Friday, December 19, 2014

Little Rebellions

"My abuse taught me that my thoughts, beliefs, feelings and experiences were invalid. Just feeling something wasn’t acceptable; I had to justify how I felt." -- Christina Enevoldson

I totally agree with this. For years I needed someone else, preferably someone in authority, to validate my beliefs, feelings, and experiences. My father, my husband, a minister, someone I deemed more intellectual than I. It's taken years and years to learn to consistently validate my own feelings, and I still have days when I need a cheerleader.

Something else resonated with me in that quote, though. The other day I had a conversation with an acquaintance. He asked if "my offenders" were still alive. I felt my body clinch when I read that line. It wasn't the "offenders" that bothered me, it was the "my". I don't apply possessive pronouns to anything related to the abuse. They are not MY offenders. It is not MY abuse. For years my parents were referred to as THE parents. I told the writer I don't use possessive pronouns in this scenario, that it's my little rebellion. 

I made a joke of it at the time, but I've been thinking about it, mulling it over in the back of my mind. It's not just a little rebellion. It's an important distinction to me. By applying a possessive pronoun as an identifier or descriptor to the offenders or the abuse, I take ownership of them. I take responsibility for the actions and the people, and I've been fighting against that my whole life.

It was not, is not, and never will be my fault that I was abused. So they are not MY abusers and it is not MY abuse. I didn't have a choice or ownership in any of it. Words are important to me. I'm a reader, a librarian, a writer. Words have meanings, and those meanings carry a lot of weight.

Maybe it's not such a little rebellion after all.

8 comments:

  1. Amazing how the words we say to ourselves and others make ALL the difference in the world.

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    1. Sometimes I think that is something we have lost in our current society -- understanding the power of words.

      Blessings.

      Delete
  2. I think it is a big thing. And you are so right. It wasn't your fault and you should take freedom in that.
    I have never been abused, but find that I am often looking through validation through others, maybe it is just a human thing we all look for. Praying you continue to find healing.

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    1. I remind myself daily that the only validation I need is from God. If I can add my own validation to the mix, all the better. Yes it is a struggle for many.

      Blessings.

      Delete
  3. Oh friend - it is not little - and it is not rebellion! It is wisdom and it is HUGE! The power of our words and how we speak of things and people... well - we weild the power of life and death! I would go as far to say that we shy away from even using "my" when talking about a sickness or diagnosis! Bless you... praying for you over the holidays, friend!

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    1. Thank you for this! It is actually a rebellion against the darkness -- which is a good thing. Thank you for your words.

      Blessings.

      Delete
  4. Wow. This caught me off-guard. I know I have visited your blog for a photo post, but this was simply genius. I never thought of WHY I always used the term "my" in well.."my" story too. This really got me thinking of how I need to rephrase a few things to show the healing that has taken place. Thank you for this!

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    1. Only rephrase if it feels better to you. I never want to impose my concepts on others, especially other survivors. We all heal at our own rate, and in our own way. If my rebellion helps you heal, then I am grateful.

      Blessings.

      Delete

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