Archive for the ‘victims’ Category

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Victims and Letting Go

August 14, 2008

I am not sure where this is going to go. I am puzzled by something and am not sure how to express it. It has to do with being hurt…and expressing that hurt. It seems that, to some, if you express hurt, it automatically means that you are “acting like a victim”. I guess I just don’t get that.

I mean…can’t one be hurt without being a “victim”? Hmmm…I think I will go look up the word and see what good old Webster’s has to say about it. This is what it says at the online Merriam-Webster dictionary site:
victim

Main Entry:
vic·tim Listen to the pronunciation of victim
Pronunciation:
\ˈvik-təm\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Latin victima; perhaps akin to Old High German wīh holy
Date:
15th century
1: a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite2: one that is acted on and usu. adversely affected by a force or agent (the schools are victims of the social system): as a (1): one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions (a victim of cancer) (a victim of the auto crash) (a murder victim) (2): one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment (a frequent victim of political attacks) b: one that is tricked or duped (a con man’s victim)

Hmm…I guess that, technically, if someone experiences hurt from some source, that makes them a victim. However, I also notice that the examples given here seem to be pretty serious. So, maybe, it does not really apply to smaller hurts? I don’t know.

I guess another question is…is being a “victim” a bad thing? Hmm…let me restate that another way. Obviously, no one would say that being hurt is a good thing! I guess what I am asking is this:
If a person is hurt…and expresses that hurt…is that bad? Is that playing the victim role? Or is it simply expressing a truth about how/what they are feeling? Expressing their perspective? Is there a “right” or “wrong” in this? Feelings are what they are. Perspectives are what they are. Isn’t it possible for people to have differing perspectives and feelings and yet both be “right”? Or even both be “wrong”?

I guess another related question would be this:
If more than one person is hurt…and they all express their hurt…is only one being a “victim”? Does only one person have the “right” to be a “victim”?

Oy vey, this is getting complicated. I guess it would help to explain what has triggered this pondering. I had someone say that I was acting “like a victim” in regards to something. I am not quite sure I understand what this person means. If we follow the definition of being adversely effected, perhaps everyone involved could be considered a victim? So, if this person expresses hurt…isn’t that also acting “like a victim”? I have to admit that I am a bit confused by all this.

Oh, well. There are some things that I may never understand…and I really don’t think I need to understand everything in order to live a somewhat emotionally healthy life. I think it is important to know what to let go of and what to hold on to. I am choosing to let go of this one. It is too complicated for me.

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Secrets

March 1, 2008

We all have secrets…all of us!

The way I see it, there are different kinds of secrets.

One kind consists of things you don’t want anyone, ever, to know about. These are the ones you want to take to your grave…the ones you are absolutely determined that NO one in this life will ever hear.

Another kind consists of things that you don’t want everyone to know, but you will share them with one really trusted person…or maybe even two. Chances are, if you have several of this kind of secret, you may have shared all of them at least once, but probably not with the same person.

Then there are the kind that you are OK with sharing in a trusted small group. You hope that they will keep it within the group. Or, you share them with one other person because you can see that they have gone through something similar and so you dare to take the risk.

Then there are those that you are willing to share on a larger level…say at a retreat, a conference or a luncheon, as a speaker. These are not so secret as you know it may get around. Of course, if you write a book about it, it isn’t really a secret anymore! Although, there are some who do write anonymously.

These secrets consist of basically two kinds of things…those that are done BY us and those that are done TO us. We are ashamed or embarrassed about the things we have done…things we believe will cause others to reject us or look down on us. But isn’t it amazing that we can have those same feelings about things done TO us? I mean…why is that? We oftentimes have no control over things done TO us!

Why is it that a woman who is raped is ashamed to say anything? Or a child who is molested, even once he/she grows up, is ashamed to say anything about it? I believe a lot of it is the lies we were told when it happened. The predator, the rapist, the molester, the beater…they all tell the victim that it is the victim’s fault. We take on that lie and believe that there must have been something we could have done to stop it…or to prevent it. It does not matter that they were bigger than us…or stronger than us…or that they were a group…or had a weapon or…fill in the blank. What is even worse is that society will often tell us the same lie. *sigh*

How many times has a victim, regardless of age, been made to feel as if they are the guilty one? As if they somehow made it happen? Or allowed it to happen? The victim is given a power they do not really have, which actually strips them many times of the power they should have to heal…the power they should be receiving from getting support and from seeing the real guilty party called into justice.

So…what do we do with our secrets? How do we know what to share? Or how to share? And who do we trust with our secrets? Do we keep them? Or do we become open and transparent about our life experiences? How do we receive healing if we never say anything about them? How do we walk in the realization that there are those who will love us no matter what we have done or gone through?

I hope to look at some of these questions in this blog.

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