Victim, yes; Survivor, Definitely!

vic·tim/ˈviktəm/Noun

  1. A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
  2. 2. A person who is tricked or duped

I don’t like it, but by definition, I was a victim. From the earliest of ages until I was twenty years old, I lived a life of unimaginable abuse, neglect, and terror. For the following 37 years, I was threatened to stay silent or suffer the consequences. The message was always a simple phone call with a person on the other end saying, “nothing has changed.”

My therapist worked hard to teach me that one of the nuances of a traumatized person is that they believe that they are somehow to blame for what happened to them. Whether it is the abusers message or a way for a person to try and make sense of what has happened to them, it is something that people who have been through trauma have in common.

The word victim, can be rather stigmatizing. It’s sometimes bantered about when we talk about someone who won’t or chooses not to change their situation. How many times do we hear someone saying, “she/he’s  such a victim.”  It can be confusing, because we don’t want to be a victim by an abuser, and we don’t want to be a victim by not standing up for ourselves or taking the bull by the horns and make difficult decisions. Two very different situations, but still the same word. 

 I understand I was a victim. I understand how my many  perpetrators victimized me. I have let go of the false belief that I had been a willing participant in the events that happened to me.  This knowledge doesn’t take away the facts of what happened, or the feelings that go along with what happened, but it does assuage the guilt.

I was programmed (for lack of a better word) to hurt myself should I remember, tell and/or try to heal from all that was done to me. “They” were thorough in ways to protect themselves and make themselves untouchable. I know and accept that I was a victim of extreme and senseless abuse, neglect and torture. 

But, they could not touch the core of who I am, and my innate need to remember and heal. They could not anticipate that I would eventually figure out that the more I stayed silent and crouched in terror, that I was only protecting them. They never realized that I would learn that when I began to talk, I was actually safer because if, I were to suffer the consequences that they had threatened me with, then it would only bring to light that what I was saying was the truth. They could no longer hide in the shadows of my mind and strike. My perpetrators can write me off as a liar and/or crazy, but that doesn’t have any effect on me. I know my truth, and being called crazy is really just, sticks and stones. 

So yes, I was a victim, Now I am definitely a survivor. 

sur·vi·vor /sərˈvīvər/ noun 

  1. To remain alive or in existence.      
  2. To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere.
  3. To live longer than; outlive.
  4. To live, persist, or remain usable through.
  5. To cope with (a trauma or setback); persevere after: survived child abuse.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook

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32 thoughts on “Victim, yes; Survivor, Definitely!

  1. bodyelectricweb May 15, 2016 / 6:45 am

    I’m really glad I found you too 😁 – I’ve been looking for someone like you! who has experienced similar horrors but is further on in their healing journey. It gives me hope for my future 🙂 Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. atribeuntangled May 14, 2016 / 11:23 pm

    Thank You so much! Im so happy that we connected and are both survivors. 💖 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bodyelectricweb May 14, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    Reblogged this on I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC and commented:
    Another amazing reblog from this writer who like me has suffered abuse and torture of the most extreme form Xx I am proud to call myself a survivor and to have broken my silence X 💪💪💪

    Liked by 1 person

  4. atribeuntangled May 12, 2016 / 3:34 am

    I was the same way And to be honest sometimes I go back there. But for me it becomes a slippery slope of then I start to blame myself. Its never easy or a straight line. Is it! Can be dishaeartening sometimes, but I keep trying. Thank You so much for your honest and open comment. 💜 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Little Sister May 12, 2016 / 3:31 am

    It took me a long time to come to terms with what had happened in my childhood mostly because I did not want the label of “victim”. Having been abused made me a “victim” and I didn’t want that, so I wasn’t abused! Not the healthiest logic, I admit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. atribeuntangled May 11, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    Thank You! You are too. We are boyh survivors. ❤️ Alexis

    Like

  7. atribeuntangled May 11, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    Thank You Soul Gifts. I always enjoy when you stop by and read and comment. So glad we connected to each others blog. 😍 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Soul Gifts May 11, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    Strength and resilience have got you to where you are. So glad you have left victimhood behind 🙂 Thank you for your visits and follow of my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. atribeuntangled May 10, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    Thank You so much for your feedback. Im so happy to hear your hard work has also brought you to think of yourself as a survivor. Because, you are! 😃 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  10. anxioussapphire May 10, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    Took me along time but I too am a survivor and no longer a victim, very inspiring post x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. atribeuntangled May 10, 2016 / 2:40 am

    Thank you RisingSong. When I wrote it this morning, I had that stomach churning feeling that it was to vulnerable. Your read and comment means a lot to me. 💜 Alexis

    Like

  12. RisingSong May 10, 2016 / 2:26 am

    This is very well put. For some reason, I find the definitions particularly grounding.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. atribeuntangled May 9, 2016 / 11:33 pm

    Oh Ann thank you for your continued support. Im so glad we have connected. ❤️

    Like

  14. Ann E. Laurie May 9, 2016 / 11:15 pm

    I love this and, in particular, that they couldn’t touch your core. I picked that up in your memoir–your spirit!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. shelleyb552 May 9, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    I really think it helps to have people support us who understand. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. atribeuntangled May 9, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    Thank You so, so much Terry. You always bring a smile to my face when I read your comments. You have a happy Monday too, my Star Trek Next Gen friend! 🙂 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  17. spearfruit May 9, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    A powerful post – yes, you are a survivor and inspiration! Thanks for sharing this post today Alexis! Happy Monday! 🙂

    Like

  18. jacquelineobyikocha May 9, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    You are definitely a survivor my dear and when you started surviving is when you let go of the victim mode. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. atribeuntangled May 9, 2016 / 5:10 pm

    Thank You Emily! I very much appreciate your feedback. Alexis

    Like

  20. atribeuntangled May 9, 2016 / 5:09 pm

    Thank You Shelley! It sure helps having your kind of support! 🙂 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  21. shelleyb552 May 9, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    Good for you! I am glad you set yourself free from your captors who held you hostage through fear all these years. You go girl, you got this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. JACQUELINE S ZEIGLER May 9, 2016 / 1:59 pm

    “They” were smart, but in the end, we were smarter. Torture never wins.

    Liked by 3 people

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