All of us have been there, we realize someone has hurt us and we feel victimized. But what happens when being a victim becomes more important than who we are a person? Is living life in victim mode healthy for us? Or is it a horrid trap?
That’s what I’m going to discuss here today, how living as a victim instead of identifying as a person is a trap and perhaps the worst kind of imprisonment.
Becoming a Victim
I realize that those of us diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder have many reasons to grieve. Not only was our childhood chaotic and harmful, but now we need to live with the effects of that abuse for the rest of our lives. However, sometimes people get stuck in victim mode, thinking themselves forever the victim and not wishing to see themselves as whole human beings.
It is so tempting to sit back and lick our wounds for the rest of our lives expecting others to kowtow at our feet and give us whatever we want. I know because I’ve been there.
Once a Victim Always a Victim?
I don’t know about you, but I do not wish to always be a victim. There is no power or peace in victimhood. You may fit in with a group of folks who are just as stuck as you are, but is that the crowd of powerful people you always wanted to relate to? Or are you just settling for less than you can get?
I have no beef with support groups so long as they are actively supporting one another in healing, not sitting about helping each other feel victimized. If all the members of the group are at the beginning of therapy, this can happen. Without a strong leader, the entire group can get stuck in victim thinking and find it hard to survive.
Growing Up in Therapy
When I entered therapy, I was pretty sick. I had a lot of alters who were all going in different directions and causing enormous amounts of chaos. My life was out of control. So, I began working with my therapist to find ways to help myself stay afloat until healing could happen. Unfortunately, I soon fell into the mindset that I was a forever victim and the world owed me. I was angry at everyone in my family, pissed at the world, and thought they should pay for what I was going through.
Problem with that line of thinking is that the healing and support had to begin on the inside of me, not the outside. All the money given to me in restitution in the world would never have repaired and fixed the terrible hole I had inside.
After several years of struggling, I discovered the hard way that I needed to grow up and stop acting like a little spoiled brat. Because I stuck to my guns of being a forever victim, after I lost my therapist to bankruptcy, I spiraled down until I entered a long-term psychiatric facility where I lived for over seven long years.
I had an enormous amount of growing up to do if I was ever to break free.
Identifying as a Human Being
There finally came the day in my healing, when I was forced to make a choice. I could remain a victim and live out my life sheltered on a psychiatric ward, or I could grow up and leave.
For over seven years I had allowed myself to live inpatient. I had stumped my intellectual development in entered that facility, but I was alive and doing well physically and emotionally. I seemed to fit in with the other residents, but I wanted more.
I wanted to return to college and graduate. I wanted to begin writing again and get published. I wanted my freedom. None of these could I accomplish while I lived inpatient and remained sheltered.
I remember well the very early morning I woke up, sat on the edge of my bed, and decided I wanted to go for it. I said to myself, why not? The worst that can happen is I end right back in the psyche ward again. I needed to get back out into the world to try my wings once again.
I was finally able to see my first therapist again after a fifteen-year hiatus. One of the first questions we delved into together was her asking me if I was ready to become like everyone else.
Being a Multiple Is Not Special
Believe it or not, being a multiple does not make us special. There are tons of people who have far worse conditions, and some who will die. Come on, now. You know in your heart it’s true.
I realize when first diagnosed, we all strutted about feeling superior after the shock had world off. The, “I’m special, look at me,” that we all flaunted made us look like a freak show.
I ate, drank, slept, and dreamed DID and wore an invisible sign on my forehead that read, “VICTIM.”
Is that who we really want to be? Hell, no. I don’t.
Deciding that I was not special because I’m a multiple was a hard one. I wanted desperately to be noticed so badly that I overwhelmed people with information concerning my condition. Any friendships I’d had before diagnosis died because who wants to sit with someone and listen to them brag about their survival of horrendous abuse when they were kids?
I guess the bottom line of this post is this.
Identifying as a victim instead of a person leaves you forever in a position of powerlessness. You will never, ever have healing in yourself if you cannot pull your head out of your butt long enough to realize there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an ordinary person.
In fact, I think ordinary sounds very, very fine.
Try it, you may like it.
“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds. Claim it and consciously use your power.”
― Louise L. Hay