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 4241

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top