I spent an awful lot of the early part of my life feeling like a victim – wondering why people chose to do bad things to me, if there was some invisible ‘Hurt Me’ sign on my forehead that only the abusers could see but I couldn’t find when I looked in the mirror, and thinking I must have been bad – or that I somehow deserved the abuse – but this post isn’t about me – and it’s for sure not about the abusers – it’s about finding healing and it’s for anyone reading this who has ever sat with their head in their hands and tears in their eyes, with a broken heart and spirit and asked, “Why me?”
How Many Times Have You Asked, “Why Me?”
Abuse often starts in childhood and leads to self-abuse
The really crushing thing about abuse, especially abuse that starts in childhood, is that it puts you in a victim’s mentality and keeps you there.
Children – and the innocent part in all of us really – tend to blame themselves for everything, so even if logically, you know you did nothing wrong to deserve what was done to you, you internalize the feeling that you deserved, and continue to deserve it.
This victim’s mentality leads you to make self-abusive decisions (on a subconscious level) that keep you in a state of pain and failure, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
With work, effort, and persistence, you can change the way you think and the results life hands you.
Healing From Emotional and Physical Abuse
Recognize that the abuse was NEVER about you!
While it’s easy to say the abuser did ‘this’ to you, because on the face that’s what happened, abusers are human, too – and if they are hurting others, it is because they are hurting or lacking and they see something in you that they want to take from you to fill the void in themselves.
(By the way – NO – I do not mean you should forgive them – that’s not my call and it’s a completely different topic, really.)
Don’t wait for them to come back and apologize, or to recognize what they’ve done to you – chances are it will never happen and if you wait for it, you will remain a victim of whatever they did to you for the rest of your life.
Put the abuse behind you
Recognizing that the ‘bad thing’ the abuser did was about the abuser’s inadequacy, and nothing else, not something you caused or deserved, sets you free to move ahead and begin healing so you can be free of the evil that was dropped on you.
Letting something someone did to you hold you back, like an invisible set of shackles, lets them win; it means they actually did manage to take from you what they sought to steal, and no abuser deserves to win.
Learning to value the person you see when you look in the mirror can take a lot of work if you are starting from a victim’s vantage point.
You can expect to have good days followed by occasional setbacks, but doing things to build your confidence and self-esteem, like creating affirmations, reading books on positivity or self-help books, or even finding a good counselor to help you work through he past can help you say goodbye to the mindset that you deserved the abuse and that you are worthy of enjoying the type of life you want to live.