Victims! Follow Your Instincts. And Do Not Let Others Define You!

The message below from Carly is very important for victims of abuse.

Because one thing abusers do very well is that they DEFINE their victims. They cram their victim into a frame they do not fit into. They REPLACE the victim with someone else and then abuse her based on that nonexistent person. If you ever hear an abuser say “well YOU think…YOU’re just trying to…YOU’re just imagining things…you…anything” then they are defining you, blaming you, and projecting onto you.

It’s important not to allow someone else’s like or dislike or disapproval of you to shape who you are in your OWN mind. Only YOU know yourself. Never, EVER let anyone else tell you who you are. Or how you are. Or what you’re thinking. Or what you’re doing. Only YOU know that. YOU define you. Don’t allow anyone else to do it.

It’s ONLY fair for someone to ASK you how you are or what you think or what you’re doing. But it is NEVER acceptable for them to TELL you. YOU tell THEM. This is a good boundary to set in your relationships. It’s OK to tell an abuser that he may NOT tell you how you feel or what you think. That he may only ASK you – because only YOU know. HE doesn’t know — and if he insists that he does, then he is raping your mind, and trying to replace you with a person who doesn’t exist. This gives him an excuse for his abuse – and he’s setting you up for it. Never allow that!
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The last few days have been really healing, really positive.

I’ve learned more about listening to my ‘gut’, following my instincts, and acting in ways that are true to who I am.

In the process of that, for me personally, some lessons have been reinforced:

  • If your gut is telling you something about someone, or some situation, BELIEVE IT.
  • Some people will like you. Some will hate you. Neither defines you.
  • You won’t always be understood. And That’s OKAY. The goal is to keep questioning, keep learning, keep growing until you understand you. Because if you don’t, no one else ever can.
  • What is right for ME isn’t always popular. Popularity should never be the goal.
  • People are not black and white. Dr. Irene posted last year a deeply insightful post about how abusers may not be an abuser to someone they are NOT INTIMATE WITH. That made such sense. If you see someone acting in rude, selfish, self centered ways, that does not mean they aren’t being pleasant and sweet to someone else. Now, whether it’s authentic, who knows, but your perception of how that person interacts with YOU or those you care about is what’s important. Not that person’s relationship to someone else. That’s THEIR journey.
  • Perfection is impossible. The goal is to make less of the same mistakes and to recover from them each time more quickly.
  • People are judgmental. They are going to judge you on what you say and what you don’t say. They are going to judge you on facts AND on conjecture AND on a whole host of things you don’t even know about. Let them judge. Know yourself and let them have their judgment. It doesn’t matter. They’re going to hang onto it regardless of what you do until they no longer want to.
  • No matter how much work you have done in healing, I mean the really hard work, there are still going to be triggers and issues and people and situations to deal with. The sooner you find the lesson, the sooner you can let go of the negative and embrace the positive even in the most cruddy situation.

Ok, that’s all I got. Healing and growing is a two steps forward, one step back proposition. Picture a line graph going up in jagged lines…you grow a little…then there’s a setback in your process. I think it’s because you missed a step and you need to run back to get it! Then you start forward again.

It’s not always fun, but when you’re on the ‘up’, there’s nothing like it for building self esteem, self confidence, and self knowledge. And you remember why you want to keep putting in the effort.

–EscapeArtist/Carly – 20070305

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