I won’t link back to the original blog because it seems the original poster doesn’t like that and I wouldn’t want to be accused of “baiting” anyone. Also be warned it’s a long post!
There is an idea out there that because people talk about trauma that they are a “narcissist”. Sometimes people are (pardon my French) fucking retards.
First the personal since this was directed toward me.
Words like this. “I have suffered, I have really suffered, and my ancestors suffered, so look at me, pay attention to me, accommodate me, compensate me.”
Has ANYONE read a single comment or post of mine asking for your sympathy? When people say “I sorry for you” I more often than not correct them by saying don’t be sorry for me because my story is a story of hope. I was a victim of rape, yup. I am now a rape survivor. Now why do I say it that way?
Because everything we do, everything we’ve dealt with and all the events that make us who we are now. Being born deaf, learning, school life, family life, my rape, my son, religion, my implants, my surgeries (many of them) and more. All this has brought me to who I am today. I choose to be a survivor and am using that to bring help and hope to others. Sorry nice try that is not victimhood. That is choosing my identity to most help in the ways I see best.
As for “my ancestors suffered” it is never wrong to remind people of the past. Of the wrongs done and by the way the wrongs are not the too distant past. 1986. If it is wrong to remind people of out of control governments that trample your rights then perhaps this isn’t the blog for you. My people did suffer for centuries under this government and it is fitting and right to call them out on it. It is fitting and right to remind people as often as we need to so this is NEVER repeated.
Again if this offends you thanks, take a hike my blog isn’t for you because I like to remind people of the warts of this nation. I am also VERY clear to point out it was the nation and NOT the individual “Joe” on the street. It is those in power choosing to do bad things and the average citizen is often unaware the practice is even going on.
Let’s take Eugenics. The average American even today didn’t know it happened. The government does things without us knowing it all. So when a government is evil, corrupt and does bad things it is both fitting and right to call it out. It is my civic responsibility to do so. It is my personal responsibility to safe guard history just as it is yours. So much was lost of REAL history and you can’t even imagine the number of PMs, emails and messages “off the record” I’ve gotten saying things like “I didn’t know that” or “is there someplace I can read more about that”. That is called educating not victimhood, learn the difference and get out of the third grade.
Now have I asked a single reader, the government or anyone to “accommodate me”? Nope I went to schools and colleges for the hearing and not the deaf. The only thing I ever asked is teachers to look at the class when they speak so I could “hear” them. Woooow, how unreasonable of me. Considering the state wanted to force the school to provide sign interrupter’s and much, much more. But I said no. I learned 900 English words to make communication easier for me. Sounds like I have always asked for accommodations doesn’t it?
In my posts have I once asked for compensation? Nope.
Are you aware of the 1980 supreme court ruling US vs the Sioux nation found in favor of the Sioux but since the black hills can’t be returned the offered payment of shy of 2 billion dollars. Not a single Sioux or Lakota, Dakota, Blockfoot not one who could claim a portion ever has. It is not about money to us. It is about the land promised and taken by the government. So if compensation was the issue wouldn’t that solve it? Nope it’s about honoring your word. HUGE difference for me.
Now are there people who think and do otherwise? Yup. But I know this post was directed at me considering the recent events and comments. So I’ll set the record straight. Let’s continue shall we?
The rest just addresses victims in general. I’m done my personal end of this post. Though I may add some for perspective and personal example.
The post goes on and on here are some of the things not considered. Yes we rally around the wounded. Some people can suffer x trauma and be perfectly fine the next day, others maybe take a decade. Ultimately it is PROPER, it is RIGHT and it is the LOVING thing to do to show love, patience and empathy to all for as long as it takes.
I have worked with rape victims and abuse victims for more than a decade, I am in school studying psychology, I’ve been to more than a few psychologists. So I have a level of expertise as well as personal connections to this. I have seen girls and women bounce back very quickly and I’ve been with some for a very long time. It’s hard to do seeing people not be able to move from victim to survivor. It is true the real healing comes when a victim accepts that life continues and moves to putting things back together.
At the moment they start putting things back together they still need love, support and encouragement but they have laid down victimhood and become instead a survivor. They are not “Ravenous beasts, I tell you. It simply doesn’t work that way. They need to get over their own selves.” They are people, all part of one creation and deserving of as much patience and love as it might take.
I do pour much energy, empathy and compassion into what I do to try and help. Yup. It can be draining too. But it’s worth it because I find every human worth it. I find much wisdom in these words because we are all connected and since we are all gods children that is truly my brother or sister.
“When my sister suffers the world weeps and suffers too” – Grandpa Mato Sapa
The post was right here. “Victimization is also a tough one, because in order to fully heal, we also have to get over our own selves.” In a way the only time we move from victim to survivor is when we find the path that leads out of pain. That path can be filled with comments like these “suck it up buttercup, it’s not all about you.” or with love and kindness. I choose to fill it with the later thanks.
So it is true you need to get over your pain. Everyone does that at different points and in different ways. However pain doesn’t make one a victim nor hold them there. Lack of acceptance and inability to reconcile events into yourself holds them as victim. It took me several years to accept my rape but that doesn’t end the pain. Some people have constant reminders of trauma like a lost leg.
My ex-BF and still a very good friend Mike lost his leg for this nation. It took him years to get over the victim. But even today sometimes he looks and thinks was it worth it, why me, and many more questions. These are natural and normal to ask and even express but it doesn’t make you a victim because you remember or express or talk about it. I’m proud of him for all he has done and how far he has come.
He is not a victim of war anymore. He is a survivor and now writes some pretty good music and tours with his band. He sings about war, death, injury and pain. He tells his story, not for pity but like me to bring hope.
I also found this statement ridiculous “That is extremely counter-intuitive, but once you truly come to terms with that, it is no longer personal. You may well have just gotten hit by a random sneaker wave at the beach.” Everything that happens to you IS personal and always will be. It just doesn’t have to make you its hostage. There is freedom in becoming a survivor and releasing the victim but it’s always personal and always will be.
Victims will make poor choices before becoming a survivor. Mostly because they haven’t yet processed the trauma. This is fully normal but it also doesn’t remove you from the choices. Those choices must be dealt with as well at some point. For me it was my cutting. Bad choice, bad behavior and perfectly normal if you know even the least thing about victims. While it doesn’t excuse the behavior it does explain it.
“to make it your identity, is to hand them more power.” Really? I think to accept it as your identity give YOU the power. By accepting it I have moved on to helping others. I’ve been able to turn trauma to triumph and victim to victory at a personal level. All victims must do the same. They accept it, make it their own and own it. In doing so you become free.
“One reason I stopped working with victims is because within the system there is often this mentality that insists they remain victims, remain in a state of learned helplessness, powerlessness.”
You were practicing the wrong mentality. In the system I’ve worked in it has always been about loving them from broken to healed. It is a process and it takes varied amounts of time. Why? Because every person is unique. With so many factors as age, sex, faith, and so much more it’s the beauty of the creation. We are complicated and beautifully made human beings. To pretend we are some cookie cutter is to close your eyes and deny the beauty of creation itself.
So it’s true person A gets over it quickly and person B does not. What’s important is to love and support them and be patient. You guide them to the path but ultimately they must choose to get on it. That choice isn’t always clear to victims at the same time but with patience, love, compassion they will find it.
“You sure don’t tell a victim, “suck it up buttercup, it’s not all about you,” because that is a Very Bad, No Good thing called “victim blaming” and it’s politically incorrect. Just the same, love compels us to point these things out. Little secret there, but whoever claims the blame, claims the power.”
Not even sure what to make of this. Should Mike claim the blame and say yeah I wanted to lose my leg to that bomb. No he was a victim of evil terror who planted a bomb on a boy and as Mike approached the boy to carry him away from the shooting he exploded and Mike lost his leg and the boy his life. Is he to blame for losing his leg? The same goes for a rape victim is he/she to blame for being rape? That’s stupidity.
You don’t ‘accept” the blame. No you “accept what happened and that you AREN’T to blame”. The victim has to take the event and decide what role it will play in who they were, who they are and who they want to be.
To demonstrate here is my example. I was a carefree fourteen year old girl who believed god was good, the earth was beautiful and life was all fun and games, then after my rape that changed. Who am I now? I am someone working with people who have been abused in the hopes of making them survivors and in survival and acceptance is ultimately victory. Who do I want to be? I want to be who I am today but with all the proper education to go along with the practical experience so I can learn to help even better.
Do you see how not once am I nor any victim to blame? You claim power not by accepting blame but by accepting how events change you. Every event has lead us to right where we are. No matter how big or small, how great or traumatic it shaped us.
When we learn to accept and integrate what things happen, now that is power. Each event may take nanoseconds to accept and integrate, or they may take a life time.
“To conclude you have the answers to another’s pain is to be arrogant beyond the beyond. To stand by another as they walk from pain is to be their true friend. That granddaughter is why I walk this path as long as it’s needed with you. Because I am your truest friend.” –Grandpa mato Sapa
To be a true brother or sister requires we sometimes walk the pain of another. It means we sometimes make ourselves vulnerable. It means sometimes reliving, retelling our own pain and the path we found out. It means owning the event and becoming a survivor, but never accepting blame which is not yours to accept.
To acknowledge yourself as a survivor is not to claim victimhood. It’s to claim victory over victimhood and it marks the acceptance of how events have changed you.
So do I tell my story? Yes it’s a story of hope and victory. Not one for pity. I hope it helps others and from the dozens of emails and PMs I have gotten it is helping others. So will I ever shut up about my past? Nope I’m a proud survivor and if my words help even 1 while annoying 10,000 then so be it the 1 was worth the effort and help.