Monsters and Victims

When you read the word "monster" what image comes to mind?  Unless you are thinking of a Muppet (where monsters are pretty cute and cuddly) or a Disney movie (who doesn't love Sully or Mike Wazowski?)  you the image that your brain pull up would be a "classic horror" type monster:  the ugly and deformed Phantom or the abomination that Frankenstein created.   When we think of "real life" monsters, we expect them to be ugly.  Evil on the inside must equal ugly on the outside.  It's what we want.  It's what we NEED to "identify" bad/evil.  We need an identifying mark so that we can feel safe and "know" that the person is one we should avoid; the person that we should warn our children about.

But that's not how it works.  Society's "monsters" come from all walks of life.  They don't look a certain way.  A person who is extremely good looking can be a monster.  A person in a position of authority can be a monster.  A monster can be a celebrity, a politician, a teacher or a fireman.  He OR she can be a member of the clergy.  A monster can even be a loved one.  There is no particular race or socio-economic background that defines one.  A monster just is.

Now let's talk about the victims.  Those who have been abused.  Just like monsters, they don't have a specific look.  If I spoke about child abuse, you'd probably envision a cute child with cuts and bruises.  But that isn't always the case.  The scars of abuse are not always visible.  Victims of abuse might not even be aware they are experiencing abuse.

A skilled abuser (I almost used the word good, but that word would just cause confusion), can make the victim feel loved and special; all while using and abusing that person.  As a result, a culture of secrecy and silence plays out, with  no one the wiser.  The rationale; "x" loves me so much, that he/she can't be wrong.  What we are doing/what is being done to me CAN'T be wrong.  X cares for me and protects me; I must do the same for him/her.  It's a dance of seduction.  It's a dangerous dance.

Monster/abusers and their victims do not fit one particular mold.  We cannot look at person and say:  He is a good person; he could never do that.  Or, she is a strong person, she could never be a victim.  "Good" people DO bad things; "Bad" people do good things.  The star pupil can be the victim of abuse; the best loved teacher who has a positive influence on thousands of students can be a monster. No one is too rich, too famous, too whatever to be either monster or victim.

I have no advice on how to stop a monster.  I have no advice on how to identify a victim.  But I know if someone came to me, I would listen.  I would offer my support.  I would not judge. I would encourage them to get qualified help.  I would help them GET the proper help and assistance.  

That's the one thing we can ALL do.  We can listen.  We can support.  And we can remember that there is no "standard" when it comes to monsters or victims.


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