Friday, July 22, 2011

You Are Not a Victim ! A ticked-off Advocate Speaks Her Mind About Victimization

 By Pamela Chapman

While in the past few weeks I have decided to no longer do business as I have in the past, I have also told myself that I would no longer mince my words or pussyfoot around with people’s lives. This is not to say that I have in the past; however, when you blog, have a website or comment on Facebook, when you are in the limelight, you feel obligated to be sensitive, polite and politically correct. You believe you shouldn’t offend your audience.

However, if anyone reading this piece were to interview some of my ex-clients (I am so humbly proud to say ex) they would say at some time or another I pissed them off.

They’d probably easily remember me getting under their skin. They’d recall how we yelled back and forth at one another and talked over each other. Some would tell you they phoned my boss at the OCRM to report me for not giving them all the tools, gifts or entitlements they believed they needed. Or, as one of my favorite clients, who is now a friend, did—called my boss because the case manager whom I replaced promised to take care of her and her family and I said, “bull!”

I personally didn’t give a rat’s you-know-what about the promises made to her. I was looking at an intelligent, beautiful young woman who had everything going for her; but, instead she was perfectly comfortable going from one program to another believing that was all she was worthy of having and doing.

It wasn’t the only time that I made her angry. I also made her angry when she told me she was intentionally choosing to make the same stupid decision, over and over again. That was seeking out abusive mates. Well, she didn’t exactly put it that way. After me telling her I was going to pray and declare that she would no longer have any desire for the loser guys she was picking, she kind of said, (paraphrased) “I don’t want you to pray for me because I enjoy my [irrational, absurd, stupid] behavior.”  Adjectives added by yours truly. She stomped off and refused to connect with me for her weekly accountability sessions. I, honestly, saw through her pain and her hurt and knew her words were just that— words. But also honestly, I had far too many cases to manage and didn’t feel it my personal responsibility to track her down. But, this I knew. I had prayed and either she’d get mad and drop off my case load or she’d get mad and move her life forward.

Several weeks later, I received a call. “Can we meet?” She had come to the crazy conclusion that she was good enough, worthy enough (even though these weren’t her words) and believed my prayers for her had helped her lose desire to pursue or be pursued by the losers of her past. “What the $%@! did you do?” she questioned as soon as I was seated across from her.

I laughed. I had messed up her world.

You see, I believe as long as we coddle clients, patients and loved ones—as long as we allow them to be victims of abuse and life, we not only permit but perpetuate their behavior and enable them to be poor, weak, disempowered individuals (whether women or men) believing they are unworthy of anything better, living their pathetic lives as such.

It has been said that people like me, people with my belief “mess other people up.” Well, you know something. Good! If messing them up will cause them to get up of their glorious asses and do something different—Good! My success record, my rate of recidivism speaks for itself.

I do not believe a woman or a man has to cycle six, seven or ten times and/or get their brains beat out before they can find the power to leave. I do not believe they have to have money to leave. I do not even believe they have to enter an agency shelter. However, I believe they do have to first believe in themselves: that they are WORTHY and they are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made by an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God.

I do believe they must find a strong and powerful support system—someone who has been through it to help them walk though it and out of it. Not someone who talks about it, has studied it or read about it; but, someone who has lived their hell. They have to find someone like a Susan Murphy Milano, Anny Jacoby, or I—someone who has not only survived but has over-come and beat all odds and is willing to walk with them, strengthen their soul, and feed their spirit. Someone who can show them how while they work and fight with everything in their own personal God power to get the hell out of their degrading, humiliating and pitiful situation.

Victim? No you are not! Your situations and/or experiences do not make you. The same as your occupation, career or where you live does not make you. If you are in an undesirable situation, you are simply an individual, male or female, who is going through a challenging life transition—possibly horrendously challenging. You may have forgotten who and what you are. Life has possibly dealt you a hard blow or two; maybe even several probably starting with childhood, and you have come to believe these illusions and shadows are you and what you are. Not so!

I won’t pat your little head or rub your bended back. I’m not going to let you feel sorry for yourself. Nor am I going to let you believe you’re entitled to anything. I’m not going to blame you either and say it’s your fault. Whose fault it is doesn’t matter. But this is what I am going to do. I’m going to teach you that you are somebody. You are someone very, very special. I am going to help you understand you are here for a very powerful and specific purpose. I will prove to you that you are worthy and go on to show you there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

If you wait for someone to empower you, you will be waiting until your hell freezes over. And, it won’t freeze! It won’t stand still. The only way for the abuse, humiliation and dread to end is to make an empowered decision to do something for you. And, when you’re tired and weary, know that you can do all things and every thing through Christ Jesus who is your strength. Listen, He will never leave you or forsake you. You know why? You are in Him and He is in You so you can’t leave one another.

And when someone tells you, you have to be a victim or it’s okay to be a victim or there is nothing you can do or, or, or, or… stand with your shoulders back and say, “I AM More than a Conquer—I AM an Over-comer. I AM a VICTOR.”

Empowering yourself requires action. Learn to protect yourself. Learn to take care of yourself. Learn to depend on no one but yourself. (I personally would include God in the equation I don’t care what agencies say.) Want to know why and how I can be so adamant and arrogant, so bold and audacious with my words?

Here’s three reasons why:
  • This 5’3, 105 pound (back in the day) black girl who grew up in the South Bronx, who got pregnant at 20 and then found herself lonely, poor and disempowered one day went down to social services and they, the government, told me to go home and get pregnant. I made too much money. Six-hundred dollars a month was too much money. That’s when I got ticked and waged a war.

  • When I was thirty-something and my five-foot obnoxious boss in L.A. told me I’d never be anything or get anywhere because I wasn’t political, that’s when I got ticked, again, and waged a war.

  • And, when my alcoholic, emotionally abusive husband of seventeen years (the man I had washed dirty underwear, cooked, cleaned and shopped for while working 10 hours a day) told me he’d choose his bottle over me any day that’s when I really got pissed and waged a war.

This is what makes me an expert. I’ve lived it and have come through it miraculously and triumphantly. These are only a few of my personal battles. You see every time, a person, a situation, or a challenge attempted to destroy me, I’d resurrect twice as tall and strong and overcome it. When someone told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t, I said, “Bet your ass I will,” and I did.

I have made a well-thought, educated decision to not pursue my purpose the same way I have in the past years as I said in opening. But, I promise you I am not a victim and neither are you.  I will continue to speak out, and continue to speak life into what has been pronounced dead. I will continue to encourage and motivate women to empower themselves. I will continue to speak against disingenuous, disempowering, disabling systems that continue to perpetuate weakness and victimization. I will continue to expose the shams and the imposters. I’ll do it, and I will do it in the strength and in the might of Jesus and our Almighty God. I won’t do it in anger, but I’ll do it in love because love conquers all!  

I dare to say that the women and families that I’ve assisted would add this: that when they decided to love themselves, I loved them more. When they decided to take a step for themselves, I took two. When they decided they were sick and tired and weren’t going to take it any more, I was right there beside them just as pissed and ticked as they were—ready to fight as an advocate, a voice, a partner, a friend. Most of these same women and families, I am proud to say, continue to make great strides and accomplishments today.

You are not a victim! You are Victorious.

I hope I’ve pissed you off. And if I have, just like I heard in my own heart one afternoon while on my knees crying, belly aching and vomiting all over God, “Get up and do something! I gave you the power” Make a declaration, make a phone call, set an intention, make a plan, pack your bags…but crying out loud DO something!

In love, light and healing
Pamela Chapman, CTACC, CDVS


  1. you should not apply your own experience to others who may be experiencing something far different from your own experiences. As a VICTIM, 25 years after my divorce from an abuser, and decades after growing up and leaving seriously abusive parents, I am still feeling the horrific and painful effects and so are my daughters. One of them died from residual effects recently at the age of 28. I still live in poverty and disability, alone, struggling in hardship....and much more . Even with millions of $$ in the family, and I was recently cheated out of an inheritance, from my sexual abuser stepdad who died. There are many domino effects and residual effects of the past abuses and deprivations. In the meantime I and mine are being continually "victimized " over and over by unscrupulous landlords, the system, and others.
    although I will agree, that Lord Jesus is my total savior, and it is He that I must have faith will help us to overcome it all. He does show me things, but that is part of the problem: me not always recognizing the right plan and following through.
    We the victims, do need strong support systems, and family like my own just aren't there. they were the enemy. So isolation and reclusiveness is part of the problem too.
    When you say I am not a victim, you are soooo dead wrong. It's like telling someone with a broken arm that their arm isn't broken, just go pick that bag of potatoes up, it won't hurt.
    So shut up. You do that in my face, I won't let you get away with it. Plenty of victims are SO victimized, they need a LOT of help and without it they may never rise above. God did put us here to help each other, so shut up, and start telling more people to help more victims. Neglect is a killer. Denial is neglect.

  2. You stirred me up with this post Pamela to fight the good fight. I do agree with still hurting also that even when trying to rise above the effects of being a victim could really use more personally someone to come along side in this "me
    " generation. I did love this article though.


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