Why Victims Should Tell Their Stories

Before I write one word on this topic, let me just say that I don’t believe every single person who has experienced abuse must write books or a blog about their experiences.  It’s a very good thing to do of course, but it also isn’t every person’s calling in life.  If you’re reading this & immediately felt badly because you have yet to write publicly about your experiences, then please stop.  You have no reason to feel badly!  That may not be what God has planned for you, & there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

That being said….

I firmly believe that everyone who has suffered narcissistic abuse needs to be open about their experiences.  No victim has a reason to feel shame for being abused, so why hide it?  Why pretend it didn’t happen?  Instead, be open about your story.  The Bible says in  Proverbs 31:8-9:

“Speak up for the people who have no voice,
for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice!
Stand up for the poor and destitute!”  (MSG)

By being open about your story, you can help other people!  Sharing your story in any capacity can let people know that they aren’t alone.  There are so many victims who don’t understand their pain & your story can help them.  There also are those who don’t know anything but abuse, & when they hear your similar story to theirs, their eyes open.  Suddenly they see how wrong the things that were done to them were.  Your story can give them the courage to walk away.

If you speak openly & without shame about your awful experiences, you can do more good than you realize.  You can help people in so many ways by doing nothing more than talking.

And, if you think this is only about other people, you’re wrong.  By being willing to discuss your own experiences, you can help yourself as well.

Do you know anything about the legends of vampires?  I read quite a bit about them when I was a kid.  I learned that vampires were very powerful, supernaturally powerful in fact, unless they were exposed to the sunlight.  The sun would utterly destroy  these impossibly strong, immortal beings by turning them into dust.  That same principle applies to issues stemming from abuse.  So long as they remain in the dark, in other words, they aren’t discussed, are ignored or hidden, they have a great deal of power.  They control your life.  Once you discuss them however, they lose that power like a vampire in the sunlight.  Discussing your issues helps to release you from their hold over you somehow.  It’s incredibly healing to be open about abusive experiences.

In my younger days, even though I knew something was very wrong, I still didn’t want to discuss the abusive situations I experienced.  I felt like if I did so, I was betraying my abusive parents & ex husband.  It seemed wrong to do anything other than hide what they did to me.  Not that they told me I shouldn’t tell anyone what they were doing, but it was as if it was some unwritten rule that I shouldn’t tell anyone what they did.  Many victims of abuse feel much the same as I did, that they shouldn’t “tattle” on their abuser.

I want to tell you today that this thinking is wrong.  This is your story too, not only that of the abuser!  You have every right to share as much or as little as you want to.  Abusers aren’t the only ones who can talk about whatever they want!  You have that right as well!

I do want you to know that if you opt to discuss your experiences freely either verbally or in writing, you need to be aware of the laws against libel & slander in your state.  While you are free to discuss your situation, you also need to use wisdom when it comes to protecting yourself in any capacity from your abuser.  Even with these limitations in place, you can say an awful lot, & help many people!  I wish you the best in doing so!  xoxo

27 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

27 responses to “Why Victims Should Tell Their Stories

  1. Yes, but know – ” Anything you say can and will be used against you”.

    I find it interesting that it was “unwritten” rule in your home to not discuss anything. In my family it is a virtue to never discuss things “outside of the family”. A virtue expressed verbally and often.

    I’m curious if you’ve watched “Unbelievable” on Netflix? Toward the end of episode 7, the original victim gets some court appointed counseling. She says everyone she talked to only against her. Her conclusion was that if she had it to do it over, she would have said nothing, or would have lied “earlier and better.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes.. anything you say can & will be used against you. They’ll do that more than the police.

      Secrecy is of the utmost importance with all abusers. God forbid anyone know what horrible things they do!

      I haven’t no. I can understand that… that is the hard part about discussing abuse, so many people will be against you. At least you learn who is safe & who is not, which is always a good thing. It also teaches you how to live without the validation of others & rely on validating yourself. It sure did me. I really couldn’t care less anymore who believes me & who doesn’t. Their opinions aren’t my concern.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ibikenyc

      I haven’t seen that show, but I do hear ya, especially about “earlier and better.” I find that chilling, actually.

      One of the worst things for me about living under Narcissistic Rule is that I HAVE TO lie, all the time, whether by commission or omission.

      It’s not in my nature to be dishonest, and it’s exhasuting and so painful to have to scrutinize and tailor every single thing that comes out of my mouth — and every tiny expression that crosses my face — All. The. Time.

      I might actually hate him the most for this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ibikenyc

    I worry SO much about being seen as “The Complainer.”

    That fear goes hand in hand with my growing realization that I have nothing else TO talk about.

    I am starting to suspect that these two things are probably “just” a result of all the warping and denying I’ve done of my true self in order to survive the dysfunction.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re right, Cynthia, speaking the truth is freeing. And, so is writing the truth. As I’m writing the truth in my memoir, WOW, I am being set free more and more every day. Even if no one ever reads it, it’s so freeing just to write it!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Cynthia, the idea of narcissistic systems being like cults and cult leaders. I did an internet search and was so glad to see you had posted about this 2 years ago!

    https://cynthiabaileyrug.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/narcissistic-families-cults-have-a-lot-in-common/

    I also found a very good video by Meredith Miller: https://youtu.be/sWY05MadRJk

    In my case, I now realize I was raised in this way, but did get reprieve when my mother married her third husband and moved away. It’s been in the last 5 years when he got sick and then passed away that the programming tactics of breaking me down to remove my personality and turn me into her slave went back into full-effect. I now realize this is what all narcissists do.

    I will be journalling about this today in my “Reminders” folder!

    Like

    • It really is like growing up in a cult isn’t it? Disturbing how similar it is!

      Oh wow… the reprieve must have been wonderful while it lasted, although my sympathies go to your late step father.. poor man must have suffered a lot during that time.

      Good for you! Your reminders folder sounds like a very good idea!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My stepfather was a good man. He married my mother 3 years after I was out of college. So I don’t refer to him as my “stepfather”. But yes- he was a good man. Patient and kind. Very good to his granddaughter (my niece).

        As I look back, I realize he protected me from me from my vampiric mother for 20 years. And in that time I had a successful career and relationships of my own.

        He deserved better than my mother. But she was very pretty, so he went for it.

        I would occasionally mention narcissism and the histrionic personality disorders to him. I was just barely understanding it myself at the time. He was very interested. But, we had to discuss it under “hushed tones” and usually on the smoking porch where my mom wouldn’t come.

        He wasn’t perfect by any means. He sacrificed his relationship with his actual blood-related daughter to my mother. But of course this daughter was also a selfish monster, as was his first wife. Perhaps my mother seemed “better” to him.

        I wish I knew then what I know now. I would have asked about more about the dynamics of his parents.

        But he was a good man. Stoic, kind, and a hard worker. He thought he needed to take care of my mom. He was the perfect victim for her.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry that was so long. in a way I felt that was the true eulogy I should have given to him. I hope he is doing better in his afterlife.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Please never apologize for a comment being too long. You have a lot to offer so feel free to say whatever you feel led to here 🙂

            It sounds like he was a good man, just dysfunctional in some ways. I can imagine your mother did seem “better”. Looking back, that was how I viewed my ex husband, better than my mother. I was too dysfunctional to see all of his issues but I saw some & it seemed better than what I was used to. Plus add in how she told me no man would ever want me & I felt drawn to him in spite of virtually no attraction.

            It truly is a pity you didn’t know more about NPD back then, but I find that most people need to be of a certain maturity level to fully grasp it. Maybe you hadn’t reached it yet at that time. I hope this doesn’t sound offensive… I was 40 when I first was able to understand it. Embarrassing but true.

            Liked by 1 person

            • You are right. Everything you said was just right. You phrased it in terms of “maturity levels”. But it is really just about being ready to learn the lessons offered.

              When we were led to “better” situations, it was because that was all we could handle at the time.

              I firmly believe this planet is a place of learning. We accept the lessons we can.

              Like

              • That makes sense. We have to be ready for what we can learn. Maybe that is more “it” than maturity, I don’t know exactly. I just know many of us at say, age 19 can’t cope with all that is involved in NPD like we can at age 45 or whatever age we were when we learned about it.

                Earth is truly a place of learning. We need to learn whatever we can. It gives us peace & understanding, even when it doesn’t excuse terrible behavior. That’s why I’ve found for me, it helps to understand as much as I can about NPD. No, it doesn’t make their behavior OK. It does, however, help me to see it isn’t personal or a sign something is wrong with me That little tidbit can be so helpful!

                Liked by 1 person

                • You are lovely and amazing for trying to figure things out. That is what God has asked you to do. And I sooo appreciate it!

                  Liked by 2 people

                    • One more thought on this. I have heard that 40 is about the time that most people start to “wake-up” to their family systems. In the younger years, we are too busy trying to establish who we are – jobs, family, etc. It isn’t until later that we start to reflect. So “maturity” might be the best way to describe it after all – but not in a bad way! (haha).

                      In my case, as a gay man from another era, I’ve read that we are usually about 10 years behind because we were hiding who we were in the high school and formative years. We didn’t really fall in love or “go to prom” so to speak until our 20s.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • 40 does seem to be a magical age in that respect, when many people wake up to so much, including their dysfunctional families.

                      I wouldn’t have thought of you to be “behind” (I’m sorry.. not sure what better word to use here), but what you say does make sense. Sometimes other things can take up too much room for normal development, for lack of a better way to describe it

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • No offense on using the term “behind”. I used in the comment. Being “different” has forced me to have perspectives and compassion that have put me “ahead” in many other ways. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very true, Doug.. being different really isn’t a bad thing & truly puts a person ahead in many ways! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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