Stepping out of Victim Mentality by Understanding What It Is

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EFB Carla SunsetVictim mentality is the wish, hope and belief that by accepting nasty behavior and even covering up or excusing nasty behavior, that love will be the end result. I can’t think of one time that compliance led to love. Not even once.

As a Victim I believed that my love could heal others.

I believed that if I could prove to them that they were lovable, that they would love me back. And I put a lot of effort into proving that they were worthy of love. I cooked, I cleaned and I complied. I was quiet and polite or I was funny and bright; I kept the secret, I didn’t ‘bring shame on them’, I turned a blind eye. I accepted what they dished out as it was the normal that they taught me. I thought that was love. I thought that my love was ‘unconditional’.

I tried to ‘earn’ love.

I tried to prove my worth so that I would BE loved.

I didn’t really understand love.

As a victim I believed that if I was compliant, and if I did what they seemed to require from me that I would be appreciated. But the rules always changed. Instead of realizing that their rules always changed, I thought I was stupid.

I believed that if I jumped through their hoops and proved that I was ‘trying’ to be who they wanted me to be, that they would SEE me as worthy. Nobody ever saw me…

they only pointed out what was lacking in me so I tried harder. My trying harder is what made them feel worthy. They had love mixed up with worth and therefore so did I.

But I thought it was me; they told me it was me. Victim mentality believes that when WE are who they want, then we will be loved. Victim mentality believes that it is always up to us to make the changes.

I thought that unconditional love meant that I should put up with the ways that I was regarded and disregarded. I thought that would “prove” that I loved them. (and then I would be loved.)

I didn’t really understand what love was. I only knew what I had been taught about love. I had been taught that love was compliance, obedience, and a false understanding of ‘respect’.

And one day I realized that the way I had been taught love was wrong and that ‘they’ didn’t love me the way they taught me what love was.

Love was all about them. I was the only one working to prove love. I was trying so hard to prove my worth to them (so that I would BE loved) that I didn’t realize that they didn’t follow the very rules that they taught me about love.

Victim Mentality believes that compliance and obedience will result in love.

I can’t think of one time when it worked that way. The harder I tried, the more they asked me to try harder. Because it was my jumping and my trying that made them feel worthy. They have power mixed up with worth. And because this is not how anyone is defined as worthy, they had to make me jump higher and higher. They are afraid that if they ever tell me that I am good enough, I might stop looking at my defects and then see theirs.

I stepped away from victim mentality in order to look at the truth about love and I saw myself for the first time. I saw myself down on my knees, groveling on the floor, begging for any scrap they would throw my way, begging for a love that didn’t exist. I saw myself as a woman who had given her life, and disregarded her own feelings and needs (as I had been taught to do) in order to be loved by people who treated her badly. I saw that as long as they kept me looking at me as the one who was lacking, I wouldn’t notice them and all that they were lacking.

I began to realize that love doesn’t do what they did to me. Love doesn’t define the one ‘loved’ as a servant. Love does not reject the one loved if they have thoughts, feelings or desires that don’t match the ideas, feelings or desires of the “lover”. Love doesn’t shut one person down. Love does not build one person up at the expense of another.

And love doesn’t accept that kind of treatment because it isn’t related to love. Love doesn’t accept unacceptable treatment because acceptance empowers the abusive controlling person.

And as I realized my own victim mentality, I saw my fear of their rejection. As I began to see the truth about the fear of rejection a deeper truth emerged; the deeper truth is that I was afraid of something that had already happened. Being disregarded as an equally valuable human being IS rejection. It was through finally understanding that truth, that I was able to see things more clearly and draw self-supporting and self-valuing boundaries.

And I exchanged my victim mentality for the truth.

I stepped out of the darkness and embraced the light.

I traded my shackles for life giving freedom.

I am not on the floor begging for scraps anymore from people who don’t want to know what love is;

I am dancing in the sunlight, laughing in the rain with my arms spread wide giving and receiving real love.

Please share your thoughts about victim mentality or how you learned (or are learning) that love doesn’t hurt, own, dictate or objectify.

Exposing Truth, one snapshot at a time,

Darlene Ouimet

The inspiration for this post comes from my book “Emerging from Broken ~ The beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” available on the upper right side bar here in the website.

174 response to "Stepping out of Victim Mentality by Understanding What It Is"

  1. By: S1988 Posted: 30th January 2015

    @Be Happy

    Though I can’t confirm it since I didn’t exist when my brother was a kid, I wouldn’t be surprised if my mother used him as a husband substitute (and probably still does even though he lives in a different state.)

    I also have an older sister, who I get along with a bit better than my brother, but I’m not very close with since she is like a younger version of our mother. They talk on the phone every night. (Which bothers me sometimes when I’m trying to sleep.) They’re practically best gal pals, which I find a bit disturbing since as far as I know, my mother has been living in the same town for almost 17 years and doesn’t have any close non-relative friends. She has acquaintances at the church she goes to, but doesn’t associate with them outside of church-related events.

    I hope to limit contact with my family again, and I wish for your husband to gather the courage to stand up to his parents one day.

  2. By: :)BeHappy Posted: 30th January 2015

    Michelle I learned from my research that parents like your mother and my husband’s mother will always try to pull their children back into their dysfunction at every opportunity and the child must always and forever be aware of that and learn to keep a distance. They won’t change, especially at that age.

  3. By: Michelle Posted: 30th January 2015

    To: Be Happy
    My mother treated me just like your husband’s parents treated him. I read your comments and it blew me away.
    My mother hated my husband and made our teen years together so stressful. He is a wonderful man and I can imagine my life without him. We have been together for about 30 years. He has always been supportive.
    This morning I thought back to the day I was in the police station, all the turmoil I went thru as a 16 year old girl. And my mother’s reaction. She never consoled me, cried for me, loved me, supported me. Her main concern was getting a lawyer for the a**hole. Really? She never showed any anger or disgust towards him…and why?? Because she new what was going on. And then she insisted on family counseling with the a**hole any professional in their right mind should not have participated but she found one. Her whole focus was keeping him around. Needless to say he divorced her a year later.

    When I was 42 I decided to go to therapy. My therapist was wonderful, she cared about me and showed me the little girl that got hurt. I never allowed myself to see ME like that. It changed my perspective so much. I was scared to death to go to therapy but at the time I was having such panic attacks and just crying so much I new I had to do it. I am so glad I did.

    I have shocked my mother since my therapy sessions she still tries the guilt and control but I don’t feed into it. I have a great support team with my family. My husband and grown children show me natural, unconditional love.

    I hope the best for you and your husband. Stay strong!

  4. By: :)BeHappy Posted: 29th January 2015

    Also what I have learned about mothers who are overly close and clingy to their sons is that they are usually in very unhappy marriages/relationships with their partner. The woman turns to the child to fulfill her needs and treats her son as more of a partner than a child. It is an unhealthy relationship that causes permanent dysfunction in the child. Actually many parents will utilize their children to fuel their own mental illness. I noticed that my husband’s mother and father have zero interaction and they appear almost like they can’t stand each other. There is definitely no love there and in fact I feel a lot of resentment between the two of them and I can understand why. They are both just pathetic. I can see how my husband’s mother is almost infatuated with my husband and she cannot let go and must always tell him what to do every day. It’s clear that she has leaned on my husband since he was a young child to be what her husband isn’t.

  5. By: :)BeHappy Posted: 29th January 2015

    There are literally thousands and thousands of cases of grandmothers allowing their second, third, fourth etc. husbands/boyfriends/partners molest their grandchildren. It is not that uncommon. Some types of pedophiles grow more aggressive and desperate for molesting children as they age and finding an older desperate and lonely divorcee or widow with lots of access to grandchildren is a jackpot and quite easy to find. I have seen many cases of it. In fact in Minnesota there was a case of a grandmother who was actually dating a priest who was being held at a special facility for pedophile priests. The priest was forbidden from being around children yet this grandmother was so infatuated with him and she was so lonely that she let him be around all of her grandchildren. The saddest part of all was that even after the facility contacted the grandmother and told her that the priest was not allowed to be around children and could not marry her she still refused to listen to them until the State actually had to step in and place an order on the priest to keep him away from the grandmother and her children. These types of women are everywhere and there are mothers who would do the same thing and allow a known sex offender around her children. Just recently in WI a mother allowed a known sex offender to babysit her 11 month old and he raped and killed the child. Those women should go to prison along with the offender.

  6. By: S1988 Posted: 29th January 2015

    Besides not being married, I also plan to remain childless. This is the 100% way to protect my hypothetical progeny. I think that having children would make things worse. My family would assume since he/she is a relative, that they are entitled to see and spend time with the child. I’ve read stories of how toxic grandparents would use shrewd tactics in attempt to see the grandchildren or turn the kids against their parents. That’s way too scary for me to handle! Fortunately, that’s one I would never have to worry about.

  7. By: S1988 Posted: 29th January 2015

    @:)BeHappy

    I’m sorry to hear that about your husband, especially since he’s middle-aged. Going on 27, I struggle somewhat with assertiveness as a result of my punitive, hypocritical upbringing.

    I was usually punished or scolded when I expressed anger towards my mother as child, but was expected to stand up to bullies. I was easy prey as a result, and was blamed or chided for not standing up for myself. I was also raised (or indoctrinated) on how there are evil men lurking at every corner and to avoid ending up with one, even though all the physical abuse I suffered was from other females including my mother.

    If I didn’t do any soul-searching connecting my past to how it shaped me into the adult I am now, I probably would’ve ended up with an abusive husband anyway if I chose to marry. (I plan to remain single for life, not for this reason, but it seems less of a hassle than being married to me.) In other words, I would have “married my mother”. I wonder how she would react if I were to marry a male version of her. I’m not sure whether she would defend me or be proud that someone would keep a “difficult daughter” like me in line.

    She hates my father who was abusive to her and my older brother (There is an 18-year gap between us, so I never met my brother when he was a child.) Yet, my brother doesn’t seem much different than our father. (He insults his wife and bullies his sons, and his wife sometimes participates too and makes excuses for him, so I don’t feel sorry for her at all.) Yet, he’s the golden boy of the family. He seems to be the only man she doesn’t hate. Sometimes I wonder if they weren’t mother and son, they would marry.

    I hope to become more confident, and not feel guilty when I’m angry or when I say no. It’s kind of difficult to do especially when I’m living in the same dwelling. (I’m hoping to leave soon.) I moved back in after a four-year hiatus and financial hardship, and found myself reverting back into my spineless little girl role. In my head, I know that I can’t be punished for being an adult, yet my heart is still figuring this out. I have a life-long journey of recovery ahead.

  8. By: :)BeHappy Posted: 29th January 2015

    A mother who knowingly allows a known child molester/pedophile around their child is seriously mentally ill, and I mean seriously. It is child abuse/neglect to do so and the child should be removed from the mother immediately as she is a serious danger to her child.

    And guilt and control is right. Mentally ill parents use guilt and shame to control their children. My husband’s parents did that to him for his entire life but in a somewhat nicer way. They were always telling him what to do and how to do it to the point that he is like their little zombie robot and they hold the remote control even at 43 years old he deathly afraid to disobey them. He cannot even think or behave without their advice. To this day they give him bad advice because they want him to fail so that they look and feel superior. They have always in so many words told him that he was nothing without them and that he was incapable of making any sound decisions unless they told him to. They pounded it into his head for his entire life that he will never be better off with anyone except for them and they made his entire world revolve around them always abusing and ostracizing any girlfriend that he ever had. They even make his birthday about them and if he doesn’t invite them over to his house for his birthday they will not give him anything. It is part of their extreme need to make themselves the center of their children’s lives and to make them feel better at the expense of their children. If they aren’t the center of their grown adult children’s lives they will somehow make sure that they are. It is common for mentally ill adults to utilize their children to fill their own internal emptiness. Narcissists do it every day.

    And that “victim mentality” is nothing but a harmful term that some idiot (probably a pedophile) invented to shut up victims. I don’t believe in what they refer to as “victim mentality” because no one has any right whatsoever to tell a victim how they should think or feel. The people who tell a victim that they have “victim mentality” should be punished because when they say that a victim almost automatically blames themselves AGAIN. Self blame and shame is a huge problem for the healing of victims and telling them that their “victim mentality” is their fault is more shaming and blaming the victim. I aim to abolish that harmful and damaging label of “victim mentality”. That is a naughty word in my house.

  9. By: Michelle Posted: 29th January 2015

    It took me along time but I finally set boundries with my Mother. After so many years (I am now 47) of being treated like a child, belittling me, and just not satisfied with me as a whole I can tell her no. Everything I did was wrong from the time I wa a toddler until today. Not good enough grades, not good enough job, not good enough husband, and I was a lousy mother. After a rather large blow up last year where she started the same attitude against my daughter I told her that was enough. I didn’t talk to her for a month, she finally called me to see if we should talk (she didn’t like not being in control) I confronted her about several things in our “talk” that she was not happy about. She told me I was lying about her knowing about the abuse I was subjected to by a relative. She knew the whole time and did nothing to protect me. She let the relative back in the house after police charged them. WHAT MOTHER IN THEIR RIGHT MIND DOES THAT???!!!
    Well she moved far away from me. She moved away from all her children. We talk on the phone, she wants me to come see her. And still the control continues. I will not commit to traveling and I here about my other siblings from her, how messed up they are. Then I hear from her “What did I do wrong” and she starts crying. Guilt and control. Guilt and control. Needless to say I don’t call her very often and I have no plans to travel. I definately can relate to the “Victim Mentality” I was there for so many years and I am still somewhat there still today. I have to say I am so much stonger today than I ever have been in my life. Even my husband commented just a few weeks ago how proud he was in me 🙂

  10. By: Tracy Posted: 11th January 2015

    Today I am feeling more hopeful. I cried and cried a lot yesterday. Today is a new day. I realized that my coping strategies (thanks to your book) are doing the same thing to me as my father’s emotional unavailability did. Removing me from my core self. Invalidating me. Separating me from myself. Allowing me to get out of touch with me. Enabling me to look outside (to people) for validation.

    My focus for today , because I can only focus one day, one hour , or minute at a time, is to return to myself for love.

    THANK YOU D.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th January 2015

      Hi Tracy!
      I am thrilled to read your comments today! And thank you for commenting about the impact my book is having on you!
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Tracy Posted: 9th January 2015

    Darlene
    I am readjng the Chapter on Coping a methods in your book.
    My father didnt give me what I needed emotionally. He gave me instead self doubt and invalidation. He was emotionally and verbally abusive to my mother, sister and I .
    He is narcissistic.
    I married in to a family whose matriarch, my mother in law, is much like my father.
    My experiences with her and her supporters(her whole family including my bro and sister in law) totally re traumatized me. I have not seen or communicated with her or them in 8 years. She doesn’t know her grandsons. She gets 2 cards a year from her son, my husband(which is another problematic issue for me-) My coping methods( including every time I see my parents) have included self deprication, ( it must be me!) , drinking, having an emotional affair because my husband only 1 time stood up to her on my behalf in over 10 years…. (I felt invalidated, dismissed….)…my symptoms bc of all this have been physical illness, depression, anxiety, mood swings, over eating….

    I am a highly sensitive person and that trait has been used against me my whole life.
    (It must be me!)

    I appreciate this chapter an book so much.
    It feels gratifying to know Im not alone.

    I do not want to be a victim anymore. Im working on it– but each time i see my parents i reopen the pain both physically and mentally. I havent gone no contact – since im already that way with my inlaws.

    Im so disappointed in how all.of this has transpired.

  12. By: Elise Posted: 5th January 2015

    This hits home, both for myself and my family members who are still enmeshed. I see where I thought this way, until I stepped back and had to process the family dynamic from the perspective of scapegoat. Compliance is not love, being rewarded by a bully for doing their bidding is not being loved. As a victim, you want to keep trying to find a way for the situation to work out, and it never does. The victim can never rest, they remain ever vigilent to keeping the abuser content.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th January 2015

      Hi Elise
      This is true until the boundary is enforced. I found my rest when I decided that it was either equal value or nothing. They chose nothing… that sucked and it hurt but I found my rest. Life is really great now and I am not exhausted anymore.
      Thanks for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  13. By: :)BeHappy Posted: 3rd January 2015

    Amber, I personally feel that this is one of the biggest hurdles for victims…the self blame. Who else are we to blame when our entire society consistently says things like “you are an adult now and you can change” or “put on your big girl panties” or “take charge of your life” or “blaming is unhealthy” or “you have victim mentality?”

    What commenced my healing was recognition and acknowledgement that it wasn’t my fault. At first I did blame my parents, because realistically it is their fault. Poor parenting is the number one cause of mental health afflictions, disorders, and dysfunctions and parenting style is almost always passed on to the next generations.

    Once I saw through the fog and learned about what I was dealing with I realized that every parent alive makes mistakes to some degree that permanently harms their child’s psyche, hence their future health and happiness. Children’s brains, personalities, and mental health is growing, changing, and learning until they are 27 years old and those responsible for the formation of those precious minds and personalities are their parent(s)/caregivers. The inherent belief that we should “always respect your parents” is extremely harmful and counterproductive, yet that ideal thrives in every one of us. I find it so disconcerting how children are told constantly to respect their parents at the same time being told that “respect must be earned.” How confusing that must be for abused and neglected children.

    I refer to this terrible phenomenon as “parental arrogance” because all parents think that they are perfect parents, when realistically none of them are. They are all living in delusion while they are usually ruining their own child’s entire future. Once when I was a teenager my mother took me to a psychiatrist who explained that my behavior issues were her fault and of course she denied it and never took me back. Parents who take their “naughty” child to a therapist will lash back or get angry if they are held responsible in any way, which is why doctors so often drug children. Children are drugged at epidemic levels in this Country simply to pacify the parents, not to help the child. The child is sent back into the harmful environment that caused the behavior issues in the first place but they are simply drugged into accepting it without acting out.

    Now abusive and neglectful parents are using “autism” or “aspergers” as excuses for their child having behavioral or even intelligence issues. Many parents have no idea that they are permanently harming their child and that is because society is so afraid to question someone’s parenting. Take notice of how parents react to criticism about their parenting. Their reaction is always automatically and instinctively extremely defensive, illogical, and even scary. It’s nearly impossible for doctors or psychiatrists to do anything about it because the parent will simply not return or they will ruin a psychiatrist’s reputation and career with slander and defamation. Humbleness is completely absent from the mind’s of all parents and when questioned they will scream that they have the right to raise their child how they wish without any interference. A parent can actually kill their own child and legally go on and have another one. Parents convicted of horrific abuse are allowed to have more children. A recent study clearly indicated that people react more harshly to animal abuse than they do to child abuse/neglect.

    I see all the time parents who are estranged from their children and they all blame the child and they never look at their own responsibility. They make their child out to be at fault and they actually defame and slander their own child in order to hide their own responsibility for the estrangement. It is extremely rare when a parent admits to failure or mistakes with regards to their parenting. I once tried to talk some sense into a group of estranged parents and they were appalled and infuriated to think that they had any responsibility at all for it. It takes extreme strength and courage to point out and stand up to the dysfunction(s) in your family and the person who does that will almost always be condemned and ostracized by the parents. Those strong individuals are usually considered the “black sheep” because they can’t and won’t go along with the dysfunction in their family that is controlled by the matriarch or patriarch.

    Our entire way of thinking about family and parents needs to change dramatically before anything will get better. Mothers and grandmothers are allowed to look away and ignore a pedophile molesting their children so that they can have money, companionship, or security. They are never ever prosecuted for knowingly allowing someone to abuse their children and in fact they aren’t even reprimanded or scolded. Look at Dottie Sandusky who adopted children for her husband to molest. She heard the screams and knew what was going on for decades and she did nothing about. That’s conspiracy yet it is completely ignored and everyone, including the legal system, is too scared to hold her accountable in any way. This “precious mother” syndrome has to stop because mothers are the culprits. They need to be punished for permanently harming their children and until that happens they will continue to commit crimes against their own children.

  14. By: :)BeHappy Posted: 3rd January 2015

    Yes I noticed that right away Darlene. I was shocked to see “victim mentality” described how you described it and I wish that it wasn’t already ruined by those using it as a tool to shut up victims rather than to help them. The way that you described victim mentality isn’t harmful to victims but the term is already tarnished. Our society loves to ignore, punish, alienate, blame, and further victimize victims. It has almost become habit. I notice that many are using this term now and not in a good way. “Victim mentality” is permanently clouded with derogatory thinking about victims and unfortunately changing an entire society’s perceptions is nearly impossible. While I wish that your words could change society’s perception about victim mentality, I know that once these ideals take off it is difficult to change. Thank you for trying though. You are a gift to this world.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd January 2015

      BeHappy
      My goal is really only to change the way victims see themselves. That is where the real change in the world will come from. 🙂
      When people see themselves as the beautiful and wonderful people we actually are, being defined by others will no longer have the same power. When the ones who are ‘unloved’ realized what love actually is, they will stop being defined as ‘unlovable’ and take their love and their lives back. It will and it is happening, one person at a time!
      hugs! Darlene

  15. By: Amber Posted: 3rd January 2015

    I think the hardest part of ” rejection” for me was always believing that it was my fault. The truth is a novel concept for me. Maybe I was/ am being rejected due to some fault in THEM! In all the years I never considered this possibility. I just automatically accepted that if someone didn’t like me, then I was to blame for it. And then the try harder and compliance dance began and went on and on. Thanks once again for Emerging From Broken, Darlene. You cut right to the truth and this has lead me many times to exploring things I never would have. Rejection doesn’t hurt as much when I don’t automatically take the blame. It doesn’t hurt as much when I realize that some people are just plain nasty and that is their problem. It doesn’t hurt as much when I realize Zi can stop doing their compliance/ try harder dance and walk away. I see I have choices now. I see I can be okay without certain people in my life. Best of all, I can see that I am not diminished because someone else decided to reject me.

  16. By: :)BeHappy Posted: 3rd January 2015

    “Victim mentality” has become a harmful burden and it isn’t because of the victim, it is because of society. How you describe “victim mentality” is not at all how most people see it. I have heard from psychiatrists, victims, and everyone in between, that “victim mentality” is considered a negative and weak trait of victims. I have constantly heard in the last decade negative comments such as “you/they shouldn’t have victim mentality” or “you/they just have victim mentality”. Society now uses this term as another way to silence victims. Victim Mentality is used in a derogatory and counterproductive way to condemn a victim who is complaining. Society sees “victim mentality” as bad behavior of victims and this causes them to overlook the offense. Society now considers “victim mentality” a problem with victims and they use it to cover up and ignore the crimes. Most people align “victim mentality” with whining and complaining and often times the victim is told to “stop blaming” and change themselves because they have “victim mentality”. I have heard so many people use “victim mentality” in such a derogatory tone that I don’t recommend anyone fueling the use of this damaging label. I wish that “victim mentality” was erased from the minds of everyone because it has become extremely harmful and counterproductive. Victims don’t want to be told that they have “victim mentality” but they are told that every day now. “Victim mentality” has become as overused, abused, and misused as much as “racism”. It has now become and excuse and and a tool.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd January 2015

      Hi BeHappy!
      When I wrote this post I realized after I published it that the title could have been a little bit more clear in order to get people to read it. I wrote it specifically because of what you are expressing here. The phrase is NOT at all how it is being used against people today. As you point out, it is being used to silence and shame. The phrase is another tool used against the victims themselves so that they dare not move forward into healing. I wrote this post with the hope of expressing the TRUTH about that whole thing. Thank you for sharing. I love your comments here.
      hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Marie Posted: 3rd January 2015

    Wow! This article was right on! I separated from my husband six months ago. And I quote from him “as long as you do things my way, there won’t be any problems”. It became a problem! There was harassment, anger, control. I felt intimidated, dis regarded, taken advantage of. My main feelings of him were not love, but rather, wanted his approval/acceptance. As time went on, I felt worthless, not love able, I was the problem in the relationship. I was the problem because he told me I’m the one with the problems, need to get my head screwed on the right way, I need help. I sought counseling and he decided I wasn’t going anymore, why? I told her he demanded me to touch a sharpened blade. I was scared enough I needed to let her know, she had to report it to family services, a detective did a follow up call and the husband went out of control he said I’m done seeing her, she’s a (called her swear names)..that turned my respect towards him to a minimum. He refers to women as fat beaches. He needs to control every inch of me or he flips out…this whole moving out is difficult due to we have two kids. Why I feel bad about what it’s doing to the kids, I don’t miss him or his ways. He is acting out in hasty measures, he loves money more than me. Too bad for him. Being away from him is better than I thought. While he tries to guilt trip me, I don’t take it that way. Unfortunately the fear is still there along with intimidation but I am working my way through it with a great counselor. I would advise anyone going through abuse, to know it isn’t you that created it, it’s the abuser initiating it to make you feel anything less than important. It’s a cover up for their insecurities and deep unresolved issues.
    I felt like he ripped my heart out of my chest like a lion and dangles it in front of me as bait…erase that mentality and open your eyes to the truth. You are love able and there are people out there who are decent respectful and down right good!

  18. By: Julie Posted: 28th December 2014

    When I read the Oct 31st writing on stepping out of victim mentality by understanding what it is, it was exactly how I used to believe and I lived that way for many years. I have been healed of these lies I believed and now I know I am lovable and worthy of being treated with respect. No, being treated as described is not love. I now understand what love is and is not. I go forward into healthy relationships.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th December 2014

      Hi Julie
      Welcome to EFB ~ YAY for understanding, freedom and going forward in healthy relationships!
      So gad you are here!
      hugs, Darlene

  19. By: DXS Posted: 22nd December 2014

    I shouldn’t keep harping on what happen to me in the past but I still do and just don’t find it fair how others can simply have a life, enjoy life, have a social life, etc while I am still fighting for freedom.

    “quit living in the past” Marquis, that is what I get. To me, there is a difference between living in the past and unresolved issues. To me, it’s unresolved issues is why I keep harping on it.

  20. By: Coral Posted: 22nd December 2014

    Well, I survived another family holiday. What a nightmare! My mother-in-law verbally attacked my husband, my daughter, my granddaughter and tried it on me. I chose not to respond. My husband left and went home. Her attempt to apologize didn’t work with me. I simply told her that respect goes a long way. She told me that when she sees something she just has to let them know when they are doing wrong. I replied with, “It seems to me that you need to put God back on the throne since your name isn’t mention in the bible as our Lord and Savior was and is doing just fine. What you are doing is ripping your family apart. Shame on you.” I calmly felt even though my knees were shaking. I walked home and told my husband I was very proud of him and we cried together. I then called my daughter and granddaughter and told them I was proud of them. I was amazed at the amount of strength I had. It felt awesome. I knew I was free. Without this web site, that may have never happened. Thanks, Darlene and to everyone who has posted. I love you for being honest. I saw me in so many posts. Coral.

  21. By: Jennifer Posted: 21st December 2014

    I sit here everyday and have the thoughts you have written about. I can understand intellectually, but it is so hard to change my outlook after so long. Until the last two years I had never really understood the impact that my childhood has had on my adult life. Now I don’t know how to change it. I want to be right, but I don’t know how. I don’t even know what right is anymore. I thought for a long time I had it all figured out, and then two years ago I realized I was numb. When I opened up, I failed. I know I should have seen it but I didn’t. I kept trying to change. I just can’t get it right. I want to live. I want to enjoy life. I want to put it in the past and move forward. I just don’t know how. UGH.

  22. By: marquis (female) Posted: 18th December 2014

    Thank you for this! A lot of MHPs would never say this to their clients.

    “I thought that unconditional love meant that I should put up with the ways that I was regarded and disregarded. I thought that would “prove” that I loved them. (and then I would be loved.) I didn’t really understand what love was. I only knew what I had been taught about love. I had been taught that love was compliance, obedience, and a false understanding of ‘respect’. And one day I realized that the way I had been taught love was wrong and that ‘they’ didn’t love me the way they taught me what love was. Love was all about them. I was the only one working to prove love. I was trying so hard to prove my worth to them (so that I would BE loved) that I didn’t realize that they didn’t follow the very rules that they taught me about love.”

    Agreed. That’s what I was taught about love. This really reminds of how I have seen shows of people (especially women) staying stuck in victim mentality. “this is how he treats me, yea I am being abused but who doesn’t have their good/bad days? This is what my parents showed me/us growing up, this is what boyfriends/husbands/etc taught/showed me.” I remember in the 90s how the MHPs were saying how the victims couldn’t do/learn this because they were abused and left it at that. Fast forward to later, now the victims have to work on their issues.

    I’ve been saying for years love was NEVER about my siblings and I it was about my “lousy parents and still is.” When you are self-absorbed, it is selfish yet people agree with that but then say parents are not selfish in the same air we breathe! My ex-therapist and others said I have a victim attitude, think a lot of people do. She said you’re not a mom, you don’t know etc I said look who sounds like a victim!

    I shouldn’t keep harping on what happen to me in the past but I still do and just don’t find it fair how others can simply have a life, enjoy life, have a social life, etc while I am still fighting for freedom.

  23. By: Coral Posted: 11th December 2014

    I had a major breakthrough in standing my ground and not allowing myself being manipulated. My mother-in-law is a control freak and I can never do anything that is right. (Her Words) I bought an huge turkey and called her to ask if she would like to have some when I baked it. (Well, she is a widow and lives alone and I have always tried to be nice to her) She told me that she could use the turkey for her family Christmas dinner. I told her NO, I had only called to ask if she would like to have some of MY turkey and that I would be using the meat for other dishes throughout the month. She said she guessed she would have to serve pizza for Christmas dinner. I told her that it was up to her on what chose to serve. I got off the phone and did the happy dance and told myself that I was proud of me. This was a major accomplishment for me. This website is helping me find me again and I like that.

  24. By: Kaycee Posted: 10th December 2014

    There is a store at the mall I want to go look around in for Christmas. There is a salesman who stands at the door waiting for customers. I cannot bring myself to walk in. I am uncomfortable around men and even some women. I am tall and thin now, I take care of myself and my appearance, but I feel myself shrinking, I feel like the clumsy ox my stepfather always said I was as a child. I feel like a freak.

    Something gets triggered and I feel very much inside myself looking out. I don’t know how to describe it, but it is actually as if some event occurs, my balance in thrown off, my surroundings seem further away, I am hyper conscious of every physical sensation, it becomes hard to swallow. I feel scared. I feel ashamed, ashamed of my body, my face, my breathing, for taking up space. I don’t want to be seen.

    I can’t walk into that store and be the only customer with that salesman. I try, but I always end up just walking by. I want to learn how to stop being a victim and I want to learn how to stop avoiding so many things.

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