Recently, rather sweetly mouse suggested that she not be called a victim or survivor because both carried too much responsibility and weight. Those two words, years ago were reserved more or less for people who had been in extraordinary situations. The victim or survivor of the Holocaust, POWs, ship disasters, etc. What mouse didn't realize by embracing that line of thought she was really minimizing what others went through. In effect she was saying...who cares? It's not like you were experimented upon by Nazi's. In saying that she was ignoring what mouse went through. Denying almost and diminishing her own suffering and that was wrong to do.
Now, she's learning that even probably those victims of tragedy resist the title of victim or survivor -- they have guilt, of not doing what they could have...the choices they made or didn't make. Guilt from just living through it when other's didn't. Each decision is scrutinized by themselves alone, and they're much harder on themselves than anyone else could be. A friend who had cancer once remarked that she couldn't understand how she lived when so many others hadn't. How could mouse diminish even her friend? Yet, by reserving the words "survivor and victim" for extraordinary circumstances, like surviving a plane crash, instead of having cancer that probably millions of people have had.
People with their narrow prism can blame mouse for not leaving. They can say that mouse should have known what was happening over the course of that decade of her life. The two biggest issues for mouse were:
- He never, ever apologized to mouse after causing her harm, scaring or whatever he did. He felt no remorse that mouse could tell...but what that did was make it feel more normal to mouse. That somehow this was simply how it was supposed to be. There was nothing mouse could to change things. Even leaving wouldn't change it, because who else would want her? He bragged often to her that ruined her for other men. He was proud of handiwork, he loved the fact if mouse even had sexual thoughts, they were so revolting that she physically became ill. It just helped to confuse her, because he didn't behave like the stereotypical abuser did.
- When he became ill, when he knew and understood the gravity of his situation. When the realization sunk in and he knew that chemo wasn't a cure; it would only give him time. More time. Time to get his affairs in order. To take care of what he needed to do. He didn't need mouse then. He sent her away.
These things all worked to confuse mouse, even now she has few answers, but she knows she must stop diminishing her past and hiding. Yes, she has past, she was a victim of abuse and a survivor and it's all part of who she is now.
Omega said to mouse that he wished that we had begun differently. He wished, he hadn't played with mouse hard, assuming that she could simply handle it (not to suggest that mouse didn't or didn't enjoy it). He just felt that maybe if things had been different, mouse would be kinder to herself now. Was mouse too hard on herself? Omega certainly felt she always has been. So much he ignored about himself too, like his own limits he refused to recognize. Maybe now, we're both more honest, more real with each other than we were capable of before? At least for today, it feels that way.