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Letting go of an old victim attitude

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InnerLight posted 8/12/2013 23:01 PM

Mostly I see myself as a strong, confident, self-determining woman. It's over 5 years since D Day and I've moved on from the divorce. But there are dark corners of my psyche where frankly I still see myself as a victim: My X abandoned poor me in a terrible situation from which I am helpless to overcome.

I got the marital home in the D and then it spiraled down in value to almost half what I bargained for. My X was very handy and terrific at both maintenance and property development and I am not. I have been doubting my ability to maintain this place every step of the way, both practically and financially.

This month a retired neighbor (who makes more being retired than he did when he worked) is helping me rebuild my rotted out deck. And he is doing all this amazing work in exchange for baked goods, fruit from my trees and tomatoes from my garden. He feels good being needed and helpful. I am acting as his assistant and learning to be a bit more handy although I don't think I could ever rebuild a deck on my own.

In this process of deck building I am letting go of that victim-ey identity.
Staying in that victim place is a huge energy drain. Who would have thought that this practical task would affect my psyche in those dark corners?

I am proud that I am doing a decent job of maintaining this home and 5 acres, and it feels very grounding to do it. Today part of the irrigation busted with water bursting everywhere but I knew how to handle it. I enjoy the outdoor work, and using my hands. This is a beautiful place to live. Last night I stepped out on the new deck and watched the shooting stars.

Symbolically if accidentally my neighbor stepped on a cheap red heart on my doorstep that I had brought up from the apartment that my X and I lived in for most of our M. It shattered into many small pieces. I felt stunned when I saw all the little red bits scattered around.

Always more and more layers of letting go.

click4it posted 8/12/2013 23:38 PM


What a beautiful post. You are absolutely correct, you are strong confident woman and you just proved in your post. Listen, a part of that dark corner of the psyche will still be there. I've been divorced for 8 years and I've still got that in my psyche as well. How can it not? No one can understand until they've had this type of experience in their life. Its a truly traumatic experience. Any kind of trauma no matter how old we are stays for a long time, sometimes forever.

Your new deck sounds lovely and it sounds like you grew close as friends with your neighbor.

[This message edited by click4it at 11:39 PM, August 12th (Monday)]

caregiver9000 posted 8/12/2013 23:58 PM


Your post moved me.

NaiveAgain posted 8/13/2013 05:23 AM

IL, I find that your posts always hit me hard and we seem to share a lot of similar feelings and thoughts. No different with this one.

Although I still see myself as strong and independent, there is still a small part of me that has some victim anger left. Why me? Why is my life so hard? The financial place that the last 2 left me in is not what I deserve and not what I worked for, but it is what it is and I am trying to change that, but I still feel victimized for it.

It sounds like from your post you are moving past victim hood by finding ways to handle things on your own and solve your own problems. I need to work on this a bit more financially. I think I am there in most aspects, and I am mostly making ends meet, but I cannot foresee a time when I will be financially solvent again. Maybe I need to try to visualize that in my mind......

I love your posts.

Sad in AZ posted 8/13/2013 06:11 AM

I've found an important part of being independent is knowing your limits. You can't possibly know how to do everything. I'm so glad your neighbor is able to help you with your deck and teach you some of the fundamentals. They will come in handy.

I had to let go of the victim mentality very quickly after I left the X. At first I blamed him for everything that went wrong in my life--when my car broke down, when my mom was a bitch, even if I bumped my head--it was all his fault! As you said, it's draining and it take away your power.

Congratulations on your independence and your homestead.

FaithFool posted 8/13/2013 08:06 AM

I knew this would be one of your threads. That's very bizarre about the shattered heart, but I think it was meant to happen that way.


Loyalty2Liberty posted 8/13/2013 08:39 AM

yay personal growth.

Score one for the power of learning empowering new skills.

SBB posted 8/13/2013 09:17 AM

I love this. It might sound strange but it fills me with pride.

InnerLight posted 8/14/2013 10:22 AM

The financial place that the last 2 left me in is not what I deserve and not what I worked for, but it is what it is and I am trying to change that, but I still feel victimized for it.

NaiveAgain I also feel like I worked hard all my life and have little to show for it. When I pay my mortgage every month, which I will do until I am 81, I also pay 4 other personal loans off to all the people that helped me pay down the principal so I could get refinanced (I was underwater) and get X off the mortgage. I have little retirement savings, just the last 6 or 7 years of our marriage was I able to save a bit. Oh I can feel so sorry for myself! I have to read my own post over again!

The deck is moving forward. My neighbor will be here in 5 minutes as he comes every morning and I work with him for 3 hours before my own work. My SO will help me paint it this weekend. My whole summer is all about this deck. But it has been a really fun and satisfying summer. I feel strong and capable!

259 posted 8/14/2013 17:32 PM

many things in your post are true for me as well.

and although misery actually doesn't love company, I've found that it helps me to know that others have gone down this same path and come out the other end not only intact but grown in stature as well.

thanks IL, you are truly an inspiration

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