VIEWS: 8 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 2/26/2012
I Refuse To Be A Victim Anymore! Every person has several defining moments within his or her life. Some realize the importance of these things that shape our thoughts and help build the foundation of who we are. Others have found it easier to deny these moments ever happened. These moments become as important as the air we breathe and the words and thoughts of our daily life. Regardless of where each of us is born, what our nationality or religion, certain events and choices permanently imprint our mind, body and soul. I once heard that your childhood years are your happiest. Then I was told you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome the damage inflicted upon one’s self when they can neither defend themselves or comprehend how the long term effects of decisions made by someone or for someone will impact who they are, and who they become. Finally at the age of 46 I’ve realized that my life emotionally, spiritually, and physically has been that of a “Victim”. It’s because I’ve spent my life viewing every part of my existence through a kaleidoscope patterned with abuse, loneliness, and fear that I say “No More!” I’m finally beginning to realize how decisions and actions impacted each day of my life from the moment of my birth. Study after study indicates that our environments during the early years of life are benchmarks that we draw from for the rest of our lives. Each of us during infancy can be compared to a blank canvas with those directly involved with our birth putting the first brushstrokes upon our eager, hungry waiting lives. Like a sponge left outside during a beautiful summer rain, we will absorb every drop of love, color and sound thus building the foundation of our future. Just as outlines and colors merge together to create a masterpiece or notes and lyrics to create a beautiful melody, so are each of us formed. The miracle called “Life” from God above. During a recent counseling session I was made aware of my self imposed, subconscious attitude of viewing every aspect of my life through the eyes and emotions of a victim. I think like a victim, unable to trust what others say or do. There is no simple answer for me. My history from birth has been one of isolation and obedience in exchange for security and love. Fear and silence have encompassed my mind and body permeating every pore of my being. I know realize there will never be safety in silence. Silence produces an environment where the slightest spark can start a blistering fire destroying everything in its path leaving behind a flame charred existence. Just try to survive another day of fear and insanity. I am the one walking around with such deep wounds that I die moment by moment, day by day in silence. No one hears our cries but our Heavenly Father. The crippling affect of victim mentality is that regardless of how devastating someone else’s actions or emotional response, the victim absolutely believes they did something to elicit this response thus believing it was ultimately their fault. Regardless of the personal cost, the victim assumes the responsibility for someone else’s actions. “I’m just not good enough” or “I’m somehow not worthy of someone’s love and protection” are daily thoughts. Stop and examine how you think or act. Imagine living every moment of your life through a victim’s mentality, seeing only your faults. Life is challenging enough without tethering the huge boulders of self- blame that a victim mentality carriers daily. Just making it through a day becomes a monstrous challenge. This type of behavior perpetuates itself creating a life of fear, loneliness, self-destruction and isolation. The worse the situation becomes the more the victim blames themselves. These are the walking wounded, afraid to share the horror in which they live. Petrified that if anyone really knew who they were, they would have no one. It becomes safer to suffer in silence then face any more rejection or isolation. As a woman who spent 18 long years married to very emotional and physically abusive husband, I want to scream when I hear people say victims who don’t leave deserve what they get. This is exactly why they stay. They believe they are the cause. Until society as a whole is ready to hold victimizers accountable both legally and morally this vicious cycle will continue to perpetuate and affect more and more innocent lives daily. Admitting you are a victim does not insure you will be treated sympathetically or in a non-judgmental way. For someone like me who became a victim of child molestation and emotional disconnect from both my mother and father before I was 6 years old, the fear and emotional garbage buried me deeper every moment of every day. I had to become the walking dead to survive. You don’t speak out, you hide all feelings. Love is something reserved for those worthy of such a wondrous gift. You learn to blend in, not wanting to draw attention to yourself because you believe you are ugly inside and out. You convince yourself to be thankful if someone merely looks your way because you cause hurt and anger. Thus the victim mentality is born and the victimizers have learned to identify such action and thought patterns. Why do most suffer in silence? You learn very quickly that the emotional and physical pain of non-compliance is not worth the few moments of whatever defensive opposition you can pull out from within yourself. If you even try to resist or defend yourself, the emotional and physical pain becomes 100 times worse. You know it’s only a matter of time until they attack and nearly kill you. You stand perfectly still, barely breathing, praying no one will see or hear you. If you give up quickly maybe the wounds will be lessened. You are the prey, they are the hunter. Life is survival of the fittest for a victim. The amazing thing about victim mentality is the under current to protect those who have hurt you the most. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure out why but I always come back to the same point. “How could someone I love so much continually hurt me?” Because most abuse is inflicted by family members and acquaintances, it causes the victim to turn inward concluding they must have done something to warrant such behavior. To admit that you are an innocent victim means classifying people you know and may love as your abuser. Most victims are isolated and fearful with few, if any, friends or a support system that could help them. At times, exposing the abuser could mean you’re left alone. “What if know one believes me”, a thought I had many times as a child. “Maybe it will stop soon”, a lie you try to convince yourself of. The longer the abuse continues, the more difficult it becomes for the victim to expose the truth. Thousands of victims suffer daily in silence stricken by fear, loneliness and self-doubt. Some, like me, have had thoughts or attempted suicide. Can this vicious cycle change? I pray that it can. My purpose for writing my story is to help save myself, my children, grandchildren, and hopefully help perpetuate a world of compassion for all who suffer at the hands of abuse, whether male or female, young or old. I know by writing this I am forcing myself to deal with my past, present and future. I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m afraid. I know I have blocked memories because it was the only way I could survive. The thought of unearthing and truly claiming and resolving these issues is going to be very painful. But for the first time in my life, I now clearly see that only I can perpetuate my internal healing. If I ever want to truly move forward, I must cut the ropes that have continued to pull me back into the depths of fear, loneliness, sorrow and self-blame. I must learn to acknowledge that my life has value; I have value. Self imposed guilt for someone else’s actions will destroy you from the inside out. Little by little it rots you away until you have no idea who or what you are. Laurie is finally ready to acknowledge Laurie. I no longer want to see myself through other people’s eyes, deriving my self worth from others opinion of me. I want to know me; the real me! Starting with that 3 year old little girl who lost her daddy to divorce and ending with the 46 year old woman who’s tired of living in fear and confusion. Somewhere between 3 and 46 Laurie stopped living. I learned to survive but never how to thrive. No more! Our schools, churches and judicial systems do not begin to extend the hope needed to these battered lives. In many cases when someone does become aware of abuse they become more concerned about protecting the abuser’s constitutional rights than protecting the victim. My story reinforces this statement over and over again. The several times throughout my life that I finally had the courage to tell the truth were the most disappointing and heartbreaking. Schools don’t want to get involved and the judicial system is slow and apathetic. Every time I saw my cry’s for help go unanswered, the worse my life became. The abuser gained more power over me by reiterating that no else cared. You tell yourself over and over again: “”Just do what they want because no one else cares enough to help.” “I really must be an awful human being.” “Don’t let them see me cry because they will know I’m weak and things will get even worse.” “Pretend everything is fine.” “Don’t let anyone ever get close to your heart again.” “They all lie and only want to control and hurt you.” “Bury who you are deep down so no one can see or hurt you again.” “Why doesn’t God love me enough to help me?” I’ve lived and said these statements thousands of times during my life. The problem is after repeating this behavior so often you lose sight of who you were or are. You become so consumed with protecting yourself that you isolate yourself even more. You constantly feel alone, unloved and frustrated. It becomes easier to believe it’s your fault then it is to believe someone hurt you over and over again for no reason. Because this is a learned behavior, I know it can be unlearned. I can state with all certainty that it doesn’t happen quickly or without a strong support system. What I find interesting is that some victims eventually become abusers themselves. I’ve seen many documentaries and read many books about drug and alcohol addiction, rapists, pedophiles, and serial killers. Most have a history of being abused at a young age either emotionally, physically or sexually. Because young victims have to learn to pretend and show no emotion, they live in a self-made fantasy land to survive. To state that every victim has thought about killing or hurting their abuser is in my opinion a true statement. It’s human nature to have thoughts of hurting those who have hurt you. For me it always seemed easier to think or try to end my own life than it did to avenge the hurt. For others the anger inside grows stronger every moment of every day. It becomes like a boiling, screaming teapot and the only way to temporarily remove the steam is to get rid of some your pain on someone else. After all, you greatly deserve some justice for all the wrongs you’ve had to endure. The thought process becomes that of creating your own justice. I strongly believe this is why our nation’s youth continues to spiral out of control. So many feel alone, scared, unloved, and unwanted. It’s our human nature from birth to seek out love and relationships that nurture us. When this process is interjected with abuse and loneliness, the end result is disastrous on many levels. Just because someone may never have experienced physical abuse ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT mean they haven’t been hurt as badly by emotional abuse. We are human beings with feeling and emotions and not to have these needs met by someone will cause severe damage. To deny these emotional needs is to deny being human. It’s my sincere desire in sharing my thoughts and story that I can help others who have suffered as I have. I am proof that God can heal these wounds. Hope is eternal and everyone deserves to hope ! ! ! ! ! Never give up. Know you are not alone. Together we can create a better future for all mankind. Come break free with me to soar through the skies and experience all the beautiful colors and life that lies in front of you. I promise if reach out, God will always reach back.
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