There are two sorts of victims.
The first sort is people to whom something bad has happened.
Shooting victims.  Abuse victims.  Flu victims.  Victims of the IRS.
The second sort is people who become defined by the bad things that happened to them.
Psychological victims, the second sort, live in a kind of waking nightmare.  The bad thing that happened to them doesn’t feel like it’s over and done with.  They carry it around with them in their bodies and their  minds.
It reshapes them, the way the artist’s wire reshapes a bonsai tree.  It colors everything; their view of themselves, other people, life itself.
The goal of therapy with the second sort of victim is to transform them into the first sort.
To stop bad experiences from defining a person
No, therapy can’t erase the past.
But it can help someone escape the past and move into the present.




3 responses to “Victims

  • NextInLine

    Yet another one knocked completely out of the park. This is exactly what I want to glean from my therapy, although my “victim” label comes from adoption, not the IRS (she’s my bitch haha). You bring it, that’s for sure.

  • Steve Hauptman

    Thanks. I’ve worked with a few adoptees, and it can be hard work, pruning past from present tense. Best of luck with it. 🙂

  • Not my job | Monkeytraps

    […]  Here’s a metaphor drawn from my work with victims (the self-defined kind) and […]

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