• If You Act Like A Victim, You Will Likely Be Victimized – And: Complementarians Ask Women and Girls to Be Small To Make Men Feel Big

If You Act Like A Victim, You Will Likely Be Victimized – And: Complementarians Ask Women and Girls to Be Small To Make Men Feel Big

I could have also headed this post, ‘If you act like prey, you will be treated like prey.’

One theme I have seen in numerous books, articles, television programs, and blog posts I have read on topics ranging from boundaries, people pleasing, workplace abuse, crime prevention, domestic violence, school yard bullying, to Animal Planet channel’s My Cat From Hell television show (seriously!) is that individuals looking to hurt or exploit another individual almost always seek out the most vulnerable-looking target.

Bullies, abusers, con artists, and predators usually do not seek out strong, self-confident, or healthy victims. (There are exceptions, but that is a general rule, based upon much reading I’ve done.)

It’s important to note upfront that my post is not intended to be victim-blaming. I am, rather, a big fan of prevention.

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• Non-Church, Non-Spiritual, or Secular Remedies and Treatments Don’t Always Work

Non-Church, Non-Spiritual, or Secular Remedies and Treatments Don’t Always Work

This is not the post I had planned on writing.

I was briefly discussing in an older post that most American Christians and most churches are utterly terrible at assisting most people who have mental health problems (and I’d also add addiction problems, domestic violence problems, and many other types of problems).

In order to appreciate my position on things, I feel a reader might want to read about my experience with depression and anxiety.

From the age of 11 to the time I was approximately 32 or 33 years old, I saw around four or five different psychiatrists, one psychologist, and one therapist, all for clinical depression and anxiety. (I also saw the therapist to receive grief counseling.)

I know at least one of those several doctors was a Christian, though we never talked about Jesus or faith matters in our sessions.

I have no idea what the religious beliefs were of the other MHPs (Mental Health Professionals) I visited.

From around the age of 15 or 16, up until I was about 33 years old, I was prescribed various anti-depressant medications and about two different anti-anxiety medications.

The medication dosages were modified by the doctors when they didn’t seem to be working for me at their initial dosages.

At some point during my 20s (I do not recall the exact age or for how long, but at least one year), I stopped seeing doctors and stopped taking the pills, because the doctors and the pills were not working.

I also halted medical treatment of my depression and anxiety because I assumed God was refusing to heal me and help me because I was using non-faith means (i.e. medical science) for a solution.

A small part of this view of mine was due to Christian teaching I saw or heard that cast the use of doctors and medications for psychological problems as being sinful or as showing a lack of faith.

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• Problems with A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous)

Problems with A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous)

Alcoholism runs in my mother’s side of the family. My mother’s father, one of her older brothers, and my two siblings are alcoholics. I have always been a teetotaler.

My sister seemed to drink too much to cope with the stress of life. She later stopped drinking on her own.

My sister never joined AA or any other programs, nor did she seek any sort of medical treatment for her drinking problem. To this day, she will occasionally drink moderately at social functions, but she no longer gets drunk as she once did.

My brother joined AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) while he was in his 30s and was a member for at least several years, possibly longer.

I am not sure if my brother feels that AA helped him with his drinking problem or not, because I never asked him.

I did notice that after my brother joined AA, some of his attitudes or communication methods changed, and not always for the better.

The troubling, negative changes in my brother led me to research AA online to see if I could understand how or why AA had changed him so.

I spent a few weeks reading articles about AA, as well as visiting blogs and forums by ex-AA members.

What I discovered from reading this material was that AA was ineffective for most who used it; sexual abuse took place by AA members of other AA members or of those member’s children; the program itself is ‘addictive,’ (in a manner of speaking) which is not good; and, AA fosters a very victim-blaming mentality in some of its members.

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• Yes, Complementarianism Infantilizes Women – and the Complementarian Tie-Breaking Vote Doctrine

Yes, Complementarianism Infantilizes Women – and the Complementarian Tie-Breaking Vote Doctrine

When discussing parenting, this post is assuming the parents in question are raising a physiologically and psychologically healthy child.

I recognize that some children are born with conditions that make them feeble-minded or mentally disabled in some capacities well into their adult years, so they will need adult supervision all the days of their lives.

Yet other people, as adults, get into car accidents causing lasting brain injury, or develop dementia, or other conditions, that leave them “kid-like” and dependent on other adults. I’m not talking about those types of situations, either.


As I wrote in a much longer post or two, gender complementarianism is codependency with a christianized veneer, and the God of the Bible does not endorse codependency but cautions against it.

Complementarianism encourages women to think like children, act like children, to shirk responsibility for their own lives, and they usually start this conditioning and brain-washing when the women are still children, if they were raised in a complementarian family or church, as I was.

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• Abuse, Codependency, and Males

The last time I checked my “Miss Daisy Flower” Twitter account, I received a Tweet from someone who sent me two links in response I did to a Tweet with a link to one of my blog posts – this one:  “Codependency Is Real And It Can Leave Women Vulnerable to Being Abused or Taken Advantage Of.”

The two links sent to me pertained to boys who had been sexually or physically abused – one story was based out of the U.K., and if I remember correctly, the other dealt with boys who had been sexually abused in some sort of Jewish religious context (by a rabbi or something).

At the moment, I’m too lazy to visit my account, log in, and re-read my notifications area to see exactly what those articles were (perhaps I’ll log back in later and post links to those articles in this post at a later time).

I did ask the person who Tweeted me what she was getting at, because at the time, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t understand the relevancy of the links she was tweeting at me. I mulled it over and now believe I may understand what she was trying to say. Here is my response.

I am a woman. I was born and raised in the United States. I was brought up in a traditional Christian family (of the Southern Baptist, evangelical variety) that believed in gender complementarianism (i.e., a belife in traditional gender roles buttressed by references to cherry picked or mis-applied Bible verses).

As I wrote in an older post,

Christian gender complementarianism is nothing but codependency for women

but it’s passed off by Christian gender complementarians as being “godly” or “God’s design” for women.

In blogging about abuse and codependency, I am most competent – and most interested in and familiar with – addressing codependency as it relates to girls and women in American culture and American Christianity.

All I can fathom at this point is that the individual who Tweeted me was perhaps assuming that saying that there are ties between some girls and women and abuse and codependency is some form of victim-blaming (or sexism?), which, as I explained in a previous post, no, it is not victim-blaming to point out the links between abuse of females and codependent behavior.

I’m a former codependent myself who used to attract users and abusers, and who used to silently endure abuse from certain family members for years, precisely because of my codependency – and I’m certainly not victim-blaming myself!

Some boys and men are codependent too. Yes, codependency in a male can make that male vulnerable to attracting mean, selfish, manipulative, controlling, or abusive people. This does not mean that such males are to “blame” for being abused or taken advantage of.

Some abusers or “mean” people, are, by the way, female! Over my life, in my personal and professional life, I’ve had both males and females use me, exploit me, abuse me, or be rude towards me.

Some boys and men learn codependent coping methods in childhood when abused and carry these mal-adaptive coping habits into adulthood. I learned this from reading books and blog posts and articles about codependency (and some about abuse).

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• A Critique of Shahida Arabi’s “Abuse Victims Are Not Codependent, They’re Trauma Bonded”

The content in this post originally sat at the bottom of my last post:

“Codependency Is Real And It Can Leave Women Vulnerable to Being Abused or Taken Advantage Of.”

I would very much encourage you to read that post above before (or maybe even after) reading this one, if you’ve not done so already.

COMMENTS ABOUT HUFFINGTON POST PAGE BY SHAHIDA ARABI

Here are some of my thoughts regarding the following page, hosted on “Huffington Post”:

Abuse Victims Are Not Codependent, They’re Trauma-Bonded by Shahida Arabi

Like many other deniers, Shahida Arabi believes that it is “victim blaming” to note that codependency can or does play a role in some women’s mistreatment.

It is not “victim blaming” to take note that codependency can and does play a factor in abusive relationships any more than it is victim blaming to advise people to lock their doors at night to reduce the risk of having a burglar enter their home as they are sleeping to steal their television set. It’s simply about taking precautions.

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• Codependency Is Real And It Can Leave Women Vulnerable to Being Abused or Taken Advantage Of

Extreme Caution Urged Concerning Domestic Violence Sites that Discount the Role of Codependency in Abuse of Women – Some Abuse Victims are Indeed Codependent

Codependency is Not Victim Blaming and Can and Does Play a Role in Female Marriage (or Dating Violence) or Female Exploitation

(I began composing this post in the summer of 2016 but will publish it in the fall of 2016.)

Summary: 

The topic of Codependency, (which encompasses, but is not limited to, concepts such as assertiveness and boundaries), is NOT a “victim-blaming” one and has a place in helping girls and women make healthier choices for themselves and what they will and will not tolerate in relationships.

A brief critique of the page “Abuse Victims Are Not Codependent, They’re Trauma-Bonded” by S. Arabi – hosted on the Huffington Post – is now located on this other page of my blog.


I touched on this very issue in a previous post here, about half way down the page, under the section entitled “Codependency and Relationship Abuse.”

I am truly alarmed to see the number of sites, some Christian – some not, that wish to deny or discount that codependency can and does play a role in violence towards women, or the exploitation of girls and women, in romantic relationships or other areas of life.

Denying that codependent women can attract abusers or be in abusive relationships, or that being codependent can protract an abusive or exploitative relationship, is doing a very dangerous and huge dis-service to girls and women.

Before I return to that topic in depth, I’d like to fill readers in on some of my  personal background, because I believe it will help you understand where I am coming from.

Using myself as an example will also help you to realize that saying that codependency can play a role in why some women are abused, or why so many remain in exploitative relationships (including toxic friendships or toxic work-place environments), is not (NOT NOT NOT!) a form of “victim-blaming”.

You can also trust me on that because I detest victim-blaming. I have been on the receiving end of victim-blaming by various people over my life, and I know it’s not pleasant, compassionate, or fair.

I myself am a codependent who is in recovery.

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