A extra post in honor of my insomnia

“Get over it.”

I think that’s what someone said about my childhood once.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that whatever friendship I had with that person should have ended there but I have this, sometimes quite irrational need, to see the best in people and to give them the benefit of the doubt even when they do not deserve it.
How do you explain to someone who tells you to “get over it” about survivor’s guilt? It is something I’ve never had to explain to other survivors.
Because how do you explain to them that you are 29 years old and that without warning, you can’t even finish a proper shower without thinking about the last words you ever heard your youngest sister utter before you never, ever spoke to her again?
She was 7 at the time. Tiny. Emaciated. And I was helping the person who made sure to feed her every day run away.
We explained to her that my 18-year-old sister B. was running away (I kidnapped my sister A. two weeks later), she said solemnly, “But why aren’t you taking me too? She beats me, too. Every day.”
I write her name everywhere hoping that she hasn’t forgotten me. Hoping that years from now if she comes looking for me, if she has somehow emotionally and physically survived after being raised alone by…. Hoping that when she turns 18 and asks why I couldn’t save her, I will have something more to say than that the term “justice system” is seriously flawed.
Now tell me again why you think I should be thinking (and Twittering) about more important things than whether one is on Conan’s side or Leno’s side. Please enlighten me.
I’ll try not to think (because unlike you, I try not to say all the awful things I think in my head) about that fact that I was thinking about “more important things” while your mother was still coddling you during one of your teenage tantrums. I was never a child so I don’t like being treated like one now. I’m sure you didn’t appreciate it when you were.
Perhaps, if I was more obnoxious, maybe I’d even throw in a mini-mussar Tweet about respect. It seems you could use it. I wonder if I inherit secret, special mussar powers when my husband gets ordained. Probably not. I don’t actually enjoy schooling people on manners. I find it really ironic considering I was raised by wolves.
I don’t want your sympathy. (Insert eye roll here.) I just want you to remember that just because we can’t see each other’s faces online that doesn’t mean we’re not dealing with human beings who deserve to be treated like human beings…or perhaps even better given that we don’t treat our human beings very well.

4 thoughts on “A extra post in honor of my insomnia

  1. Aliza
    I don't like the “get over it” expression either. It's dismissive and is way too “brusco”. I have been insulted and abused by people on the internet before and it is an unfortunate by-product of this medium. We just need to get back to basic common courtesy.


  2. I couldn't quite follow your story about your sisters, who was A and who was B and who ran away and who was kidnapped and where did they go.


    I do understand the frustration with people who can't imagine that the worse they've been through and tell themselves they're over isn't the relevant baseline for everybody else's lives.


  3. Oh. Wow.

    I knew about your older younger sisters, but the littlest one – maybe it's because I'm a mom now, but that just makes me want to crawl under my desk and cry. I'm so sorry.

    (Yeah, I know you don't want sympathy. Sorry.)


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