Monday, October 24, 2011

Non-helpful "Helpful" Comments

Below are some comments from people in my life that occurred in response to my sophomore year event. Although likely intended to help, these comments were harmful and made it difficult to process what happened in a healthy way. I still hear some of these comments played out like a broken
record in my mind. Feel free to share non-helpful, "helpful" comments from your own experience.

Kill him with kindness.
I was extremely nervous to go back to school after my semester off. I had mostly recovered from my severe depression, but I was still struggling with panic attacks and intrusive thoughts. When I expressed concern about running into the guy who violated me, this was my dad's advice. I still do not understand his response, and it still hurts.

You used to be so wholesome.
My mother made this comment several times over the course of my "healing" semester at home and the following two years. She used to show me photos of when I was in high school and say, "look how wholesome and pure you were." She knew what I was going through - it's hard for me to understand her rationale for saying this. I know her intention wasn't to make me feel more tainted and dirty, but it did.

We tried to tell you about drinking.
My mother made this comment and different variations of it throughout the course of my semester at home. It reiterated the feeling that I was to blame for A.T.'s actions.

Are you not planning to press charges? Don't you want to prevent him from doing it to other people?
The response of a friend I confided in regarding what happened. Of course, I wanted to prevent him from doing it to other people. I worried about it non-stop. It still crosses my mind from time to time. My sister had consulted with her husband, a lawyer, regarding my situation so I knew my chances of winning he-said versus she-said. Not to mention, I knew the defense lawyer would dredge up whatever they could - not ideal given that I was hospitalized in the psychiatric unit only 3 days following my event.

He's always had a thing for you. He saw an opportunity and just couldn't help himself.
One of my mother's initial responses to hearing about what happened. Reinforced my feelings that I was to blame, not him.

How's that adorable A.T.?
This was my mother's attempt to cheer me up on our drive home after she picked me up from college for my semester off. I couldn't respond verbally. It was as if someone had flipped the light switch to my emotions and I was hysterically crying within seconds.

You have got to just get yourself together.
My mother commenting on my depression during my semester off. Believe me, mom, if it were that simple, I would have snapped out of it immediately. Once I was no longer in denial regarding what had happened, I became severely depressed and anxious. I slept pretty much all day, and the simplest tasks were excrutiating to complete. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment if I was able to achieve my day's goal of getting the mail. Obviously, if I could have "just gotten myself together," I would have. My mom had very little patience when it came to my depression.

There are more, but instead of adding them all at once, I will probably just keep adding to the list as they pop up in my mind.


  1. I can tell you are changing your blog as I type this. LOL

    Yeah, those comments are insensitive and a few of them are down right offensive. I am so sorry you didn't have the support you deserved after this horrible event. (((HUG)))

  2. Haha, yes I was thanks to you :) Thank you so much for your support, Jaime.