I hear words regarding abuse being thrown around all the time: victim…survivor…thriver…and I wonder which one of these is, and will be, me.
I hate the word victim. Hate it. Because it means to be deceived/cheated by the dishonesty of others. Hmmmm. Do you know what deceive means? It’s to mislead someone with false appearances and to be unfaithful to them. Wow. Think about narc abuse. What’s the hallmark of it? To have someone be who you want them to be in the beginning of the relationship. Then, have them learn everything they can about you so they know exactly what tools to use against you when the manipulation begins. In other words…they begin by wearing a mask. A great mask. One you fall in love with and want to be with. Remember though…it’s a ‘false appearance’. It’s not real. As much as you want it to be, it’s not. It may seem like the answer to your needs, dreams, and wants, but it’s only a lie. And unfaithfulness? Yep. That’s in there too, and we all know that infidelity goes hand in hand with narc abuse. What about the part about dishonesty? Let’s call it what it is: blatant lying meant to manipulate you into doing anything and everything your narc wants you to do. It’s a powerful word.
That’s what a victim is. Someone who has been deceived by a person whom they are in love with…to be cheated on during that one-sided relationship…and to know they were ‘taken in’ by a falseness which was constructed especially with your insecurities, vulnerabilities, and needs in mind. A victim. That’s what I am right now.
Is being a survivor better? Of course. But only to a degree. A survivor is someone who continues to ‘function’ in spite of hardships. Ok. That’s better than victim, but to function means, to me, to be a person who is only going through the motions. Who is not yet fully healed. They are ‘functioning’, but not necessarily living life to it’s fullest. Functioning sounds great to me right now though, since I’m barely doing it. But, eventually, I’m going to want more. I want more than just getting through the day. More than just being able to move from point a to point b. More than doing less than what I’m capable of. Surviving means to continue to be in existence. To be alive. But not necessarily living. And we all deserve more than that.
So, how about this. Let’s be ‘thrivers’ instead. Let’s grow. Let’s flourish. Let’s meet our true potential. Let’s take our hardships and setbacks, and learn from them…and take those lessons to create a better life for ourselves. Isn’t that what we want? To blossom? To open up and move forward and succeed in our lives beyond anything we’ve ever had before? I do. Very much so.
I think this is a process though. I think you need to go from victim to survivor to thriver, but the process isn’t necessarily always linear. I take steps forward, and then I’m pulled back. I make progress and then I lose the energy to continue. I wobble between victim and survivor, and if I had to be totally honest, I guess I still see myself as a victim most of the time. And this is hard to admit.
I’ve been wondering why this is so. I think it’s because to admit I’m a victim means I was deceived and cheated on by someone I truly loved. Love. To admit I was played the fool. To have to say I was able to be cut down to a state where I would take what was dished out, and not question it at all. Ouch. Admitting that hurts. But I am a victim. And I need to recognize and understand that so I can start moving forward.
When will I start being a survivor? Hmmmmm. I guess when I can go places I still can’t go to because of the memories. When I can go to sleep at night without crying first. When I can get out of bed and be able to start the day without putting on my own mask of ‘ok-ness’ that allows me to function at school. When I can watch a show we used to watch together. When I can sit on my couch and not think of the cuddling we did on it. When I can go to bed and not feel his arms still around me. That’s when I’ll know I’m surviving. And I have a strong sense this will be a hard stage to start. And get through.
And thriving? YES, please! I want to get to this point so bad. I want to be better than this. Better than ever!! I want to take everything Sarge did to me, and learn from it. Grow from it. Teach others about the dangers of narc abuse. I want to wake up with the same smile I go to bed with. And I know this is possible. Because that used to be me. A thriver! A happy, energetic, fun woman who truly loved living her life. And right now I’m a depressed, anxious woman who sometimes wonders how she can get through another day. I have a lot of work to do.
This is what I know: Narcs turn you into a victim FAST. Regardless of your starting point, you will go down. To your rock bottom. And you won’t understand how it could happen so quickly. All you know is you look in the mirror one day and don’t recognize the haunted face looking back at you. And to see a stranger in your mirror is truly a scary thing.