January 14th, 2015, 4:11 am

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348-Why Child Abuse Sucks Part 4

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daviddoesntgetit January 14th, 2015, 4:26 am

I hope this doesn't seem like I'm contradicting myself from the things I've said in the past. When you get past it, you get past it, but some things stay and that's hard to deal with, sometimes.

Brad I deal with stressful situations differently, I go the more obvious route of starting to yell at everyone and panicking a lot. Brad gets frozen and unable to do anything, either ways, we both are unable to think properly.

In terms of coping, people tell me when I draw someone telling a sad story, I'm very likely to draw them smiling. That's probably 'cause that's how I end up talking about it, I find myself grinning and beginning to laugh because of how absurd what I'm talking about is. Brad and I both laugh at our past 'cause it is ridiculous. A grown ass person beating up a tiny kid for a typing error? Fucking bullshit.

But that's how we cope. It's why I think child abuse jokes are so funny, it's the best way I can think up.

It's why, I get why people get offended by rape jokes but I know people who were raped who find rape jokes hilarious. That is not to say those who are fighting against it are wrong necessarily, we can't control how we'll react. Having to relive that past that you thought you left and being flooded by all those feelings again is distressing. The reverse is same, those who were raped and laugh at rape jokes telling rape victims to just be like them are very, clearly, clearly wrong.

I had a friend tell me recently that I shouldn't laugh at my past 'cause that just trivializes it, I almost beat the shit out of him. How I choose to deal with it is my business, not his. If trivializing it is the only way I can think of to not have a breakdown every time something reminds me of it, that's my business, not his.

I think this just about concludes this series of comics I wanted to draw. I felt like I had more to say but I'm exhausted beyond belief, I've had a stressful week that, for some reason, included a lot of triggering.

I yelled at Connor last week for doing something I wasn't happy with him about so it's been awkward. I'm so tired.

Anyways, uh, I guess the conclusion is hey, don't traumatize your kids. It's kinda fucked up.

Thanks.

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Reealt January 14th, 2015, 7:40 am

That might explain why I'm completely awful with stress. I guess I never thought about it when it came to my childhood.

Everyone copes in different ways. Some people cry, like me, and avoid the subject like hell, and then there's people who can joke about it. I don't think you joking about it trivialized it at all.

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Dumah January 14th, 2015, 8:20 am

oh boy. it's only recently that I've made some really great friends who LET me feel ALL THE THINGS. Like my old not-friends-anymore who would get mad at me if I got mad and shut down. So then whenever I got mad I'd shut down even more and try not to show it and they'd tell me "you never want to talk about things." but when I did try to explain they'd tell me I'm negative, I'm always mad... VICIOUS CYCLE, WHAT.

It's nice to just be like "hey I'm kind of in a bad mood so if I snap at you--" friend: "I'LL SNAP RIGHT BACK!!" -me: "WHAAAT HOW DARE YOU WHAT KIND OF FRIEND ARE YOU" *friendly bickering continues* And bad mood is GONE! God, it's wonderful.

I do that too, if I happen to tell someone my mom was verbally abusive, I'm grinning when I explain... I don't know, I used to think I was a sociopath because I didn't feel things, but lately I've been thinking maybe it's because I was afraid to feel the wrong thing or be upset at anything because then my mom would get mad. I think I'm more like Brad, any time my stress gets too high I just shut down. I've tried to let myself feel the stress and that just gives me panic attacks. I dunno what's worse, holding it in and pretending I'm fine, or risking people seeing me upset and getting more upset if they see me upset..... *shrug*

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yaoi4evandnevayuri January 14th, 2015, 9:35 am

@daviddoesntgetit: I grew up being bullied, looked down upon, picked on, mentally and physically abused from family members. That don't even think they did anything. I learned that you can't change older family members. And being stuck in the past... Constantly going over those images in your head is totally painful. I can't get over it, but I know I'm in a better place than I used to be. Saying that, I'm still harboring that hatred for them even though i've tried to accept it, I can't get over it. It get really bad when I have to deliver a speech or if I'm surrounded by people talking to me. I just start crying for no reason. So, yeah. I understand a little of what you're going through.

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Sir January 14th, 2015, 8:52 pm

Wow, I didn't know that. I guess that's why I have such a hard time just leading a regular adult life sometimes. I feel pretty silly when I stress out sometimes. I go into a fugue state.

I was sexually abused by my Dad as a kid and I still have a hard time talking about it. It doesn't evoke an emotional response anymore when I do but I can't make eye contact, I tense up, and I end up standing there unable to vocalize for awhile until I force what words I can out.

And no one should dictate how you should cope. (Although joking about or just bringing it up is shocking to some, especially to those who've never even encountered someone whose had anything like that happen to them.) While other hurt people tend to understand.

I think the worst side effect is how it affects one's interaction with others. I tend to be outwardly trusting but inwardly I'm holding others at arm's length. It sucks. So both romantic and platonic relationships are difficult.

I can't joke, personally, but I do trivialize it often by trying to brush it off. I just don't want that to be my moniker with others, 'Child Abuse Victim'.

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roxjey January 15th, 2015, 9:01 am

I see,
well i guess everyone learns to deal with it in their own way, You came to accept it as another part of your life right? Must be hard but i guess youre used to it by now
even then nobody should be like that, nobody should get used to something like that i just hope that people realize that they need to take better care of children

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Lani (Guest) January 15th, 2015, 5:04 pm

There's too many things that went on in my family that it's better for me to not talk about it. I feel sort of disloyal badmouthing SOME of them even though they're not what most call 'role models.' Is that strange of me or am I just brainwashed? Idk.
At least now that my brother and I have our own place and a few other roommates (and pets! <3). It helps to be one of the few people within my family without shitty credit history or criminal record. Haha? =w=; It's MUCH easier to not have to obsess about the past so much. I got bigger priorities like paying rent, you know? Still, I hope to be as cool as you and Brad are when I reach your age! B)

Friends and relatives that I know who undergone forms of sexual abuse tend to avoid triggers of it, including rape jokes. :( My own experience around the types of family members who make such jokes aren't that positive either, but I'm glad that that it's actually more complex than that. :) I never thought about rape victims laughing at rape jokes as a way to cope before although now I can understand why. It's not the same but I realize now that humor is what I'd label my brother's way of dealing with the past. Maybe that's why he forgave me?
I just wish it was easier to tell when somebody is laughing as a way to cope versus just laughing to be a jerk about another's issue. I was never afraid to argue or win fights against taller relatives, but doing that stresses out the family members I DO happen to like. :( I can't change how other people are even if they're the sort of jerks who do make abused relatives uncomfortable when they're forced to be around them. UGHHHH. Thank god the holidays are over. How do you deal with hopeless family situations like that, David? You don't have to talk about it if you don't wanna. :X

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cstar (Guest) January 15th, 2015, 5:24 pm

David, that fact about brain damage is the scariest thing I've heard all day. But, I do relate with bringing humor to the situation. It really is so ridiculous.

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daviddoesntgetit January 17th, 2015, 6:24 pm

@Reealt: Yeah, I didn't think to associate my inability to handle stress as something with my past until I started taking a look at my friends and realized Brad and I seemed to handle it differently than our friends with relatively normal childhood. It was only a recent discovery so I got curious and did some research on some long term studies of people with abusive childhoods.

Thanks.

@Dumah: That's great! It's surprisingly difficult to find people to open up sometimes, just 'cause they're your friends doesn't always mean they're great people.

Yeah, it's hard finding a socially acceptable way to express the crappy emotions. It's weird, people put reactions into the controllable behavior department so when a person is upset, they expect them to keep it in control, which is pretty fucked up. Of course, if a person wants to put a lid on it, that's up to them, and if they want to express it, it's up to them. People who try to control how people express their emotions are asswipes.

@yaoi4evandnevayuri: Yeah, it's difficult to be reminded of the past and learning to seem ok or to actually be ok with it. Sometimes we never get there and that always scares me. Good luck with your life.

@Sir: Yeah, it was a surprise to me too. Stress is something people think you control, y'know? So when you get stressed, people tend to tell you to get it under control or to calm down and I had to look it up 'cause whenever people say that shit to me, it just seemed impossible.

Hm, makes sense it's difficult to talk about. For me it depends on the subject matter, some stories are easier to talk about and other still choke me up when I talk about them. I'm sorry to hear that.

Yeah. It's not something you want to dictate your life but it sometimes takes a stranglehold on you in more ways than one. Good luck to you, it's always exhausting and impressive to read how everyone copes with it.

@roxjey: I'm used to it now, most of the time. Some days are harder than others.

@lani: Haha, I don't think it's brainwashing, maybe some of it but it's just family, y'know? It's hard to badmouth them.

Yeah, it really depends on the person. I'm not saying everyone should go out and make all the rape jokes now, just that it varies from person to person and once you get to know them, be sure to respect it and not to tell them to act like other people, that's what really pisses me off. Mistakes happen, I don't expect everyone in the world to know how everyone else in the world feels but once you do know it, respect their wishes, just, christ.

Haha, I like reading about you and your brother, he seems like an upstanding guy.

Well, if you can't tell if they're laughing to cope or to be a jerk, sometimes it just helps to have a neutral response. I don't appreciate Connor's friends whose kneejerk reaction is to berate everyone. Just try to keep things pleasant and then when you do eventually find out just alter it. I don't think people should be forced to always be on their toes 'cause that just stresses everyone the fuck out. Victims like to feel normal as well and sometimes conflict is enough to stress them out.

Oh, uh. How do I deal with that? Let me see. That's a complicated issue that really depends on the victim's wants and needs. I personally hate arguments, even if it's to defend me. My dad and stepmom would argue constantly, any little problem they had they immediately just started shouting at each other, getting me and Bernard caught in the middle. Nowadays our cousins would get into arguments and complain to us and make us choose sides and that is stressful and sucks as well. Usually, at a party, when someone says something that triggers either me or Brad, we try to just get through it as normally as possible by agreeing with them and then afterwards we'll complain to the other person or comfort the other person.

Even if that person has completely insane and wrong opinions, as long as they're not acting on them, I don't care 'cause it's not like I'm gonna change their opinion. And second is that I have absolutely no desire to let everyone in the goddamned world know what I went through. Mostly 'cause not everyone knows how to treat me once they know so having them be overly sensitive around is just as stressful.

I have one uncle who will not shut the fuck up about child abuse and almost every instance of having to spend time with him causes me to have a breakdown. My solution to that was just to minimize the time I spent with him, which was only around christmas, and then afterwards Brad and I would just bitch and moan about all the crap he said that night and laugh about it, haha.

I think, after finding out that little tidbit in the comic there, prioritizing stress relief should be first and foremost. I'm sure the family members you like have found their own way of getting through it and sometimes just talking to them after the event and letting them bitch about it is more than enough. Getting into fights might worry them more depending on the level of assholeness of the family member you're arguing with.

If you manage to change them around, it's a victory, it's a relief. If it's just the same argument that ends with their opinion not changing, it's just a reminder of how hopeless it feels sometimes. Again, I think the easiest way would be to talk to the family members you like about what they want. If you're unsure, I'd say maybe try to minimize the arguments and just to the members you like afterwards and if they want to talk, let them. If not, don't push it but let them know you're willing to lend an ear any time. It might take them some time to get around to talking to it, everyone has their own pace, but a reminder that there's an ally around is always nicer than a reminder there's an asshole around. Y'know how they say even if you had 50 nice customers, that one asshole customers sticks out the most and makes you forget them? It's kind've the same concept.

I'm not sure if that helped, haha. Or even correct! Just do your best! I'm sure your efforts are appreciated! I'm glad to see you care so much about the people around you though, haha. You remind me of my cousin who'd constantly yell at her dad to defend me and she's one of my favorites. She got engaged recently, I should probably congratulate her or something.

@cstar: It is scary. When I first read it, I was just confronted by the fact it's something I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life so I just sat there and kept thinking about it. It's why I've gotten so selfish about the people I keep around though, I have no problems about dropping people the second they piss me off, I don't have time for assholes.

Haha, yeah. I can't remember, I made a new friend recently and was talking to him about the pedophile guy I lived with and I just couldn't stop laughing about how that's kind've the shittiest thing to have in your house when you're a kid. God. That sucks shit.