QUOTEs: • “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life. Define yourself.” ~ Harvey Fierstein
• “You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure.” ~ (from ‘Eleven Minutes’, by Paulo Coelho)
🌋 VICTIMs or NOT? (V = victim , P = Perpetrator / abuser)
a. Victim (Part 1)
b. Stoic: At the other extreme are the ACoAs (often Heros) who can’t admit anything bad happened to them. These believe we were not abused & that everything was fine. Even if we do sometimes say it wasn’t all great, we believe it was our fault. We walk around with emotional stab wounds, bleeding from unseen trauma & pretending we’re fine. Just fine, thanks over much!
Our closest & ‘dearest’ can carelessly spew their damage at us, YET we blame ourselves! We say: “But, they didn’t mean it / They didn’t know any better”….
What we mean is : “Since they didn’t mean to hurt me, I can’t be angry at them! So there’s no reason to be upset (I don’t want to feel anything)”. Phew!
This reasoning is SO flawed because all ACoAs are in fact sad, lonely, disappointed, hurt & angry – under whatever defenses we’ve cobbled together!
It’s not healthy for us to ignore what’s going on – inside or outside. Denying that we were wounded by our family and that we have many & complex emotions – is a way to victimize ourselves.
If most ‘normal’ adults are enraged by being mistreated over time, how much more so are children, who are dependent, vulnerable & powerless.
Abuse & neglect are terrifying & humiliating, no matter what the reason for it or motivation of the P. As kids, the longer we had to ignore bad behavior, the angrier we got – which often got suppressed & then acted out on ourself & others.
EXP: Reason for the murder of Martha Moxley, seen near the end of the TV movie “Murder in Greenwich” (2002).
Re. Pity for others
One way stoic ACoAs can feel superior & also deny our pain – is to feel sorry for others, especially our parents & mates. It may seem like a show of kindness & empathy on our part, but all it does is allow our Ps to get away with being inappropriate & stay unhealed.
Feeling pity for incompetent, addicted or abusive people is a way to disguise our anger at them for not taking care of themselves & not carrying their weight in the relationship.
REVIEW why we don’t want to “know what I know”
Because • we figure the situation is futile – since we can’t change it – so why even notice (this is NOT the healthy Powerlessness of Recovery, ie. Letting Go). AND —
— WE would have to:
• be ‘forced’ to feel all that old fury, & we’re not allowed to be angry at ‘them’ OR to weep about it!
• give up the illusory power of our S-H “I can fix people-places-things so they’ll stop hurting me”
• give up the WIC’s hope / demand that they will get better, love us, turn things around, connect with us
• feel the depth of pain from how badly we’ve been treated
• S & I (reject the Introject), be our own Parent, giving up the WIC’s desperate wish to be taken care of
♦ We are not only protecting ourself from past & present Reality, but also our Perpetrators. Not speaking up about how their mistreatment affects us is arrogant, and abdicates our responsibility to ourself. It’s giving the P permission to continue neglecting us, beating up our Inner Child & disrespecting our Healthy Adult.
Not letting ourself feel ALL our emotions (the high achievers, isolators, rescuers, caretakers, Heroes & Mascots….), especially the old sorrow & rage, has a high price. It makes us internally ‘dead’ & externally alone, a numbness that has become a wall, even if we keep busy, busy & have lots of relationships.
RECOVERY is about moving out of the Victim Role into our True Self.
NEXT: Grandiosity & normal #1