As a generational trauma victim, I can attest many times over how I, as a victim, was shaped by the perpetrators in my life. It has been established that the human brain cannot develop without the existence of another human brain. As a result, when the victim is held captive, in whatever means that may be, the perpetrator will heavily influence the victim’s future actions, beliefs, happiness or lack thereof, etc.
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To expect any human to resist this kind of domination, and then to emerge at a later date unscathed is ludicrous. From my own experience from childhood and subsequent multiple abusive relationships over the decades, I believe that there are differing degrees of harm done to the victims.
Again, for myself, I knew something was not right with me. But like most victims, I kept it buried deep inside and talked to no one about it. I knew I was too easily swayed into bad situations, but I didn’t know how to stop it. I knew that I didn’t want to treat others the way I had been treated and most of the time, became so wishy-washy and clingy in an attempt ‘make everyone around me feel good’ that people couldn’t stand me. Then other times, I acted out, just like my perpetrators, uncontrollably.
Through shear force of self-will and pouring out love to those closest to me, I was able to stop the most destructive behaviors for long periods of time. But during those periods of time, my inner-self found other ways to keep people away from me by over-eating, isolating and other compulsive behaviors that were pro-socially acceptable as normal. All the while, I continued to live in mortal fear of my own shadow and everyone around me. I simply learned to hide it. That was the only response I was able to do.
“Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.”
— Yehuda Bauer
A therapist once told me that at the age of 17, I left a prisoner of war camp. When I told him his statement was ridiculous, he listed what I went through each day of my life as a child. Looking at my life from that perspective was extremely eye-opening and the beginning of a life of recovery from abuse for me. Still, it was an uphill battle.
If you identify with my experience(s), if you have a comment or questions – whatever – let me know. I want to hear from you.
Together we light the way