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Once a Victim- Always a Victim?

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  • #399891
    Helcat
    Participant

    I would also add that personally, I do believe that it is possible to overcome even severe abuse.

    It takes a lot of time, hard work, exposure to  positive experiences, kind people and an amazing trauma therapist.

    It doesn’t erase what happened. Or mean that you will never experience the pain you felt ever again. But things can get easier to bear. And one day you may even find yourself going through your day without thinking about those experiences. Even when you do think about those experiences, that is okay too.

    #399892
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helcat:

    Based on your replies to two of the three dormant 2015 threads that I revived today, I think that there is a misunderstanding: it looks like you read the original post of each one of these two threads and responded to them as if they were written today. These original posts were posted more than six and a half years ago, not today.

    When you wrote in your reply today, “things can get easier to bear. And one day you may even find yourself going through your day without thinking about those experiences”, you are talking to the anita of many years ago.  You are welcome to post on my old threads, but please read the recent, current post in each old thread. Otherwise, reading your replies makes me feel uncomfortable, it feels like taking a walk in the twilight zone. Thank you.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #399895
    Helcat
    Participant

    @anita

    I have only read one of the threads in full. I have responded to your current posts. You frequently reference themes from earlier in the threads.  I do not assume that you need to hear these words specifically, I was sharing my thoughts and experiences. This is a public forum, many people may read them. If someone can find any comfort or use in my thoughts, great. I apologise, it was not my intent to make you feel uncomfortable. If you prefer, I could not reply to these threads you resurrected.

    Perhaps it is important to consider why you feel uncomfortable?

    ”You” can be used in general or plural. The last reply on this thread wasn’t addressed to you personally.

    I simply felt that the thread contained a lot of voices that believed it’s impossible to heal from trauma. I believe the opposite, so I thought it important to share that perspective since it wasn’t present.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by Helcat.
    #399897
    Helcat
    Participant

    *wasn’t abused because of who I am

    #399902
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helcat:

    If you prefer, I could not reply to these threads you resurrected“- yes, I prefer that you don’t. I read only a little from your recent posts addressed to me and will not read the rest. I do not wish to hurt your feelings, I really don’t, but I don’t want to communicate with you anymore. I will not post to you following the submission of this post, whether you address me or not (please don’t). Goodbye Helcat and I wish you well!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #399905
    Helcat
    Participant

    I respect your decision. Please feel free to resume contact if you ever change your mind.

    #400454
    Helcat
    Participant

    For people who may wish to view the disagreement.

    #400635
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi, Reader:

    I found this topic very interesting. I wanted to create a reply. Thank you Anita for resurrecting this thread!
    Anita mentioned:

    “we need to accept that we were victims when we were victimized as children, to thoroughly understand that we were innocent, blameless, and that the much older/ adult victimizer was the guilty party. We have to accept that we were truly powerlessness at the time, that there was nothing we could have done to prevent what was done to us.”

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I saw this and a mix of emotions ran through me. Throughout my whole life I was called ‘victim’ and it was a negative thing. ‘Oh look lea is having a pity party again’ etc. I fought against and still kind of do fight against the label. I was bullied throughout school, physically and emotionally. All of that pain I felt was always minimized by the teachers and adults in my life. ‘It’s normal kids squabble all the time’ but looking back I’m certain that what I experienced was not a ‘squabble’.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I will say with honesty that acknowledging what I experienced as bullying or abuse is difficult for me. Because I know many people have had much worse experiences than I have. If you feel this way I want you as the reader to remember: “you can drown in one foot of water and in ten feet of water. It doesn’t make the pain/consequences any less.” your pain is valid, and things still hurt regardless of what caused the hurt.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I agree with Anita. I think that accepting that you were innocent when you were victimized  is important to heal. But I also think it easier said then done. Just as with many things in healing, accepting such ideas, (especially when the opposite of what you want to believe has been drilled into you since you were a kid) can be really difficult. Healing in general is so hard. They say it’s much easier to break a cup than fix it. Just to clarify, I’m not suggesting you’re broken or anyone is broken, I’m using this quote as a metaphor for “ pain is easily caused but healing that pain is much harder” healing from trauma/pain is a journey, one that I believe lasts a lifetime.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>to conclude and remind you, I believe in you. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come in your healing. I’m so proud. What you, dear reader have experienced is valid. What you’re feeling is valid. You are enough as you are. You are whole right now as you read this. I wish you love on your healing journey,</p>
    Lea

     

     

    #400655
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    You made my evening as well (not only my day, earlier), now that I found out that you posted here as well. I will read and reply in about 12 hours from now.

    anita

    #400657
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I’m glad Anita. Have a wonderful evening.

    #400692
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    “I was bullied throughout school… All that pain I felt was always minimized by the adults and teachers in my life” – as long as the adults close their eyes to your pain, they don’t have to do anything about it, it’s easier that way (easier for the adults, that is).

    The biological purpose of pain is to get the individual’s attention to an injury that needs to be attended to, example: your ankle gets injured=> you feel pain in the area of your ankle=> the pain gets your attention => you stop walking on your ankle so to prevent further injury and give your ankle time to heal.

    Let’s expand on this: you expect your parents to protect their child (you) because that’s their biological role.

    You get  bullied in school, suffering a physical &/ or emotional injury=> you feel pain => the pain motivates you to stop further injury and to heal, but you can’t make it happen all by yourself =>  you express your pain to your parents, so that they will stop further injury from happening to you, and in so doing, make it possible for you to heal=> they ignore and/ or MINIMIZE your pain=> your biological instinct directs your body to MAXIMIZE the expression of your pain so that your parents will notice and help you=> your parents mock you, saying “Oh look Lea has a pity party again” => You wrongly believe that you are purposefully exaggerating the expression of your pain (“playing a victim”), not realizing it’s a biological instinct that maximized the expression of your pain.

    * Teachers take the role of substitute parents in the context of school, so you can insert them as well to the above diagram.

    Please take some time to think about it.

    anita

    #400693
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Wow Anita. Yeah I will definitely think about it. I never thought about it that way. Thank you.

    #400696
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome. It’s a good thing, to think about things in new (and true!) ways.

    anita

    #401260
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Good morning  Anita,

    It’s Lea, again. I’m back on this thread.
    I have been really thinking about this reply for a long time. I think I’m ready to reply.

    Just as you mentioned that my pain is being ignored by others, any my natural instinct is to amplify it. It sounds absolutely horrible but I’m going to be completely honest here: when I was in 5th and 6th grade there was a girl in my class who had cancer. Everyone doted on her, people brought her cupcakes and sweet treats, They cheered her on, They talked to her checked in with her, they helped her to her seat, people said hi to her in the hallway, the teachers brought her stuff, she was given teddy bears and the whole likes of it. For a little while I thought that maybe if I had cancer people would finally love me and have sympathy for me. I remember wishing I was sick with something. Looking back I realize that I was wishing for more pain and hurt (that maximization) so that maybe finally someone would understand and help me.

    Another example is, one time a long long long time ago I purposely cut my finger. Nothing major, but enough to have my parents worried about me. I wanted them to be concerned about my pain I wanted sympathy, I wanted to be cared for in the way that a hurt individual would. In everyone’s minds- except for yours here Anita and a few other members- my bullying isn’t considered trauma or pain. It’s considered normal.

    I have also begun to notice that I still express pain or look to express pain so that other may understand or sympathize with me. Which is exactly what a ‘victim’ does. This is part of the very reason I chase people away- because I’m often too open about myself and experiences- some examples of this are: recently I slipped in the mud but instead of changing I decided to get my pants covered in mud on the fronts and put some mud on my face so that when I went back to my parents they’d want to ‘take care of me’, another example is when I went to camp way

    back, I remember complaining about how horribly I was treated at school. Even though I was kinda ‘over it’ I still cried and was upset about the whole situation so that others would sympathize with me and/or take care of me. For the first time- they did. But eventually everyone was tired of me and annoyed with me and stopped talking to me- with good reason.

    In conclusion I’d like to thank you again Anita for all of the replies, kindness and information you’ve given me. I now, I was wondering how do I stop the response, how do I get rid of this seeking. Because if I know anything about myself it’s that the sympathy and the ‘love’ will never be enough for me and I’ll keep seeking this kind of support for stupid little mistakes all my life hoping to make up for the complete lack of support I received when I was bullied. I remember my parents saying: “when the boys tease you it means they like you think of it as a compliment” I hated that phrase. How do I overcome this learned behavior.

    Anyway. Thanks again Anita, I appreciate it.
    thank you,

    lea signing off

     

     

    #401265
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    I am very impressed with you, Lea, your courage is evident in this post to which I am replying. It is the courage to look into yourself, into your motivations and behaviors, whatever they may be, and to explore them, for the purpose of a better mental health and a better life experience.

    I purposefully cut my finger… I wanted sympathy…

    “I slipped in the mud, but instead of changing, I decided to get my pants covered in mud on the fronts and put some mud on my face so that when I went back to my parents they’d want to ‘take care of me’… 

    “I remember I complained about how horribly I was treated in school. Even though I was kinda ‘over it’, I still cried… so that others would sympathize with me and/or take care of me” –

    These behaviors are the direct result of the LACK of empathy and care in your life as a child.

    If I know anything about myself, it’s that the sympathy and the ‘love’ will never be enough for me and I’ll keep seeking this kind of support… all my life hoping to make up for the complete lack of support I received when I was bullied” –

    The huge LACK of love and support when you were a child created a huge THIRST for love and support. This huge thirst is driving the behaviors I quoted above.

    In everyone’s mind- except for yours here Anita and a few other members- my bullying isn’t considered trauma or pain. It’s considered normal” – “everyone” includes your parents who knew about the bullying and accepted it as normal. In having done so, your parents have been your co-bullies.

    I remember my parents saying: ‘when the boys tease you, it means they like you, think of it as a compliment” – when the parents defend their daughter’s bullies, it means they are their daughter’s co-bullies. Think of it as a bad situation.

    How do I overcome this learned behavior“? –

    – First, this learned behavior is keeping potential friends and potential friendly co-workers and associatges away from you. It turns people off to you and it keeps you alone and lonely, as you suggested yourself: “I chase people away… eventually, everyone was tired of me and annoyed with me and stopped talking with me- with good reason“.

    To overcome this learned behavior, unlearn it: every time you notice (and you need to notice) that you are about to do something like any of the examples you listed, for the purpose of gaining sympathy, or you already started doing it- take a mental pause and stop yourself. The more you practice this Notice-Pause-Stop strategy, the easier it will become for you to do this.

    How to quench your huge thirst for empathy, love and support?  After you no longer try to quench it in ways that leave you as thirsty as always (keeping you alone and lonely), you will find different ways of quenching your thirst, ways that will leave you hydrated (having healthy enough casual and deeper friendships, as well as a romantic relationship). But it will take time, work and patience.

    anita

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 55 total)

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