just needs to be shown some contradictory information and they’ll move away from it. For many of us, that is true. I can say “I’m bad at this”, or distrust people but if someone were to offer some contradictory facts I might be swayed fro that thinking.
When I was dealing with major depression? There was never enough contradictory evidence that would cause me to rethink my feelings, they were too powerful and they were too much a part of me.
It is a downer, it’s horrible, and no one wants to think about it, but imagine how much worse it is when it not only happens to you, but no one will believe you or keep you safe.
For abuse survivors, I’ve been on record talking about how so many of us are trying to somehow go back to the life timeline that we would have been on had the abuse not happened, and I’ve suggested that you can’t.
What you can be is something new, though. If you have the courage to try it.
It’s all forward-looking. It celebrates how far I’ve come without constantly constantly reminding myself of what I haven’t done. In Todd’s words, it allows me to simply be human, like every other adult. In the end, isn’t that what we all want, to not see ourselves as the freak abuse survivor, but as an adult like other adults? With strengths and weaknesses, with quirks, and with success alongside failures?
We need to let ourselves be human and create a life where we can feel safe to be human.