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.
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