Here is the online dictionaries definition of a victim:
1. One who is harmed or killed by another: a victim of a mugging.
2. A living creature slain and offered as a sacrifice during a religious rite.
3. One who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition: victims of war.
4. A person who suffers injury, loss, or death as a result of a voluntary undertaking: You are a victim of your own scheming.
5. A person who is tricked, swindled, or taken advantage of: the victim of a cruel hoax.
Under the definition our children were victims at one time. Some of our kids move on. Some continue to see themselves as victims just waiting for the next injury or loss to be inflicted. I do not know why some move on and some do not. All I know is that as a mom of one child who is still waiting for me to abandon or abuse him there must be answers.
First: Empower. I try to tell him he is strong. He is capable. He is smart. I try to find areas in which he can be successful. This is difficult. When he was younger he used to compete on our local swim team. He was fairly proficient in the breast stroke. There were a few times when he was one of the first three as they were about half way across the pool. Then he would look around. He would immediately drop back to last. You could see him slow down and deflate. I saw this happen more than once. I often think his silliness, falling and lack of social graces are in part due to the fact that he sees himself as a weak scared little boy.
Second: Safety. I don't know if we will ever provide enough comfort and warmth for him to feel safe. The sad thing is we are not just trying to make him feel safe from the world. He does not feel safe with us in his own home. It is easy to say "What am I doing wrong?" when the issue is his perception. All we can do is keep smiling, touching and assuring.
Third: Love. He does not feel loved. Have you ever read The Five Languages of Love? Excellent book. When I read it I could not figure out Bears language. He did not fit any of the lists even a bit. He is so in his shell. So what is his language? For now it is comforting. Comforting his fears, his phobias his feeling of empending danger.
It would be so hard to be him.
PS I just realized I forgot to do a Hurray for our Kids!
Eagle: Is working hard.
Dancer: Is preparing to go back to school and doing great at saving her money.
Fish: Is gearing up for his championship swim meet.
Bear: Applied for 2 more jobs this week.
Taz: Has been answering respectfully!
Feel free to share if you have the time and inclination.