If you haven’t experienced this yet, you will.
Someone you’re getting to know, and starting to feel comfortable telling The Story of You to, will interrupt and say, “But you’re over it, right?”
“It” being the abuse you endured for months, possible years.
And this person you think you’re connecting with — whether it’s platonic or romantic — ruins it. Five words is all it takes to break the connection, to tell you they aren’t worth your time.
Because, clearly, they aren’t interested in knowing the real you. They aren’t strong or wise or mature enough to handle the less-than-perfect experiences that have grown you into who you are today. They only want the perfectly-packaged you, the unmessy you, whoever it is that meets their superficial expectation, and so the raw and real Story of You isn’t allowed.
It could also be someone you’ve known for years, they just don’t want to listen. They don’t have the empathetic capacity to process the details of your journey, or are too self-absorbed to offer such deep grace, or just can’t hear about abuse because your story means it really does exist… when they’d rather keep pretending it does not. So, they divert the conversation by dismissing your reality, and minimizing the worst of what you’ve ever been through.
“But you’re over it, right?”
Consider that phrase — or any variation of it — a red flag.
Makes you feel pretty small. As if you’re selfish for wanting to share, or own power in your own survival. Like all you’re doing is holding a grudge, unable to “move on.” Or, worse yet, like you’re wrong for carrying this around as part of your past. How dare you not be perfectly healed and present without any scars for their benefit.
You don’t have to be “over it,” friend.
You don’t have to justify why you aren’t.
And you don’t have to bend over backwards to make anyone — new connection or not — feel more comfortable about Your Story.
I have heard versions of that question. We live in such a superficial culture, and some people do not want to hear the messy, ugly, not-quite-perfect parts of us.
So true. Just today I saw a concept in my Facebook feed. “You cannot talk butterfly language with caterpillar people.” Growth and enlightenment, especially after abuse, take us to knew heights of understanding and communication. Not everyone is going to get it, nor should we exert ourselves as if it’s our job to help all people see and feel things the way we do.
^^ As an advocate, that’s difficult for me. I want to change hearts and minds. I wrestle with the fact that it’s an impossible feat.