I am a linguist, so words mean a lot to me. When we use the word victim, we imply that there is, somewhere, a direct object doing the victimizing. Typically, we refer to the abuser as this object. My issue with this, however, is that subscribing to this notion only further solidifies the control an abuser has over a victim.
So, while I will use the words abuser and victim, I never mean to imply that the two are inherently objective and subjective, respectively.
We are victims of our own demise as much as we are in control of our own future. The first step to healing and to empowerment rests on the ability to self-identify as a victim of one’s own behaviors and decisions. Only then can you begin to make the changes necessary to not only escape, but to ensure that you remain in control of yourself going forward (including in future relationships). (See On Happiness) As a survivor myself, I know that escaping is not as easy as simply choosing to leave. In my situation, I physically could not leave my house most of the time, and the notion of actually considering leaving would trigger a series of fights and rage, and the consequence would mean even further control over my ability to leave for short periods of time in the future. There is a lot to consider, and safety is paramount. However, identifying and believing that you are capable of changing your environment is critical. Try as my might, we cannot change others. Many of the topics on this blog will explain how to identify controllable aspects of our environment, and I will go over methods and precautions to taking control back, even in small ways.
I will talk about this concept a lot on this blog, because realizing that there is always a way out is a critical part of regaining control. Understanding what is really keeping you gripped tightly in the hands of an abuser (be it fear, love, or lack of confidence) is what needs to first be addressed before finding the path out.
I am not a licensed therapist or psychologist, but I am always available to help. Consider me an automatic friend. Please feel free to contact me (anonymously if you wish) for support and guidance. Having been through this, I have a wealth of resources and scope that I have been sharing with others and want to share with you. Frances Meres firstname.lastname@example.org