It Is Okay to Feel Victimized, But...
In my last article about abuse, "Malignant Narcissists and Their Equally Malignant Victims" I attempted to explore how victims were creating more victims than their abusers, and if they simply walked away from the abusive situation throwing informal accusations around and not doing a single thing to bring their abuser to justice then they were to blame for the abuser's next victims. You were able to hear about my experience with narcissism and abuse, and also how I simply walked away from my abusers leaving others to suffer. Sensitivity and attention to detail are something I value highly and I feel as if I dropped the ball last time. This article will attempt to bring my perspective full circle, offering better insights on my perspective of the topic of victimization and the realities associated with it.
Being a Victim Myself
Before I really dig into the topic at hand, I feel the need to express that I do not hold victims that manage to walk away from their abusers triumphantly in contempt. To be concise, I am proud they are brave enough to keep striving for a better life for themselves in spite of their traumas. What I do not like about victims simply walking away, putting it as delicately as is possible for me, is that walking away does not bring you any justice and, more often than not, results in the creation of more victims that otherwise would not be suffering. The responsibility for the suffering of the next victim after simply walking away falls upon the one who escaped and chose not to formally report the abuser.
In most cases, most but not all, where a victim simply walks away from their abuser and everyone rightfully celebrates their bravery as they talk about it openly on social media or elsewhere, the abuser is still left to roam free without any recourse for their problems. In all your talking about them, smearing their name, you not only breed enemies for them but you breed the sympathizers as well. Every good abuser, if you can forgive my choice of terminology here, will use your informal character smears against them to their advantage.
As a victim who walked away myself, it is upon me to save the victims who still suffer under my abusers. Having waited so long to pursue justice for myself and my abusers' current victims, time has caused most evidence to be meaningless. Even going back to confront my abusers was to no avail, as my abusers claim it was my fault or that I don't recall it correctly. The pain this causes me is deep, leading to frequent suicidal ideation, but it was all avoidable had I fought harder for justice in a timely manner and with greater fervor.
If you or someone you know is being abused it is upon you to report it, and to pursue the justice you all deserve. For abuse resources that will help you in this endeavor please click here.
Victimization as a Tool
With the recent revelations surrounding the abuse case with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, I began toying with the idea of using victimization as a tool on a deeper level. The world is a dark and dastardly place, so every second we spend off our guard is a second that a "victim" may actually be the abuser. My mother, whom was mentioned in my previous article, was one such individual who convinced the police that my father and I were simply bitter and out to get her when I finally came forward about the abuse I was suffering as a child. Now I ask myself, under the current social climate where it is considered unfair and immoral to scrutinize the carefully assembled sob stories of alleged victims, especially those of women, how does the general public go about getting the truth for themselves rather than waiting on the biased media to deliver it to them on a silver platter?
Question Every Claim
It is more important we avoid falling into the traps that the media and current social trends have set for us, than it is for us to try to remain sensitive to every claim of alleged victims. It is okay, and imperative, that we question everything we hear in an unbiased and objective manner. When you believe a well configured story outright, simply because it sounds great, you are opening yourself up to be deceived and for whatever is hiding behind that story to continue. Even in cases where claims are legitimate, it does more damage for you to believe the victim outright at first rather than seeking more details and questioning the legitimacy of the allegations. When you hear the claims from a possible victim it is important to get the all the basic information; who, what, when, where, why, and how? Then once you have retrieved all that basic information, no matter in which medium it comes to you, you must reconfirm with the alleged victim by asking for the information again, basically repeating their own story to them.
If at this point you feel the claims being made to you are valid, and you aren't just watching someone speak on television or reading an article, it is upon you to encourage the victim to file a formal report with the proper authorities. File a report, perform a rape kit, file litigation, and/or take all pertinent steps immediately before time inevitably destroys the evidence and credibility of the victim. If the victim refuses then you have to do this for them, because any valid claims need to be reported immediately and the authorities have undergone sensitivity training for such things before. The process is difficult, and may even seem to be causing more trauma to the victim, but the trauma caused by this seemingly insensitive process leads to greater healing and less victims created in the future.
It is an enticing feeling, and one we have all given into at some point, to gossip about events occurring around us. I know I have been one of the biggest culprits of gossip when it comes to things like celebrities, politics, and any other big event. The most important thing you could ever do is recognize when you are gossiping, and to stop yourself. Go as far as to tell the person you started gossiping to that you actually don't have enough information to speak on the topic, that it really shouldn't be discussed because it isn't any of your business, and that the gossip does more damage to those actually involved than it helps them.
Gossip was a huge part of my life having grown up in wealthy, Southern Orange County, California. The wealthy people I grew up around made it their business to be in everyone else's business, whether it be accurately and directly, or obliviously and indirectly they wanted to stick their nose wherever they could. This led to every adult, and further their children, knowing things about others that often weren't true. For example, I had a friend who enjoyed the company of boys, and she always had a different boy with her, she seemed to go through boys like celebrities go through fashion trends. It was true, she really enjoyed boys and the boys really enjoyed her. That is to say, until word started going around school that she had AIDS. The news spread like wildfire starting with the kids, and then to the adults. This gossip led to the destruction of every friendship she had, as it was hard being friends with someone when everyone would relentlessly ridicule you for it. Parents telling their kids not to hang around her, not to trust her, that she was disgusting.... The only true part about it was that she enjoyed the company of boys, and that is never something to be ashamed of, in fact it should be celebrated.
Just stop gossiping, it does more damage than good.
We live in an age where performative cruelty is turning everyone into hypersensitive, victimization junkies. As someone who is working on hypersensitivity themselves, I have discovered the trend that no matter what you say or feel there is a meme or "meme response" meant solely to negatively trigger you. Therefor, I have come to the conclusion that hypersensitivity to the world does everyone a disservice. It is important, not to shut your emotions down, but to recognize this process of attacking others for yourself and not take any part in it. For when you take part in the performative cruelty, as it is so effective and easy to use, you are only creating more and more hypersensitivity.
More than accurate to say, it is blatantly apparent that hypersensitivity is being used as a weapon. The media, social media, those around you, even politicians are using hypersensitivity as a tool to manipulate you into acting a certain way or holding certain opinions. More often than not, the people using these tools aren't trying to sway you to their side but to subjugate you and figuratively stand on your throat so that you may not stand back up. It isn't enough, anymore, to have a calm and collected debate but you have to destroy your opponent to the point that they feel the need to run away and hide, never to be seen again, but if they are seen again then they are out for blood in every sense of the phrase.
This situation is literally, figuratively, physically, spiritually, and inevitably creating more and more victims where there doesn't need to be any. It is upon you to avoid being hypersensitive, and to not contribute to this detestable process that is victimizing everyone in the world. Also, it is upon you not to play the victim when this does occur by ensuring you only present objective arguments backed by facts rather than emotion and anecdotal evidences.
A Call for Unity
I could care less who you are, where you come from, what your beliefs are, how victimized you feel, and the vindictive nature that is dwelling within you. I'm here to hear your side of the story, to take into account everything you want to tell me, and to seek the truth and justice we all deserve. It is up to me to figure out for myself what is true, and what is not; it is up to you to be honest and impartial with me in any situation. Even further, it is important that you be honest and impartial with everyone at all times. Don't let the fact that you have been victimized turn you bitter and shallow, don't let this bleak world become any more off-putting. We could all stand at one another's backs, in a show of unity to those who'd seek to victimize us, and even bring our aggressors to our side if we all show each other the respect and patience we need and deserve.
Be the voice of reason, not the voice for the ongoing turmoil and insanity.