Indeed, they did. K’s warmth and energy was real. What most don’t realize is her inner pain and dysfuction were well disguised from social groups. It was real too. The abuse, physical and verbal, objectified her and ground her down.
Each insult added weight to the skeletons she tried to shove back into her mental closet every day. These pains always accumulated, never healed. She had no skill at confronting her problems and using them to reforge herself into a stronger, more integrated person. Her tricks to hide from her own memory also broke her down.
Eventually she was unable to distinguish abuse from caring behavior, alienating her from any support. It’s like each abuse and public shame she endured gouged another gash in her psyche. This, along with her chronic pain, left her unable to care for herself and alone, beyond the reach and patience of those around her, unsafe company.
In this despair, hopelessness and confusion, she ended her life. Just too many cuts. Each horror endured (or those she instigated herself) grotesquely magnified from bouncing around in the echo chamber of her skull. To say it’s a shame doesn’t capture the depth of the loss.
I guess if it wasn’t for the community with the physical abusers, and with its grandstanding blog opinion abusers outing her, some other horrible experience would have sufficed to send her on the same path she ended up on. It was her nature. She tended to seek out abusive situations in her life. That said, what actually did happen was sufficiently abusive in itself to serve as one of the worst things that happened to her that she never got over.
There’s no way to feel good about any of this. Her warmth and energy are missed every day. She always said that if you can’t be a good example, at least be a good cautionary tale… I knew both sides of her.
Thank you for integrating and building your strength off this event rather than tossing it in the dust bin.