IS IT WRONG TO BE A VICTIM?
Why everyone can’t just “move on” and “choose a happy future”
By Ann Bradley
Harvard trained M.D. and trauma expert Dr. Frank Ochberg says “our culture now disparages, blames, isolates, and condemns someone for being a victim”.
Why are victims told to deny their reality? Sometimes being sad is normal. It doesn’t mean you stay there, but you don’t have to feel guilty for it. Sometimes you need help. The concept that a victim can always consciously choose how to proceed is flawed.
Abuse is trauma and the ability to take steps forward is often impaired.
Sometimes therapists makes the problem worse because they are not aware of what being the victim of a narcissist is really like. The phrase “move on with your life” is commonly used. Sometimes said to those who have lost a custody battle, a home, savings, a family or job, this phrase can be another betrayal.
Just when a victim needs support, they are asked to go it alone.
The entire infrastructure of a life is often destroyed.
When this happens the victim may be:
and perplexed as to why they are expected to “choose” to not be a victim.
Give them a time machine and this can be done. Give them revictimization and it cannot.
The Word VICTIM: It’s time to give that word back its status and in doing so, respect the abused. Respect comes in the form of providing help with a compassionate approach to those stripped of dignity through abuse in courts of law, or by their partners.
What is the definition of a “victim”?
According to the dictionary a victim is: One who is harmed by, or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition; a person who is tricked, swindled, or taken advantage of.
The victim of a narcissist is traumatized. There are biochemical changes in the body and structural changes in the brain. Thought patterns change, memories are lost, immune system strongly affected, brain cells die, there is chest pain, muscle pain, feelings are intense and emotions chaotic.
Why are victims revictimized?
Because it’s politically correct to say, “I’m not a victim, I’m a survivor.”
Not all victims are the same.
Some have more resiliency than others. Some are without resources or support. Many have physiological changes that need to be addressed. And when those who need help come looking for it, instead of being welcomed, they find “helpers” that tell them they are responsible for their healing NOW. These people are revictimizing because “choice” is NOT always an option.
Reclaim the Word Victim
We must reclaim the word “victim” and renew our commitment to those who are victims. We should examine the role of a victim impact statement and victim advocate for those who are traumatized emotionally as well as from a criminal act.
Are you being victimized again by someone who says, “if you won’t stop being a victim. I won’t help you”? Maybe your attorney, therapist. siblings, or friends are claiming you can just choose to stop being a victim. Maybe they think you can start a company without money, and buy a house with bad credit. Maybe they don’t know what they are talking about.
As a victim of any kind of abuse you deserve:
3 Freedom from theraputic verbal abuse
4. A support team to open doors to resources
5. A friend, therapist or counselor who can teach you the skills to rebuild your life.
Depending on who you are, this may take a long time or not. Variables include amount and length of abuse, health, supportive family or not, finances, genetic explanatory style (optimism or pessimism), coping skills you may already have and many others. As a victim, you have the right to say, “STOP” to those who blame the victim. An entire self help industry has arisen that believes if you just really really wanted to, you can be happy and healthy and fully functional as soon as you choose to be. A starting point for recovery are post traumatic stress sites. There you will find trained and compassionate support people with articles that explain trauma healing methods.
What I Did To Help Women Like Yourself
(Men, I am not ignoring you, but this one is for the women. Everything is just as true for you about being a victim.)
I know what it is like to be the victim of a narcissist - the day after day after day attacks to break you, the changing of reality to suit themselves, the rages…I had it done to me. I may be genetically predisposed to resilience and optimism but he was getting to me. No doubt about that, but I freed myself from being his victim and I work with people showing them how to reclaim their lives, be happy and move on – when they are ready. And when they move on, it is on their terms and no one else’s. I wrote a little guide for my clients about how to have a “do-over” in life. It isn’t just for victims of narcissim, but for anyone.
The feedback was so positive they told me to make it available to others. I think you are going to like this because it’s written to be real, cut to the chase and it talks to women, not men. And because I care.
No one should be miserable. Here’s to Life, Love, and YOU! CLICK HERE
a little more information:
The Scientific Basis of Healing, Happiness and Recovery
It doesn’t matter if you call yourself a victim, survivor or Martian. No one should deny you victim status. It is what is. A victim is not a slothlike creature, nor stupid. Nor is a victim responsible for what happened to her and we must stop worrying about language and start helping. A victim is a person with a life in chaos. What matters is that you get the help you need and the compassionate trained person to give you the skills.
The good news is that happiness is trainable, resiliency comes back and psychologists are moving from the Freudian model which has dominated psychology for too long and was wrong to boot, to a model that moves from pathology as the dominant scheme. The process of de-traumatization begins with validation. It then moves to retraining explanatory style. Depending on the depth and time of the abuse, it may take a long or short time to process to empowerment and control. IT IS NOT NECESSARY to analyze every event. It IS necessary to be heard and listened to and to tell your story. But not over and over to everyone who will listen. Validation is critical.