“Can you see how much pain I am in? Do you know how much I am suffering? Do you understand how hard my life is!?” the victim cries out, begging to be acknowledged. If only my suffering could truly be known, if only someone would really see how hard this life is for me, then everything would be better.
My experience with the victim that lives in us all is extensive to say the least. Like many women, I lived from a disempowered place, feeling as if the world was against me. To say I was hurting was an understatement. I carried my hardship on my body, my heaviness unable to be hidden from the world, covering me like a badge of pain for everyone to see.
I was a victim. Others had hurt me, traumatised me, made my life as shit as it was. I had hurt me too. If it wasn’t for them and if it wasn’t for my stupid life decisions, everything would be fine. If only I had stayed home that night. If only I hadn’t met that person. If only this or that had of been different. There were so many factors outside myself in the past that determined my need to suffer in the present. I lived in this place for years, feeling hard done by and resentful, absorbed by my life’s story whilst completely detached from living it.
There were stories I carried with me that I used to justify my pain, stories which ultimately had me avoid feeling my feelings. My victimisation was my way of bypassing my emotions. I could intellectualise my pain, make sense of why what happened did, yet the victim in me believed that if I fully FELT all the pain I had been suppressing, I would die.
I would be lying if I told you I stepped out of victimhood courageously. I fought my way to the doorstep of empowerment and freedom until there was no fight left-only love and a curiosity of what my future held for me. It took a river of tears, a symphony of screams and the necessary lifelong commitment to hold myself in all my emotions to shift from the victim paradigm into one where I finally felt like an active participant in my own life.
This seems to be the first time in history that western women have such power over their lives. We have a voice and can use it loudly if we so desire. We have freedom over almost all areas of our lives-from what we do for work or who we are in a relationship with, to how many children we have (if any)-yet there’s still this lingering of victim consciousness amongst so many women (Yes and men too…that’s for another article). Is it the fact that there still exists extensive abuse of woman across the globe-Are we sitting with their pain, deeply troubled by their hardships? Or is it that we are still holding onto thousands of years of female repression that to let our victimhood go is unconceivable?
Every woman on this planet holds so much power regardless of what has happened to her and it is her life experiences that make her the woman she is today. How can we use the pain, suffering & heartbreak in our lives to fuel a fire that will bring about positive change to not only our lives but the lives of others? How can the stories that once victimised us be used as our super power? And most importantly, how can we find this place whilst supporting the healing that must occur in order to get there?
I believe victim stories serve a very important purpose: they draw our attention to emotions that need to be felt before we can keep moving forward and grow in our lives. Diving into the emotions behind the stories is the most courageous journey a woman can embark on. When she gives herself the space to fully feel without repressing, she gains access to a power that had been bursting to come forth.
Believe it or not, I am human and despite my knowledge of the power I hold just by being alive, I still revert to feeling victimised at times. Perhaps at times our human bodies feel way too small to hold the enormity of all that we are.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” -Marianne Williamson
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