So continuing that previous post…
G and I compared the letters at this week’s appointment. After reading only the first few sentences of the new letter, she said she could see a difference in me.
And I definitely agree. I’m glad there’s a difference. I’m glad I was able to put all of that pain and anger, and all of those things I wanted to “say” to him on paper. I’m tired of all of that and I just want to close that chapter, weld it shut, and throw it out into the deep sea. I’m not saying I’ve already gotten to that point, I’m just saying that I feel like I took a huge step towards that.
She did say something during the appointment that really stuck with me. I’d say it was the most important thing we talked about. And it left me thinking…
She said something along the lines of me finally realizing that I was the victim, and that it shows in the new letter. I told her that it’s difficult for me to accept that I was a victim, because I hate myself so much that I will always blame myself for everything. She talked about how many abuse victims have the same reaction, thinking that they were to blame for what happened to them. But, she said, the victim isn’t to blame, it’s the abuser, because that’s the person that took advantage of the victim, and if the victim was a child then the abuser took advantage of that child’s innocence. As a child, you are innocent and trust that others will only do good to you.
So, she went on to say that it’s the same with me, because the Ex took advantage of that ingenuity and innocence I had at 16 (which according to her is all too normal at that age, though I still think that I was ridiculously ingenuous). The Ex already had experience, while I was pretty innocent, so it was easier for him to take advantage of me than say, a woman his own age who had already gone through her own experiences in life. And that was his way of getting what he wanted: by taking advantage of an inexperienced teenager.
Finally, she said that, yes, I was a victim, but what that means is that I now have the experience so that something similar doesn’t happen ever again to me. (I guess it’s a way of trying to look for a silver lining there?)
And that left me thinking…so much. For some reason I had never thought of it that way. I always just thought I was kind of idiotic and stupid, far more than your regular 16 year-old, and that that got me in trouble.
I think having the grace to accept that I was taken advantage of, and that it wasn’t something I was to blame for, is going to be my next big step forward. I’m slowly trying to wrap my head around the idea. It was the same when M said I had to forgive myself for being with a married man. It proved key in my “recovery” process (if you could call it that).
So, there’s that. Trying to leave all of that behind and be more compassionate with myself.