Victims and the Lies they Believe
If you are a victim, you likely came from the same type of home I described last week as I talked about the Controller; lots of painful experiences in a chaotic unpredictable environment. Even strict rigid, authoritarian homes are chaotic in their own way. Home where one parent is a dictator is like living in a prison. Lots of rules and you can easily break the rule without meaning to. For a child, hectic, disorganized homes create anxiety but so do highly inflexible severe environments. Kids from both homes are walking on eggshells wondering when the next punishment is coming.
In such a home the feisty kids become the controllers. The more quiet ones try to appease, be good and disappear. Victims learn to tolerate the intolerable. Beliefs are born out of such environments.
- I can’t do anything right. If there are problems, I must have done something wrong.
- I am powerless to change the situation.
- I am worthless and unlovable.
These beliefs don’t go away just because the victim grows up. They are deeply embedded and often keep the victim trapped in intolerable relationships and situations in the present. To a victim, safely seems like impossibility. Addictions are just as likely for the victim because life and relationships are so very painful.
What is the starting point for victims? One must experience safety before one can value it. I was leading a processing group with my prison ladies and about 14 women had a time of deep sharing, crying together, validating one another’s pain and several members offered comfort to others who were distraught. It was a sacred time. I asked the ladies how many of them had ever experienced such a time of sharing, connection and safety. No one had. Can you see how your life might change if you had such a safe place to come every week. They each expressed how it would be a transforming experience.
Many churches have recovery ministries. If you are a victim, this is your starting point. You are worth having a safe place in your life. That safe place will be the beginning of a new life. Little by little you will find you do have value. The more you taste safety and caring the more you will want it. Each woman in our group was empowered by sharing her story. They experienced the power of caring connection. If you are a victim, start today. It may take some effort to find a safe place, but you will blossom and be glad you made the effort.
Here are some truths for the victim.
- You are worthy of a safe place to understand your feelings and find caring and comfort.
- The problems in your childhood home were not your fault. You were the child, not the adult.
- You have wounds from your childhood that need comforting and healing.
- Over time you can gain the strength to end abusive relationships.
- If you’re a parent, your kids deserve the protection you did not receive as a child.
Call a church with a recovery program. Attend a AA group or an Al-Al-Anon group. Ask for a mentor. One step today could change your future.