Confessions of A Tired Victim

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I have a confession to make: I’m tired.

This isn’t new. I’ve been tired for awhile now. It’s just that, in the past twelve months or so, I’ve started to see how the reason I’m tired is I’m fighting a battle that’s impossible to win. I don’t think I was ever intended to fight it in the first place.

I’m giving up.

But it’s not what you think.

When I was young I was the victim of sexual abuse. Ever since then, I’ve felt like the victim to many more things. Anger and bitterness. Other abusive relationships. Life circumstances. I spent most of my twenties wishing I could have the life I dreamed about, but for the most part assuming it just wasn’t possible.

I wish I could have richer relationships, but people are just so broken…

I wish I could have a more fulfilling career, but I have to pay the bills…

I wish I could have more freedom in my life, but I have responsibilities…

I wish I could be more mature, but growth takes time…

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of waiting around thinking that, given more time, or more resources, or some set of perfect circumstances — a cosmic nod from above — I might get the freedom, or passion, or fulfillment I crave. I’m tired of sitting back waiting for it to come to me. I’m freaking sick of it! I’m not going to do it anymore.

I’m not a victim.

When it comes to relationships, I’m tired of assuming the reason most of mine feel shallow is because there aren’t enough hours in the day, or because people will just never understand me. I’m ready to figure out what is getting in the way of my relationships growing deeper, even if it means facing what’s wrong with me.

I’m done blaming it on other people. I’m not a victim.

I’m tired of thinking the questions I have about God and faith just can’t be answered this side of heaven. I’m tired of settling for injustice, for giving in to it, under the guise “this is just a broken world.” That’s not the message of the Gospel.

I don’t believe God ever intended us to live like that.

I think He built us to ask questions, to earnestly seek answers, seek wisdom, and not give up until we find it.

I’m tired of buying the lie that my story isn’t worth telling. I’m tired of worrying it isn’t “nice” enough or “exciting” enough. I’m done wondering if anyone will even read it.

I’m going to tell my story, regardless if anyone reads it or not.

I’m going to learn to do it well, not because it will make my life matter anymore than anyone else’s, but because it will make my life richer. There is great intrinsic value in storytelling.

I’m not going to let fear stop me anymore.

I’m done settling for a boring, unsatisfying work life. I’m tired of telling myself “everyone has to do it” to make ends meet. I’m discovering how, if I’m willing to let go of some things (some tangible and some intangible, like unrealistic expectations I have) it is possible to find satisfaction in what I do on a daily basis.

I think it’s possible to do what I want to do without abandoning my responsibilities.

I’m ready to grow up, no matter how much work it takes, no matter what I have to admit about myself.

I’m not waiting around to “grow out” of insecurity. I’m grabbing it by the you-know-what and telling it to go you-know-where. I’m not letting shame boss me around anymore. I’m sick and tired of it. I’m kicking it to the curb.

I can’t do it anymore. I give up.

I’m done blaming the “hand I was dealt.” It’s not worth it. It’s holding me back. I’m focusing on what I can change. Because I can change a lot. More than I like to admit sometimes.

Complaining is easy. Change is hard.

I’m learning to embrace the power I have to shape my personal story.

Will you join me?

Comments

  1. Louise says

    Hi Allison, I am currently in an unfulfilling, dull job that pays the bills (and lets me live in Paris, so it’s not all bad!). Such a good motivator though to look for what does satisfy me and use my gifts for God after this contract ends!

    • says

      That’s awesome, Louise. It’s amazing what a little change in perspective can do in the present-tense, and how it can compel us to make necessary changes, as we are able, for our future-tense.
      Living in Paris sounds like a dream!

      • Louise says

        Yes, I decided that even if I had to scrub toilets I wanted to live here! Luckily as I’m English there’s no visa issue and I work for an organisation that will look fab on my CV, despite the boredom.

  2. says

    Ally, thank you for sharing more of your heart and story. I know how hard it can be, and I’m still trying to figure out how to bury the same lies and fears myself. I just have one question: when you say, “I”m not a victim,” is it to say “I’m not a victim…because I’m a survivor”? Or are you associating victimization with weakness? From the context, it seems like you are contrasting victimhood with weakness and not taking responsibility, and adulthood/maturity/etc. with strength and taking responsibility. I’m uncomfortable with that dichotimization and wonder what you think about it.

    • says

      Thank you for your question, Danielle. What I’m not saying is that being a victim of abuse makes me weak, immature or irresponsible. What I am saying is that choosing to continue to live in that pattern of abuse (feeling sorry for myself, expecting someone to come rescue me from my life, thinking my life is more difficult than anyone else’s) is at best ineffective. It’s not my fault that I was abused, but it is my responsibility to choose the perspective I will take moving forward. I hope that makes sense.

  3. says

    Yep…I got to that point several years ago. You get sick and tired of being sick and tired. We have choices on how we respond to all of life’s hard blows. We can choose to wallow and not make progress OR we can choose to cling to His promises and trust that God is bigger than all of it.

  4. says

    Ally,
    I love this: “I’m tired of settling for injustice, for giving in to it, under the guise “this is just a broken world.” That’s not the message of the Gospel.” Amen! This is something we all need to be reminded of. Giving in just leads to desensitization.

    As for unrealistic expectations, I say the bigger the dream, the greater the journey. (:

    Have a good Monday!

    Lauren

    • says

      Thanks Lauren! I agree that it’s good to dream big, but I think sometimes people dream unrealistic and small. Like big screen TVs and luxury vehicles. Not that those things are bad (I think great pleasure can be found in nice things) but we get so stuck on those expectations they actually get in the way of the kind of big dreams that will really satisfy us.
      Does that make sense?

      • says

        Ally,
        I misread your statement about expectations. I agree that it’s best to be realistic, but there’s definitely value in pursuing the dreams God has placed in our hearts. I’m not talking about possessions – it’s our story that’s important, and using our storytelling abilities to fulfill a greater purpose.

        Sorry for the confusion!

  5. says

    “I’m tired of buying the lie that my story isn’t worth telling. I’m tired of worrying it isn’t “nice” enough or “exciting” enough. I’m done wondering if anyone will even read it. I’m going to tell my story, regardless if anyone reads it or not.”I like this. Some days I even believe it for myself. I appreciate the encouragement you and other writers and bloggers give about “Tell your story, even if no one’s listening!” But does it get easier to start believing when people actually DO read your stories? It can get discouraging after a while when it genuinely feels like no one is listening.

    • says

      Brianna — you’ll always meet people who have stories you think are more “heard” than yours. For example, you might think more people listen to my story than yours, since I have a blog. But I might think more people listen to (another blogger’s) story than listen to mine. I think we get ourselves into trouble by comparing our “platform” to another, and miss out on the deeply rewarding aspect of storytelling. That is something that happens on the inside, totally unrelated to blog traffic or numbers.

      • says

        I love your point about not comparing–it was likely unintentional, but it ties back with one of my previous comments on here. =)Here’s a question, and I ask it because it’s something I try to think about in regards to my own blog, but if everybody stopped reading and commenting, would you keep posting?

        • says

          Brianna — really interesting. I’m going to have to think about that for awhile. Thanks for asking.
          My friend Matt keeps a blog called “The Church of No People” and the whole concept is, “If nobody showed up to church, what message would the pastor preach?”

          I guess it’s a good question for bloggers to consider too. What would I write about (or would I write) if I didn’t have an audience?

          • says

            I hope my question isn’t coming across as bratty, because I am genuinely curious about your answer (anybody else in the comments who wants to chime in here, especially bloggers and writers, I’m curious about you too).
            My reason for asking is because my own blog audience is very small, but I have kept writing–for close to 2 years. I love your line, “There is great intrinsic value in storytelling.” I really do believe that, and part of my reason for continuing to write is selfish–it genuinely helps me process things, and I think God has gifted me with words so it allows me to use (and share) that gift.

            But is the value of storytelling ALL in the telling? I don’t really think so, because I have been blessed by the stories told here and elsewhere. So then the question becomes, is there still some sort of point in telling stories to an empty room? I think there is, but that line between value for the storyteller and the listener is something I’m pondering.

        • says

          Brianna — the thread won’t let me respond to your latest comment, but I just wanted to say your question doesn’t come across bratty at all! It’s actually making me think.
          I think it would be good for others to think about their answers as well.

          Thanks for being brave enough to ask.

  6. says

    I think part of this process for me is letting go of the things I can’t change or control, like other people. It’s so easy for me to justify MY repeated behavior pattern because someone else hasn’t changed. “If he/she would just do _______, then I could finally _______” is my go-to when I need to let myself off the hook.

    • says

      Jessi — yes, yes. This happens especially with the people I can’t avoid in my life. With some people I can just say, “I’m not a fan of this person and I don’t like they qualities they bring out in me, so I am going to avoid them” (which is not always a bad thing). But obviously I can’t always do that with family members, etc.
      Those relationships call me to the most maturity, because they ask me to change even when others don’t.

  7. says

    I agree with this.I guess the worst enemy that we will always face is ourselves.

    Thanks for the post, it is definitely encouraging. I like it.

  8. says

    Wow, Allison- this post hit me hard today and I feel truly blessed by it. As someone embarking (once again) on leaning into a writing project (a book on relationships, no less), I’m battling fear and insecurity and comparison and all of those doubts that make you feel like no one wants to hear your story or someone else could write it better. What a battle. This post really gave me life and I appreciate that more than I can say. It’s very challenging, as a writer but also in other creative pursuits as well, to be your only witness/fan/pusher-forward for a while and having your story, your gifts, be enough. We want numbers! We want feedback! We want recognition (especially if it isn’t any longer coming in the form of a paycheck). And it’s hard to distinguish between what we can be LEARNING from others and simply cutting ourselves down because “they” are doing it “better.”Anyway, I’m babbling. Just know how valuable these sentiments are and I will keep them close in the coming months of this journey. Thanks for that.

  9. Denise says

    Complaing is easy, Change is Hard. RIght there is my number one problem. It is so much easier to complain about how tired I am, how much my life stinks, and on&on. Instead of trying to figure out how to change it and so much of it I could change, really. Thanks Ally for another great post. I really realte to you so much!

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