Now I struggle with this internally.
Real trauma has occurred...trauma that victimized me in that I had no say in it, it was done intentionally (wifes A started innocently enough but she made conscious decisions during and after it that she knew was damaging to me) and it has had a profound, life altering affect on me.
I also understand that it is my continued response to this trauma that defines me...
At what point does this switch from victimized to being a victim? Is it time based? Is it how I react to triggers?
YOU choose to be or not be a victim. It is hard sometimes, but in the end most of us overcome it.
Two things I have always cringed at are when people state that they ARE a VICTIM, and when they state that things aren't fair. Yah no shit, life isn't fair, but we pull ourselves up and go on. I will not be the one to waller in self pity, loathing, and wait for someone else to change my destiny, that is up to me.
I think that is what separated the Victim from the on victim.
I was vitimized by his infidelity, however I am not a victim of because of it.
I was victimized by being burglarized 20 years ago, but I am not a victim, I placed better locks on my home, got another big dog, and my first handgun, and learned how to use it proficiently. KWIM?
I think the difference is one day this will be something which happened in your life, it altered it but didn't ruin it.
Are you worried? I think that you would be worried is a huge clue you are not going to have "victim mentality"
Duffy1958...yes, I am worried. Many times during this trial I have resorted to picturing one of my daughters finding themselves in this awful spot (something that the odds state is a very good possibility) to get me to pull up out of a tail spin. I picture them choosing to act like I am thinking about acting....and that almost always works to get me to pull myself up. But the triggers do make me slip and fall. And I have to choose again to pull myself up. At times, during these falls, my wife has said things that prey on this victim fear she knows I have.....might be tough love from her, or her hurting me back for something (the pain my sorrow is bringing her, the fact that I still trigger, me not recognizing her needs pre-A were not getting met, I don't know)...this is one hell of a growing opportunity.
Thanks for responding so quickly.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:06 AM, July 15th (Monday)]
I get what you mean about thinking how you would want your kids to handle the situation should it happen to them and how you respond is going to shape who they are. This too is what finally gave me the strength to finally say enough with his fencesitting cakeeating BS in the early days of R. I refused to be a doormat a second longer. It was what ultimately saved us.
Hang in there. You have had a horrible horrific thing happen in your life, but that does not mean you have to be a victim.
As you recover--whether with or without your partner--you will gradually evolve. You're self-aware and working hard to heal, so there's no reason to believe you will get stuck in victim mode.
Try to be gentle with yourself and keep expectations reasonable. There's enough on your shoulders without scrutinizing and labeling what are normal and natural feelings.
Truly, it gets better with (dreaded) time.
And ya know what? I'm still not a Victim, or even a victim with a lower case v. I am a survivor.