How to Stop Feeling Like a Victim

Once upon a time we were all victims. We were helpless children who could not feed ourselves or dress ourselves. We were not strong enough to fight the violence or emotional abuse. We had not control over what happened to us. We didn’t ask to be born into a dysfunctional family. We were blown about by the narc’s whims. Today we might bear the scars of the past, sometimes we still feel like victims, but we are the grownups now and the best way to celebrate NOT being a victim is to let our voices be heard.

Part of being a grown up is taking responsibility now–not responsibility for what others do or how they feel, but responsibility for our own choices today. We get to choose what we want to remember. We get to choose our support family and we get to choose when and who we share our stories with.

Ironically, when we choose to talk about our pain and seek healing, the narc will start playing the victim. They might say how much we are hurting them because we remember. They will deny the past and call us liars. They will do everything they can to ruin our reputations by getting our relatives and friends to feel sorry for them.

They will claim we are bitter and ruining the family peace because we won’t just forgive and forget but continue to talk about what happened. It’s a form of emotional abuse to ask us to ignore our past. We own all the years of our lives and we each have the right to our memories.

Remember even if our abusers were once victims, they are grownups now. And they are not helpless victims anymore. They now have options. They can own their past and admit what they have done and we all could find healing, but for many of us this won’t happen. We hope they will apologize, but they probably won’t say sorry. They could stop talking and lying about us, but they probably won’t. They could allow us to grieve the past and heal without trying to control us, but none of these things will happen if we are dealing with a narcissistic personality.

Healing comes when we own our past and claim what we need. One of the best ways to stop being a victim is to let our voices be heard. We can do this through therapy, support groups and reaching out to other former victims.

Healing comes as we share our stories with other people who have gone through similar experiences. Finding others who understand brings profound healing because healing comes when we realize we are not alone.

When it’s your time to speak, this is where the healing begins, so don’t let anyone else–especially not the narc, silence your voice.

Owning our story
and loving ourselves through that process
is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.
-Brené Brown

You own everything that happened to you.
Tell your stories.
If people wanted you to write warmly about them,
they should have behaved better.
-Anne Lamott