Thursday, October 23, 2014

What You Went Through Was Bad Enough

Written by: Fenna Vlekke

Ever felt like the abuse you went through wasn't that bad? Or that others had it worse so you shouldn't whine about it too much? Ever felt like the years of therapy you needed weren't proportionate to the trauma you experienced? I think almost every survivor out there can relate to this, at least to some extent. And it doesn't really help that people around you, who didn't go through what you went through, decide for you that you should be over it by now. I'm here to tell you that whatever that voice inside you is telling you, and whatever people around you are telling you, what you've been through was bad enough. Nobody should be the victim of sexual assault or domestic violence. And there's no time limit for healing.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
Yes, there are people who went through worse
Whatever you went through, there will always be someone else who went through worse. The abuse itself may have been more extreme, they may have been abused over a longer period of time, they may have been younger when they were victimised. The thing is, if you only think in terms of 'not as bad as...', you'll never take yourself and your own experiences seriously. And that others went through worse, doesn't make your experiences any less horrible. Trauma can have a big impact on your life. Beating yourself up over that will do no good. It will only prolong the healing process. 

Nobody knows exactly what you've been through but you
I personally can't stand people judging me for still being traumatised. The mere existence of this blog has spiked some responses about it not having been that bad, so why still write about it? I'm sorry? I don't remember them knowing all the details. Please remember that no one knows exactly what happened, except you. And even if they did, every healing journey is different. You can take as long as you need. Not dealing with trauma can have a major impact on someone's life, so it's better to face it head-on. And if people can't understand or accept that, it's truly their problem. 

There's no time limit when it comes to healing
Healing is a lifelong process. You can feel bad for a long period of time, or maybe just at certain times of the year. Or you may have thought you were done healing, but now, 10 years later, you find yourself having anxiety attacks again. This doesn't mean you failed, or you're back to square one. All it means is that you may still have some healing to do. And some effects from the abuse can keep coming back all through your life. Not because you're overreacting, but because being sexually assaulted or physically/mentally abused leaves a mark on you. It probably changed you a bit. This is not a bad thing, because you may also be more compassionate now, or you may have become more resilient. It made you who you are today. And that person's is pretty damn amazing.

So, don't feel bad about where you are today. Be proud of how far you've come. And just remember that the people who feel like minimising your experiences don't know what they're talking about. There's only one person who knows what they need to overcome, and that person is you.

Written by: Fenna Vlekke
Country: The Netherlands
Social media:
Twitter: @FennaVlekke


  1. This piece is spot on. Really important points. The are no scales, no comparisons to be made. We can share experiences but how it affects us is precisely that - how it affects us. And there is of course no time limit to healing - because healing is not a linear process.

    1. Thank you anewselfwritten!

  2. Hi you recently posted on my fb page The Domestic Abuse Support Group so I thought I'd come over and take a look. I love your blog. It's so spot on. I am again going to promote this for you. Trace x

    1. Hi Tracy, thank you for stopping by, and for wanting to promote our blog on your Facebook page!