I've been there, on the receiving end of something I couldn't control. Someone stronger, faster, more conniving, taking advantage of me.
It's happened more times that I can count.
Some of them just added to the lies that I was believing.
Some of them left scars I thought would never heal.
Others left me suffocating in a shame so deep that I could barely breathe, much less talk about it.
If you've been there too, know this: it wasn't your fault.
It was never your fault.
You weren't asking for it. You don't deserve it. You weren't dressed incorrectly. You weren't pushing someone's buttons. You didn't choose this.
Whether you were hurt, assaulted, fired, dumped, ignored, or left out, your pain, grief, and emotional response is valid. But at some point, you need to move past those.
Traumatic events happen to everyone, man, woman, child. It's a horrifying reality we have to live with in a fallen and broken world. But here's the thing, just because you were victimized does not mean you need to stay a victim.
If you never listen to anything I say, please listen to this: it is your responsibility to heal.
That may seem harsh. It may feel unfair. Honestly, it is. You should never have had to deal with this in the first place. But while you cannot control or change what happened, you can control how your life is moving forward.
If you stay stuck in the identity of a victim forever, it will soak into every choice that you make and it will steal your life.
Trust me, I let it happen.
When I first was sexually assaulted, I didn't even realize the effect it had on me. I believed the lie that I was a victim, now and forever, and every choice that I made for the next ten years was one from that viewpoint.
At first it made me so desperate to fill the hole of affection that I dove head first into other toxic relationships. Men who used my body and didn't care for me at all and friendships that were destructive. Every choice causing me to dive even deeper into the pit of self-loathing that was gnawing away at my insides.
The lie: I had no control over my body. So I couldn't hit my fitness goals even though I was desperate to. Every time I got close, my limiting beliefs about myself and my worth caused out of control binge eating.
The lie: I had no control over my situation. So I let everyone around me dictate who I was, even when that went against what I thought I believed in.
The lie: no one cared enough to protect me, so people weren't to be trusted. So I completely shut off my emotions and sabotaged every relationship I had.
The truth: I never had to live that way.
When I finally learned that I was 100% responsible for my life, everything changed. I had to break off the identity of victimhood and choose to stand on the truth: I am powerful beyond measure.
But when you realize that you are in control of how your life is going to turn out, it's so necessary.
If you continue in the mindset of victimhood, you will never be free to live the life you want to live. Everything you do will stem from the belief that you are incapable, weak, and undeserving.
If you experienced trauma that you haven't healed from, you are the only one who can choose to heal.
If you don't like your situation, you are the only one who can change it.
If you hate your job, your house, your circumstances, no one is going to step in to help you unless you step in for yourself.
It's time to take responsibility for the rest of your life.
Don't stay a victim.