Victims allow themselves to be exploited by choice.
This applies to anyone with victim thinking, not just victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse. It is a jagged little pill of reality but, victims allow their values, beliefs, morals, and ethics to be turned against them and serve as the conduit for abusive behavior to siphon their life away.
I can say this with confidence, certainty, and experience. I am as guilty as anyone else who has allowed themselves to be exploited. The most vulnerable belief a victim can have, the absolutely most exploitable value a victim can posses, is blind faith in sacrifice. For an abusive person who wishes to extort their existence, self-esteem, and love from another their is no other polished diamond than that of a person who has complete blind faith in sacrifice.
A person who is willing to sacrifice themselves for another is essentially agreeing that the life of another is more valuable than their own.
One may argue that there are grey areas to this argument. I have lived that grey scale from beginning to the end of almost sacrificing my life for nothing of value in return. What I discovered is, sacrificial mindset is a vulnerability. Period.
How many people stay in unhealthy relationships for the good of their children? How many victims have been bound by the words, “If you leave, think of what you will do to the children?” Well, let’s consider that. The “good” of the children. What is the good? Is the good material security in exchange for an exhausted mother with a broken spirit?
I refer to this as the Cinderella syndrome. I will get my needs met after I meet the needs of my abuser. I will get to show my children the time and attention they need…after. After I have proven to my abuser that he is loved and cared for, I will be shown love. But, after never comes for more than a moment. As a result, the children do not get to have the parent they wish to have…or the parent a victim wishes to be. Authentic love does not show up to the ball to whisk of us off to a better life. This is the exploitable vulnerability of belief in sacrifice.
Are you a person who is willing to sacrifice their life for love, security, belief in family, the ability to provide, and other such values? If you are, your best defense is to make sure that you are not making a sacrifice for the illusion of these things. This is when the dynamic becomes abusive. This is the dynamic of being exploited.
If a person gives up something they value, materially or spiritually, for value in return, then a healthy exchange has been met. The challenge for a victim is to identify whether they receiving an illusion of value, such as empty promises, or they are actually receiving what they were promised.
The difficulty for anyone with victim thinking or a vulnerable belief in sacrifice is, an abusive person is adept at creating the illusion of value. The other skill an abuser possess is recognizing endurance in their victim. How long are you willing to wait for me to fulfill my promise to you? How much can I exploit from your willingness to sacrifice during that time? How much of your life are you willing to let me use without me giving anything but hope in return?
This is the fraud and exploitation of belief in sacrifice. This is the dynamic of handing your life over to someone else to live for you, at your expense. In healthy relationships, their is no sacrifice for an illusion in return. Instead, there is an exchange of mutual respect for the value of each other’s life.
Take the time to identify the nature of your sacrifice for another. Take the time to identify if you are being exploited or receiving healthy value for what you are willing to give up.
Live your life. Don’t just survive it.