“Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are? Ha ha ha bless your soul. You really think you’re in control? Well I think you’re crazy, I think you’re crazy. Just like me.” – Gnarls Barkley ‘Crazy’
Someone says, ‘I’ll never have kids/get married/move from this town/go back to school….’. We laugh and reply, ‘Never say never!’ Sage advice that we’ve all spoken and eaten when we broke our own ‘Never’ vows. Time and circumstances change rapidly and unexpectedly. What was once inconceivable now enters the realm of possibility and probability. We see our lives differently so we make different choices. This is the operative word. CHOICE. ‘Never’ was a CHOICE we were making. Our destination seemed logical, planned, thought out. We believe we have a modicum of control.
Then out of the blue events happen that make you a victim. The rug gets ripped out from under you and panic mode sets in. How many of us have been in this situation? Life is going along just fine and Wham! Unexpected, unwanted, unimaginable changes occur. How we make decisions in those moments is based on our level of fear . No one. I repeat, NO one, knows how they will react when fear sets in . Fear paralyzes. It grips you and guts you leaving you void of reason. .
“I’d never tolerate my husband having an affair! I’d be out of there!” . But he did. And you didn’t.
“I’d never get raped. I just wouldn’t put myself into that kind of situation”. But you didn’t think it would be someone you trusted. And you didn’t think they’d convince you that it was your fault and people would hate you if you told.
“I’d never even think of killing myself. ” Maybe you haven’t felt that depressed yet.
“I’d never stay with an abusive man.” But you did hoping he would change and love you like he promised.
I’ve met women and been a woman who’s been dealt some of these cards. You know why we always say ‘Never’. Because it hasn’t happened yet! We believe we are invulnerable because we have to . In order to feel safe, we imagine that if we act differently , are stronger, more outspoken, more discerning than those poor souls, then somehow we’ll avoid those tragedies. As a survivor of abuse I can tell you that hearing how you would have done things differently only serves to make me feel blamed. We are already so good at blaming ourselves for screwing up and breaking those ‘Never’ vows that the last thing we need is for someone to pass judgement on our behaviour. All of us have lofty ideas of what we’ll do when (insert bad thing here) happens. The problem is that we construct those lofty ideas sitting in cushy chairs and not from a place of shock and fear.
Blame doesn’t promote healing it promotes hiding. Most of us have been hiding in the dark for a long time.Healing starts in the light. Let us talk and vent and say the disagreeable ugly things that make you feel uncomfortable about your own safety. But mostly, create a safe place of light for us to come to. Love and listen and then love and listen some more.For a victim to tell you their story is a courageous leap of trust and a great honor. Match that with your own bravery. The bravery to look into the things you are most frightened of to help another heal. I can’t think of a more noble position than that.
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible. And everything that is illuminated becomes a light”.
5 thoughts on “Never say Never”
I’m not one to say never about things but I didn’t consider that never was a choice! I mean, I’ve thought about how people stunt their own growth with fear and saying “I can’t” but didn’t realize that saying “never” was the same thing. I think we get so used to saying certain phrases that we believe them to be innocuous when in reality, the reason they no longer have an impact is because we believe them and have surrendered to the power of those words! I will definitely be scrutinizing my own speech patterns now. Great post! Love you!
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Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I said never I would be a very wealthy woman! My Mum would always tell me, “Never say never.” Now I see how right she is. I never thought I would do or experience the things I have. Some good and some not so good. And I never though I would — slowly and timidly — start talking about the s/a and rape(s) I had endured. You are correct in saying that it IS a choice we make if we say we will never talk about it. And that is just the place I had been for years. It was holding me back and making me a victim of choice. Now I am feeling more empowered to move forward as I dive into the feelings I have hidden for way too long. However, this is one time I think I can say never and mean it when I say I will never let what happened to me have control over me like it had for so many years.
Your quoting Ephesians 5:13 is very appropriate for this post. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to reading more of your writing. God bless!
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I can think of no greater honor than to have inspired you to heal. God bless you.
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You are one of the bravest people I know. Thank you for showing us the light in your eyes.