Don’t Minimize Your Abuse

Standing there was my brother with one of my mother’s cooking pots sitting on our picnic table. It was full of water. My brother was standing over the pot with a knife in his hand. His other hand was holding some kind of skin.

—My Courage to Tell

Why do we self-sabotage?

I don’t know why it is that we minimize our abuse. It is an interesting phenomenon.

I have written my book on bullying and psychological abuse. I met with psychologists who told me how important it was to tell my story.

I had learned that psychological abuse had long-term effects. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of it. (It is actually Complex-PTSD, but it is not in the diagnostic manual. I have explained this in my book.)

It really is interesting to hear people ask how come I survived what I did in my childhood. Recently I heard the 4 episodes (Episodes 26-29) on the Mental Health Book Podcast. They read my book and decided to do 3 more episodes because my book touched on so many topics they wanted to talk about. On one of the podcast episodes, on the  Mental Health Book Podcast, the ladies who read the book, Sydney and Becky, asked the psychiatrist how I survived what I did?

A story of overcoming:

My Courage to Tell

Read the Prologue, Forward, Chapter 1, Chapter 2 in a Flipbook format.

My immediate thought was, “Oh come on, it really wasn’t that bad.”

When I recently shared my abuse to a woman who had been sexually abused, she simply thought what I experienced was horrible. Yet, I think what she went through was worse. Again, my thought was, “But, it wasn’t that bad.”

So my question is: why do we keep minimizing our abuse?

I’ve reflected on this, I think the reason is that the abusers, and people who protect the abusers, tell us “it wasn’t that bad.”

Well, it was that bad. Me witnessing a live animal tortured was that bad. Having my life threatened, was that bad. Being held against my will with spitting, tickling and constraint were that bad. My parents ignoring the bullying was that bad.

Don’t minimize your pain. Don’t listen to those who say “Get over it. It wasn’t that bad.”