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November 29, 2021 8:12 pm  #21

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

I was a victim but not anymore. That’s what a paper by Dr Minwalla on my situation helped me to see: “ This paper discusses deceptive sexuality – a specific type of ABUSE problem – and the trauma-related experiences and symptoms of people impacted by it. The intent of this paper is to serve as a helpful resource for people who may be experiencing these problems (abusers and VICTIMS), as well as for healthcare professionals who are seeking knowledge on how to best respond to and treat clinical presentations associated with deceptive sexuality. My own learning as a mental health professional has come about, in large part, through a process of sitting in rooms with victims of deceptive sexuality – with intimate partners and spouses who have been abused and traumatized in a very specific way – as an empathic witness, listening to and hearing their traumatic realities, with an open mind and heart. This paper was written as a synthesis of their voices – of the human beings living through and harmed by these experiences. This paper is very much for them – the people suffering – and was written with them in mind, and in my heart. With this type of abuse and trauma still lying in our collective darkness, it’s my hope, particularly for VICTIMS but very much also for abusers, that this paper may serve as a lighthouse that gives people hope and support as they attempt to survive.”   Reading that intro was a moment of grace for me. It helped me acknowledge myself as a victim so I could begin to heal. For my sake. “Victim” is  not my sole identity by any means—I’m a mother, daughter, sister, friend, employee, neighbor, community member etc etc. I’m free now and also consider myself a survivor.


December 1, 2021 12:52 pm  #22

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

I came back to this thread recently and re-read it to see whether my thinking on this topic has evolved with time.  I've always bristled at the oversimplistic framing of "victimhood" versus "heroic survivor".  Neither extreme really fits.

I continue to be affected by the things my husband did to me, and the lack of support (outside of this forum and of course Chump Lady).  I feel like the language is too laden with insinuations; if I say I've been victimized people get resentful, like I'm an attention whore or something.  But reading Dr. Minwallahs' paper made it clear: this is actual trauma, not just like your high school boyfriend got caught making out with the head cheerleader behind the bleachers that one time.

I had physical things happen that can clearly be traced to what he was doing to me.

When I get that speech about how wonderfully resiliant I am ... it just pisses me off.  It's what people say when they want to make themselves feel better.  If I'd had an arm amputated, I might listen to an inspiring lecture from a fellow amputee, but I doubt I'd be receptive to a scolding coming from someone with two functioning arms.

I plan to live a fulfilling and rewarding life, if for no other reason than to spite my abuser.  But, I'm not going to sit around pretending I was never victimized, or that the damage he did isn't still live and real for me.

Edited to add: I didn't mean this to sound like a reaction to the immediately preceding post -- hope it didn't read that way.  I'm only describing my own experience.  I'm not going to pretend it doesn't continue to damage me, I still have flashbacks and nightmares.

Last edited by walkbymyself (December 1, 2021 1:05 pm)


December 1, 2021 9:37 pm  #23

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

Walkbymyself, excellent analysis of how it affects and continues to affect us.  Your amputee vs 2 arms point is trenchant.  We all have out own recocery paths and timelines and few understand except those who are going through it.


December 2, 2021 4:04 pm  #24

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

I’ve never felt victimized by my husband coming out as bi. I felt sadness regarding what it all meant for us and I felt some trauma, but not victimized. I’m not sure how the two didn’t go hand in hand for me, but they didn’t. Maybe it helps that my husband and I have always had a strong foundation, even with and through his coming out.


December 2, 2021 5:08 pm  #25

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

It's an interesting dynamic between the different meanings associated with the word victim.  on the one hand there's all the users walking round claiming to be victims needing a hand and on the other hand so many of the actual victims don't want to complain and don't til their hair's on fire.

Personally I have no problem with saying I was a victim of a fraud.  That it was ongoing, that increasingly he used me as a scratching post for his ill humour.

I like the way you make the point that being a victim is not the definition of who you are, Towards the Light.  

Thanks Walkby for confirming that correlation to physical symptoms, I experienced that too, and I agree with Soaplife, excellent analysis.



December 2, 2021 7:24 pm  #26

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

I didn’t take your post personally, Walkby. I can identify with much of what you expressed. I’m in counseling to work toward forgiveness of my liar ex and have revisited some of the trauma—the abandonment especially. And the stress causing my hair to fall out. The triggers. And my counselor asked what I feel when I drive by my ex’s house and I said “I want to throw large rocks through all the windows!” The rage. I don’t know if that will ever go away.


December 2, 2021 7:57 pm  #27

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

Tangled Oil,
    If I recall, you've said your husband has never acted on his bisexuality and hasn't expressed a wish to open the marriage to do so.  Plus, bisexuality is very different than homosexuality or transgenderism.  Your husband's bisexuality doesn't mean he isn't attracted to you (TGT).  It doesn't mean that for years he wouldn't have sex with you and tried to make you think you were the problem (TGT).  It doesn't mean that your husband doesn't want to be either a man or a husband to you (TTT). I think that's a very different situation than most of the rest of us.


December 2, 2021 10:31 pm  #28

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

Yes I was a victim...it's not a physical feeling but a true thing.  I come here to give back and I'm doing really good now.  But to deny what I was and sometimes still feel is just not reality.

It wasn't until my psychiatrist told me I was abused that I thought what? My lying, cheating and gay wife loves me.. she doesn't abuse me..
It wasn't until I picked up a phamplet for domestic abuse at my lawyers office and went through the check list, and was able to check off the majority of abusive things, that I was able to comphrehend the real true reality of my situation.   

I have no rage when I drive past my GXs house..any rage and sadness is dwarfed by pure physical fear. 

I dont want to say I'm a victim any longer but like Walk said to say I'm a survivor and  resilient etc  links me to the abuse also.. which is not who I am.  I'm so much more than what my GX did to me..

I urge anyone going through this to know that just because we love our spouses fiercely and loyally..it  does make their secret/declared/discovered
sexuality a free pass to hurt us and treat us badly.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

December 2, 2021 11:33 pm  #29

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

Victim no.  Betrayed yes, not only by my wife of 20 years and who I thought I was to continue to grow old with but also by a society that celebrates the "bravery" of homosexuals coming out regardless of the harm they do to their spouses and family.  Left in a financial and emotional mess not of my making, yes.   Overall I felt like society was treating my son and I's destroyed lives were just a byproduct of serving the perceived "greater woke purpose" of my stbx coming out and living as a lesbian.   Victim No.    Piece of trash tossed to the side of the road, yes for a long time but not anymore.  Empowered,  yes.   I'm still standing and moving forward and I don't care what she thinks and what society believes anymore. 

Last edited by Charting My Path (December 2, 2021 11:35 pm)

previously Itsabouther

December 8, 2021 2:09 pm  #30

Re: Do you feel like a victim?

That's a very strong position to be in, Charting - I am getting there, I still get upset at how society believes, but not as much as I used to, I am getting to value the strength in not caring, or at least recognising that it doesn't make any difference if I care or not so it is more to have an emotional haven than try and change it.  

On an individual level I hate seeing the emotional pain growing though.  I remember feeling like why didn't anyone tell me why let me suffer.  Now I am doing the same thing - not saying anything but I know if I do I wouldn't be believed anyway.


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