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Monday, January 17, 2011

Overcoming Victimhood

Do you ever just sit down and think about how you got to the place that you are now? Sometimes I think it is useful to remind yourself how you came to be the person you are. Let me tell you a little history. 

When I was a child, my Mother and Father divorced when I was about two years old. I don't blame what happened to me because of the divorce. What happened was because of an evil man and a weak woman.

Most of the women in my Mother's family were strong women. Perhaps that is why I admire strong women so much. Let me correct that for a moment. It is not just strong women I admire, but people who are strong, stand for what they believe in, and care enough about others to teach them to stand up for themselves.

One of my first memories is about abuse, sexual abuse from my stepfather, and mental and physical abuse from my Mother. I, in a sick way, understand my Mother. She was a weak woman, both mentally and physically.

 She was ill my whole life and was told that she would never live to be forty years old. She spent months at a time in the hospital. She feared being left alone, with children and no one to take care of her. This was before SSI, Social Security Disability, and Medicare.

So, in a way, I can understand her fear. But, she had a family that would have helped her in any way they could. She might have not had a man in her life, but her children would have been taken care of. She choose to go the other way. She turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse and added her own abuse along the way.

Children grow up and sometimes they become the parents they hated, and sometimes they learn to take a different path. I learned a lot as a child. I learned how other people manipulate people, I learned how other people use people, and I learned that there are people who are strong enough to overcome what has been done to them.

I refused to stay a victim. I learned that love doesn't mean putting up with abuse. I learned that strength is much more than a physical attribute. It takes a lot of strength to overcome fear. One of my aunts helped me learn that lesson. When I was about twelve years old, I tried to talk to her. This was a time period when people really did not discuss things like abuse in the home.

 So, she didn't listen real well. But she did something else, she gave me a hat pin. Now, I don't know if people nowadays know what a hat pin is, but, this one was about four inches long, and very sharp. She suggested I take it to bed with me at night and if anyone bothered me to stab them as deep as I could. Maybe that was a dangerous thing to do, but I did it.

That one act empowered me in a way that helped me the rest of my life. It may sound like a very small thing. But as a twelve year old girl, I realized that I had been given the power to stop a man from doing something to me that I did not want.

I won't say that the rest of my life has been easy, believe me it has not. But that one act has helped. It helped me fight off an attempted rapist when I was eighteen. It helped me overcome an abusive husband. It helped me understand people who treat the disabled so horribly, and to forgive them even though my child suffered from their words and actions.

It helped me understand peoples fears, their anger, their disdain, their lack of respect for other people, their pride, their love, their empathy, their courage, and all the other emotions that people have. What I have a real problem understanding is why some people choose to remain the victim. 

I have trouble with young women who so desire to be loved that they choose to disregard common sense and sleep with a man, without the slightest bit of protection. Love is nice, but it doesn't have to be blind. Too many young women want the momentary feeling good, and forget that the consequences may last the rest of their life. They are choosing to be a victim. I wish I knew how to educate them, I don't.

I have trouble with people who are poor, and choose to remain that way because it is easier. I understand how hard it is to get off welfare. I know because I did it myself. I understand the fear of having to get by on your own. 

But I have a problem with a government that thinks it can tell me how to live my life, where I can live, what I can eat, what Dr. I can see, etc. I used the government to get grants to go to school and become a nurse. But when I repaid my loans, I was free to work where I wanted, and I had the ability to take care of myself. I know people who have chosen to stay in the government programs just because it is easier.

I have a problem with people  who are willing to put up with anything, just to make sure that they get what they want. They don't care what happens with their children, they don't care what happens tomorrow. They care about today, and that is it.

I am not saying everyone who stays in the governments "good hands" does so by choice, many don't see any other recourse. And it is not in the governments interest to show them that there are other ways.

 The government is like that abusive step father. They like having that power and control over you. I wish I could help everyone in a abusive relationship, and help them overcome it. I truly hate the fact that there are a good many people out there that choose to stay in it.

Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect (8th Edition)

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