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I wanted to say something about this and I'm having a hard time keeping it short, but here goes:

First, I like your idea that people are feeling unsuccessful and looking for a reason. Why don't I do well in school? Why can't I afford to buy a home, or ever rent a home for that matter? Why don't I seem to be as successful as other people?

This leads people to look for a why, "Maybe it's because I suck (depression follows), maybe it's because my mom messed up something (victim mentality), maybe it's because I was abused when I was younger (victim mentality), maybe it's because I'm just really lame and not trying enough (depression), maybe I tried but I have some sort of mental disability (victim mentality)"

Why are some of us messed up? It has been hard to accept myself, knowing that I have been far below my peers in ability to succeed. Sophomore year I had no friends in highschool, sat behind the gym by myself every day, was failing everything, and got a learning disability test that said literally in it's conclusion, "There is no reason she couldn't do well in school, she is just a wimp."

I remember reading that over and over again.

Just a wimp. The conclusion of the trusted professionals and the conclusion of my parents.

Having a bad self image makes it very easy to walk into relationships where you are going to be treated badly. I walked right into it numerous times. I didn't sit around feeling sorry for myself or think, "Oh what a victim I am, please feel sorry for me"

I was too busy convincing people that every thing was ok and no they should want to destroy themselves for hurting me because Look I'm find! Everything is fine! Let's go paint and listen to happy music!

I know some people that get off on the attention of being a victim, and I have recognized those feelings in myself, i.e. it would be really nice to be seen and cared about and have your suffering witnessed... I do not tell anyone in my life now about my past or about how many bad things I have let happen to me.

The fact that I live with shame, I also don't think I SHOULD have to live with shame.

I get kind of annoyed when people say, "Ugh those stupid people who stay in abusive relationships"

I understand being annoyed if you have to LISTEN TO THEM COMPLAIN ABOUT IT. That I understand totally and I'm pretty quick to tell people either do something about it or stop telling me about how upset you are over it.

But I have a deep compassion for people with so many issues that being abused repeatedly feels better than where they were before. Either because the previous abuse was worse, or because they feel so bad about themselves that they feel like that is what they deserve.

I always want people to find that there are kinder people than people that require you accept being hurt along with getting love, but I can't say that I know what's best for anyone else. Some people are in so much pain, I can't fault them for seeking love, attention, companionship, acceptance... that maybe they can't get from anyone else.

Even therapists kind of have certain people set aside that they just plain don't like (yes just about every therapist has at least some!) and some of us who have made lot's of bad choices, let ourselves be treated badly and quite frankly feel like the scum of the earth quite frequently may get that message mirrored back to us by therapists.

Ie, "She is just a wimp."

Also the harder I get on myself saying, "Who cares about the past? Just forget it, focus on the now, the past doesn't matter" The more I choose people who are numb to really bad abuse also and repeat it.

So having "victim mentality" isn't the only way to get repeatedly abused.

There so many different reasons that people who have been trained to submit to abuse continue to find it and having "victim mentality" or identifying as a victim is only one reason. Predators are very savvy at seeing the remnants of previous abuse, shame and fear.

Even among people who trying really hard to do away with those feelings, to appear resilient and to keep the past secret or to convince others that they are beyond being affected by what happened.

I think some people get out of abuse and jump right back in and again there are so many different reasons for this.

Something that I have noticed is that people who I trusted and never would have thought could hurt me were capable of doing so. And if I ever confessed things that had happened to me, people would do the same things.

I think that happens to a lot of people and it's very hard to talk about. IT makes it feel like the ability to abuse is in everyone and even building trust doesn't mean you can determine who will and who won't.

Which makes it safer to just be somewhere were the abuse is known.

Or do be a hermit, that works nicely as well. : )

Not that any of this is from experience or anything....

Hi Rox,

Im really sorry to hear that someone was so unprofessional as to write, She is a wimp. Thats completely uncalled for. You sound like the clients which I refer to as People who have real problems. They dont complain either and like you they are busy figuring out what to do about it. Which is not to say that one should never complain about anything, we need to vent and share our feelings. But they dont live there.

You bring up a very good point. We get better by progression, not magic. If you have a history of violence in your relationships you often dont go from an abuser to someone who doesnt abuse at all. Many times we have to progress from less violent relationship to an even lesser violent relationship, gradually getting better and better at picking out healthy partners while at the same time increasing our self esteem.

I am sorry to hear that you feel so lowly in the world. I hope you have someone you can talk to about it.

I think there is a certain amount of feeling like you are equal to the abuser because you let this kind of thing happen and therefore you don't deserve people who wouldn't abuse you. Like good people shouldn't be exposed to someone who failed to stop it all, or who went back to an abusive person over and over.

I appreciate your words of kindness. I am realizing I have more issues with this stuff than I thought.. lol but yeah I have started talking about it just recently and sorting through what to think of myself.

Thanks Kellen

You're very welcome.

Hi Rox,

Your words are so insightful. I have worked with a lot of incest survivors who feel like you, that abusers are everywhere. If they were molested by a man, they believe all men are molesters. The same with women who molest, their victims think all women are molesters. Its no wonder that people stay in abusive relationships if they believe that this is how all relationships are. Its also no wonder that such people may decide to be hermits, as you astutely point out.

I love what you say about predators. Predators are very savvy at seeing the remnants of previous abuse, shame and fear. That cannot be repeated enough. They are experts at this. I think they are also experts at charming people, at knowing just what a person needs to hear to be sucked in.

Thank you for your perceptive feedback.

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