Other Let's talk about dehumanization.

Lionheart

Sponsor
@Weemie I read the entries on this page and I wanted to share a devotion or prayer if you will. it goes like this...

"Let what I feel fill me but not consume me, let me follow what I feel but not be forced.
Let me become the kind of soul who never clings too hard, who loves, yet lets go
and let me learn from all my losses. Let me out and let me in and let me see and let me be,
A window, maybe broken, but through which a bit of air and sunlight comes."

The last line of this devotion by Jack Vesey popped into my mind when you were discussing dehumanization and
how we have been corrupted. I immediately thought of the broken window that still lets in air and sunshine.

I guess that is my way of dealing with this crap, I try to find the positives but there aren't many. I think a lot of body shaming harmed me most of all. That is the broken window. But compassion, understanding, and validation are the air, and living a good life in spite of things is the sunshine.

Is body shaming dehumanizing?

Speaking of dehumanization I remember being carried under someone's arm and I felt like a piece of wood, just numb and dead inside without words for feelings for myself, really, really numb.

Anyway I hope you like the prayer devotion and I hope that it helps you at times as it has for me, But if not no harm, no foul. I still want to show my support and I hope I've not done anything wrong by posting this "book" lol

Wishing you the best,
Lionheart
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
"Let what I feel fill me but not consume me, let me follow what I feel but not be forced.
Let me become the kind of soul who never clings too hard, who loves, yet lets go
and let me learn from all my losses. Let me out and let me in and let me see and let me be,
A window, maybe broken, but through which a bit of air and sunlight comes."
This is very beautiful. I really like this a lot, thank you for sharing it with me.

I guess that is my way of dealing with this crap, I try to find the positives but there aren't many. I think a lot of body shaming harmed me most of all. That is the broken window. But compassion, understanding, and validation are the air, and living a good life in spite of things is the sunshine.
Body shaming is very hard.

I deal with a ton of physical dysphoria due to being transgender and I can remember every comment on my body by every abuser who saw me as something I fundamentally do not relate to in any capacity, outside the scope of dissociation which is its own separate issue. It can be so challenging to learn comfort with your sense of physicality and self when contending with the words of abusers overlaid on top. They should not be the loudest voices yet invariably they are.

I too agree that living within compassion and understanding are the keystones by which we recover our sense of humanity, and respecting ourselves and one another lays the foundation for an unshakable spirit of human dignity. With hope, leadership, community, welfare and social justice at the forefront of culture. That's how we repair the world, I really believe that, but we have a long, long way to go. I just hope I can be a part of it too, that I can find one small sliver of it to call my own.

Speaking of dehumanization I remember being carried under someone's arm and I felt like a piece of wood, just numb and dead inside without words for feelings for myself, really, really numb.
There are pieces of me that are inanimate. Computers, AI, rocks. Obviously there must be some sentience there else I'd transform into a rock and never return-to-Weemie, but I found comfort in diving into this other-world of perception.

I'm not a person and I am not being harmed because I am simply an object. I am a rock. I have no feelings or thoughts or hopes or wishes. I am nothing at all, I have no power or control and it doesn't matter that I don't. I may get broken but it won't hurt because I can't feel pain because I don't have a nervous system. I am just a rock.

Comforting, but very far down into the well.

Anyway I hope you like the prayer devotion and I hope that it helps you at times as it has for me
Helpful and beautiful. Thank you, Lionheart.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
This is very beautiful. I really like this a lot, thank you for sharing it with me.
You are most welcome @Weemie
Body shaming is very hard.
I can attest to that!!! I had negative, hurtful comments about my body for so long while I was an adolescent that it made me afraid to be seen naked.
I deal with a ton of physical dysphoria due to being transgender
oh wow, that makes me feel sad. Since you shared, I am bi, but I don't act on it and haven't for years. That is because it compounds the suffering I went through rather than allowing me to enjoy myself. It is like a computer glitch....I enjoy it but it still hurts me. I learned to enjoy being abused and that to me is dehumanizing.
It can be so challenging to learn comfort with your sense of physicality and self when contending with the words of abusers overlaid on top. They should not be the loudest voices yet invariably they are.
Basically, I was told over and over again that I am an undesirable piece of crap! That no one would want me. If they did they would cheat on me because I am not enough. I was taught to believe that I am worthless and undesirable. I did not measure up, but I was told this in my childhood and pre-adolescence. My pre-pubescent body was compared to that of an older more well-endowed man. They (there were five of them and one of me), shamed me into believing that I was not enough.

Although this is embarrassing as hell for me, I feel like I can share it with you because you will understand. I have ED due to past abuse conflicts, performance anxiety, and diabetes..(thank Goodness for Viagra). But the part that I had trouble with is they would make fun of me because of "shrinkage". I am a grower, not a shower. And when I am cold, fatigued, or anxious there is shrinkage so I was laughed at by many people if I was to need a shower in a semi-public place. You'd think I could let that roll off of my back since I am above average in size (except when I am flaccid). Anyway, they really did a number on me. I was set up to fail, to feel disgusted and disgusting. Total Mind cluster-fu*k!!! I joined them in rejecting me and became what they told me I was good for.
So is that dehumanizing? I don't know but it hurts and I still hide my body out of shame, though my doctors all tell me I am perfectly normal.
I just hope I can be a part of it too, that I can find one small sliver of it to call my own.
I think you will if you continue on a healing path. I will be a support friend.
There are pieces of me that are inanimate. Computers, AI, rocks. Obviously there must be some sentience there else I'd transform into a rock and never return-to-Weemie, but I found comfort in diving into this other-world of perception.

I'm not a person and I am not being harmed because I am simply an object. I am a rock. I have no feelings or thoughts or hopes or wishes. I am nothing at all, I have no power or control and it doesn't matter that I don't. I may get broken but it won't hurt because I can't feel pain because I don't have a nervous system. I am just a rock.
Although it is sad I can really relate to what you have said here. Just a rock. So I would numb out, hit my knees, and try to derive some pleasure from being a sex slave for men. Which worked for a while because I am attracted to both men and women. It was all very screwed up, but no matter how I try to rise above that, I inevitably fail. So I think I too suffer from body dysphoria.

Anyway, My T said that I suffered severe, prolonged, sexual child abuse and brutal sexual molestation. If I am relaxed, warm and feeling good, I don't suffer shrinkage, but it is always there to remind me that I am "not okay".

Took me years to push through this and gather some self-confidence and self-respect, but I still have far to go. I am 61 years old now, but still I struggle.

I hope nothing I said has upset you. You are very kind for allowing me to share my experience in the name of mutual friendship, compassion, and healing.

And thanks again for allowing me to get this off of my chest and my mind. I feel more okay right now than I have in a long time. Tho I am very anxious and embarrassed about what I have shared, it was time for me to share it with someone who might understand and that someone is you.

Please feel free to make any comments or observations as I need an objective opinion about my experience.

Thanks, @Weemie,
Peace,
Lion

PS: This is the first time I have shared this outside of my Therapists office and on this site. I guess I was afraid I would be laughed at.
 
Last edited:

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
Since you shared, I am bi, but I don't act on it and haven't for years. That is because it compounds the suffering I went through rather than allowing me to enjoy myself. It is like a computer glitch....I enjoy it but it still hurts me. I learned to enjoy being abused and that to me is dehumanizing.
I'm bi as well. I went for years believing I was asexual prior to transitioning. It turns out I'm not, I'm just not a woman. But it's always difficult to understand ourselves in terms of sexuality and gender when dealing with the miasma of abuse, especially sexual abuse, overlaid on top of it all that contributes to the confusion, alarm and triggers that occur when attempting to explore those parts of ourselves voluntarily.

I was trafficked and raped hundreds of times, and forced to participate in armed violence within the context of organized crime and that all damaged me in every conceivable way. Some people say that being transgender and non-straight are a product of abuse, and at this stage of the game I can't say there isn't a correlation. My abuse held a duality of both masculine and feminine socialization. I was expected to be brutal and punished for softness, yet my body was savagely disregarded and overpowered due to its natal characteristics.

But what I do know is it's infinitely more natural and comfortable to me to relate to the world as a man, and I experience my masculinity with a great deal more satisfaction than I ever did femininity.

And that transitioning didn't make it any easier to deal with my trauma. A lot of people say women transition to being men because it provides them a lens of male privilege by which to escape misogynistic abuse, but for me, I had to deal with my trauma doubly within the context of being visibly and outwardly male, and that wasn't any easier than before I decided to transition. After all, "men can't be raped. Men can't be victims." Yet we are, and we are expected to suffer those indignities in silence.

Although this is embarrassing as hell for me, I feel like I can share it with you because you will understand. I have ED due to past abuse conflicts
I believe this is something very common in abuse survivors, of both genders. I experience dysfunction as well and am completely unable to have sex in an ordinary way. When I do, and it's voluntary, it always is me acting on others and not allowing others to act on me or touch me in any capacity. Certainly not something to laugh at, especially here, and I'm honored you could share.

So is that dehumanizing? I don't know but it hurts and I still hide my body out of shame, though my doctors all tell me I am perfectly normal.
I definitely believe these types of things contribute to dehumanization, absolutely. Being reduced to a bodily function or to a collection of physical features is degrading and objectifying, and making another feel badly for those aspects of themselves that we are socially conditioned to view as private (especially within the context of being male, and how those attributes are subjected to social ridicule) is certainly damaging. It's regrettable that occurred.

PS: This is the first time I have shared this outside of my Therapists office and on this site. I guess I was afraid I would be laughed at.
I definitely understand. I've slowly begun the process of naming "The Unspeakable Things" and it's been a long and arduous challenge to do so. But as I've discovered, the more I do it, the easier it gets. And I've even found that others are willing to extend me compassion where I cannot find it for myself. Very healing, and very much in the spirit of reclaiming one's humanity, I feel.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
@Weemie Thank you for sharing with me, trusting me, etc. I wish you the absolute best and I'm happy that we have struck up a friendship. I hope that I haven't triggered you in any way by sharing parts of my "story." Have a great day my friend. Got house cleaning to do but I will be back online later and if ya ever want or need to talk to me feel free to stop by my trauma diary.

Peace,
Lion
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
I really appreciate this thread.

Also relate a lot to the rock situation. For me, it was a lamp post. Half intending to be one, and I lost countless hours into figuring I was inanimate and also being afraid of not being able to come back; because if you succeed enough at being a lamp post then you'd loose consciousness you've ever been anything else before.

Another form of weird dehumanisation I've experienced is not just on the body, but with the mind. I guess I'm not neurotypical but perhaps that wouldn't have made a difference; I truly don't know. All my life I've been repeated my intelligence was outlandish and somehow people did assume that meant that I felt less pain or emotional drowning because I still was capable of articulating things and articulating them well, except that no one ever cared. Or then they would think I was being metaphorical. My intelligence and emotions were deemed as being some sort of sharp tools and instruments of harm. For some it was just plain evil, in the Catholic schools.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I really appreciate this thread.
We appreciate you! Heh.

Another form of weird dehumanisation I've experienced is not just on the body, but with the mind. I guess I'm not neurotypical but perhaps that wouldn't have made a difference; I truly don't know.
I relate to this very much as well. The feeling of being otherworldly. Distinct. Not a person. Not sentient.

Not like any other individual. But of course, the thing is, that's somewhat true. You'll never be the same as anyone else. We are special, that's the point of being human in the first place. But those commonalities that exist between us, the culture and nuance. Sometimes that gets lost for me and it makes me feel so isolated and alone.

There's a distinction between being unique and being lonely. And that's hard.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
Funny - I'm just starting to dance around the idea of being dehumanized so this thread is great timing - I guess.

T says that being treated as an object is one of the things that messed me up because it made me question my own "realness"
But what really stuck with me is that I turned right around and did the same thing to Screamer and Tiffany. They weren't real people, so what was happening to them wasn't real. They were just objects for abuse so they didn't matter.

Because if I had to admit that what was happening was happening to a real person? Ya..nope.

So I dehumanized them so I didn't have to have compassion for them. I didn't have to care about them. I didn't have to believe that they had any human qualities. They were just things and what was happening to them was totally deserved.
Which I could then apply to me too.

Wow. Thats kinda sick. 🥺
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
Wow. Thats kinda sick.
Not sick at all. My therapist says it is completely understandable as a method of survival. That when you go through boot camp they do the same thing. Train you to dehumanize the enemy. I dehumanized real people. Not just my own self but others external to me. Simply to survive. Simply because if I did not do that I could never have enacted upon them the way that I did so that they may survive.
 

prynne

Confident
This thread has been on my mind a lot, in a good way and a bad way.
We had a guy come up on us today, Alex his name was? and he was talking about the old gangs, and I said we have to leave. That's our ride *vaguely gestures to some stranger's car*. Because I couldn't say please shut the f*ck up about shit you do not know what you are talking about.
In my own experience, when the public is aware of any part of your abuse, the dehumanization is continued by strangers long after the abuse is over. To them, the worst things that have ever happened to me are just another episode of a tv show, which by extension means that I'm just a fictional character. My suffering isn't real to them. It's only entertainment. I don't understand how they can consume content about my abusers or about any abusers for fun. I hate true crime with a passion. "Let's sip tea and gossip and giggle about a crime against humanity. The victim has had to work harder to survive the aftermath of this than I will ever work on anything in my entire mediocre life, and I'm only making things harder for them. This video is sponsored by Squarespace." To my abusers and to these strangers, I am just a piece of meat for their entertainment. My suffering is either entertaining or nonexistent. I'm either not real or my feelings don't matter.
only way you start to overcome that is by forming intimate connections with others, feeling like you're part of a community
When so many people are entertained by stories of my abusers, or tweet about how we're just lying whores who wanted it, or publically speculate about the details of the torture we were put through it feels impossible for me to feel like I'm a part of any community. It feels like no one sees me as a human. I feel like I can't be open and honest about who I am or what I've been through bc no matter how kind the response is, they start treating me like I'm different. Like I'm made out of glass and they have to be careful with their words, usually. If I'm open with them, they decide not to be open with me anymore because they're afraid to break me. It only makes me feel more alienated
 

prynne

Confident
consume content about my abusers
I'm annoyed with myself for being vague and keeping their identity as a "secret" that only people who have read one specific post in my diary know. But I don't think I can handle just throwing the names around everywhere. Not yet. For reasons listed above and because I am still terrified of them. Sorry.
 
Top