The Victim Culture

This began as a com­ment in a friend’s locked post. I’ve edit­ed it a bit since this is pub­lic, but there’s some­thing that has been on my mind since the flood of “No Pity, No Shame, No Silence” entries.

As a child, I was a vic­tim of abuse.

I’m not a vic­tim now. I am a sur­vivor.

I am 100% behind the refus­ing to be shamed into silence.

There’s a dif­fer­ence, how­ev­er, between refus­ing to be silenced and buy­ing into the Vic­tim Culture.

Being a vic­tim means stay­ing “stuck,” let­ting the abuser ruin your life, and giv­ing up all of your power.

The recov­ery indus­try has rea­sons to pro­mote Vic­tim Cul­ture. That’s how they pay for their Hum­mers and BMWs, so they have a stake in the results. If you buy their books and watch them on talk shows and so on, that’s even better!

While there are a few good peo­ple out there who don’t do this, most of the pro­fes­sion­als I encoun­tered dur­ing my own jour­ney do believe in the Vic­tim. If any­thing real­ly bad has hap­pened, you’re dam­aged for­ev­er. Your pri­ma­ry iden­ti­ty is Vic­tim. You’re sup­posed to do group and indi­vid­ual ther­a­py and 12-step groups and so on, for­ev­er and ever. Toss­ing in a few of those incred­i­bly expen­sive long week­end or week-long con­fer­ences is good, too.

Of course, since the Vic­tim has giv­en away all of her pow­er, she tries to fol­low the pro­fes­sion­al’s advice. And there she is, all her ener­gy going into some­thing that should just be one step of her jour­ney to wholeness.

It’s impor­tant to speak up and refuse to be shamed. There are too many peo­ple out there who feel too much shame to speak up. Those posts helped some of them talk about their expe­ri­ences for the first time. Acknowl­edg­ing what hap­pened is an impor­tant step in heal­ing. It’s only the first step, but it’s a damned big one.

It’s only the first step.

You have to get to anoth­er big one: Sur­vivors do not allow what hap­pened to them to define their lives. They take what good they can from the expe­ri­ence, and they go on about their lives.

It isn’t the last step. I don’t know that there is a last step. The heal­ing process is cycli­cal. It keeps get­ting bet­ter, though.

There are some peo­ple who get a lot of mileage out of vic­tim­hood. I have no time or patience for them. They’re gen­er­al­ly dra­ma queens in every sense of the word (not just women, of course), and it’s just one more way to get atten­tion. They detract from the real tragedies, the true issues at hand. They just want that ener­gy focused on them, and they’ll say any­thing to get it.

Yes, I’ve been sex­u­al­ly, phys­i­cal­ly, ver­bal­ly, and emo­tion­al­ly abused in my life. I don’t per­mit it now. I won’t per­mit any­one to do it to any­one else if there’s some way for me to pre­vent it.

I’m not a vic­tim anymore.

Cur­rent Mood: 🤔pen­sive
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4259

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