Not being believed is probably one of the most painful positions to find yourself in, and one that needs safe and corrective attention, and as soon as possible. You cannot heal in isolation; even if you’ve tried without success up until now to find the help you need, please look further in these pages for guides and resources to locate that care through a hotline, an abuse shelter, a support group, and/or a one-on-one qualified therapist or pastor who can validate your experience and show you compassion, as well as have the training an skills to partner with you in turning your life in a healing direction. These connections should feel right to you: they should be supportive of your reality testing, witnessing without judgment your experience, helping you process all you have gone through, informative but not doubting or confrontational. If the fit is not right, look elsewhere.
This may be a moment to read our pages on Double Abuse, but let us give you a brief look at what creates Double Abuse. To look for help and receive judgment, skepticism, and faulty guidance from someone or a group of someones who are working beyond their scope of knowledge, training or skill sets you up for exacerbated trauma, a much more difficult trauma experience from which to heal. If you have already been through Double Abuse, it is imperative that you find reliable and responsible help from those who understand the nature of abuse and Double Abuse.
You are not crazy.
In fact, quite the opposite. Victims who have had to navigate a crazy making environment in a maze of confusion are incredibly resourceful and intelligent. You have likely extended, well beyond reason, compassion and understanding towards the very person causing you harm. This makes you not being believed even more devastating.
Of those who have made your experience worse by disbelieving you, you may still have the sense that they are capable of learning. If so, you may want to refer them to this website, and then see if they are willing to open their minds and hearts to the truth of what you have been telling them. Some people, however, are too entrenched in their own ways of thinking and biased by the lenses they look through. These individuals or groups are not likely to change; they are invested in cultural, religious, or patriarchal belief systems and positions of power to make any space for the reality of your experience. Their treatment will once again foster Double Abuse in you, in which they victimize the victim.
What should I do if those important to me will not learn or help promote my safekeeping.
You need to guard yourself against the impact of such individuals or groups will fail to learn. You will see them turning their backs on you, gossiping about you, shunning you, or openly criticizing you. Be careful about setting up further false hope or failed expectations by continuing to try to fetch water from an empty well. You will feel the weight of disappointment and the re-tramatization that Double Abuse establishes.
Hope dies hard. Those others, who have been family members, or friends, or social acquaintances, or members of a group cohort are not your responsibility, nor is their behavior your fault. But take heart. There is true hope available. Our website offers you comfort and affirmation, but more importantly, it offers you valuable information and resources so that you can recognize and learn to intervene with or counter the experience of Double Abuse and its consequences. By no longer being isolated, you will find the compassion, support, and knowledge you need to partner you in your journey to freedom from abuse.