Sanctuary for the Abused

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Why Not Everyone Can Just "Move On" and "Get Over It"

Reality and Revictimization...


Victim, survivor, victimology, victim abuse... why are victims being told to deny their reality? 
 

You have been methodically and diabolically abused and suddenly you hear "don't be a victim, choose to be a survivor." The concept that a victim can always consciously choose how to proceed, is wrong.

The phrase, "move on with your life" is common. In a commanding, offhand and arrogant tone, those who have fought and lost a custody battle, their home, car and savings, family, job and may be suffering physically (adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, crohn's disease, etc. are common) are stunned to be told, "well, better move on with your life."


The entire infrastructure of a life is often destroyed leaving the victim, stunned, numb, hypervigilant, indigent, betrayed 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 abuse and it cannot. They are victims.

It's time to give that word back its status and in doing so, give respect to the abused. Respect comes in the form of providing help. An empowering, compassionate approach to those who have been stripped of dignity through repeated abuse in courts of law, or by their partners, begins with recognizing and defining the situation of the victim.

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 or abuser 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. Victimization is never deserved.

Why are victims revictimized?
So why does someone brutalized, abused, and traumatized have to be afraid of the word "victim" ? Because it's politically correct to say, "I'm not a victim, I'm a survivor." Much the same way, people think the capitalist economy gives everyone an equal chance to become wealthy (which of course it does not - if everyone started with the same funding, self esteem, contacts, educational background, health, then that would be true) but when the playing field is not level some have an advantage.

Not everyone who is the victim of emotional, verbal, and narcissistic abuse are the same. Some have more resiliency than others. Some are numb, some are without any 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 and they better choose it now or they will always be a victim and never a survivor. These people are revictimizing those they want to help because "choice" is NOT always an option.

Dr. Frank Ochberg, Harvard trained MD and trauma expert, says our culture now disparages, blames, isolates, and condemns someone for being a 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:
1. Compassion
2. Validation
3. Freedom from therapeutic 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.

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. Validation is critical.

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shared by Barbara at 12:23 AM


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8 Comments:

How can I find a support group for narcissist abuse

10:27 PM  

How can I find a support group for recovering from narcissistic abuse

10:28 PM  

I was with you until you made it political.

Your brilliant info stands alone, no need to go there.

8:03 PM  

Your comment about Capitalism doesn't make one bit of sense and reveals a political leaning bias. Abuse survivorship is equal opportunity & I've got news for you, even identical twins don't start w/ a level playing field b/c one is born first, the idea is a complete myth. By the way, capitalism isn't about equality, it's about the liberty and freedom of endeavour.

11:09 AM  

People need to look beyond certain things and not use them as a form of devaluation. What you say is how I think. As a "victim" of abuse for over 20 years, I agree wholeheartedly. Even DV shelters/ centers along with much of society see the term "victim" as taboo. They force "survivor" on you. Yet I AM NOT A SURVIVOR! Yes I got out, but that didn't end the abuse nor did it remove the damage. It's not a cut that a bandaid fixes nor a stitch to close the wound! It is life altering, health destroying, personality changing, PTSD at it's worst and more all rolled into one. Just as an adult today was victim of child abuse or a person shot in a robbery was a victim that title or distinction never goes away. A survivor of a crash or even cancer I get...they beat the odds or the disease. Abuse leaves a lasting imprint, changes you mentally & physically. They do not compare. I survived to get out, but am a victim to what it has done to me and the life it was. Make it go away with chemo or some meds & I'll say survivor. ..sadly abuse just isn't that.

I wanted to heal. "Move on", but the damage done people just don't get. I didn't.. I was married to a narcissistic sociopath. The abuse ranged from simplistic to the most intricate & deceptive forms that i am still trying to get my head around & I'm a strong person not ruled by emotions. Yet the damage done was severe.I have many of the health issues diagnosed well before I understood I was in such an abusive marriage. I asked for help from numerous agencies, got none. Easier to push it under the carpet. No two victims handle abuse alike. There is not one way of healing, but the starting point is the same...validation, compassion, and people by your side to listen, guide, just be there. Never tell a victim get over it, it takes two to tango, you should have gotten out soon, it's your fault, you should have listened to me when I told you not to marry him etc....These heap more guilt, pain, confusion upon a victim.

Being a survivor means that you have healed and moved on finally in a happy healthy way. This for many of us can take years. The brain is powerful in good and bad ways. Undoing or reprogramming your thought process, removing memories, patterns instilled in you from your abuser is no easy feat and takes time. Sadly there are few to help or at least hard to get to let alone pay for treatment. DV centers focus on keeping you from making the same mistake again only and most therapists deal with self esteem thinking that will make it go away. It doesn't!!!

1:34 AM  

I spent a long time in depression coupled by fear. Got help for the depression which was really PTSD. Then tried to find "me". What I lost, what was left...only to realize it didn't matter. I had to see me now...Keep the good, get rid of the bad instilled in me and begin building me to who I wanted, who I really am...free of abuse and implanted behaviors and thoughts. Then I learned all I could about my abuser in terms of being a narcissistic sociopath. In doing so I was able to disassociate my emotions from the abuse. I saw who he was, no longer what I felt due to it. Then I learned about my personality type. Through doing this i understood why certain things damaged me more than other things. Like why i have such a huge guilt complex. Why i am not such an emotional person. Why I never shared things about me...my trust issue. Things good and what my abuser "deemed" bad and all used against me. Knowing my personality type gave me validation to much of who and why i was affected the way I was. In some ways I came out of it better. Why I also was able to stay 2 steps ahead of him, could diffuse him to a certain point, why I lasted so long in it, why in some ways I came out stronger. I think the whole approach to healing and moving forward is a personal journey and knowing which way is right...which way is NOT...superficially healing is not...is so vital to healing. Boosting self esteem is vital, but with no foundation beneath...you just create a house of straw that will either fall apart or that false self esteem will be used to protect that shattered person inside. No different than a sociopath or a narcissist themselves.

I have a long path to travel still. A long long path...I can't just get over it. Everything I see, do, placed I go, smells, and things said are all triggers for me. I've gotten rid of a lot whether I love it or not because of it, I avoid placed and people due to it. Would love just to move far away knowing that will be the fastest way to move forward, but this is reality I can't just run away. I have to really heal. Still haven't figured it all out nor the path the travel, but I know I am moving forward day by day. One day I just might be a survivor in society's eye, but to me, I'll always be a victim just hopefully one who healed.

1:34 AM  

Yeah I've had people say if you were stronger it would of worked out with sociopath but it felt to me like a game for him and what got me was he was never aggressive so I thought he was ok...but it was a different type of abuse which I won't go into but has left me a like shell not knowing who to believe or trust.....

1:53 AM  

My mother STILL has her 'flying monkeys' in the form of my twin bros. & my older sister, who upon visiting me one year from the East Coast to West - stated, when I told her of my feelings of hurt over my childhood abuse (verbal & emotional) from my narc mom, said, 'Move on...Get over it...It's been so many years"...So, I am no longer close to either my sis nor bros. as my mom has 'poisoned' them against me! I feel so alone in my healing. Luckily, I have a good therapist who understands my pain and my C-PTSD symptoms of emotional eating/insomnia/depression over my childhood.

12:28 PM  

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