Sanctuary for the Abused

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Reality & Revictimization

Reality and Revictimization

...Why not everyone can just "move on" 
and "choose a happy future"

The concept that a victim can always consciously choose how to proceed, is wrong. Abuse is trauma and the ability to take steps forward is often impaired. Sometimes, help is needed.

The phrase, "move on with your life" is common. Sometimes said to those who have lost a custody battle, lost a home, or 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 leaving the victim, stunned, 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 and it cannot.

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 with a compassionate approach to those who have been 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 pathological 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.
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 (i.e. "make positive choices" or "better your life" or "have hope" is just nonsense!)
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 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 necessary to be heard and listened to and to tell your story.

Validation is critical.

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shared by Barbara at 12:07 AM



Wow, what a powerful article, and so true!
I was in an emotionally, mentally and verbally abusive marriage for 20 years. I was told that I was "too sensitive", needed to have a "thicker skin" and in my Christian community to "pray, submit and respect him more".
Now that we are separated I have people that tell me to "just move on" or in some cases to "sit down and talk with him, and get it worked out."
My emotions run the gamut and my life feels like total chaos when I just try to ignore what has happened, not call myself a victim and try to get over it without looking back.
I don't dare call myself a victim, because I'm supposed to be a survivor, and survivors are strong and persevere so they can live and move on, while victim seems so timid and scared.
But the truth is, I am the victim in this and I feel that I'm being victimized all over again by the things that people say and do. My husband is supported in our church and I'm seen as the un-Christian like person that cannot forgive and forget and just love him.
I have printed off so many articles from this site to give to those around me that just don't get it and honestly, don't want to.
It's hard to hold to what you know is real and to what happened to you as a victim when others around you victimize you all over again because they choose to be blind to the truth.

12:53 PM  

Yes, it is necessary to tell your story and validation - oh how important that is... It has been a lifetime ago that I was abused and I never hid it but I never really talked about it either until now.

12:55 PM  

I wrote the above comment a year ago and now an update on where I'm at.
I stood by the truth that I knew...that I had been abused for 20 years by my husband, mentally, emotionally and verbally.
In October of this year I finally filed for divorce. I found the courage after a year, I found my strength and then he decided to keep playing games and filed a counter claim. He will not and cannot let go, he cannot lose.
Our lives together were spent in a game, one in which I would never, ever win. It was all about winning to him and he would see to it not matter what that I would lose every single time.
He now claims he should not have to support his son and wants me to pay him $1500/month indefinitely.
For anyone out there reading this that is in an abusive relationship, do not waste 20 years of your life hoping it will change.
Get help, get out and get healthy.
I am now 45 years old starting over in my life and for once I stand a little straighter and am happy, truly happy.
Abuse will suck you dry, it will leave a shell of the person that you were meant to be.
Find those around you that will validate what you know to be true and take that one very scary step, and leave.

10:37 AM  

Amy, your words for a minute I thought were mine. Just went through a VERY similar situation and felt sucked dry and used and wasted 10 years of my life but I too got the courage to leave and worn out but there is a flicker of hope in my heart and determination to survive this. You are so right on it. Anyone living in this situation don't do like me and wait this long to leave. Life is too short to live with someone who is a user and abuser. Unfortunately community support is not always the answer but you will know when that moment arrives to take that brave step.
Those few friends who leave you when you thought the were friends will indeed show you who really loved you to start with. Be ready for even family not to understand as the core family unit is usually how were brainwashed to start with in the cycle. It came down to it when my life was threateded many times that I escaped and yes, your abuser will do everything to oppose or make your life harder but stand firm and if you have to go in debt, get your life back.


6:09 PM  

This was one of the pivotal articles from this website for me. Adults who were shamed as children was the other one that really helped explain my life.

Like the song says, "When will we ever learn?" When? But more importantly, when will we HELP the helpable?

Being forced to live with a psychopath after the truth about what he is has been revealed, has been a very grotesque front row seat to a caricature of the devil. There is NOTHING good in him. Every single thing he does is evil. If he could take credit for breathing, he would! He truly believes (as all psychopaths do) that every word he speaks, every thought he has is awesome! He told me (again) today that he hates ME. He says it's just me specifically but I carefully pointed out that he hates everyone and briefly said a few names he'd said before (of those that he hated) and he then went on to say, no, just me, but that he loves himself. Oh Lord Jesus! The horror! For those of us who know what psychopathy is, we KNOW this. That they hate everyone else but love themselves. Just like satan. But see, he was trying to use the "correct" saying that he loves himself "enough" not to stay with someone he doesn't love. (He meant someone who no longer worships him.) AND, that he deserves better.

Another psychopath I'd known had no teeth, one eye, spittle from chew seeping out of his mouth incessantly, picked his nose all the time, leaned over to fart no matter where he was at, was a falling down drunk for many years, bad-mouthed everyone, destroyed his many children, destroyed their mother, and yet he really believed that he was god. They DO NOT see reality. "Moral insanity" used to be the name for psychopaths. But it's more than their morals. They can't really SEE themselves for what they are and they can't really see others for what they are either.

John 8:43-45 "43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you WANT to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, FOR THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me."

This is the key, by the way. "FOR THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM" (them). This explains so much. MRI's performed to check for psychopathy "show" this. That "feeling" words, or words that SHOULD evoke emotions in us such as love, cancer, rape, tender etc. have no more effect than "neutral" words like tree or rug. CAN YOU SEE THIS? Ever wonder why in a court of law we (used to) have to put our hand on the Bible, raise our right hand (also Biblical) and swear to "tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God?" DO YOU THINK OTHERS MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN A GLIMPSE OF HOW EVIL PSYCHOPATHS WERE? So telling the truth or a lie "means" nothing to a psychopath. THERE IS NO TRUTH IN THEM!

The horror of psychopaths is really unexplainable to those who haven't lived in it. But for those of us who have been raised by it, married to it and given birth to it, well, I just want to say that I'm so very, very sorry. And that you are NOT alone. I pray that someday there will be places for us to go and heal. Staffed only by people who have been mri'ed to ensure that no psychopaths work there, who understand the trauma induced by psychopaths on those who CAN feel, and training for us in how to recognize, deflect and avoid psychopaths (when possible). Nice fantasy, huh?

8:35 PM  

Check out an 2 ex abused women J.D. Smith and Sherri Tanner singing J.D. Smith's original song IN THE DARK ( A Song For Battered Women) on YouTube. They are both battered women's advocates trying to make a difference with their MUSIC WITH A CAUSE. You can find her @jdsmithmusic on TWITTER and find her CONSCIOUS EARTH E.P. on iTunes and Amazon got to: or search JD SMITH IN THE DARK on YouTube search!!

3:28 PM  

Thank you so much for this post! I have lost so many "friends" trying to get help and I really appreciate this validation.

3:21 PM  

I have been trying to see I am not alone and finally do. Thank you

1:04 PM  

I wish my family and friends would understand the effects the abuse has had on me. It is so frustrating to hear just get over it when I have flashbacks and don't trust anymore. I just want to get better and stop feeling hopeless or like I deserved what happened because I allowed it.

1:08 PM  

I have heard this so many times from my mother: "You're only bullied at school because you have a chronic need to be a victim. There's something wrong with you that makes people want to hurt you. The common factor between all these bullying cases is you, so it's pretty obvious that you just can't get out of playing the part of the victim and it's pathetic." Needless to say, she tells me these things so that she can abuse me like this herself. I don't feel like "victim" should be a dirty word. It means someone has chosen to hurt you and you haven't done anything to deserve it.

10:45 AM  

To Anonymous (10:45 a.m.),

What you wrote shocked me so much I read it three times....It is exactly what my ex-husband says to me verbatum. I know he is wrong and that I have not done anything to merit the abuse I suffered from him and a sociopath I recently cut all contact with. I have also heard this comment from "professional therapists" time and again. What is wrong with them? How do you respond?

12:24 PM  

This is painful for me to say because it is something I just said to .myself. It isn't that we WANT or NEED the abuse. Our behaviors to meet our actual needs are dysfunctional. Those behaviors are like beacons to these creatures. Over and over and over I find myself being abused. Abuse history IS a risk factor for future abuse. Why? In MY case. It was aleaysbtrying to "understand" "work on things" "find a solution". All those things are fi e and dandybif the other person is actually TRYING and you can at least make bite size movement. My ex would deny, delay, throw a tantrum until he would finally stop doing one thing.. Only to find another flavor of the same behavior. I put up with it for YEARS, orayi g for death for YEARS ....why? Because I would not accept that HE wasn't changing. Yes, I WAS trapped for many reasons, but in the beginning, it was because I believed what so many previous abusers said....that the problem was ME. I needed to address this crap in ME. No. It isn't okay. Yes, we need time. Yes there are many reasons we stay. Yes we are victims. We also need to FIX the damage and nobody can do that for someone else. We can have all the vakidatuin in the world, we need to apply it. We may need help figuring out how. But NOBODY can fill the black holes in anyone else. It is what abusers want and we can't do it for them either.

12:40 PM  

Thank You Thank You........I Feel As if I'm barely breathing & not much living in a cold heartless hardened hearts world 99% of the time & have been doing all I know how to survive........But I fear I'm not going to make it..............shattered abused betrayed & broken from the beginning & married a psychopath to boot........

12:22 AM  

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