This is all about wether or not one is a victim or not. Being a victim – that’s a lable we, or someone else, put on us. We can choose not to be a victim, but before we can make that choice, there’s a whole shitload of mental and emotional work that needs to be done. For people like us, having been subject to narcissistic abuse, the work is substantial, extremely difficult, and takes enormous amounts of time.
I have been a victim for as long as I can remember. I’ve been a victim to my mother’s emotional abuse. I’ve been a victim because that’s what I learned being a woman is all about. I’ve been a victim because I also learned that women needs to be taken care of. One might say that victimhood has been carved into my soul.
But what does it mean to be a victim?
To me, it means being powerless. Pretty much exclusively. Being without the power to steer and/or control your own life, what is happening to you in your own life, that is being a victim. According to several dictionaries (I looked at Oxford and Cambridge), the word victim is described pretty much the same;
a person who has been attacked, injured or killed as the result of a crime, a disease, an accident
It’s a little bit narrow, this explaination, but it gives a larger sort of context. In the context of narcissistic abuse, however, I feel it is way too narrow. In our context, being a victim means suffering longterm effects of longterm emotional abuse. And, like we all know, these longterm effects can be extremely overwhelming.
Now, I’d like to briefly discuss the two sides of victimhood that I see. The first, our own perception of ourselves as being victims, the other one being other people seeing us as victims.
While being in a relation with a narcissist, regardless of what the relation looks like, we are of course victims. Once we’re trapped in their net, we are victims of an abuse which is very, very difficult to get out of. For those of us growing up with a narcissistic parent, the victimhood is even more pronounced and heavy, since we can’t get out of it at all until we’re grown up and have the choice to leave if we want to. And even then, we’re still related to and associated with that person, wether we like it or not.
But, the important thing here is that we are victims only for as long as we see ourselves as victims. It’s all inside our heads – really. It may sound harsch, but it’s true. It can take a very, very long time to get to that point where you realize, understand and accept that what I’m saying is true. Heck, it’s taken me 25 years to get here. Hopefully, you’ll be quicker on the uptake.
Because let’s face it. While there is a time to be a victim, before you have survived and recovered enough to drop the victim role, there is also a time to drop it. Being a victim when you don’t have to is extremely unsexy. Look at any covert narcissist and see the truth in that.
The other part is when other people see us victims. There’s a time for that as well, but in the long run it’s quite unhealthy. It keeps us in a vulnerable state and very effectively hinders us from moving forward. I live in Sweden, and this feeling-sorry-for-people-for-whatever-reason is built into our genes. Once we’re a victim, we are pretty much forced to stay that way. It’s an either/or situation which I find extremely annoying.
And on a personal note; through the years, I’ve found that I have friends and acquaintances that see me as something completely different than how I’ve seen myself (as a victim). Really, you have no idea how strange and somewhat refreshing it is to be seen as something else than what occupies your entire being behind closed doors.
Let’s agree on the fact that once we’re done being the victim, we really should stop.
But how do we do that? I mean, really. It’s no easy task, that’s for sure.
The most obvious answer is – by resuming the power of ourselves and our lives. If you have managed to get rid of your narcissist, you’ve taken the most important step. There is quite the journey ahead of you, but at least you are in your own life again, with the possibility to make your own choices.
When I was younger, starting in my teens, really, my dad used to tell me about concepts like responsibility, and especially the one that I never understood – “it’s your life”. Now that I’m older I finally understand these things. I wish I’d had a normal childhood so I could’ve learned them naturally, but I didn’t. The good thing with it is that I get to take more and stronger pleasure in learning and doing these things as an adult.
All this is extremely important – and something I’ll be talking about on the Youtube channel later on. I’ll explain why it’s been so difficult for me, and the complexity behind some of the things I didn’t learn – and how these things has gradually changed, and why.
If you haven’t already, I suggest you start taking a look at your own chunk of yarn and try to find an end where you can start untangling. This whole thing is the most complicated shit I have ever encountered in my entire life. It’s taken me many, many years to reach the conclusions that I have, and I’m far from done.
What I can tell you is that once you manage to get a little distance, it is extremely interesting. Knowing yourself on this level is one of the sexiest things I know, and I wish more people would be interested in getting to know themselves like this.
Because you know what? The more you know about yourself, the more good choices are available, and you get a whole shitload of more power over yourself and your life. This amount of self-insight is something I strongly believe “normal” people lack, because they never had reason to find out. And this, my dear, is one the plus side on our part. Regardless of how much it cost us, this is our win.
It is, however, a lot of work. It’s all in our heads. It’s a shift that needs to happen, and until it does we’ll just remain powerless victims of someone else’s pleasure. I can’t do that work for you, and the shift needs to happen inside your own head, for your own reasons and your own conclusions. If it hasn’t happened yet, I hope it does sometime soon.