If you are being hurt by a person, they’re likely trying to convince you that no one else could possibly understand your relationship.
If you’re being hurt by your family, they’re likely trying to convince you that no one else could possibly understand your family.
If you are being hurt by a community, they’re likely trying to convince you that no one from outside the community can possibly understand.
It’s not true. You are not alone. There are others outside your relationship, family, and community, who can relate to what you’re going through and who can help.
Some aspects of your relationship, family, or community are unique. Some of them are probably unusual, positive, and hard for outsiders to understand. But that is not the barrier that those who are hurting you want you to think it is. It is not insurmountable.
People do not have to understand absolutely everything in order to relate to your experiences in important ways.
You can make connections with others, and a lot of things you have experienced will be very, very similar. Some aspects of abuse are universal. Others are very common. (One very common aspect of abuse is that there is often something about the relationship that is positive, unusual, and secret or hard to describe.).
The people who you can relate to may be very different from you in a lot of ways. They may be a different age, ethnicity, religion, race, gender, or culture than you. Maybe they are disabled and you aren’t. Maybe their disability is different, or more severe, than yours. Maybe the particular horrors they faced took a different shape. That matters, but it’s not the only thing that matters.
It is ok to relate to the experiences of people who are very different from you. It is not appropriation. (It is not ok to pretend that your experiences are identical; but it’s completely possible to relate without doing that.) Don’t let anyone tell you to only listen to people who are just like you. We all need each other.
People may be trying to isolate you, but you are not alone. Other people can and do understand and care about the ways in which you are getting hurt.