• Natalie Hartney, LPC NCC

From Victim to Thriver

Updated: Aug 11, 2018


Imagine a better communication triangle. Through learning new moves, you can engage in a whole new dance whose triad is supported through strength, compassion, boundaries, and clear communication. Imagine the destructive dance of victimization, persecution, and rescue finally coming to an end. It can happen. Imagine more functional representations replacing the labels of victim, persecutor and rescuer. Instead we rewrite our roles to  survivor/thriver, challenger and coach. One way to think of this is as making a shift in each of the roles. Making these shifts can take time. Be kind and patient with yourself as you make change. For some, these ideas may have just never occurred to you before.


When you read about these shifts you may experience an "Aha!" moment, and these are strategies you can try right away. This shift is rooted in you redefining how you see yourself, and wish for others to see you. It is a move from victim to survivor. It is the move from feeling out of control and seeking rescue to self determination, and feeling your power! If this sounds like a whole lotta hogwash, your first step might be to meet with a counselor to discuss these themes and explore any resistance to functional independence.


In this new functional triangle, the helpless victim role shifts to the survivor/thriver role. This is a move from a narrative of helplessness, refusing to get help or make decisions to a new story of problem solving. This problem solving approach will mean that you state your wants and take action. Any action. It doesn't matter how small. You keep your word. If someone helps you, you follow through. If a friend gets you an interview, you show up. If you get an appointment at the doctor's, you get to that appointment. Feel and acknowledge gratitude for every little thing. Write it down! Make a list of happy things! It will remind you of your strength. 


One thing to watch out for: When the old music and dance stop, it may take some time for you to get used to it. It may feel uncomfortable at first. This is okay. Use this time to explore what is holding you back, develop "mentors", they can be famous people you admire, people in your community, or even family members. Learn about their successes. Allow the positive influence to help inspire you and compel you to change.

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