A number of years ago, I was diagnosed by a psychologist (only one that ever did me any good) with depression caused by learned helplessness. He explained that such was caused by...well...to put it delicately, an individual who wanted me to stay at home and safe, if unhappy. It wasn't just a wake-up call, but an obnoxious, blaring alarm that threw cold water on me and yanked my blankets off, all at once. I knew he was right, no matter how little I wanted to admit it.
Basically, I'd spent my whole life up to that point being told that, no matter what I tried to do, nothing would ever get any better for me.
He told me that if I ever wanted to recover from it, I needed to get up and do something about it. Then he explained, in no uncertain terms, that if I didn't, I'd never be able to get over being a victim of my abuse.
I can see how right he is by comparing my life (productive member of society, happily married to my best friend, two wonderful children, lots of friends and friendly acquaintances...) and my sister's.
She's almost thirty, and doesn't have a GED, much less a diploma. She has no friends. She's on SSI for her emotional disability--not a physical one. She still lives at home. Most of her time is spent in her room, often in the dark. Most of her contact with the outside world is through her computer and internet. And, year by year, she's more and more afraid to come out of her safe little cocoon. And she doesn't try, because she doesn't believe that anything she can possibly do can improve even the least little thing about her life. She never quit listening to the individual that won't let her fly, but might let her sing.
She's got so many gifts: she's great with children and animals, and is seriously one of the best cooks I've ever encountered. She's a gifted, if untaught, musician--playing the piano and the violin.
There are so many individuals out there like that. My claimed-kin who went shooting with me works in a battered women's shelter, and has met several.
I've considered taking classes and becoming an NRA-certified instructor, and volunteering my time helping abused women learn to protect themselves. God knows that close-in hand-to-hand self-defense isn't going to work--many, if not most, of these women are abused by a man: bigger, stronger, and easily able to physically overpower their victim of choice. Our best choice, as a physically smaller, weaker sex is to use an equalizer: a gun.
I spoke to my claimed-kin about it, and she said that the shelter would never accept it. Guns are evil, doncha know. Worse than some creep that'll beat his wife to death. Sure, she'll be dead, but she at least didn't bring lead and gunpowder into the equation, so she's somehow morally better than I am.
I'm real sure her kids agree.
I'm beginning to think that shelters are trying to keep victims victims, instead of helping them learn to be survivors.
3 hours ago