I am struggling. I have felt powerless for months. A great deal has happened and the world is blaming me.

I hate the word victim. I hate the sequential victim-> survivor-> thriver. I have oft said that I want to be a thriver, but am repeatedly shut down. As soon as I have my feet under me, someone comes along and makes me feel like garbage.

I recently looked up my abuser and saw that his life has gone on merrily. He kept his job and family and had nothing negative happen to him. I doubt he even felt guilty. I looked him up because I had thought he had been forced into retirement. Such was not the case.

I have felt pretty powerless lately. My car being stolen and the tow yard taking advantage of me. The lack of police response and laws preventing successive victimization. It reminded me of being thirteen… and my entire high school existence. It reminded me of being seventeen and disclosing and being terrified and no one validating my wishes. It reminded me of having to lie to maintain. It reminded me of how my principal stopped joking with me in the hallway and how he hugged every other student at the graduation ceremony and only shook my hand. It reminded me of being on the back of the bus and boys talking about having sex with me if I would pay them, taking bets on if I was a virgin and commenting that they’d have to cover my face with a paper bag because I was too ugly.

I barely survived high school and college and graduate school. I have worked jobs, only to have breakdowns and now am filing for disability because I can’t handle the stress of a 40+ hour week. Again, with the powerlessness.

I thought this would be a good time to binge watch some police procedural dramas on Netflix. I began to watch Law & Order: SVU and was struck time and time again by how limited our system is to help victims. Always, it was the victim’s fault. Always, the victim had no rights. Always, the victim had years of recovery time ahead. Always… The assailant sometimes just got to go his merry way. It happens so often because society blames the victim.

I am preaching, but this has really impacted my life lately. When my car was stolen, I was blamed. I heated it up in my driveway. A thief saw it and took it. Did you know that it is against the law to heat up your car? WHY? Because someone might steal it. It’s like saying because she didn’t wear pantyhose to the party, she was asking to be raped.

In light of all of this thinking and remembering, I am struggling. I have medical issues that doctors are blaming on my psych meds. So, I stopped taking two of them: the antidepressant and the antipsychotic. I’m sure it won’t help and could make me feel pretty depressed, but I needed some semblance of power back in my life and stopping some pills seemed the only way.

So, begins my week.

Author: Darlene Milam

So, a little bit about me. I am a coffee lover, animal lover, and book reader extraordinaire. Not really the extraordinaire part. I want to be the next great American novelist, or memoirist. I am recovering from anorexia and engaging in daily battles with managing mental illness and other physical health problems. I believe in the power of healing through writing and want to share my story so others know they are not alone. Please comment, ask questions, like, and enjoy reading.

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