Thursday, April 19, 2018

Been raped or assaulted? Here’s a tip..


Rape, sexual assault, a snatch theft or house robbery that ends with you being injured - all of these violent events are severely traumatising.

These events are incredibly common and yet, we often struggle to even report them, never mind find help in managing with the emotional fallout.

Among the many reasons for keeping quiet, this is the one I hear often, “I wonder what I did to deserve this. What could I have done to prevent it?”

If this is you, then please let me ask you something.

Suppose you are walking down a path in the forest, eating a chocolate bar. A monkey rushes past you, snatches it out of your hand and runs off.

Who is to blame? You or the monkey?

It’s the monkey, right? The monkey chose to attack you.

Now, suppose you are sitting on a terrace, eating a chocolate bar. A monkey rushes past you, snatches it out of your hand and runs off.

Who is to blame? You or the monkey?

It’s the monkey, right? The monkey chose to attack you.

Now, suppose you are sitting by an open window in your home, eating a chocolate bar. A monkey dives inside, snatches it out of your hand and runs off.

Who is to blame? You or the monkey?

It’s the monkey, right? The monkey chose to attack you.

Now, when you were attacked, who was the monkey there? Who chose to attack you?

This is what it boils down to: it is the attacker who has the power. It is the attacker who decides to hurt you. You are the victim. You are not to blame.

You can see the logic in this, yes? So why do we feel as if we’re somehow responsible?

I believe it comes from a false belief that we live in a world of karmic balance.

We like to think that if we’re good, then good things will happen to us. So when shit happens, we wonder what we did to deserve it.

This is also the basis for victim blaming. When other people see a good person suffering, they are afraid. They want to believe that being good somehow protects them from the evil in the world.

They are so scared, that they would rather hang on to their false belief than see the reality. That’s why they hide in their fear and say, “s/he must have done something to deserve it.”

Fact: very bad things happen to very good people.

If you are the victim of violence, sexual or otherwise, please stand back from the situation and ask yourself, “Who was the monkey here?”  And believe me when I tell you, “It wasn’t you.”

Put the blame where it belongs, hold your head high, and know you are a survivor. 

Note: I am a private counselling psychologist helping my clients manage stress and depression. I work online via Skype and Facebook Messenger. Email me via happy@lepak.com. My current charges are RM100 or US$30 over Paypal per session. The first 20 minutes are free.

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