In which I realize sometimes I’m a survivor and sometimes…


I’m still a victim.

As I have been reading through Feelings, I come across comments about “not thinking like a victim,” and I always think,

“But… what about people who have been victimized?? How on earth can they not see themselves as a victim, when they ARE one??”

This tells me something. I am more victim-minded than I like to think I am. I like to think I am into survivor mode all of the time… as though feeling victimized is wrong when things happen like your daughter being sexually assaulted, your mother-in-law calling you a gold digging whore who is still married to a man that’s not her son or talking with your preteen about your sex life and making sure to force herself on you to ply physical affection from you while she’s drunk, or having a possibly mentally unstable relative (I hope it’s that, over the ignorant bigot possibility) call CPS on you and chance having your children kidnapped by CPS…

I like to think I am past it, that life is mostly good…

But Feelings: Buried Alive, Never Die, is making me acutely aware that I have kept a lot buried.
How do I allow myself to grieve, to acknowledge that my daughter, and to a large but far lesser extent myself, were victimized.. but not “think like a victim?” I honestly have no idea. They seem so wrapped up to me, and impossible to untangle… Taking steps to move out of “victim” can probably only go so far, when one has difficulty seeing the difference between someone being victimized and “being a victim,” I supposed.

But then, as I am reading Changing Lenses, I don’t feel complacent in this place… but freed to move forward at my own pace. It’s okay to be exactly where we are at, right this moment, and use this moment to teach us how to get to the next one, a slightly better one… even though beautiful growth usually means a seed husk shattering to bring about flowers, or a caterpillar gets crammed and smashed and disappears altogether to develop to the butterfly.

This has been ticking away at me for more than 24 hours. I actually can look back and see that it started ticking away at me anew a few weeks ago, when Daryl said he could drop me off at a coffeehouse to study while he took the kids grocery shopping. He had offered this a couple of times, saying he would come and pick me up whenever I was ready. Daryl is a wonderful, loyal man. I have no reason to believe otherwise. It was a loving offer to give me study time while also doing the grocery shopping… he’s a gem, truly.
But, every time he has offered this, I am immediately enraged. I knew it wasn’t rational, and yet, it was there. Despite knowing I had no reason to be upset with his offer, I was stubborn and refused to discuss it anymore. Of course, scoffing some weird thing about, “you’re not my dad” to shut him off from continuing the discussion. It was seriously jacked up and not in my normal character.

Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know why this happened, but I knew I wanted to shut the conversation quickly and to not pry further into what was going on. But I knew I needed to, and as Daryl stood in disbelief that I was upset again, I completely zoned out from him and started pondering what was causing me to be so angry with him – for no reason of his own.

What I knew, as soon as I thought it, was sickening. I asked God to show me what was causing this, that even if it took months, to take me back to it’s roots. I immediately envisioned Doctor Horrible dropping Melody and I off at various places, farther from home than safe walking distance. He would tell us he would get us when I called, but then when I called, he would tell me I needed to find a ride or, making us sometimes wait an hour or more in sweltering midwestern heat for him to randomly show up… often tipsy or high.
I asked for Daryl’s forgiveness, and he fully granted it.
I am telling you this because…. I actually started feeling guilty then, knowing that I was letting Doctor Horrible effect me still, even in something so small and petty as a car ride. I still have many things that I feel like a victim in. I feel helpless when I see things from Horrible still effecting me – when will his influence in my life ever end?

(I have since figured out why I referenced “dad” in this upset, but that’s for my journal. I don’t tell everything here!)

So… now is a phase in my life where I want and need to find out… how can I recognize and honor victimization of someone (including myself), without “victim mentality?” I need and want to find out… is that even a bad thing? Why do I feel a rush to not be “a victim” – is it for myself to not have to “deal”… for others so they aren’t uncomfortable… or perhaps a little bit of both? Am I confusing grieving with “thinking like a victim?” Is moving from victim to survivor simply the ability to know you are in control even when someone tries to take it from you, and you are effected?

Somehow, after reading Changing Lenses, I feel safe to let me be me in this… to ask these questions and let myself work this out with God’s divine guidance and Truth. Rather than trying to be “evolved” into Survivor because “x-amount of time of time is too long to be devastated that your child was molested and the world is never safe again,” and stuffing “Victim” away because it is too difficult for everyone (including me), and there’s so much effort to Push Victoriously Into SURVIVOR!…
I don’t want to need to know which label I fall under, as long as I fall in surrender to His plan and love for me.

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