Chains of Victimization
Over the past few months, I’ve blogged about relationships, both healthy and unhealthy, and on being a victim of abuse. Victimization itself is a fine line. On one hand, victims of abuse must acknowledge that they were indeed victims; i.e. what happened to them was not their fault, not their shame.
On the other hand, victims of abuse must be very careful not to internalize victimization; i.e. make it part of one’s identity, as in “I am a victim of abuse.”
See what I mean by a fine line?
Victimization is something that was done to you, it is not who you are, and we must never lose sight of this very fine, but important, line. Acknowledging victimization by another person can be paramount in healing oneself, knowing that what happened to you was not your fault. You did not choose to be assaulted, deceived, abandoned, etc. These actions were, for the most part (if not completely), beyond your control. However, moving forward is very much within your control, especially as you get further along in the grieving process. Because, as I learned from Tony Robbins when I was all of 25, if you are not in control of your life, then who is?
Don’t allow your abuser to continue the abuse by proxy. Take control. Find your power and take it back. When the images resurface, and they will, let them go. And then let them go again.
For me, the most disturbing images come back right before I go to sleep every night and then just a few moments after I awake each morning. The memories. The what-ifs. The self-blame. The what could’ve been. The fear of the future.
At first, when these would come at night, I had no defense. The images and memories would run their course until I said, “No.” Reset. Repeat. I tried to think of something else, but the next thing I knew I was playing through it again, and I’d say, “No!” Reset. Repeat. Ad nauseam.
Then I discovered that I needed to have a plan, something to occupy my mind while I relaxed enough to fall asleep. Something that would actively keep my mind busy and keep the offensive and painful memories at bay. That’s when I started drawing the room. Sounds silly, but it works. I draw a picture of the room in my head, every angle and plane. Every picture. Every trinket on every surface. I remember the room until I sleep.
As for the mornings, not even a cup of coffee can get me going faster than wanting to avoid another round of “what could’ve been.” A few moments after I wake, there they are. Getting up and getting on with the day–making coffee, checking email, writing, working, walking, reading, whatever–keeps them away most of the day. If they sneak in, they never stay for long anymore.
In the immortal words of the Eagles:
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.
You cannot rush yourself through the grieving process, but just ensure you aren’t lingering there either. There will be relapses, no doubt. Sometimes for years, but once it’s over, find your power again. Then find your power again. Then, find your power again.
As a dear friend told me: “Be present and open to love and goodness. Let the rest fall away.” By holding onto pain and past hurts makes you miss out on the goodness and love of today.
These songs help:
- F. O. D. – Green Day
- Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects
- Narcissus – Alanis Morrisette
- I Want You To Know – Alanis Morrisette
- Already Gone – Eagles
- Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady – Helen Reddy
- I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor (or Cake’s awesome remake)
- Now That It’s Over – Everclear
- Irreplaceable – Beyonce
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~ by omgrey on May 25, 2011.
Posted in Romance & Relationships, Trauma & Recovery
Tags: abuse, author, broken heart, healing, heartbroken, infidelity, love, o.m. grey, olivia grey, postaweek2011, relationship advice, relationships, romance, shattered, victim