3 thoughts on “5 Victim-Shaming Myths That Harm Abuse and Trauma Survivors and Encourage Spiritual Bypassing

  • May 21, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you for explicitly stating something that I’ve yet to see anyone admit: You don’t have to forgive. I don’t think I’ve ever had a profession tell me that.

    It’s such a widespread myth that it often appears in the plot of shows and books. While I’ve never had a therapist ask it of me, it’s the kind of ‘helpful’ advice so many acquaintances thrust on you, along with ‘take the high road’. Hearing both sentiments really devalued my anger and added more hurt.

    I had just been horribly betrayed by the person closest to me for 15 years. I lost everything. The cognitive dissonance from it covered all aspects of my life. I had no defenses and stayed in shock for a while until I could discern the truth from the lies. Then, I vacillated b/w deep depression and mindless rage.

    It took time, but I’d fight back the depression and focus the anger. Productive anger gave me the strength to push back. Only to be told that it wasn’t appropriate, alongside some platitude similar to Myth#2 or 5. I was basically told by all that pushing back or even standing my ground would be scorned as petty and make me the bad guy. Plummeting me back into depression each and every time.

    I’ve healed since then and now most, but not all, of my anger is gone. But looking back I think most of the people I tried to lean on victimized me far deeper than that one person had. I would have recovered so much quicker if I could have done it MY way. I never forgave that person and yet I moved on just fine.

    I did get some revenge before they vanished completely, despite the disapprobation, and that memory gives me satisfaction still. Not because of any damage I may have caused, but because switching from defensive to offensive changed me from feeling like a victim to a combatant. A tough one.

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  • May 27, 2019 at 3:09 am

    How does one deal with a narcissist ? he is my spouse for 33 yrs, and feels rejection (purposefully) if sex hurts and one asks for gentleness and accuses me of totally rejecting him , and I am totally selfish, bad, hypocritical etc. I have tried to accommodate this for so many years and just keep quiet and eventually it all blows over… I am 62 … near retirement…..

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  • June 3, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for the excellent article that so accurately depicts how difficult an abusive relationship is and how difficult it is to leave and move on from one.

    I’ve experienced all the myths described but the one that I struggled with the most from others was #1 – You’re not a victim. I found that the main reason I stayed or ‘put up with it’ was because I didn’t recognize I was being abused, victimized, taken advantage of in my relationship. Accepting that I was a victim caused me deep feelings of grief because of the loss of an innocence, realization someone wanted to hurt me that I cared about. I actually went through all the stages of grief and came out stronger by accepting my victim status rather than living in denial.

    Accepting I am a victim freed me from responsibilty for causing his behavior, freed me from blame, and freed me from so much of the guilt and self doubt that was fostered and used to control me. Accepting I am a victim allowed me the ability to become not a victim and take on the responsibility and work to not become a victim again.

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