Okay, THIS IS SOME SHIT THAT I’M ABOUT TO SAY RIGHT NOW. I haven’t really gotten super Real Facts About Caitlin since getting more involved with the nerd jingles, because a bunch of people is intimidating, but this situation requires some realness, so just…know that that’s happening.
So, there’s a beautiful thing that’s been happening amongst some great people on Tumblr. I don’t really know these people. But I like these people. Because they’re doing something amazing for a friend, and the friend in question is being brave as all kinds of hell, and even though I don’t know her personally, I’m unspeakably proud of her.
However, some folks are being shitty about the situation, because it involves making it publicly known that this person is having a rough go of it, and asking for help from those who can.
And the shit being given to this person is toxic. Beyond just harassing someone for doing something immensely important for herself and her daughter, which is wrong on its own, it’s perpetuating some harsh shit that affects all people in abusive situations, and all people trying to recover from abuse.
HERE’S WHAT’S UP ABOUT THAT.
If you ever, ever, ever:
- give someone shit about the way in which they get themselves out of an abusive situation
- call into question the validity of that person’s lived experience of abuse
- pit various instances and types of abuse against each other in some kind of crap gradient where any degree of abuse is considered ‘not that bad’ (WE GONNA HAVE SOME WORDS ABOUT THIS)
- Shame Someone For Not Calling the Cops (!!!!! SO MUCH RAGE)
…we are the opposite of friends.
Here’s the thing about Tumblr, man. Sometimes it’s just a blogging site. But overwhelmingly, for most of the people on here, it’s a place where most of their friends live. This is where you hang out, this is how you get ahold of each other, this is where you party it the fuck up.
If you’re in an abusive situation and you have the Goddamned All-Mighty Sent From Heaven I Cannot Stress This E-Fucking-Nough How Hard It Is Kind Of Bravery to accept or even, god bless every molecule of you if you can do this, ask for help from your real life friends? No one gives you shit. You’re strong and brave and making the right decision for yourself and everyone is proud of you because you got to a place where you can.
But somehow, if you do the same to your online friends, which is frankly harder if for no other reason than the organization of actually assembling help from people literally all over the globe is fraught with difficulty - apparently you get shit for it.
Naw, man. Naw.
HERE ARE SOME STRAIGHT UP FACTS FOR YOU.
Abuse is always abuse, and if the person can get out, they should be allowed to do that in whatever way is fastest, safest, most comfortable, most supportive, and easiest for them to do in every way.
Escaping abuse is not about following the correct procedure. There is no correct procedure for getting out. There’s just saving yourself in the best way you can. And by implying there is, or shaming people by saying they’re somehow ‘doing it wrong,’ you’re reinforcing the dialogues that a victim of abuse goes through with themselves that convince them not to leave.
Police for example.
Let me talk to you about shaming people about not calling the fucking police.
As a little anecdote to mull over, let’s read an except from Living in Liberation:
Years ago when I as just arriving on the doorstep of puberty I witnessed a nasty argument between two married adults. The police were called. When the male police officer arrived he deferred to the man, smiling and nodding sympathetically as he described the fight. The policeman ignored me and the other woman making sure to avoid all eye contact. The officer and the man walked past us into the living room side-by-side, casual, like buddies. I heard the officer ask, “Would you like to press charges, sir?” as he pointed to the scratches on the man’s cheek and neck. “No, that’s fine,” he responded nodding back. I saw him shake his head and smile at the officer. I saw the officer shake his head and smile back. They didn’t need to translate. I got the message.
The officer turned to the woman after he and the man emerged from the living room. He stood over her, looming really. She was sobbing and having a hard time keeping herself together. The officer, in thick black boots, thick black utility belt, thick mustache, thick muscles, and a thick sneer, leaned towards her. She was barefoot in shorts and a t-shirt. She’d been cleaning. Her t-shirt was torn and stretched, exposing the length of her collarbone as it slid off her should. “I don’t see any bruises, ma’am, not much else we can do.”
As the cop left, he threw a backward glace at the woman and said directly and only to her, “I don’t want to have to come back here. Let’s not do anything stupid.”
This is a more common response than you’d think! And I don’t know about other areas, but around here, if the cops are called on a domestic dispute, they’re required to take someone back with them to the station. Often times, an abuser is very adept at turning on the charm when they realize they’ve gone over a line, which leaves the cops with the criteria of taking in the person who’s the most worked up, which many times is the victim.
I will not even get into how race and class affect the outcome of police involvement.
Plus, when you’re still trying to escape the abusive situation? Most of the time, one of the reasons you’re staying is because you’re still emotionally tied to your abuser. You don’t want to ruin their lives. Not then, anyway. When you’re trying to leave, you just want it to stop.
Police can help in an immediate bodily emergency or if someone is being actively threatening in a way you can prove or quantify, but please tell me how the conversation would go where you say, “Hey, officer, no, no one’s actively attacking me right now, but can you make this whole hating-my-life-and-living-in-fear thing go away?”.
I’m not saying ‘Don’t call the police,’ because if you’re in a frightening situation and you want to and are able to call the police, please dear God call the police, but don’t think that’s an option for everyone, and don’t shame people if they couldn’t, and don’t try to imply that lack of police involvement = lack of ‘real’ abuse.
All abuse is real abuse.
And since I’m saying it already - all abuse is real abuse.
Verbal and emotional abuse is just as harmful, just as real, just as toxic, as abuse that crosses over into the physical. I don’t think that my friends who have experienced emotional abuse were somehow not-as-seriously-abused as me, just because I had visible bruises and shit. Frankly, verbal abuse can be more insidious, because it’s so much easier to deny and gaslight about it and make the victim of it think, “Oh, this must not happening how it seems because maybe I am everything this person is saying, maybe I should just be grateful they’re putting up with me.” It’s easy for me, if I want to, to quantify to another person the ways in which I got fucked up by the abuser. It’s so much harder to do that for emotional abuse.
But, having said that - no one ever owes you the gory details of their abuse. You don’t have to know how big the bruise was, or how far the assault went, or what exact expletives were screamed, or what demeaning shit was said. You don’t get to have that information. That’s theirs. You aren’t entitled to it. Even if they’re asking you for help. All you have to know is that it’s so bad that they need out. It’s so bad that they’ve actually overcome how the human brain works in situations of abuse (pro-tip: it’s basically low-level Stockholm Syndrome, and it is the opposite of fun) and reached out.
If someone is in a burning building, you don’t ask how much it hurts before you pull them out. You just either help them, or recognize that the people who were in a better position to help - did the right thing.
Also, don’t assume that domestic violence organizations and shelters are for everybody. Because they’re not. Just like suicide help lines aren’t for everybody. Sometimes, you need to recognize that you have a network. A built-in, these-people-in-my-life-care-about-me network. Knowing that there are people you know, people who care about you, people who have healthy relationships with you who want to help you? Who see what you’re going through, call it what it is, and support you in any way they can to get you out? That’s fifty fucking percent of healing right there. Because it says that you’re worthy of being actively, healthily loved, that you are capable of holding solid relationships with other people, that it’s not you that’s the problem.
For me, just sitting and listening to music with one of my friends was the galvanizing moment. It wasn’t any of violent shit that went down, it was just being with a buddy and realizing that that’s what someone caring about me felt like. It felt like a normal heart rate not being sick to my stomach and not-totally-realizing I was smiling and thinking, “Man, the Goo Goo Dolls are disproportionately good considering their name is the Goo Goo Dolls.” And then I was sobbing and running away from the group and telling my friends that I needed to escape my situation as soon as humanly possible. Because just feeling normal felt like I’d died and gone to Heaven, and it highlighted how shit things were.
And guess what those moments can happen with online friends.
So if you can escape your situation by relying on people you trust? Who care about you, and constant push and encourage you to care about yourself? How beautiful is that? And how many more resources at the same organizations and shelters that weren’t right for that person - can be put towards someone else who needs to escape?
And if you EVER see someone who’s being open and honest about their abuse, and you call them an attention-seeker?
They’re supposed to be seeking attention.
It’s a situation that fucking requires attention.
SEEK. THAT. SHIT.
So! Kids, if you ever need emotional support over issues of abuse, I’m here for you in whatever way you need.
And if you have a little extra cash, or can in any way help the situation that started this huge rant, check out what’s going on HERE. I will write you a goddamn song if you do. Your choice of topics. Hopefully one that I’m familiar with. I mean, if you want one about…I dunno…field hockey or something, I guess I could learn some shit for ya.
And Brittany, we don’t really know each other, but believe me when I say that I think you’re so fucking brave and so bright and so fuckin’ strong to be doing what you’re doing. It’s hard as hell to even get to that point, and it’s such a hard process, and I’m sorry people have been so ignorant, but I’m so, so excited for you to get through this and on to the rest of your life without this hanging over your head. No one knows what you’re going through but you and your daughter, and I hope that the voices of support from gaddang delightful friends can help drown out the crap that some people are saying. Keep goin’, lady.
if u guys ever feel uncoordinated just remember that sometimes a sloth will mistake its own arm for a treebranch, grab it, and fall to their death
I would never walk 1000 miles for anybody
you’re lucky if i decide to even walk a mile
or out of the house really
or even get out of bed
honestly if i wake up for you you have it lucky
submitted by: piercebrosnanschesthair
I would like to thank the academy.
i’d like to thank
I’m around 98% certain this is due tomorrow
and I have no idea what to do for it
mishasmerkinofwarmjunk replied to your post: mishasmerkinofwarmjunk replied to your post: OMFG…
- Write my will
- Dig my grave
yep, that’s about right
people who dont make text posts concern me
are you alive
I should just write a song
“my followers are the reasons for the teardrops on my art project that is due today”