Some of the things I do for Swan Waters can be considered rather relaxing. I spend some time every day looking through social media; reading a bit on this blog here, and bit on that website there. In fact, most days start with a cup of steaming coffee, some calming music, and me just browsing for interesting stories, inspiration, and resources for articles. This week, the Internet goblins were in a dark mood, though. Where usually I am quite happy when the goblins serve up new suggestions (in fact, that is how I found some real gems) this week the goblins broke my heart.
Cries in the Dark
On my Internet journey, I started to come across posts on various open-community platforms that had titles like Help, I Think My Mother Hates Me, and My Partner Does Not Hit Me, Can He Still Abuse Me? With every click I realized how many people experience emotional abuse in some form or another during their lives. What really broke my heart, though, was that so many of these people received the most useless responses in the world. In fact, some responses were downright harmful! “Of course your mother loves you! all mothers do!”, or “Just be a man and tell your wife to shut up“. I imagined how lonely these Ugly Ducklings must be feeling. They worked up the nerve to reach out to the world, and the world confirmed what their Ducks had been telling them: it is in your head, and you are making it all up! It is you!
Kindness is Magic
This week made me realize how many victims need someone to hand them a ray of light; validation of what is going on. I was reminded of a motto penned by Ricky Gervais: Kindness is Magic. So I picked up my broken heart, and started doing some magic. I started handing out some I-know-how-you-feels and some I-believe-yous. I put some of the resources I had found over the week to good use, and directed victims to information that may help them understand what is going on in their lives. And by reaching out, I could feel my heart beat a bit stronger again. Paying it forward is probably the best medicine for a broken heart, and certainly the best thank you note to the person that handed you light in your time of need.
The First Ray of Light
For me, that ray of light was handed to me by my partner. He started researching my parents’ behavior after some particularly nasty emails and phone calls. I remember that night vividly. He said, ‘I have found your parents’ play book‘, and parked me behind a computer screen where I learned all about narcissism. That was the start of my journey to the light; away from the turmoil and hurt of emotional abuse.