Throughout my awkward teenage and blossoming young adult years I somehow attracted bad behaviours. Like a child to a clean floor. Like a comic nerd to the latest Deadpool movie release.
While I was not always innocent in all life events, I may have once or twice stirred pots of stew with the dicks of old sailors. Generally vulnerability seemed clearly printed on my delicate face.
I was frequently verbally and physically abused by a lot of people, even fellow family members.
I drew these people to me.
At one stage of my life I was always a victim, I didn’t know there was anything else:
I made my way through the crowd of the loud and dimly lit dance floor (the same floor I had danced on and slipped on too many times before). I make my way through the sweaty drunken bodies looking for my place on the scummy floor to drunkenly dance with my friend.
We affectionately call this place ‘The Tav’ and on friday nights it was named Friday night fight night. It lived up to this name well.
I had made it almost to the middle when I see her, an old friend who was illegally drinking in ‘The Tav’ being that she was barely 16 years old. I am surprised to see her since I know she’s too young and the fact that I haven’t really seen her for a while.
She stands a mere two meters away and throws what appears to be a Vodka Cruiser bottle toward me, it hurls toward my head and it hits me in the forehead.
Surprised I barely get out the words “What the fuck?”. ..
And that’s when she punched me.
I wake up with a sea of feet scuffling around me, but no one really seems to know I’m there. Something black is pouring from my nose and for a minute I think it’s the vodka I had seen coming at my face a minute earlier.
The music is pumping so loudly and I have no idea where I am or what the fuck this stuff is, and then I realise it’s blood. I panic and instantly I try to move but I am still confused about what to do when I realise I am lying in a fetal position on the floor. I then hold my nose to try and stop the bleeding. I’m still lying down when I notice the kicking when I turn back to see what’s going on, It’s her and her friend, booting me in the back, they’re still kicking me when I realise where I am. I need the door, or the toilets, or someone to help me, but I am almost sure that no one knows where I am. I scramble to my hands and knees across the floor, momentarily hiding under a tall bar table before getting up and running toward the people I came with. They didn’t even realise what had happened because I was gone only minutes.
The girls fled. I washed up my bloodied face, stopped the bleeding and went home to cry to my mum.
That was the time a 16 year old girl broke my nose because my ex boyfriend and I had set her ex boyfriend up with my house mate. She went to court, she wrote an apology letter and lived on a 1 year good behaviour bond.
At the very same pub a year or so later a fellow woman/girl assumed I was pushing in the line in the toilets. I walked right on through with my friend to use the mirror and the sink when she said “You can’t fucking push in!”. I told her I wasn’t and that I was only using the mirror but when it was her turn for the toilets she was standing in the doorway of the cubical still ranting and raving at me about it. I was putting lipgloss on and I turned to her and said “Well, if you just went to the fucking toilet instead of whinging at me about it then all these people would already have been in and out of the fucking toilet, but here you are whinging at me about not even using the toilet.”
Ten minutes later her and her friend stormed over and asked me to come fight them outside, she said “Let’s take this outside”, I laughed and said “Me? have you seen the size of me, I am not fighting with you!” and with that her friend close fisted clubbed me across the face before getting the fuck outta there. My face was left swollen and bruised for about 2 weeks afterwards.
The next time I was at the same pub, I was accused by a very intoxicated woman for stepping on her foot in my heels and laughing about it, even though I wore flats every single time and was indeed wearing my flats when she chased me down and shoved me crying into a bushes at a nearby fast food place.
The one time I defended myself was when a very confident 15 year old girl approached a very intoxicated and very confident 18 year old me at a party. She came at me from the side and punched me right in the mouth, I screamed like a lunatic and like a fucking ninja got my leg up high enough to awkwardly shove/kick her head with my foot. I would like to call it a kick but I wouldn’t go that far since my ninja skills were still novice. Think like the first time you fight your brother on Mortal Combat, that’s what it looked like, randomly smashing the buttons while barely getting any hits in. All because I was hanging out with the guy she liked.
I had a boyfriend when I was 23-24 years old, he had been cheating on me(again). He would consistently surprise me with the things he could get away with in our relationship. I was shoving him out my house when he shoved me to the floor, where I stayed and screamed for him to get the fuck out.
I let him back the next day and not long after that when we broke up, he had almost raped me in my very home.
He told me “I thought you were messing around”.
When you live in a cycle of abuse or of the Victim mentality, you really do continue to be part of that cycle, it almost seeks you out and destroys you.
It’s a hard thing to get out of because it takes a long time to realise that you don’t have to be the Victim.
My cycle started at 5 years old5 years old, I became the victim of childhood sexual abuse and continued to have that mentality for 20 years after that. Fair enough and rightly so, but having that thought process can’t keep you safe for long.
Becoming a Survivor
Since I’ve changed my thoughts from victim to survivor it has opened my eyes enough to see. To see that I wasn’t always the problem, that the problems I was having with other human beings were actually not my problems but each individual’s own problem.
The fellow women and men/man that hurt me had their own issues too, their own misgivings and I being vulnerable in this cycle, in this mentality meant I had become an easy target for such insecurities, for them to punish me for the many ways that they hurt on the inside.
I needed to break the cycle, I found someone who treated me well, I began to treat myself better and delighted in the positive people it brought to me, the love, the generosity and the support.
Changing your mentality can change your life.
I regained some humanity and realised that we are all human. Each person has a story, each person has to grow and it can take a long long time.
Victims and survivors, there’s a little bit of each in all of us.