Two little words that can make you feel like a victim

20 Mar 2018

Being around an emotionally abusive partner is reason enough to make anyone feel like a victim. Unfortunately, feeling like a victim has a markedly harmful effect on a person’s happiness and well-being.  It gets in the way of a person feeling good enough about themselves to make the changes they need to make. In this article, we shall look at the two little words that can make life even harder, when you already feel down. But let’s start by looking at exactly what we mean by the word “victim”.

In this article, we shall look at the two little words that can make your life even harder, when you already feel down. But let’s start by looking at exactly what we mean by the word “victim”.

The 3 aspects of being a victim

A quick look online reveals that the word “victim” has three definitions, or aspects to it,

Aspect #1 A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of an event or action.

Aspect #2 A person who is tricked or duped.

Aspect #3 A person who has come to feel helpless and passive in the face of misfortune or ill-treatment.

All three apply to anyone unfortunate enough to have a relationship with an emotional abuser.  Thankfully, only a relatively small proportion of emotionally abusive relationships end in murder. However, every emotionally abusive relationship can make you feel like death.  In an emotionally abusive relationship you will undergo significant damage.

That damage happens to you.

The abuser’s take on the situation

Of course, an emotional abuser will always tell you that “It” is all your fault.  He argues that the responsibility for his behaviour towards you lies with you.  We must assume that he, poor poppet, is so challenged by the effort of looking (more or less) like an adult, that we could not possibly expect him to behave like one.

Or maybe it is meant to be your fault that he is – and acts like – an overgrown toddler.

Who knows? Who cares?

The thing is, you care.  Very much.

You feel like a victim because you have been tricked and duped by this person so often that you believe him more than you believe yourself.  No wonder you end up feeling Aspect #3 so keenly.

In an emotionally abusive relationship the abuser’s ill-treatment becomes your new normal.  It is absolutely normal to feel helpless and passive when that ill-treatment becomes your reality.  However those feelings of passiveness and helplessness work to paralyse you.

Ultimately, those feelings of passiveness and helplessness stand in the way of you having the life and the happiness you deserve.

The two little words that make you feel like a victim

Can two words really be so powerful? Do just two words have the power to make you feel like a victim?

Absolutely. If you need proof, think for a moment, about one, slightly bigger word, “selfish” which has the power to make most women want to curl up in shame.  That one little two syllable word exerts a MASSIVE effect. It unleashes all your shame and self-doubt. It drives you to try even harder and pay even less attention to your own needs.

Never underestimate the power that words have over you.  If you could just turn off the volume on your abuser’s words, a lot of their power over you would just evaporate.

So what are the two little words that you – just like everyone else in a similar situation – use that make you feel like a victim?

“To me.”

Don’t personalize

It’s normal to ask why someone that you love behaves that badly to you.  It is understandable to ask, “How can he do that to me?”  But it sucks.

Simply by tagging the “to me” onto the end of your questions about his behaviour, personalizes your experience.  It makes his behaviour somehow about you.

When you omit those two little words and ask, instead, How could he behave so badly?  How could he speak like that? the questions elicit answers of a very different order.  Answers that fit that bill include:

  • Quite easily.
  • He has a vile temper.
  • That’s just the way he is (when he is not trying to impress people).
  • He gets it from his father/mother.
  • Because he is an out-and-out jerk.

All of these are, likely, true.  He does what he does because he is who – what – he is.  He does what he does “to you” because you are the person closest to hand.  Nobody else is as likely to tolerate his behavior – and still try to love him into being a nicer person than he ever intends to be.

It is inevitable that an emotionally abusive partner will continue to victimize you for as long as you tolerate them in your life. That is why you really don’t want them to have free access to your life.  Whether or not they are that person is still in a relationship with you, it serves their purpose to make you feel like a victim.

You serve your own well-being and happiness when you stop feeling like a victim and stop asking yourself questions that end in “to me”. Don’t let those two little words make you feel like a victim ever again. People only ever do what they do “to you” because that is what they do. Their behaviour is their responsibility – even when it happens “to you”. If you struggle to get beyond feeling like a victim, get in touch.




Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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