• The Left Should Just Admit it: Victims Aren’t Always Good People by Deborah Orr

The Left Should Just Admit it: Victims Aren’t Always Good People by Deborah Orr

I just saw this editorial last night, right after publishing two posts on this blog about victims, victim-blaming, etc. The timing is rather funny. I don’t know if I agree with all of it, but there’s a lot of truth in it.

This comes from a UK paper called The Guardian, which is a left wing publication:

The Left Should Just Admit it: Victims aren’t always Good People by Deborah Orr

Liberals appear naive when they claim all food bank users are ‘deserving’. The real scandal is that this safety net has to exist at all

Here are some snippets from the editorial:

[Some people are in genuine need, or in assistance of, things such as food stamps or food banks, through no fault of their own. Some of these people might be able to pin point when and how their lives fell apart, causing them to have to seek government assistance or some kind of welfare.]

…But guess what? Others [i.e., people who are on welfare, food stamps, and / or who claim victim status] would be without insight, oblivious or indifferent to the damage and neglect they have meted out to themselves and those who tried to help them – psychopathic, sociopathic, narcissistic.

Human beings, despite the witless homilies of humanism, don’t all start out good and kind and perfect, only to have it driven out of them by a cruel world.

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• Victimhood, Compassion, and Time Limits

Victimhood, Compassion, and Time Limits

(I have provided false names below for any family or friends I have that I mention on this blog. I’m not going to provide their real names. I have edited this post a few times since it was published to fix typing errors, or to clarify a thought here or there.)

This post is a follow-up to my last one,

Victimhood, Victim Blaming, and Moving On

I read about a judge many years ago who was asked to comment or rule on obscenity laws. People were pressing him to define what, exactly, constitutes pornography.

He replied by saying something like, “I cannot really strictly define what it is, but I know it when I see it.”

Those are my sentiments exactly when thinking about victims, victimhood status, and so forth.

I cannot give a hard and fast time line on how long anyone should be “permitted” to feel hurt or grieve over a tragedy in their life before they need to be confronted about it and gently nudged to seek help, or can be considered to be wallowing in victim status.

But I do know it when I see it – usually.

I would like to provide examples I’ve come across personally, in real life, that I’ve seen online, or that I’ve seen in articles or on TV shows.

A CAVEAT

Some people repress trauma that happened to them when they were younger, for whatever the reason.

They repress the emotions or events associated with said trauma until decades later.

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• Victimhood, Victim Blaming, and Moving On

Victimhood, Victim Blaming, and Moving On

This will be a difficult post to write, because I’m sure some people may take parts of it the wrong way, or be inadvertently insulted or offended, but I mean no insult or offense.

In the past week, at least two blogs I sometimes visit that highlight the topic of spiritual abuse, have featured posts that discuss how spiritual, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood can affect a person even into late adulthood.

I totally agree – things done to us in childhood can indeed impact us into adulthood. (Some of my family members, my father included, do not acknowledge this fact – but that might be another topic for another post to write in the future.)

At any rate, arguments ensued among commentators on such blogs as to if, when, or how, it is compassionate, feasible, or wise, to scold, shame, lecture, or encourage a victim to “move on,” and to do things such as seek out a mental health professional.

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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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