The classic victim blaming example goes something like this:
A guy leaves his car unlocked in a parking lot. While he's shopping, a thief steals his car.
Who's to blame? The man who left his car unlocked, the thief who stole it, or maybe a little bit of both?
I will start by sharing my own outlook on this moral dilemma. I believe it's the thief's fault for stealing the freaking car. I never lock my doors. Call me an idealist (or stupid), but the fact is, the car wouldn't have been stolen in the first place if the thief hadn't stolen it.
Some might disagree with me there, and that's fine. But fortunately, psychopathic relationships are a lot less ambiguous. So let's modify our little scenario:
A guy meets a new friend at a party. They become really close and they seem to have everything in common! They go out golfing, fishing, and camping together. Months later, the friend asks to borrow his car for an emergency. The guy says "of course". The friend then speeds away, has an affair with his wife, smears his name to all their mutual friends, and never gives the car back.
Again, I'll ask: Who's to blame?
This is why we don't tolerate victim blaming of any kind on Psychopath Free. We are all here because of a completely impossible situation that no normal human being could prepare for. It is not our responsibility to sit and wait, guarding our hearts just in case a psychopath comes along to ruin our lives.
Claiming otherwise is downright dangerous to survivors, especially those who are new to recovery. This line of thinking leads people to believe "Oh, if I just absorb the blame, everything will feel better!" which leads to contact, which leads them straight back into the cycle of abuse.
It is nobody's fault that they were tricked into falling in love. And it is certainly not their fault that they were vulnerable and forgiving once they had fallen in love.
After survivors understand what happened to them, we always encourage them to look within and begin to develop healthy boundaries with others. An entire chapter of our book is titled: "Introspection and Insecurities". But whatever you discover from this introspection is not the reason behind your abuse. It's an opportunity for personal growth and awareness.
If you truly feel that you were co-dependent or disordered before the relationship, then by all means pursue that path. But please do not make sweeping generalizations implying that all survivors are also in the same boat as you.
I want to be really clear about this, so here are some examples of non victim blaming statements:
And here are some examples of victim blaming statements, which will immediately be removed from the forum:
- "How did this happen?"
- "Why didn't I stand up for myself?"
- "How did I miss the red flags?"
- "What are my insecurities? How were they used against me?"
- "Why don't I have healthy boundaries with people?"
In addition to the content of these examples, please also take note of the pronouns. Your points will be received much more kindly if you use "I" statements, instead of "We" statements. Please do not project your own theories onto everyone else.
- "We're all partially to blame for the abuse."
- "We chose to ignore the red flags."
- "It takes two to tango."
- "We're all co-dependent deep down."
- "Stop blaming the psychopath for everything."
Some people truly feel that they are to blame for the abuse. This is completely normal. You've been conditioned & groomed to absorb all of the problems in the relationship. Please, feel free to talk about it and ask questions. That's what we're here for!
But under no circumstances will we allow someone to join this forum and assign blame to other survivors. These types are often argumentative know-it-alls who feel entitled to dictate how others should be healing.
Newsflash: If it infuriates you to see strangers healing and learning self-respect, there is something wrong with you—not the people you are judging. How's that for blame? Seriously, go start your own forum, because we're not going to stick around and dance your dance.
Victim blamers run around like Chicken Little, declaring doomsday scenarios where no one heals because we're all too busy blaming the psychopath. They intentionally leave out the fact that there are literally thousands of posts about introspection and self-work here on PF. They conveniently ignore the middle ground where it's perfectly possible to look within, and not be an insensitive jerk about it. They pay no attention to the unending list of survivors who have found hope, joy, and confidence after their abuse. No, none of that matters to them. That's because they're not here to heal—they're here to preach. They are concern trolls who invent straw men arguments in order to shove their agenda down everyone else's throat.
The ultimate sign of our own growth is that we refuse to entertain this garbage anymore. I have been absolutely floored by various members and their responses to recent posts. I'd like to end this article with a beautiful sentiment from @Growing Bud:
"When it comes to a psychopath, all bets are off. We are all human and what we all want is to find love and revel and grow in that feeling. And that is not only noble, but the common denominator in us all, regardless of experience, age, gender, race, religion or history. There is no hierarchy of 'victim'. All that matters now is our collective future—and not our individual pasts."
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Victim Blaming, Concern Trolls, and Chicken Little
We are all here because of a completely impossible situation that no normal human being could prepare for. No one deserves to be abused.
Article Author: Peace