This is my experience of being a victim. It may look familiar to you, or not. Everyone’s experience is different. However, some things do ring true for many people.
I came into this life a victim. It was part of my life’s plan. One of the lessons I chose to experience in this lifetime, was to experience pain and a host of other unpleasant things, with the goal of learning compassion and forgiveness. How did I discover this? With the help of some amazing alternative healing modalities and people. I have used hypnosis to uncover information that is deep in my unconscious mind. And psychics have assisted in my being able to see both my past and the dynamics that were going on between me and various family members. At this point you might think I’m nuts, and if I read this 5 years ago, I would think I was nuts. But today, I know better.
So, my childhood, from the outside, looked like any other upper middle class experience. I went to a good school and did well academically. I had opportunities to learn musical instruments, play sports, go to summer camp, and spend vacations at a small family cottage near water and go boating. People equate money and means with a good life.
But what they didn’t see was a painfully shy little girl, for whom new experiences were very nerve-wracking. I had exactly one best friend. My older brother routinely put me to the test, seeing what things he could make me do that I didn’t want to do. He knew that I would keep any and all secrets he asked of me. And my mother would swing from being unavailable, as a mother, when she was depressed; to verbally assaulting me when she would swing up to being manic. It wasn’t until I was 16 that she was diagnosed as bipolar. Dad worked Monday through Friday and would come home to belt down two stiff martinis, no doubt to make living with my mother more palatable.
If you live with the threat of being verbally attacked when you least expect it, whenever you exert your opinion or any shred of self-advocacy, you learn to stuff everything down inside. You learn to read the moods of your attacker so incredibly keenly that you know just from the energy waves in the air if you need to run, duck and cover, or if it’s safe to exist in the same space as her. Most people who experience this type of childhood are extremely empathic, having honed their gift from years of living on the edge.
When you live with an adult who is often at the edge of sanity, and they tell you you’re wrong about things, as a child you learn to not trust yourself, or that little voice in the back of your head. You don’t trust your intuition, and you give away all your power. You have no boundaries. You become a doormat. Because of feeling powerless, everything that is wrong in your life is because of everything outside of you. They did that to me. He did that to me. She did that to me. It’s all their fault. I’m just the victim here. There is nothing I can do about anything, because yada, yada, yada (still giving all my power away). You get my drift.
My childhood was perfectly set up to mold me into a victim. To strip away any self-esteem. To fill me with shame. To make sure that any time I tried to have any power, I’d be sliced and diced with a Ginsu knife tongue, so I wouldn’t try that again. At least not until I grew up a bit. This is how I became the victim.