How to be An Empowered Victim of Abuse

How to be An Empowered Victim of Abuse how to be an empowered victim of abuse
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

When someone talks about being a victim of childhood abuse, domestic violence or narcissistic abuse or just any painful experience in life, there’s just this general feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and powerlessness. According to Merriam-Webster a victim is someone who is subjected to oppression, hardship or mistreatment.

In case of toxic relationships, this can be emotional abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, manipulation or just being made to feel less of a human being. The more frequent and severe those painful experiences are, the more you’ll feel stuck and deeply-entrenched in victimhood. Those painful experiences leave deep emotional scars that if not addressed will always affect your present life.

Most times you may not be consciously aware that you’re being oppressed and you’ll live through the pain or being victimized. Actually, the memories of past pain are what glues you to labelling yourself as a victim. The pain disempowers you and wants to keep you stuck in victimhood but the moment you commit to healing the pain, you immediately become an empowered victim.

In this article, I am going to talk about how you can move from being a disempowered victim to an empowered victim and beyond. This is for you if you really want to step up and move beyond confining labels(victimhood) to just being yourself.

Psst! “This article may sound invalidating at first but it’s also empowering. You’re more than the pain.”

1. Understand that ‘You’re Not a Victim’

Victim is a label or a role we adopt because of what we’ve been through in life. It’s is a just a description you’ve adopted and you’ve lived with it. You picked up the label because you were oppressed by other ‘victims (hurt people)’. We willingly adopt and keep labels because to the mind, there’s a sense of safety and comfort in holding on to what we’re used to.

Your current perspective of reality is that of hopelessness and powerlessness and when you live life in this sense your actions and circumstances will always be geared towards keeping you in that ‘comfort zone’ of victimhood. You will be seeing life as a struggle because you just deeply believe you’re so powerless to do anything about it.

So, we need to understand that being victim is just a role you’ve picked up along the way and it’s not who you’re at the core of your being. This is not to invalidate you but to show you that there’s still a gem beyond that cloak of pain. Pain is what sticks you to victimhood. When you see yourself as a victim for a very long time, you’ll always find yourself gravitating (unconsciously) towards painful situations because you feel hopeless to act or to even set boundaries.

But when you understand that, it’s just a false identity and not who you’re, you’ll at least be able to start digging yourself out of it. In short, a victim is not who you’re, your unprocessed pain is what’s making you think so. You’re more than the pain, stop inflicting more pain in yourself and see it as just a label which needs to be dropped. If that thought comes to your mind that you’re a victim or a victim is just who you’re, just be mindful of the fact that it’s your buried pain trying to cloud your judgment.

2. Take Full Responsibility of Your Life

When you’ve understood that a victim is just a label, there’s nothing more empowering that taking full responsibility of your current life. When you’re feeling stuck and powerless, you’ll find yourself blaming outer circumstances for everything happening in your life and if there are not outer circumstances to blame, you’ll point that finger on you.

This of course is just the place where that label wants you to be, powerless and helpless. It’s where your past wants you to be, stuck and not moving beyond it. But when you take full responsibility of your present life, you are just acknowledging that it’s your job to climb out of that dark pit. You’re acknowledging it’s your job to be happy and no amount of living in the past will make things better for you.

You might not have the energy or the motivation or the drive to do it because that’s what you’ve been used to but it doesn’t mean that you do it alone. You take responsibility when you just start doing something that uplifts you, that something will build up to something.

It’s not even about looking far ahead, it’s about looking at what you can do now or that single step you can take to dig yourself out of that pit. The moment you even start looking, that’s you taking responsibility. You’ve picked the choice of wanting to change yourself for the better even when the odds are against you or even when you don’t know how to do it. You just act.

3. Heal the Pain

As we’ve said before, you’re not a victim, it’s just memories of your past pain that are making you think that you’re a victim. It’s just the pain which those hurt people inflicted on you that’s making you carry this label. This label is just a huge wall of pain that thinks it’s protecting you from the pain. To the mind, the moment you rise up and stand up for you, it feels scary and it’d rather hold onto that label.

The label is at least a familiar identity which has been ‘protecting’ you from harm. You were exposed to the pain and you felt helpless during that event and as a result, you developed false beliefs of hopelessness and powerlessness. Your ego will always seek self-preservation: it’s painful but it is also familiar.

Your label wants to swim in the shallow waters of scarcity, rejection and hurt because those are the waters which look safe. So, to drop the label, process those painful experiences and you’ll realize that you’re not that powerless. You’ll realize that all along you’ve been having the power and the ability to swim in the deep waters of abundance, joy, love and bliss.

Heal the pain to realize you’re worthy of life and you’re the chooser. Once you make peace with those past hurts, you’ll be empowered and you’ll realize that actually you are the one who is in control of your destiny and even what needs to be done with the pain. Without past pain controlling your life, you’re not a victim anymore, not even an empowered victim, you’re just you. It may not be easy to swim in those deep waters but as they say, it’s about progress not perfection.

4. Set and Uphold Healthy Boundaries

Once you heal the pain, what better way to keep yourself safe in those deep waters than having healthy boundaries. It’s now about understanding your limits and living. You’ve dropped the pain which was holding you back from seeing your worthiness. You now know you’re worthy and no one should take advantage of you.

You live life depending on your limits and not the limits set by your past pain or by others. When you have healthy boundaries, you understand that you’ve healed but it doesn’t’ mean that there are no predators or hurt people who can still try to toy with you. They are there but you are not powerless against them, you have the ability to say no and stick to your boundaries with ease. These boundaries keep your from ever slipping into victimhood.


When you’re a victim, most things in life will look like an attack or an invalidation of your experience. You’ll be angered and triggered when a topic or a viewpoint goes contrary to your current perspective. It’s not one of those topics we’ll talk about it openly because of the backlash one might get.

The backlash coming from you is not really your authentic self but it’s just your unhealed pain trying to keep you away pain or trying to ‘keep you safe’ (without really realizing that it’s inflicting you with more pain). But if there’s one thing you can take from this is your ego or your current world view will always seek self-preservation even if it’s keeping you stuck with pain. So, you might be deeply in emotional distress but instead of looking and dealing with the emotional pain you’re feeling, you’ll rechannel your focus and anger towards that stranger or that viewpoint.

It may provide a temporary relief to actually feel validated but it may also keep you stuck with that false identity. A false identity which you picked up because of those painful experiences. The best thing to do is not to really focus on what the other is doing, how the society is silencing victims or just those outside circumstances which are really beyond your control but instead look at how you feel when you lay your head in that pillow every night.

You can just admit to yourself you’re in pain and really commit all your energy to just working on yourself to ease up the pain. It’s just about looking at how you can empower yourself for you and not for others. When you heal you, a door of compassion opens up in you and you heal the whole world in the process.

Lastly, instead of ganging up against narcs or just those hurt people who are ‘doing’ nothing to change themselves, do something to transform yourself. Do something to cope, heal, process or resolve that pain which is keeping you stuck in victimhood. You are more than a confining label, you’re love but you can’t see that until you remove the dust(past pain) covering your lens.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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