The Silver Lining Of Abuse

This week’s Prompts For The Promptless is about silver linings:

“Silver Lining” is a prospect of hope or comfort in a gloomy situation.  [1870-75; from the proverb “Every cloud has a silver lining”]

Since I went all “waaaaah” on you yesterday, today, we’re going to try to find the positives in sexual abuse. I’m sure there are some. Maybe there aren’t, but I’m going to try anyway. Bear with me.

You are very self-reliant.

You take care of yourself, because you’re the only one you can truly trust. By the time I was ten years old, I already had a job (babysitting) and a saving’s account. When I turned fifteen and I was legally old enough to work, I got a real job.

You’re very mature for your age.

I have always gotten along better with older kids. I could be trusted with responsibility at a young age.

You have a very active imagination.

You have to escape somewhere, so you learn to create a whole imaginary world in your head that’s full of nice things. That creativity sticks around.

You don’t have to have the awkward birds and bees conversation with anyone.

Yeah, we can just skip that part.

You can keep a secret.

We’re very good at keeping things inside. Too good.

You can relate to people who’ve had hard lives.

Some people shy away from victims. It’s sad, but it happens a lot. People just don’t know what to say or how to react, but not you. You run right in there, whatever the problem, even if it’s not the same as yours, because you can relate. Even if you can’t relate to their exact circumstances, pain and fear is always the same.

You really want to help others.

Once you’re no longer in danger, you have an overwhelming desire to help others going through similar things, because you really know what they’re going through.

People really trust you.

If you have an awful black hole of evil in your center and you run across someone who does, too, you will immediately become friends. Sometimes these friendships are deeper than any others based on only limited knowledge.

You become hyper-vigilant.

This one isn’t necessarily good, but being very aware of your surroundings isn’t a terrible thing either. I always know who’s around me, and on the off-chance that I’m surprised by someone’s presence, I jump out of my skin. Still, I’d rather be aware than not.

You can spot other victims.

It’s in the eyes. Even in children, you can see it. It’s the same look you have in your eyes. It’s hard to describe, but in essence, it’s the same look that a 90 year-old prisoner of war would have in the body of a five-year old. They can see it in you, too, if they’re paying attention.

You will never die in a fire because you’re a light sleeper.

This one might not apply to all, but it applies to me. The slightest noise or smell, and I’m awake, sometimes, for hours. This is generally not a good thing, but I will never die in a house fire. The slightest smell of smoke and I’m outta there.

You enjoy the little things.

This is the best of all possible silver linings. Being able to look up at the clouds or stars for a long time, watching a fire, bubble baths, whatever it is that you enjoy, you enjoy it to the maximum. Abuse gives you a sense of perspective on the world like no other.

You are strong.

If you can survive that, you can survive anything.

You are never alone.

Sadly, there are always others out there who have gone through similar things. You belong to one, big, fucked-up family. Cheers!

Hm. Well, that didn’t turn out quite as light-hearted as I had hoped, but there are some positives in there somewhere. I think.