Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #184: Resilience Bullshit

The other day, the baby fell down and got a scrape on his knee.  It didn’t seem to bother him a lot, and I mentioned it to my husband.  The huz said “Kids are resilient.”

How many times have we heard this shit?  Kids are resilient. 

I said “I hate that word.”  The huz looked kind of startled and asked me why.  I said “The truth about ‘resilience’ is that it’s bullshit.  All that word really means is that these kids aren’t bothering you.”

He was like “What do you mean?”  So I explained further.  When people use the word ‘resilience’, they really mean the word ‘alive’, as in “Even though something bad happened to him, he’ll live”.  There are scores of literature about what makes certain children “resilient” in the face of terrible circumstances.  But the truth is, for the most part “resilience” really means “alive” and “not bothering you, not a drain on society, not showing you their insides”  You think those kids aren’t fucked up inside like I am?  Of course they are.  All ‘resilience’ means in our cases is ‘not locked up in a mental institution for the rest of our lives’, or to be even more frank, ‘not dead by suicide’.

People told my mom I was resilient and that I would get over the fact that I had been sexually abused.  They lied to her, in my opinion.  I didn’t get over it, and I am not particularly convinced that anyone gets over it.  I think with some good therapy we can mitigate the consequences, but that’s it.  The damage has been done.

And for resilience, well, the truth is, this is what resilience looks like.   I am functioning in that I am holding down a job, I try to be a good mother, a wife, etc.  But if you are reading this blog, you know I am all fucked up.  Last week, an ant fell on my fucking head, and I have been living in crisis ever since.  I wake up at all hours of the night, trying to be hypervigilant against another ant falling on me and touching me without my permission.  I feel as though if I am just on guard enough, then it will not happen to me again, and if it does, it will certainly not be my fault because I tried so hard to be watchful.  Do you think I would have lost so much sleep over this fucking ant, and been so afraid of bugs touching me without my permission if three people hadn’t already done exactly that to me??

For me, I think resilience bullshit is up there with forgiveness bullshit.  It is shit we like to tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better.  It’s shit we tell ourselves and each other to make ourselves feel better about living in a world where people are willing to fuck children.

This is what resilience looks like, and this is why it’s bullshit.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

5 Comments so far
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Every 40 seconds somebody dies by suicide. I don’t think being alive is so unremarkable. At the same time, I’d be lying if the thought, “What would I be like if it all hadn’t happened?” didn’t cross my mind every single day.

What pisses me off a lot more is the “get over it” idea. I agree, you never get over it. You learn to live with it, maybe you even learn to forget about it for whole, consecutive hours at a time. But people who say, “Get over it,” are just too cowardly to confront the gravity of the situation. They’d rather not think about it, and they don’t really how enormous a luxury that is.

Comment by Natalie Rose

I think every single person is fragile. It’s just that we’ve been trained to appear “tough”. Really, no one is. If someone looks strong, it’s just that they’ve learned to put on lots of layers and walls. No human being is “resilient”– we are all weak and we all need each other and we all need love and caring.

Comment by TreatInfamy

Hey Butterfly,
I agree with all your reasons for hating how people use ‘resilience’ – it should never be used as an excuse for not protecting kids or getting them the help they need to heal right away and plenty of it, or for expecting them to get well without it. I hadn’t thought of it that way.

A different way of defining resilience could be the ability to survive, heal, fight for life, all the things most of us survivors do, despite incredible odds. Resilience is work and courage, not some kind of rubber bounce-back psyche. However, not doing as much as non-survivors think we should be able to doesn’t mean we’re not resilient, it means that we didn’t get enough of the help, safety and such we need heal. I truly believe that if my mom had seen my injuries the first time my dad raped, left the house immediately for the hospital, called the cops, divorced and criminally charged his ass, kept me safe for the rest of my childhood and got me lots of good quality help, I’d have done a lot better, and would have been seen as a lot more ‘resilient’. It’s what we owe all abused kids.

Comment by sworddancewarrior

i have an answer for people’s idea of “resilience”:

in the old days when a diamond was pulled from a mine and brought to a jeweler, he had to study it from every angle to determine its inner cleave and structure. If he struck it at the wrong angle, the diamond would shatter and he would have no usable diamonds. if he struck it at the right angle, he could get several valuable jewels from one piece. the problem was that every piece of diamond was different because of the way it was formed and each had a different inherent pattern of strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you could not strike any 2 diamonds the same way and get the same result.
people are the same. something that hits one person and seems to do no harm or even seems to help them thrive can completely destroy another human being. So remember that if anyone (even you) ever makes comparisons between your pain and another’s.

Comment by randym23

Randy – this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Comment by butterflysblog

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