Updated: Sep 4, 2019
Victim: a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
I can ensure you that whatever happened wasn’t your fault. Society has taken the “v” word as a synonym for weakness, further pushing the overall concept of being a victim equating weakness.
You are not weak for feeling those feelings; in fact it takes quite a strong individual to acknowledge their truth.
After the initial shock of what took place settles, you may experience a ray of emotions and feeling as though you were taken advantage of will be one of them - and that’s okay, in fact, that’s one step closer to bringing everything full circle; victim - survivor - thriver, that’s the cycle.
The Three Stages of Survival Defined
According to GoodTherapy.org
The Victim Stage:
An individual in the victim stage feels as though he or she is still in the trauma — no matter how long ago the actual traumatic incident(s) occurred. The sense of being in that moment of time permeates the person’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and even his or her sense of self. It is common for an individual in this stage to avoid many emotions while experiencing in abundance feelings of helplessness, vulnerability, fragility, self-pity, numbness, defeat, shame, self-hatred, and discouragement.
The Survivor Stage:
Is the time when one begins to feel strong and confident and to truly believe that there are resources and choices. A key realization of this stage is that an individual has gotten through the trauma intact, or mostly intact, and is indeed outside of it. This understanding allows the person to begin integrating the trauma into his or her life story, to take control of life, and to recognize potential for change and growth, with less suffering, less pain, less guilt, and definitely less depression.
The Thriver Stage:
The thriver stage crystallizes the growth of the survivor stage and takes one’s healing to the point where he or she has general satisfaction with life as well as a sense that ordinary life is both interesting and enjoyable. Commitment to moving forward, to taking care of one’s physical health, to investing in one’s career, relationships, and love and life allow these gains to occur. On an emotional level, feelings of strength, empowerment, compassion, resilience, and self-determination eclipse the emotions experienced within the victim stage. In addition a renewed sense of joy, peace, and happiness arises because one has grown, despite the traumatic experience, and is living well.
With that being said, as someone who was once a victim and now lives in the space of a thriver; I can definitely assure you that, their will be days where you’ll look back and feel as tough whatever happened is now a faint part of your memory and others where everything will rush back and that’s okay too. Healing is not meant to be linear, there's learning curves along the way but as a heart monitor shows us, the real indication of being alive involves many ups and downs.
- Cordie Mundele