Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stop Looking at Me Like That

stop looking at me like that . . . 

Sometimes when I tell my story, I want to yell this at people. It's not that they look at me with disbelief (which is what I always expect). It's not that they look at me with pity (although a few do). But rather it's that they look at me with admiration (which I have trouble even typing!). 

I don't feel admirable or courageous. I just feel unsure -- unsure of motives; unsure of their admiration. All I did was keep going. It doesn't feel like a choice.

Yes, I suffered abuse as a child. Really, really bad things were done to me. Yes, I was raped in a college and again later, by the same person. But really what choice did I have but to go on?

I thought about killing myself. But I couldn't see how the guilt of that act wouldn't follow me into the next life. And I couldn't imagine knowing what "people" would say about me afterwards (see I am vain that way). 

I think somewhere in it all, I believed that if I worked hard enough, succeeded in having the perfect life (husband, house, kids, etc.) I would be able to make the abuse disappear. There are a lot of flaws in that approach. The obvious one is you can't make something that happened, not happen. It just doesn't work that way. But the big catch for me was I couldn't create the "perfect" life, no matter how hard I tried. I don't have that kind of power and control.

Maybe that's one of the best lessons from the abuse. I don't have all the power and all the control, because nobody does. 

So next time you see me, don't look at me with admiration or pity. Just look at me.


  1. Power? Control? Illusions for sure! Our pasts may make us who we are today, but they don't have to affect our daily interactions. I sometimes hide parts of my own story so that people don't look at me differently, but maybe that's a mistake too. Cheers to the journey.

  2. **HUGS** People say leaving my abusive husband was courageous, but, like you, I don't see it like that. I did what I had to do for my child. That is all.

  3. We suffice, in spite of everything.

    Maybe some people need to admire or pity your battle out of their own sense of adequacy or inadequacy. They want to believe that if they were in your shoes, they would be as resilient, but the truth is that you never know what will break a person. They will always have that little spot of doubt.

  4. Thanks for sharing these important words on "just seeing" someone instead of looking at someone with admiration or pity. You're right that we can't make things unhappen, but your story of finding ways to move on gives me hope for my own life.

  5. I will look at you...beautiful creature that He has created you to be.

  6. That horrible lie that catches me all the time--if I can just be perfect, then life will be full of joy. But I do not have the power, as you say, to be perfect. And joy only resides in resting in the Lord who is perfect.
    Thank you for sharing your struggles. What an encouragement to know that you just kept going on! And now you are here to encourage others to do the same.


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