Holier than thou, one of those sayings I never really heard nor understood until I decided to quit smoking. A failed attempt many many years ago, I had tried to use Allan Carr’s method of quitting smoking and it was a term he used, “do not become a holier than thou ex-smoker.” Of course I wondered what he actually meant.
Then I came to learn that it was those ex-smokers that try to guilt trip, belittle the smoker into also quitting. Why? Because they managed, they quit, now they are superior or holier than thou. I find this mind-set also with abuse survivors and although I know what it means, I do not understand how it is people are like that.
There are a couple of online support groups that I have left because such people like this run them. I survived my child abuse; you do it like this, just get on with it.
It feels somewhat like a pool filled with people struggling to climb out, but when one survivor gets free they stand on the edge looking down and gone is the empathy, but it is replaced by some odd form of judgement. Like they forgot what it is like to feel that grief inside.
I followed someone’s page, which I have since left; the man who runs it is a survivor. He created the page to help others such as himself, commendable of course, but what I have seen is that if there is someone not at the same stage of healing as him, they are told to pick themselves up, get on with it, get over it, he can do it, so can they and they he spouts on about himself. He created a page to help others, yet he doesn’t seem to have the patience to help those that need it. However, when someone congratulates him on what he is doing for survivors he replies, thinks it’s great himself, almost like they are putting him in this pedestal for how much he has achieved. It feels as though the term I am a childhood abuse survivor is like an heroic medal.
I see this kind of thing often though, it is not just this man, it is many others, I hope I don’t become like that. I hope that I can remember what it is like when I am distressed, hurting and in pain that what I needed was a hand or an arm, not a beating. I’ve had enough of those.
Helping a survivor I think is not about standing on the edge of the pool saying you can do it, just jump, it is holding their hands, wiping the tears and allowing them to stay in that pool until they feel safe enough themselves to climb out.
I ramble once again 🙂
I tried twice to leave a comment but lost it; hope this one gets through. 😀
‘Holier than thou’ in my 60 years of circles is a little different and yet the same. In my circles it has meant that people of not so great a lifestyle, with addictions, even cruelty and negative background have decided to make a complete turn around and take a different spiritual path. However after a time have forgotten their own path and the difficulty and the pain that accompanied that path and have become calloused, judgemental and self righteous. Though often they meant well; only sabotaged their relationships with others who in fact really needed them but not their self righteousness. It is easy to become a harsh speaker to others who still struggle when you yourself have overcome and somehow gained the strength to not just survive but thrive.
Very true. We tend to forget what it’s like when we are no longer in the same position, unfortunately.
JD I can’t ever see you forgetting your trials and becoming holier than thou,I feel you are a loveing but humble man,who puts every one else before your self.You will help others but you will never talk down to them.Some people just can’t help them selves I think it is a domineering thing, no matter how good others have over come there problems,the other one has to be the top dog,with the holier than thou attitude.Just be you. ((HUG)) xxxxxxx