Something that I have learnt is that hurt people hurt people. It doesn’t make it ok, but it can help us understand why they hurt us. It is because they themselves have been hurt.
When I was five, I was accused of sexually assaulting my friend. I wrote a post about this a few years ago here. I was treated like a criminal and separated from several people. This segregation was a drawn out process and it has left lasting impacts on my personality and mental health.
My friend, I’m realising more and more, was messed up herself. She later went on to develop anorexia. The other day I found a journal article which claimed that 50% of people with eating disorders have been sexually abused. Suddenly it all fell into place. I knew my friend was part of that 50%. She would insist that I come with her to the toilets, and she showed me her vagina which had white stuff on it (a previous therapist suggested that this might have been semen). She was controlling, which is another red flag of abuse. My therapist described to me how many children who are abused re-enact that power struggle in other relationships. They have been abused so go on to abuse others. They can be quite intimidating to be around. And, because I am autistic, I was an easy target.
I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. I got caught up in somebody else’s trauma, and am now traumatised too. I was scapegoated and, like Jesus on the cross, I had to carry everyone else’s sins. This is something that none of the so-called “victims” here- my friend and those removed from me- had to go though. Yes, my friend was a victim too, but I was not the abuser. I don’t know what ever happened to her real abuser and when it stopped.
Despite her early trauma, my friend has gone on to live a fulfilling life. She works in a little café where she is happy and has found the acceptance she always longed for. Another friend who I was separated from and who had her own trauma as well (she was seeing a psychologist at the age of five) is now happily engaged. Meanwhile I am unemployed, on social security, a mental patient, want to die all the time, and remain isolated. I feel like I have come out worst of all of us. I used to downplay my trauma. I was not (to my knowledge) sexually abused. I was not physically abused. I never had to fight in a war. But now I realise my trauma was easily just as bad as what my friends went through. It was just different. I am angry, and I will let myself be angry.