“scared”- adjective- fearful; frightened
Everyday I walk these halls of PHS knowing someone is going to become close with me, learn my stories, and tell me something that I could’ve done differently. “Maybe it’s the way you dress”, “Maybe you wouldn’t be treated like this if you stop being so body positive and friendly”, and my favorite “You had a choice”. This is a horrific cycle known as victim blaming. Some people who have never been put into a situation where they have been harassed, especially sexually harassed, attempt to give a victim knowledge on how they could have prevented the situation, without realizing they are forcing the survivor to relive the scenario.
In some cases, this can lead to a victim to have episodes of mania and or depression, or worsen the effects of these episodes. In my own personal experiences, these instances where people say something that may influence or induce a state of panic are absolutely terrifying and often lead to days, even weeks of one overwhelming emotion I can find appropriate: scared. Scared is one of those emotions that mankind rejects. Being scared is unpleasant, and as humans, we crave happiness and shun the dark emotions. However, being scared, depressed, manic, or even being numb, are part of the acceptance and healing process of a traumatic event. While not everyone deals with this trauma the same there are some constants that can delay, or even set back a victim in the healing process. Some of these are: victim blaming, being in contact with an abuser, and even talking about it often can set back a survivor. So to all the non-victims, please remember that trauma doesn’t heal overnight, it is a long, grueling process, the survivor may not be themselves for a number of weeks, months, or years. But please, don’t give up on the person.