Blaming the Victim

I have a problem with the way victims are treated.  In particular, rape/abuse victims.  There’s a phenomenon in our society that’s referred to as “blaming the victim.”  Blaming the victim occurs when the victim of any crime or wrongful act is held in anyway responsible for the thing that has happened to them.  The victim is lying.  Faking.  She asked for it.  She didn’t fight back, so she got what was coming to her.  Time has passed.  She should be over it.  

 

Why isn’t she over it?  It’s been so long.

 

It happens every day and it’s utterly ridiculous.  And wrong.  So wrong.  I do what I need to do.  I sit where I need to sit, I leave when a topic makes me uncomfortable, I try to do the best I can.  I can’t always prevent things from happening around me.  I cannot control my environment, just as I can’t control the things that have happened to me.

 

You should be able to do these things, interact with all members of society.

 

Society wants me to stay quiet, and so I have.  I dance around topics and I never really say anything outright.  The things in my head are uncomfortable for people and hard to talk about.  I GET that.  But the little voice in the back of my head says, “But what about me?  If it’s hard for other people to talk about, how do they think it is for me?”  I’ll tell you.  It sucks.  So I don’t do it unless I have to.  And I have my select handful of people that I will talk to, because I know that they won’t hate me for it.  

 

You brought this on yourself.

 

PTSD is a beast.  It sleeps for a while, and then it doesn’t sleep.  It wakes up.  It isn’t always controllable.  It’s random.  There are precautions a person can take, and I do.  And I do well.  I take care of myself.  I’m amazing and strong and I do the things I need to do.  Life is out there, and I show up.  I show up every day, and I do the best that I can.  So when something happens, it catches me by surprise.  And even though it shouldn’t, it overshadows all of the other things I have done.  It overshadows me showing up.  It makes me feel like I shouldn’t even bother, because this thing happened to me.  That I am somehow worth less because this thing happened to me.

 

You’re being ridiculous.  Nothing happened.

 

Here’s what I have learned from my journey today into asking for the things I need:  What I’m seeking isn’t there.  Why?  Because my reactions are not normal.  My feelings are not normal.  I should be past these things, better.  I should be able to interact as a normal participant in society (which for the most part, I do).  I should be able to control my emotions and feelings (again, I mostly do).  

 

Here’s what I hear them say:

It’s my fault.  What happened is my fault.

 

It’s your fault.

 

Nobody actually says this out loud.  But it’s in their actions, in the things that they don’t say.  I read between the lines, and I project my garbage onto the world.  

 

Damn you society, for making me feel like shit.  Damn you and your ideals of normalcy for never allowing me to measure up.  And damn you for making me feel like I should.

Because that isn’t right, and it isn’t fair, and I don’t want to do it anymore.

 

I just wish I knew what to do about it.  

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12 thoughts on “Blaming the Victim

  1. This is amazing, it’s every single thought I’ve had portrayed so clearly in a way I never could.

  2. Reblogged this on Echoes of Yesterday and commented:
    Thank you so much to this blogger for her words here, it explains so much of what goes on inside my mind.

    ‘PTSD is a beast. It sleeps for a while, and then it doesn’t sleep. It wakes up. It isn’t always controllable. It’s random. There are precautions a person can take, and I do. And I do well. I take care of myself. I’m amazing and strong and I do the things I need to do. Life is out there, and I show up. I show up every day, and I do the best that I can. So when something happens, it catches me by surprise. And even though it shouldn’t, it overshadows all of the other things I have done. It overshadows me showing up. It makes me feel like I shouldn’t even bother, because this thing happened to me. That I am somehow worth less because this thing happened to me.

  3. Society is very backwards in its thinking. Not just backwards but demented. For those that don’t want to hear what you have to say, for those that don’t want to comfort you, for those that blame you and for those that call you a liar, get rid of them, they are not worth having in your life. A true genuine person > loves, comforts and listens without judgment and with patience. They want to learn and grow personally and spiritually and they want to help you learn to manage the pain and control the emotions that you don’t like. They want to help you heal. Hold your head up and be proud of who you are and your voice. It needs to be heard.

  4. fleens says:

    Thank you for giving a voice to what having PTSD is like. When I have an episode it is so distressing to not be able to think clearly or manage my emotions….I’m a mess and just wish someone would pick me up and carry me to a safe place.

  5. I forget who it was that said rape victims aren’t victims because they bring it upon themselves. I remember it causing an uproar in the community as well as making people like myself quite angry. It’s no different than saying that people who have experienced war should be able to deal with PTSD or saying that they should be fine after a year or two when the act of killing someone is that traumatic. I’m sure some will say that those events don’t relate to a rape victim but what’s that saying? To each his own? Who’s to say that one problem is more severe than the other when the victim has experienced face first while the judgmental community looks over it from afar? It’s horrible to even think about stuff like that because who are they to judge you? How would they know what that trauma feels like? Just go and do you. Our society has gone down to garbage as of late and can’t seem to find what is described as compassion and understanding. We are quick to judge and quick to feel entitled to a higher social standing. As a result, we put down those who we feel are lower than us and it’s despicable. Stay strong. Go at your own pace. Try not to mind those who try to legitimize the events leading to a victim becoming a victim.

  6. I understand this so well. I have been terrified to tell my friends and family for fear they wouldn’t believe me, or worse, that they would say that because I was in a relationship it was my fault. Luckily no-one said this, but I see the condemnation in other people’s eyes when this subject gets brought up on TV. I really hope you can tame the beast of your PTSD- slap a muzzle on it, and laugh at it. good luck. xx

  7. overcomer says:

    Blaming the victim is the worst thing anyone can do. We continue to hurt ourselves because of the guilt and shame. It’s easier for people to not believe than to believe because it’s so ugly they don’t want to see it they want it keep it buried, unspoken. Well why should we suffer the pain for their denial? I say to the world it was not my fault, I did not deserve it and shame on you for telling me otherwise.

  8. Darcy says:

    This needs to be published. You are amazing!

  9. “Three little words”…a phrase that normally refers to I Love You. To victims of abuse it means…It’s Your Fault. What a powerful difference.

    Thank you for posting your thoughts…I can relate.

  10. sakuraandme says:

    I understand how you feel and I hug you, Paula xxxx

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