Assault is traumatic. When someone you trust physically abuses you it is not traumatic, but rather undefinable, in that way where it hurts your very core.
You don’t expect a stranger to necessarily hurt you, but in truth you have no expectations from strangers, and if one should hurt you, a few bandages, perhaps some stitches, and (if you really need it) maybe some therapy later, you heal. You move on even as the experience remains in your memory. You may feel a variety of things, but really, betrayal is not one of them.
If a stranger should hurt you, you probably would fight back.
None of this is true when someone you know, and have been close with, does this. It is different. Not only did you trust the person, but you trusted them not to harm you, and when they do it is paralyzing. You don’t fight back – you don’t even understand what is going on for the most part.
You weren’t supposed to trust strangers, so when one attacks you, nothing changes, and you continue to be distrustful of those you do not know. What are you supposed to when the person closest to you does that?Are you supposed to live with life-long trust issues because of it, unable to believe anyone else is different? Or do you let it go? How?
Do you flinch any time anyone ever raises their arm? Do you sleep with one eye open? Or do you simply push everyone away forever?
You generally don’t get to question a stranger’s motives. Yet when someone close to you attacks you, when it’s all over the questions never stop. But if you can’t trust them not to abuse you, how can you trust their answers? And then the worst part… when you begin questioning yourself…
What did I do to deserve this? What did I do wrong? What if… endlessly.
I wish I had been mugged by a stranger.