In the last post, I talked about how our society has been conditioned to blame the victim and to look for reasons why the victim provoked the abuse, instead of focusing on the actions of the abuser.
I want you not only to be aware of this fact, but to have an action plan in place to counter it.
In this post, I want to empower you so you don’t let anyone take you down the road of explaining why you let the abuse happen.
It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t ask to be abused.
You’re bound to get victim blaming and shaming from your ex. Abusers are always trying to turn their own actions around to project them onto you, making you look like the abusive one.
When it comes from your family and friends, it cuts a little deeper.
- They might not believe you, they might think it wasn’t that bad.
- They ask you why you had kids with him or why you stayed so long.
- They don’t seem to realize that if you had known that the red flags were red, you wouldn’t be in the situation you’re in, now, would you?
But the real kicker is when you experience this in court.
This might be his lawyer’s tactic—to turn things on you and get you to start thinking you might have been to blame.
- My ex’s lawyer would say, “Yes, that (abuse) happened, but why did you continue to go to church with him?”
- Or, “Yes (that abuse was real), but then you stayed for three years after that. Why did YOU do that?”
He made me feel like I was wrong and I was bad.
I got angry at his lawyer and played right into it, trying to defend myself just like I used to do with the ex.
This happens to us all until we get a strategy to stop playing into their questions so they can’t lead us down the path of defending ourselves, destroying our credibility.
I had a couple of tools in my arsenal to use when this happened.
First, I made sure not to look at my ex so he couldn’t intimidate me with his looks.
Next, when that type of questioning started, I recognized it and I diverted attention back to his actions and what I did to stop them.
When I was in court for a custody modification hearing, the ex decided to represent himself. So he was the one questioning me.
He started asking, “If I’m so dangerous, why didn’t you call the police when X happened?”
Do you see it? He was trying to lead me down a path where I was the one who did something wrong by not calling the police!
I kept my face forward so I wasn’t looking at him, and I responded, “I did call the police, on X date, X date, and X date.” He had nothing to say to that!
If you experience this from friends, family members, anyone in your daily life, or when you go into any mediation, therapy, or court hearing, I encourage you to keep your ears open for the phrases people use to place the blame on you.
Be aware of it, take a moment to collect yourself, and then make an intentional choice to not let them take you down that path.
There’s no “maybe I shouldn’t have” or, “maybe I’m the problem” in these situations.
Abuse is abuse and abusers abuse because they choose to abuse. Period.
Nothing that you have done and no choices that you have made caused the abuse. You are not to blame at all, ever.
This is how to stop feeling revictimized every time. You have to do some inner healing, some inner work. Talk to yourself or write it in a journal. Write out some affirmations to remind you that none of this was your fault.
Then when you’re faced with people trying to blame you, you won’t get overwhelmed. You’ll recognize that it’s victim blaming, victim shaming, and revictimization and you’ll act accordingly. You’ll state the facts of the abuse that happened and keep the focus on their actions.
And, be aware! Your support system cannot be saying these things to you and actually be supportive. That’s an oxymoron.
In The Co-Parenting With a Narcissist course, we talk about your support system. We cover how to identify this, how to rectify it, how to change relationships and maybe cut them off. There’s freedom in taking actions like this that ensure your support system is actually supportive.
I want you to find your strength. I want you to not let this stuff get you down or stop you from going forward with a protective order, divorce, or modification of custody. You stand in your truth, recognize these tactics, and hold onto your power instead of giving it away.
If you're wanting help in this area, I highly encourage you to enroll in the Co-Parenting with a Narcissist Course. I know you will be helped and blessed with the videos, workbook, and group coaching as your roadmap to finding peace and standing in your truth and power!
If you'd like help right away, schedule a one-on-one session with me. We'll address your specific situation and you'll walk away feeling heard and empowered.
God made you for this!
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