Saturday, 26 February 2011

Monsterization is harmful

(Norsk oversettelse kommer snart)

There are no monsters, though people can get stuck in Lizard Brain Mode, incapable of seeing or hearing anything except what is in their own heads.

So if someone you know, like or even love is accused of sexual use or child mistreatment, this person will not immediately morph into a monster the moment you are willing to allow the thought that the accuser might be telling the  truth.

You will, of course, have to adjust your perception of this person to incorporate the new information. But that would be possible if he or she had harmed someone while driving drunk or embezzled a lot of money, wouldn’t it?

For me, the crucial point is not what they have done, but if they are willing to own it. There is a world of difference between:

“I did not do this, and you are evil/crazy for saying I did”

“I did it because …”

“X made me do it! “

“I did A, B and C – it is my responsibility, I own it.”

I would much rather hear “I own what I did” it, from someone who has harmed me, than “I’m sorry, please forgive me”. Or, even worse, “Do you want an apology?”

IMPORTANT ADDITION: If someone is trying to tell you how they have been harmed, you are not helping them if you keep reminding them that the harmers are not monsters, or if you ask "why do you think they did this?" (OK, this is a huge can of worms that needs to be looked at in greater detail)

1 comment:

  1. That is such a common respons: why do you think he/she did this to you? Just now I don't give a shit, you are trying to excuse what he/she did! Because what I am telling you creates such anxiety inside you, you want a quick way out.
    But what I NEED is to tell and be heard. If just listening makes you anxious, I had to live through it and to live with it.

    About 'owning your actions'. All I need to heal or at least feel much better is for the molester to say: 'I am so sorry' and mean it.


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