Sunday, June 22, 2003

Telling someone to 'take responsibility' is not blaming!!!

I've been warned by the good people on the message board to:
Please note, members have protested posts that label people as victims and posts that advertise other sites.

Our web editor has removed these posts from the bulletin board and requests that you refrain from such posting.

I get the second part... they're selling books, some of them were written by the owners of the site
(I think, I've not been there very long), my sig file is advertising my site.

What I don't get is semantics, or a problem with our use of semantics.

The statement- "you're doing victim behavior" does not imply:
1) that you should shut the f*** up, stop whining
2) that you are to blame (for anything)

The term 'blame' is found nowhere in the statement "you're doing victim behavior"

the only person who includes blame is the person who is taking it that way.

Why would they do that?

Semantics and/ or Linguistics are powerful

Language is hypnotic

don't believe me?

look at these two phrases(from recent world events)

COMbat stress

comBAT stress

two phrases that conjure up two completely different images

saying that one is doing victim behavior does not imply that
they're to blame!

the person taking on the blame is doing that to themselves

the term victim behavior is null

it contains zero blame, it's a neutral statement

no one told you to link blame with victim behavior

you did that all by yourself


look at what Becky posted (she came to my rescue on message board)

Becky quoted me below
If you're not healthy, you will stay a victim

actually if you know, or come to learn that
the old status quo is not healthy, one could
infer that you were doing victim behavior.

There is no shame in that, you can assert new
boundaries and end your victimization.>>>>
Becky's response
It took a very long time before I understood this.Once I did I never felt so free in my life! Leaving isn't easy; I'm having tough times financially and getting the divorce over with. But once I realized that I was in charge of how I was treated--NOT HIM--I began to feel some power over my own life, for the first time in my life.

I think sometimes people think taking responsibility is the same as taking blame. it's not. We are never to blame for being abused. However, if we choose to live with it we have to take responsibility for that decision. In other words, accept that you are there and plan for how to cope, and stop expecting anything to be different. Stop being surprised and disappointed that nothing about the VA'er changes.

Not everyone can get away; not everyone can walk out the door immediately. Even those who choose to stay can take their power back and thus no longer be a "victim." They can detach, live as separate a life as possible and put their own welfare above all. It's hard to do this while still living with an abuser, but some manage to do it. I toyed with this idea and decided that i am not made to live that way.

When someone new posts and starts right out with very strongly stated opinions, it can be construed as preaching. It can also raise suspiscions and resentment. What helps,I've found is everyone take a step back and not react immediately.

We are all at different stages and that's what makes for an interesting and helpful board imo. I think it helps to remember that some things said here apply to our unique situations and where we are *at* and others don't. I like the philosophy of taking what works for me and leaving the rest.



If you read the entire thread, you'll see that I posted to this list with an agenda.

my first mistake

I failed to do what I knew I should have done- I should have lurked (read a lot of
what is posted to this board, to get a feel for what kind of place it is)

I came out with a strongly worded opinion

I also made some mistakes in stating my opinion


I learned quite a bit from my mistakes!!!

It never occured to me that people who do vicitim behavior would get insulted by the
assertion that they're doing that.

why do they link 'blame' with taking responsibility???

you can see that I got called a troll, and some of the members of
protested that I should make such statements.

I added a line to explain this on the front page of

This reminds me of why my Mom is quitting being a counselor:

she is tired of having the same kinds of people come to her (and pay a lot) for
relationship advice...

...they all do victim behavior and they refuse to quit doing it

Mom told people "If you think she's a whore, then leave her"
and the woman said something to the effect of: "he won't do what I want him to do"

Mom says that all relationship problems (at least the ones she has a decade of
clinical experience with as a counselor) are this:

one person wants the other to do what they want them to do

that other person won't

and you want to keep on trying

it doesn't matter what any one tells you to do, you'll still keep on
trying to change the person

"she's been nagging him to come home after work...she's been
doing it for 16 yrs...and hasn't caught on yet that it doesn't work"
he won't come home because she nags him

which came first, the chicken or the egg??

more later