Because everyone should watch this

I watched this Ted Talks just now and I think the speaker makes some wonderful points. I broke into tears in the middle of this video. In order to end gender violence, we need to change our ideas about some things. As bystanders, we need to speak up every moment we see or hear sexist, racist, or bigoted comments. We can’t just stand up for people in the event of abuse, the development of abusers starts long before that. As a culture, we need to change our attitudes. After all,

“In the end what hurts the most is not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more true statement. What broke me most throughout my struggles with abuse and violence was not the actual abuse itself. It was watching as so many friends turned their backs on me and walked away. Whether they called me crazy or played my story off as me being overdramatic, I felt shattered by their complete disbelief in me and my experience. After my abusive ex, I lost nearly every “friend” I had. Every male friend anyways. I even felt betrayed by my best friend, who continued to hang out with my abuser afterwards. Even she thought that I exaggerated. That I stretched the truth. I sometimes feel like I will never recover from that.

But I can say this much. I never would have spent so many nights completely alone and without company if my story were not true. I could’ve just denied it. Could’ve just assimilated back into my party crowd of friends like nothing ever happened and pretended like everything was okay. Many people do just that.

But my story is true, and I will never deny that again.

I never would have watched as all my so-called friends walked away from me if my story were not true. I would not have spent four straight months of crying every day if my story were not true. I would not have spent months in counseling, years blogging, undergone treatment through yoga therapy, changed my phone number, moved away, cut off all ties with certain people and traveled for months at a time in pursuit of some shred of hope and happiness if my story were not true.

This is not just a woman’s issue, it’s everybody’s issue. Help break the silence:

http://www.ted.com/talks/jackson_katz_violence_against_women_it_s_a_men_s_issue.html

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2 thoughts on “Because everyone should watch this

  1. I so get where u r coming from. The isolation still continues long after you escape & make a stand. Why as the abused do we always get questioned/doubted/disbelieved at times – what seems so unreal to the innocent bystanders is the shock/confusion disbelief/denial that we the victims stay in for so long – I’ve even had stupid worries that because I can’t make eye contact – do people then think I am just fabricating a story – but my lack of eye contact comes from the menacing presence in my home who would demand I look at him, and then when I did he would play games with me & say: “stop looking at me like that, or wipe that smile off ur face, or you think u r so f—ing perfect, he would then stand right up into my face, I would be absolutely shaking in fear

    • Well first of all, it’s not a stupid worry. It sounds like you’ve had some awful people in your life who have really made you doubt and harshly critique yourself. For me, the hardest part of healing has been learning to separate my voice/conscience from the lingering voices of my abusers. I think when we learn to speak more kindly to ourselves and hold space for our “flaws” it can be a really powerful experience.

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