WHAT I THINK ABOUT THE STUPID STUFF GOING ON IN THE WORLD
Wow! I recently received a Change.Org petition from a woman who was raped while in the military. Here is a link to that petition. http://www.change.org/petitions/support-all-vets-applying-for-ptsd-benefits?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8970&alert_id=IHJFeKGWGA_wzQePWLdMW
This woman’s name is Ruth Moore. Reading her petition really troubled me for a couple of reasons. Here is a piece of that petition.
…In 1986, at age 18, I joined the Navy eager to fight for my country. I had no idea that two and a half months into my first assignment, I would be raped – twice – by my supervisor. That was the first betrayal - resulting in a life filled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, a sexually transmitted disease, miscarriages, suicide attempts, homelessness, an end to my marriage, and terror I have lived with ever since. Now in my 40s, I am permanently and totally disabled. PTSD affects my ability to maintain employment, trust in relationships,function socially, and even get up in the morning.
I read that paragraph and then had to reread it several times. After I finished reading the entire story, I have to be honest about something. Although I felt bad that this woman was raped, I didn’t feel that she deserved to use those rapes as an excuse or a crutch for the other issues she faced in her life! Am I horrible for feeling that way? I honestly believe that you cannot always control the things that happen to you in life. She likely could not have stopped the first rape that occurred to her. Perhaps, she could not have stopped the second rape by the same person. However, how much of her reaction to the event was within her control? My honest belief is that ALL of it was and IS!
I know this sounds really judgmental. However, I don’t believe in allowing people to use one event as “THE EVENT” that ruined their ENTIRE lives! I truly don’t! Your daddy didn’t love you? OK. A lot of daddies don’t love their kids. Does that mean that you live the rest of your life mad and angry because you didn’t have a father’s love OR do you accept that people are not perfect and some are less perfect than others and make the most out of what your father DID give you - life? You grew up poor? OK. A lot of people grow up poor. Do you use that as an excuse to rob from people who have more than you or do you accept that sometimes circumstances are beyond your control, but now that you have the chance to change things you will as an adult? You were raped. That is a horrible thing. Do you let it take over your life to the exclusion of all of the good things? Do you become homeless, divorced and perpetually the victim or do you focus on the positive things in life, grow from the experience, help others and make your life count for something?
Ruth went through a horrible experience. She was young and likely didn’t know how to handle the situation. However, she let the situation control her entire life! She gave up all of her power to the man who raped her and allowed that one situation to take over. I have a term for people like that - they “live their lives victimized”. People suffer traumatic events - myself included. However, you are either going to be a victim forever or you are going to be a warrior survivor. You can’t let one person’s actions take away the joy in your life and you CANNOT blame that person for every bad thing that happens to you after that. If that was the case, then every kid who was ever abused would grow up to be a serial killer. Every person who grew up poor would become a thief. Every woman who was raped would become some shrinking violet incapable of living her life to the fullest. However, we know that isn’t the case. We have a choice! We have a say in our paths on this planet. Ruth, YOU have a choice!
Most of us have some dark thing that has happened to us in our lives. Some of us have many dark things. However, the beautiful thing about life is that we have the ability to choose what we do about it. We can roll around in self-pity - rejecting all help. We can blame our attackers or abusers for every bad thing that happens to use after the attack. We can treat the world as a horrible place that we have to endure. We can also decide that we WON’T be victims our entire lives! We can decide that we will rise above what happened and become productive members of society. We can decide that we will get the help we need! I feel sad that Ruth has lived the life she has lived - feeling depressed, hopeless and now totally disabled - all due to how she chose to deal with her attack. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are one of the people who have survived an attack, don’t let it stop there. Make sure you get the help you need so that you can not only survive life, but also thrive in it! Join support groups, don’t hold your pain in, talk to a therapist if you need it - but don’t try to medicate your way through life and don’t play the victim. You may not be able to stop yourself from being attacked, but you SURELY can stop yourself from being a lifelong victim. The attacker doesn’t control how you live your life - YOU do!