Are we victims of abuse? Should we even think of ourselves that way?

by nicolaou 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • DJS

    Great topic,

    I think y'all know how I feel on this subject. When my kids were young I had few 'rules', even considering the DarkLords. One rule was they could never use the word "bored," and the other rule was they could never think, talk or act like a victim. Both of them would tell you those two 'rules' contributed greatly to their success.

    Of course we were all in some ways victims. However, we all have to take more than a bit of personal responsibility. I don't have an issue with acknowledging our victimization. For a few minutes. What I have a problem with is marinading in it. Savoring it. Making it our best friend and never, ever letting it go. A lot of people on this site seem to relish in being a perpetual victim, and some of us reinforce that.

    That is a destructive trait and we all should work on replacing 'victim' with 'victor' as quickly as possible.

    Are you a victim of the victim mentality?

    Dealing With the Victim Mentality

    The Victim Identity

    The allergic reaction to personal responsibility means a difficult life.

  • StarTrekAngel

    I respectfully disagree. There are many shapes and forms of victims. A victim of sex abuse has its own set of issues to deal with. A crime victim may have to deal with the everlasting wounds of his or her assault and so and so forth. In every case, you have a support network that meets your basic expectations. You expect your parents and closest relatives to be there for you and help you cope with the situations and therefore it is easier to transfer from the victim to the survivor state.

    This is, to me, the biggest issue with cults and undue influence. Not only your are affected directly, but your support network is destroyed as well. If you exited the cult and your family did not and they continue to contribute to the problem rather than supporting you, then you have not finished being victimized. You can not blame people for that. You may have pulled away the knife but the wound still bleeds. It will continue to do so until you get someone to heal you. Until that happens, you are still a victim.

    Telling someone that the have some share of responsibility on their feelings of being victims of this cult is exactly the approach of the bully. It isn't his fault that you are feeling hurt. We said you were free to go, but we are keeping your friends and family. If you still feel hurt, then you are the one who just doesn't want to go away.

    Some I know, have not had another choice but to deal with the recovery on their own, facing years of issues, which eventually leads to emotional scars. The outcome is that when they find someone going thru the same issues, they tend to dismiss the other persons feelings. Suck it up buttercup! I've been there and look at me, I am still alive... not sure what is it that you are complaining about.

  • nicolaou

    For me, the issue is most clear cut when it comes to small children. Filling their innocent minds with a demons and angels mentality is abuse.

    Giving them nightmares that Satan is "like a roaring lion seeking to devour someone" is abuse. Giving them books with graphic images of the end of the world as an impending reality is abuse.

    I think the abuse of a child's mind is unforgivable.

  • lostgirl

    if you are left emotionally or physically scarred by another person or collective group of people especially for long periods of time. you were abused. It doesn't mean it takes away from any other forms or abuse in the world. It just still is.

    if I am a scared scarred shattered adult as a direct result of choices and actions my parents took and still take as a result of being Jw. I was and am abused.

    (and that's not even mentioning the elders and their emotional abuse.)

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Good questions.

    The WTS is an abusive organisation, so there are grounds for saying we have all been abused.

    I got off lightly compared to others, so I find it difficult to say that I've been abused.

    But I think others who've had it worse than me can say with more confidence that they are victims of abuse.


    I think the abuse of a child's mind is unforgivable.....nic

    This is a Picture from my WBT$ childrens book.."Paradise Lost"..

    This horror was supposed to be my entertainment..

    Before I Was Even Old Enough To Read.. result for Thanks mom and dad

  • Tallon

    Outlaws post above ^^^^

    I too studied that book - Paradise Lost To Paradise Regained - as a kid. Thinking back, some of those images in the book were very disturbing.

  • berrygerry

    A complete culture of abuse.

    Unquestioning obedience to a corporation, then to its executives, then to its overseers, then to the parents.

    Abuse saturated throughout, permeating every element of life.

  • nicolaou

    Outlaw, we're probably about the same age as I had that exact image in mind.

    For adolescents and young adults another abuse is the repression of individual sexuality. I can only imagine the guilt, fear and confusion many must have suffered when coming to terms with being gay or bisexual.

  • slimboyfat

    Yes it probably is.

    A strange thing is that as long as you are "under the spell" it can work out okay for you though. Many people seem to be happy and thrive as JWs.

    I read an academic article recently, I can't remember the title, that looked at health outcomes associated with strict religions in particular, if I remember correctly.

    It said people who stayed in such religions had similar health outcomes to the general population. But people who left such religions had worse health outcomes. I think this included but was not confined to mental health.

    It's very stressful to leave JWs because it alters your perception of what life is all about and where it's going. And causes all the personal problems mentioned too.

    Sometimes I think of JWs I know who are smug and I think, "they'll find out in the end it's a lot of rubbish, that'll knock the smugness out of them". Then I think to myself, "they'll probably never have that realisation, they'll do pretty well, and be smug until they die".

    Sometimes I think smug believers are the lucky ones. They may be victims too but they show no signs of it.

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