Words Matter

I am struggling to come up with a word that completes this sentence:

It is in my nature to first blame and judge myself when I have been… 

A word that describes an act that made me lose all sense of safety. A word that describes an event that made me feel helpless, worthless and doubtful.

I often steer away from topics that are highly controversial. I read, listen and observe. I may agree with a few others every now and then. Most times though, I just look away because it stresses me out or it makes me feel inadequate and helpless.

“Victim blaming” has been one of such topics that make me shrug uncomfortably and avoid. Everyone has been talking about it. The women from my graduate class have stated their educated and personal opinions about it. Yet I have stayed silent.

The truth is, self-blame is an ongoing battle in my head. This double standard I have for myself represents a belief that I have for ONLY me, because I do not believe in shaming/blaming victims to be acceptable in any way. I know that I am not alone when it comes to detrimental yet contradictory and hypocritical thoughts.

For every empowered statement that’s been put out there for victims, there’s a secret place in my head that tells me “but”:

“My shorts were too short”

“I did not say no”

“I should’ve made it clearer to him”

“We’ve been dating for so long”

“but he loves me…and he can’t help it”

As I acknowledge these false beliefs that previously impacted me, I am stunned by the power of these silly simple statements. The strongest people can be fighting the darkest and hardest battles in their minds. Words matter – please choose them wisely.

I’m always trying to stay on a path, especially when I have been conditioned to think of the dangers that lie ahead of me. I really appreciate the people who paved the way. #metoo

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