A. Because you have a right to feel what you are feeling based on your own personal experience and not the experience of others. Nobody has the right to tell you how to feel or when you should get over being abused.
Each person has a unique event that happened to them during their abuse cycle. For anyone is reading this, you are reading this, because you survived the abuse. Some others were not so fortunate. I have a few points to make about why some people just “can’t get over it”.
#1. Religion. Child Abuse Survivors go 1 of 2 ways.
a. God brought me out of the abuse so he must be real. I was delivered from that evil and now I’m safe.
b. If God was real he would never have let me be abused to begin with. But he did so he must not be real. Atheism is chosen on this statement.
c. If God loves all the little children then why is he allowing kids to be killed and why did he allow me to be abused in the awful ways I was?
d. God placed me in that situation to teach me something. I had learn whatever it was. Now that I’m out, it means I must have learned.
These statements are not the only statements I hear Survivors saying but they are the most frequent. These particular statements are made on whatever belief system the person has been taught and how they were taught. If someone was taught to pray about it and it will stop, and the abuse continued then that person is more likely to lose faith depending on the abuse.
At that same time if someone totally different prayed about and that same afternoon they were relieved from the abuser then that strengthens the faith. Its all in the circumstance, belief system, and faith of the person.
If a Child Abuse Survivor came out of the abuse with injuries, then that makes it harder just to “get over it”. Some girls who were sexually abused by their father, uncles, or brothers and either ended up giving birth, unable to have babies, or in worse cases had to have a hysterectomy due to the damage of the cervix from repeated rape of a minor will have a hard time letting it go.
Injuries that effect the rest of your life, with either repeated surgeries, skin grafting or in some cases having to have limbs removed because the abuser did permanent damage are very hard to get over it and deal with it.
Each time the survivor looks in the mirror or goes to the doctor or can’t have babies he/she is reminded of the reason why and the person who did this to them.
#3. Mental State
Every abuser participates in mental cruelty, mental anguish, and some sort of verbal abuse. This caused the survivor to live in survival mode to accommodate the mental abuse. Once the survivor is out of the situation they continue to live in survival mode. Why? Because they don’t know any other way to live. Mental abuse and the lack of a the basic need to love is why abused people turn to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, and other self damaging behaviors. Flashbacks play a large role in these behaviors along with ruined self esteem. Anti depressants are often needed which can cause dependency on the prescriptions. Trying to regain a sane mind that’s used to living on fight or flight reaction is not easy by any means.
Mental problems that develop during abuse cannot be ‘prayed away’ or just ‘get over it’. Extra help with behaviors, changing the minds set, and understanding the abuser are what’s needed. All are easier said than done.
#4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Just because the abused person is out of the situation doesn’t mean its over. Depending on the length of the abuse, the severity and suffering it can take a life time just to deal with it. Its not normally one abuse that happened to the person. Several abuses happen simultaneously. However, the brain can only deal with one at a time. That leaves the others to keep going in the background and continue to invade. The human brain is designed to resolve and solve problems for daily survival and find answers.
An abuse victim has no answers 90% of the time. The brain tries to figure it out 100% of the time. Because the brain has no answers and there are no solutions in sight Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will continue to cycle on the survivor. This can be managed but it is a rough ride.
#5. Facing The Abuser.
There are 3 factors with this.
a. Face the abuser while he/she is still alive.
b. Face the abuser at the point of or after death.
c. Don’t face them at all or ever talk to them again. And do not attend the funeral if they die.
a. Most people I know would love more than anything to face their abuser and dish out a medieval punishment so bad that even King Henry VIII would cringe. Facing the abuser can do one of two things; 1. help, 2. hurt. You never know which one until you actually face the abuser. Once the abuser has been confronted with the facts the mind can relax and start to heal.
b. When the abuser is dead or at the point of dying people ask themselves, “Is this the appropriate time to try and get a confession from that fool?”
Sometimes the abuser confesses on their death bed and asks for forgiveness. Sometimes they don’t. Its when they deny anything ever happened while taking their last breath that you actually wish you would have killed them. What helps this situation is understanding that the forgiveness is helping you, not them. If they want to continue to deny everything, that is not your problem.
c. I do know people who were told that the abuser was dying or dead and they flat out did not go to the funeral. They were done with him/her and over the whole situation.
Why can’t I just get over the abuse?
I know of one abuser who died and nobody attended her funeral. Only the funeral director and the hearse driver were there. The funeral director tried calling family members to come to the funeral. The immediate family said they had tennis tournaments and couldn’t make it. I was called and I told the funeral home I had to go to work.
Is that a case of not getting over it? Or that person was so evil in life that nobody even valued her death. Having to make a decision about whether or not to go to the abusers funeral can be a tough one. Those that choose not to go still have some sort of feeling about it.
The term “get over it” is a hot button with me. There’s a lot wrapped up in surviving abuse, in addition to, there are many abuses to survive. As well as, many emotions connected to each abuse. Not to mention flashbacks, running into the abuser, and mental problems that arise from the abuse. Its not that simple just to walk away from the situation and forget about it. Its woven into you in some form or another.
If you find yourself unable to just “get over it” then it is what it is. You are who you are. You are dealing with the effects the only way you know how to deal with the effects. Do not let someone else tell you how you should feel or when you should get over what happened to you.