“Don’t let it bother you,” I’ve been told these words since I was a young child. Anytime someone was hurtful, hateful, and downright emotionally abusive, I was the one that wasn’t supposed to let it bother me. I was the one being attacked, but I wasn’t supposed to let it bother me.
What a different world we would live in, instead of telling the victim of emotional abuse to not let it bother them, we stood up and spoke out against the abuser?
I was abused by my parents.
I was abused physically and emotionally by my grandmother.
I have the target of people’s hatred and abuse for so long that I have to take medications just to get out of bed in the morning. The other option, to be completely swallowed so entirely by my depression that suicide soon seems to be my only option.
Despite the abuse, despite the scars, I still preserver. I am a perfect picture of what happens when we chastise the abused, and belittle them. When society says ‘suck it up and don’t let it bother you’ what we are really saying is ‘You deserve this’.
‘You deserve to be screamed at by people around you until any loud noise makes you jump.’
‘You deserve to be the emotional punching bag of those around you in positions society places above you.’
‘You deserve the abuse, shut up and take it.’
Does a victim of rape deserve to be raped? Does the victim of a mass shooting deserve to be shot? Does the victim of a physically abusive spouse deserve to be beaten until their own family can’t recognize them?
No. They don’t.
Emotional and psychological abuse leave unseen scars that often run deeper than physical ones. So next time you catch yourself telling someone not to let verbal abuse bother them, think again. That apathy and disconnect from the victim could very well cost them their life. A person can only take so much before they break.