Best Gift a Victim Can Give
There are many types of victims – victims of liars, cheats, sexual harrassers, rapists, bullies, beaters, stalkers, thieves and others.
Victims of physical abuse, emotional abuse or both.
Victimized by Narcissists, Sociopaths, sexual predators, pathological Liars and others of ill deeds.
Some have been victimized in multiple ways.
Some suffer in silence. Others talk about what they’ve been through.
Many are not understood by others.
The common denominator for us all is PAIN.
But we need not have that pain mean Helplessness too.
We may have been beaten down. I’ve been beaten to the ground so badly that I’ve thought many times I could never get up. But we can and Must find ways to get up and to go on.
No matter how bad things are we’re stronger than we may have ever imagined.
No matter how bleak the circumstances or how empty we may feel.
We may have been weakened by what we went through, and what we’re going through now.
But that doesn’t make us weak.
Every step we take – even those that would seem like nothing to others – reflects our inner strength. And the possibilities for more and bigger steps.
Some of us have people who care and who hurt by seeing us hurt. They may not understand our feelings or behavior. But they care about us. The best gifts we can give to them (for the holidays or at any time) include:
- Cutting them slack for not understanding our pain. They’ve never experienced what we have and will likely never be able to grasp the details or depth of it not having been there themselves. Our resenting or otherwise penalizing them for this isn’t right and is something to let go of – as part of our caring about them and taking another step in our own progress.
- When we experience them not understanding us, instead of feeling bad about that and unhappy toward them, be glad that they haven’t gone through what we have. They don’t deserve to suffer like that just as we didn’t deserve it either.
- Let them see, feel or know about a step taken on our part. That we’re trying to recover from whatever awful experience we’ve gone through. That, while we may be in a low and bad place, we haven’t given up; that there’s hope for the future. They miss us and want us back. They’ve suffered on our behalf as they know we’re in pain. Seeing us make an effort can give them hope too.
- If we make such an effort and they don’t see it, let any bad feelings of that go too. They would “get it” if they could. Instead, celebrate that we took another step. It was hard to do and we Did it.
- Let them know you care. If you can’t say it or show it by a smile or a hug, then say it in a note or another way that acknowledges their importance to you.
Some victims who are suffering aren’t with others who care. If that’s the case for you several gifts include:
- Think about this – is it that no-one cares or is it that we’ve pulled away from or lost touch with those who care? We may need to be alone as part of how we cope. We may not feel able to be around others right now. But that doesn’t mean there’s not someone out there who cares. It may just be that we can only appreciate them from a distance for now. It may be that now just isn’t the time for us to be together. If so, let them know you care and that you appreciate their understanding your need to be alone right now (even if they don’t understand in the way that you want). OR maybe in thinking about it we can think of someone to reach out to – even if only by social media or email – to feel a sense of connection with. If so, do so with an aim of giving something to them in the process.
- If there are people in our life who we feel “should” care about us but don’t – consider this, is it possible they do care and just don’t know how to show it? Or that they’re too uncomfortable to be around us because they don’t know what to say or do – and they may even feel badly about themselves for that reason? Or maybe they’re so inundated in their own lives that they didn’t realize the dark place we’re in? Maybe they’re facing difficult challenges of their own that we don’t know about. Or maybe someone who we want to care about us really doesn’t. Whatever the case, it’s up to US to take care of ourselves – and to Not let ourselves fall deeper into a hole over expectations of others. Give ourselves that great gift.
- Know, too, that there are MANY good people out there who would care if they knew what we were going through – including people we don’t even know. Look around with the intent to notice Good and you will. The fact that you’re (we’re) in a bad place doesn’t negate that – and our time to be “back among the living” is coming.
- Give the gift of love and hope and faith to yourself by taking one or two (or more) steps forward … by acknowledging any steps you’ve already taken … by recognizing that inner voice (no matter how faint) that says “you are worthwhile” and “you Can do this” … and by being grateful for the good in you and in your life despite the bad you’ve encountered.
I say this as a person in extreme pain … but one who still Knows all of this to be true. One of my steps is to say it because I care about You – you who I don’t know and probably never will meet. But I know you in a different way. I know by understanding pain. I know from experience of going through the darkness myself. And I know from being a person with a caring heart.
I have a loving family for whom I am deeply grateful. But I will spend Christmas alone, as I did Thanksgiving. I do so by choice because that’s where I am in my process – and because it would hurt them more to actually see me in person. They accept that and I am empowered by my ability to choose. I also choose to not feel sorry for myself being alone at the holidays – and to instead know that I’m working to get better, to be better and to get myself back.
For some of you, being with others will be the very best choice and a gift to the others in your life. If not with family or friends then even perhaps through volunteer service (helping strangers in need) or a community dinner (maybe one hosted in a nearby city or town rather than your own).
Whatever you do, choose with good intentions, keep taking steps in a positive direction and be on the look-out for good in the world.
With all best wishes,