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Some of you might know, and some of you might be unaware that I am married to Briana aka Brianadragon . She did one of the scariest things anyone can do. She related the story of her life. While that might sound like an egotistical and boring thing for her to do, I assure you that is is anything but. Her story will very likely make you cry, go into a murderous rage, or simply be rendered speechless.
I stand beside her every step of the way as she grows from it and as she gets through it all. I have watched her completely break down from the simplest things, but I never turned away from her during any of it. I have spent a number of years letting her cry on my shoulder and yell and rage at me for things I did not do. I was the one who had to help her through a complete breakdown when I told her to “just go blow your nose”. That night will haunt me till my dying day, I tell you. I even one time had to (literally) convince her to not cry over spilled milk. Many people surely would have turned her out at some point during our very rocky relationship. When we first met I saw something in her that she did not, and could not see. I saw a massive potential for beauty and brilliance and strength hidden under the grime of a rough life. It was all I could do some days to remember what I saw inside.
Before I go any further, I feel the need to tell you that I still have a deep profound love for my wife and partner. I have watched her conquer demons from her past that we as mere mortals usually only see on TV or a movie. She has grown beyond any of my expectations, far surpassing anything that anyone in her previous life ever anticipated. I know that I played my part in helping her grow into the beautiful powerhouse of a woman that some of you stand in awe of. The purpose of this post is to help you learn how to help someone like her survive instead of being a victim of their past.
I have a hard time getting all the points straight in my mind, so bear with me. Helping someone get through something rather than over it is a difficult and painful road. That’s right, abuse takes it’s toll on people who want to help (if you actually care). You CAN help though. It takes a mountain of patience to start with, and you HAVE to realize that they are going to hate you at some points. Just be patient and always be willing to listen. I took phone calls from Briana at gawdawful hours of the night where all I did was listen and tell her encouraging things. You have to listen to their stories without judging OR trying to advise them all the time. Quite often, the fruits of your labor will be a looong time in showing themselves. You have got to be willing to say nothing and be strong. Let them see that you can withstand anything, they need a strong protector, not a whiner. Don’t smother them, let them figure some things out on their own. Painful to do, but in the end it is worth every inner cringe. Encourage them to do things that bring out what is inside them. Encourage anything that they are passionate about. Don’t tell them what to do, they are a person not a puppet.
Patience, encouragement, silence, and LOVE. You have got to show them the love that they are unfamiliar with. Actual caring and sincerity. Be willing to let your needs take a backseat sometimes, but not all the time. You want them to grow into a decent person, not another abusive victim. They need to be shown that not everyone in the world is going to treat them like they are the problem. Be supportive and caring, remembering that you aren’t always the target of their rage.
Make them know that they are not alone, that some of us care and listen.