Trauma Informed Recovery

Grief Healing and Recovery Limiting Beliefs

Are You Playing The Victim, Or Just Gaslighting Yourself?

It wasn’t so bad, was it?

Stop playing the victim.

You’re an adult now, they don’t own you.

It’s in the past. You are strong.

Pick yourself up and keep going!

Others have it way worse.

I mean, they weren’t awful. They were really good to me in some ways.

I don’t mean to complain or sound needy…

Maybe I am crazy? Maybe I made it up and overreacted.

I shouldn’t feel like this…


I’m begging you to stop!

Who told you these things? Who told you that your pain wasn’t real or didn’t have a place in this world? Who told you it wasn’t so bad or that you should just *snap your fingers* and get over it? Who told you you were a burden for needing support and guidance because you have trauma? Who told you to find the silver lining and deny your pain, to shove it in the past “where it belongs”?

I’ll tell you: The people who were made uncomfortable by your truth!

But the pain isn’t in the past, is it? It’s very, very real and it affects you to this day.

Not because you are weak. Not because you aren’t trying hard enough to heal.

I know you’re exhausted by the efforts of constantly being in recovery! I know you’ve been lugging around an invisible backpack of grief and pain and confusion and injustice and limiting beliefs and negative self-talk and fear of yourself and others.

Because they made you not trust yourself. They denied you genuine love and care. They made it hard for you to feel safe and trust others. Your pain makes complete logical sense!!

You were told some hefty lies, my dear. Lies like:

  • You’re not enough and will never be enough!
  • There’s something wrong with you.
  • You’re crazy, unstable, and dangerous.
  • You’re not wanted or loveable.
  • You don’t belong.

And how could you not believe those lies? They were fed to you by the people you trusted the most. The people society says “have your back and your best interests in mind”.

I need you to really hear this: They were lies.

Lies. NOT truths. NOT reflective of you.

They weren’t even about you, actually.

They were about the scared, broken, terrified people who needed to tear you down because that’s easier than building themselves up.

They were told to you by the people who benefitted from you staying small. You, your gifts, and your truth are less threatening that way.

They were told to you by the people who needed to control your perceptions, your reality and your thoughts because that was how they controlled how they felt about themselves.

They knew you could expose them and that was dangerous.

So they made you a victim and told you it was all in your head.

My dear, it was not all in your head.

Let’s redefine what “Victim Mentality” actually means.

A “victim mentality” should be the act of acknowledging and honouring what happened to you, despite constantly being told to shove it away for other people’s comfort and convenience.

A “victim mentality” should reflect the current, and fully justified, mental state of feeling the grief and pain and working through it.

But for some reason, society has defined “victim mentality” as the state of whining and griping about pain and not getting over it swiftly enough. It tells those who have suffered abuse that they are wallowing too long and too hard. It tells them that they are perceiving injustice where injustices don’t exist.


Because this is easier than providing the necessary support and accommodations to help people recover.

Because it is easier than preventing abuse and calling out those in “power” who perpetuate it.

Because as a society, we were never taught how to deal with difficult emotions and when we feel discomfort, we like to push the thing away that is causing it, rather than face ourselves and deal with it.

When people don’t know how to help you, it scares them, so they tell you to move on!

When people are suffering and shoving their own pain down, they envy your ability to be open about it. They were never able to, or it was never safe for them to acknowledge their pain. Your pain triggers theirs. They want their pain to go away. So you better squash. Yours. Down. Too.

There are lots of reasons why people force others to change so that they don’t have to.

Don’t Stop Hurting.

Well, admittedly, that is a bold statement.

Of course, I don’t want you to be in perpetual pain. I want you to experience freedom, fulfillment, joy and peace. That’s why you’re here reading this article.

But I don’t want you to shove the pain away for others’ convenience and comfort.

We know that healing requires moving through the pain, grief, and all the mental, emotional, and behavioural shifts that come along with it. Keep going forward, paying no attention to the people who don’t want you to acknowledge your truth.

Remember that just because your truth threatens them, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. This is an important distinction to make so that you stop gaslighting yourself by trying to deny, minimize, or “clean up” your pain.

Pain is messy. It just is.

Start Healing.

This is where clients tell me…Ok, yes, I agree…but I’m literally sick and tired of the mess and just want to heal. I don’t want to keep lugging around this backpack filled with reminders of the burdens they imposed on me. It’s literally holding me back from living my life!

I get that. It’s pretty heavy and cumbersome.

Let’s make a clear distinction between being stuck and “playing the victim”.

You may be stuck. You may not actually know how to move forward. You may have anger and fear and grief that was denied for so long that you are now finally allowed to feel and that righteous rage is kinda liberating and enticing. because it finally has a voice!! Maybe you want to stay there a bit. I get it.

Maybe growth means big changes in your life that you’re not sure you’re ready for.

Maybe you don’t feel heard or understood, and you need actual emotional validation before you can take the next step on your journey. You’ve literally lived a whole life shoving your needs and feelings to the side to accommodate others. It makes sense you would want and need some acknowledgement and understanding in order to build trust in yourself again.

This is not “playing the victim”. This is recognizing what’s holding you back from healing. This is identifying roadblocks. And those can be easily navigated with the right guidance.

Once the roadblocks are out of the way, you will be shocked at how fast and how far you get toward freedom and fulfillment.

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  1. I love this. So much pathology is defined by this “victim mentality” – and it further shames victims who need support! So often as I’ve gotten in touch with my rage and profound grief and even the numb fatigue of it all, I’ve gaslit myself by looking at toxic personality traits and seeing “blames others”. Well – it was their fault, actually! And oftentimes they do such profound damage that people are forever victims – not because they are “playing” the victim but because they were destroyed.

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