There were times in my life, that I did not believe this statement, “You were given this life, because you were strong enough to handle it”. Ummmm….Which part was I given and expected to be strong enough to handle?
Over the years I have been told this cliche and several others by many people. And at the time, it totally caught me off guard and I may not have responded to the person in a kind and respectful manner. Can you say..bad timing?! You see, I understand that they may have been trying to “encourage me”, but in the midst of a struggle, crisis, mini meltdown.. I would say, that the above statement is something I DID NOT want to hear.
If you were not a victim of childhood sexual abuse, you really don’t have a
clue clear understanding of what we are going thru or how we should handle it. Questions like, ” how come you are still not able to move on from the abuse that happened so long ago?”
On this healing journey, there may be days that I don’t wear my smile and at times I may allow the pain to out shine my sunny demeanor, but.. it does not mean I don’t have Faith, it only means that I am human. We can be strong in so many areas, but every now and then we need someone to hold our hand and say that everything will be alright.
I know many people are uncomfortable discussing the subject and really don’t know what to say. But a great response, which is full of grace, would be “even though I completly don’t understand what you are going thru, just know I am here for you, and I am praying for you. I know it hurts like
hell heck, but I am believing that Everything will be ok“.
Yes….Everything will be ok.
12 thoughts on “Quotes, Cliches & Bad Timing…”
The statement: You were given this life because you were strong enough to handle it.
The truth: You are in this life but it is not your strength that handles it, it is God’s strength through you.
That is where the expectation is, and when we look for strength in ourselves, we may only see a battered vessel. But most of the tried and seaworthy vessels are battered. It is not the battered-ness we need to take account of but the seaworthy-ness. And God makes us seaworthy.
Hi Laurie, thanks so much for your comment. Yes, I agree 100%. But in my post I wanted to address the need for people to be careful with quick statements that may damage rather than uplift. At times we have to be allowed to be “real” in the moment without being looked at as if we are less of a believer.
I really appreciate this blog. It is frustrating when people who do not understand your journey given unsolicited cliches. Unfortunately, those opinions leak over into other areas of crisis as well, not just child sexual abuse but homelessness. I hope that whomever is reading your blog really drinks a tall cup of what you are saying. I think it is ineffective to make statements like this. #mytwocents
THANK YOU!! People need to realize that insensitive cliches at the wrong time, can push someone over the edge. We have got to lace our words with grace!
And think before we speak <~.<~ a cliche that was used appropriately! 😉
Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.
Thank you sooooo much for the reblog!!
Denise you’re so right. I am guilty of using cliches myself. After saying it
I wondered why I said it….alot of times I didn’t know what to say. This is a post that others need to read….The truth is: no. one knows our story-but us. Thanks for sharing!
I think we are all guilty of using them. Sometimes in the moment…we might not have something to say, and it just slips out. It really helps me to be sensitive and prayerful prior to “encouraging” someone. Thanks for your comment!
I’m soooo with you on the clichés!!! I freaking HATE that whole “you’re strong enough to handle it” crap! Or… God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle (a misuse/misunderstanding of a verse, anyway). Because, really? God would allow 2 teenagers to abuse me from 4 to 8 because He figured I could handle it? What a load of crap! BUT… I that doesn’t make me not believe in God. The other thing that struck me in your post was the whole “get over it” thing. Can’t tell you (guess I don’t need to) how unbelievably frustrating that one is! I know people who just woke up and decided they were magically healed, but they don’t want me talking about my own experience. Uh… Likely because it’s too triggering for the other person, who probably isn’t nearly as far along her own journey of healing as she thinks she is, if she’s even bothered setting foot on the path to begin with. I’ve actually lost a couple of “friends” because of that one.
The other reason the “get over it” thing is so stupid is because it’s really just another way of shutting us up. I was silent for 35 years until I started speaking out and writing about it. Writing was instrumental in my healing, but it might not be for someone else. Everybody’s process is different. I have to be really careful these days because my abusers are still very much alive and well, and since the statute of limitations ran out I don’t want to say/do anything that could cause me to end up in a courtroom.
The only thing I can figure is people who say crap like the quote in your post is that they’ve never suffered the way we have, so good for them. Looking at it like that helps me resent others a little less. Doesn’t mean I don’t think they’re a tad moronic, but still.
The thing is, you are doing all the hard work. It’s hard as hell to get up and look those demons in the eye every day and wrestle with them until they no longer have any strength or power left because you’ve taken it all. But you have to do the work. Period. Those of us (including you) who have done that or are doing that will be soooo much better off in the long run!! I have to say I’m in a really amazing place, and I never would have thought it was possible 3 years ago. I’ve often said it’s nice to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it’s just the tiniest little pinprick. But you’ll never experience the light at the end of the tunnel or feel its warmth on your face if you don’t get up and start moving towards it. Tunnels are icky and sometimes dirty and scary, but you’ll get there. Just keep moving!
So, keep working at it, keep writing, keep talking, keep crying, keep yelling, keep screaming, keep taking care of yourself. And above all, keep healing!!
Peace to you 🙂
Wow..I am speechless. I am so honored that you took the time to respond, relate and give insight on how the misuse/bad timing/insensitive use of a cliche can really be damaging. KUDOS to you!! I wasnt sure how my post would be accepted and when others began to comment and understand where I was coming from. It was a sigh of relief! Thank you for your encouragement and your “wisdom” to continue writing while on this journey. I REALLY appreciate you!