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For example, I referred to “darker times,” or mentioned that I saw a therapist regularly.
When I started volunteering at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center as a medical advocate and then as a survivor speaker, I found ways to drop volunteer experiences into the conversation.
That way, you won’t put yourself in the positions of asking your date to be your teacher and you are much less likely to say something that will later regret. I remember the look I would sometimes get from dates, “Oh god, this chick has baggage.” Newsflash: All humans have baggage, it’s what makes us human. Don’t make your date wonder whether you thought he or she was damaged goods because of sexual violence. Keep his or her confidence, even if you don’t continue dating.
Being a survivor of sexual violence does not make you inherently damaged. While we continue to reduce the shame and stigma around sexual violence, it’s still a personal story.
In college, one of my big motivations for sharing my story publicly at Take Back the Night was to share it with the entire universe of potential love interests all at once, so I didn’t have to tell it again and again every time I met someone new. Sometimes, the relationship fizzled out before I had a chance to share my story at all.
As the years went on, I experimented with many different tactics. On the one hand, I never felt like I wanted to hide my history of sexual violence from dates, just like I wouldn’t hide the death of a parent or a bad car accident.
The recipient of narcissistic abuse typically believes they are, at times, crazy, not deserving and not worthy of love or concern. It is by making others insecure and dependent where they find their power.
Narcissistic abuse happens not just in parent-child relationships, but in many adult relationships. A narcissist is someone who cares only for themselves.
Termed after a Greek mythological character, Narcissus.
Miller believed most mental illness, cultism, addiction, and crime all resulted not just from trauma as traditionally described, but from a form of longstanding emotional abuse throughout childhood.
Many who came after Miller defined the ways a narcissistic individual perpetrates abuse on those dependent on them or in a relationship with them.They are so self-absorbed that they lack the basic human trait of empathy *being able to put themselves into someone else’s shoes*.