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  • Ally Kernan

Understanding my Abusers

It’s often said that abusers are someone you know. My abusers were my family, classmates, significant others, professionals. It was almost always, not only someone I knew, but someone who’s duty was to love me, not hurt me.

So many of them had their own experiences of trauma and abuse. It’s often said that ‘hurt people, hurt people’.

I can understand why my abusers acted the way they did towards me. However, that does not mean it was ok.

I still have so many emotions regarding them. So when people say things like, ‘they were hurt so they hurt others too’, I get it- really, I do. But that does not mean my experience and perception isn’t valid. And when phrases like that are spoken to me- My inner child cringes.

There is only one of my abusers that I’m reconciling with. This is also something that can change quickly if boundaries are crossed and respect is not given. I’m hoping to one day write about this when I’m ready and able.

The rest of the abusers, most, if not all, have had their energy returned back to them (Some people call it karma). Many of them found themselves in huge pits of despair, loneliness, and pain. One even had a physical impairment happen that almost killed them, damaging them for the rest of their lives.

What’s wild is, my empathetic heart hurts for them. How can I feel empathy for people who caused so much agony? Maybe it’s that the empathy speaks on my character, not theirs. Maybe it’s the part of my heart that refuses to hate and only love.

What I still carry is rage, anger, sadness, fear. Some days I feel so strong and others, the memories haunt me.

One thing my healing journey has given me is the ability to stand my ground. I speak up for myself, I face my fears, and I protect little Ally. The experiences I’ve had at the hands of others does not excuse their behavior, but a glimpse into their world can explain it. No matter what, it doesn’t make it ok, and I don’t have to forgive.

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