Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oh Yeah, I Chose It.

I have spent a great deal of time pondering many of your comments on my previous post. Thank you very much for all of that great insight. Chris, over at a Deliberate Life, said something that really hit me between the eyes. Truth does that to you sometimes. She addressed my friend becoming a victim. You see, I feared that was where she was headed and was trying to save her. It didn't occur to me that she was already there. That was the first "aha" moment. The second was when I realized that we choose it. Every person who is a victim chooses it at some point. If you don't believe me, read this post. I wrote it. It is an early one. It is my damage. It was tough to write.

I am now going to operate under the assumption that you read it, processed it, and are back with me. I talk about losing my voice in that post. Owning my damage. Sometimes it takes a while to see the extent of the damage. That day I chose to be a victim. I would never have believed that had you asked me that was the choice I was making. However, that was the choice I was making. I let the fear win that day. And the first time the fear wins, it kicks your butt every day after. It rules you. You are its bitch. You are a victim. Let's not dress it up and make it pretty.

I did not like being a victim. My spirit did not embrace this role willingly at all. It literally made me sick. It did everything it could think of to make me choose differently. Had it not been for two little kids that I felt desperately needed me, I would have walked away and not looked back. Eventually, I had to pretty much do that anyway.

However, before I got it, I met yet another Victimizer and went round again. For regular readers of this blog, I have called him Flash. When you are still caught up in the Victim Role, someone will step in to play Victimizer. That is just how it works folks. It is all about learning the lesson. Until you learn to stop being the Victim, there will be a Victimizer. Period. And we did the dance until I was sick to death of it. I had to get out. I didn't know how so I called upon someone smarter than myself and asked for help. And that person told me how to deal with people like these people.

In the process, I learned the lesson that held me in these relationships in the first place: My needs are just as important as yours. I can't allow you superimpose your needs onto mine. That isn't love. And if you are trying to do that, I have to look out for myself and be responsible for my needs and break away from you. Period.

Now, why it took two teachers and five years to learn that one.... I don't know.

Do you see how that revolves around honesty? And speaking out for yourself? Speaking your truth is hard. However, I think people respect people who speak their truth. And love and respect can't flourish without the other.

As for my friend, I now get what she is facing. I lived in an untenable situation for years that drove my friends and family insane for years. They couldn't get me to leave. Of course, I wouldn't leave because I couldn't take the children because they legally weren't mine, and I desperately needed to save them. Her situation is different. However, when you are being brainwashed, and or guilted, by a master your judgment is lousy. I have compassion for this horror because I have lived this nightmare.


  1. when you are a kid, you are a victim..and a lot of kids grow up and unconciously accept that role and perpetuate it..sad,but true. I love this post..and the last post..because you so clearly illustrate a truth I firmly believe..we choose, as adults, what happens to we invest our time and who we invest in. Sadly, we often invest in the very type of people we were hurt by previously..which is why I believe alot of abused children marry abusers..They are, by proxy, attempting to gain the love from a similar prototype of an individual, who rejected them in the past...They think..I am smarter now, I can make them love me. Only it doesn't work. Because abusers are usually narcissists. Narcissists can't love. Once they begin to try loving your classic abuser/narcissist and fail, the person figures they are unloveable. They aren't unlovable, simply misguided. They think everyone is narcissistic because this is who they have been raised by and have been dealing with. They think they can become loveable by being a martyr and giving up any sense of self and subsuming themselves into the other person's life or identity...they become a person who loves even when they aren't being loved. Then they get their sense of identity by being a person who loves 'unconditionally'. And that type of person, when confronted with their poor choices and lack of esteem, feels attacked. You are attacking their purity, their motivation...A person in that deep, will have to wake themselves up and pull themselves out of their spiral. It's not easy to do...a friend who will tell them the truth is the best bet. You did your friend a favor. Maybe your words will have some meaning in a year or two. Hang in there.

  2. It IS so much harder to avoid being drawn in when you've been there and done that. It's kind of like a smoker who quits. They can be the most vocal and annoying about why someone else should also quit. And yet, in either case nobody can stop doing something until THEY are ready to do so. It's just hard on those who care about that person to stand by during the process and watch it all unravel.

  3. Chris, I agree with your opinions about kids who grow up in abusive situations and perpetuate the cycle. My parents weren't abusive. My grandpa was verbally abusive to my grandma and I did experience that. Of course, I always thought I would NEVER mimic that relationship. But I have to be clear about something with my choice. What I was afraid of was not my NYH when I lost my voice. I felt financially like I was "too far gone" and "too close to wedding date" to back out now. I was paying two mortgages and didn't see how I could do it without him. I never once considered the SMART choice of going to my parents and saying, "I thought I knew this person. I don't. I realize I am in financial trouble. What do I do?" They would have had me turn around and resell that house immediately... not even move in and keep my condo. Call off the wedding and throw him out. Consider all of the money invested in wedding a learning experience and color them relieved. You see, I thought I could lose my voice that day and get it back later. IT DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT. Once a manipulator has you by the throat, they have you. GAME OVER. They just take you apart in pieces.

    However, as Jasmine said, most people have to learn this for themselves. I guess if you have signed up for the lesson, you have to take the class. And I think my friend is enrolled. I suppose it is a good thing I also took a course on Putting Yourself Back Together Again. I think she might need that one someday.

  4. luckily, the putting yourself back together again part makes you stronger...and Jasmine is's often hardest for people like us..people who have seen abusive relationships or who have been in them, to stand by and say "Oh, I saw that coming!".."ouch, that's gonna hurt." without saying something. It is very hard to watch. It's like watching someone stand on a freeway and waiting for the inevitable collision. Hugs, I hope your friend pulls her head out of her rear soon.

  5. Chris, I always love your "voice" to give everything its proper perspective. Yep. Ouch, that is gonna hurt.

  6. Robin: Read Jasmine's latest post. You already know what I am thinking. So how are you today?

  7. Hey Rob... Sorry I'm coming so late into the conversation. The past week was crazy and we went out of town over the weekend, so I'm way behind.

    I want to thank you for the Monday video. It made me feel supported and understood at a time when I've been a little unsure about some of the steps I've been taking; and that's more appreciated than I can say.

    About your friend... You know what they say about shooting the messenger, right? I've been shot more times than I care to count and I still don't know that I've learned my lesson.

    Is it that we're afraid of losing that part of ourselves completely? That someone we care about will get burned if we do? Is it kinda narcissistic to feel that way? A little bit self destructive, even? Maybe. The thing is, I honestly don't know if there's a way to be a good friend and not feel the need to take on the roll of messenger sometimes.

    I hope your friend makes the choice not to be the victim and that she realizes you aren't the one trying to control her life. You just want her to take charge of it herself.


  8. Your friend needed someone to lash out at, angry as she is about her situation and about being a victim; and it's the ones we're closest to, the ones who love us unconditionally, with whom we know we're safe. Is it fair to lash out at these devoted souls? Of course not. But that's kinda how it works out. But telling the truth is vital. And frankly, as someone who is learning the lesson herself after far too long, it's hardest to tell the truth to ourselves. We can point fingers at others who lie to us, manipulate us, delude us ... but you know what? When we let them, we're lying to ourselves, manipulating ourselves, deluding ourselves about the situation. We let them do it by being dishonest with ourselves about what's happening. And it hurts and makes me want to lash out; but I need to aim it where it's appropriate, which is right back at ME ....

  9. I think Christine sums it up nicely when she says, "When you are a kid, you are a victim." This truth operates on several levels - it means that once you're a full adult, you can no longer claim you're still a victim, and you need to grow up, let go of your baggage, and reclaim your power. But it also means that adults who claim they are still victims are not capable of anything other than childish actions or words. Being victimized takes us right back to our childhoods again, where we feel small and powerless. Are we actually powerless as adults? No. But when we claim we are... we put ourselves right back into the role of children.

    If your friend was capable of doing better, she would. And in the end, she needs to reach out and ask for help, as an adult, not a child, in order to help herself. As frustrating as that is, you can't do that for her or make that choice for her.

    ::hugs:: I know. Believe me, I know how frustrating it is to witness.

  10. I was a child once, I was a victim and I grew up to be a survivor. If we continue on in our role as victim everyone will see us as such or as a martyr and all we can do is pray for your friend, she is where she wants to be...sad as it is.


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