Victims. Innocents.


I ran across the phrase recently… “Killers, rapists, slavers; they leave behind victims, innocents.”
I think everything has a context. For this, I can see innocents being in context with bad people, doing bad shit, affecting innocent people at a given time. A person was innocent for the crime being perpetrated against them. Beyond the exact context, I think people start loosely using such terms beyond their context and time applicability. If someone uses that beyond its limited scope, to me, they're playing on the context and doing themselves a present injustice. Stuck in the past!

Labels have a time, place and typically, narrative. Venture outside those and my old friend sympathy comes to mind. Sympathy is bullshit for trauma. Sympathy keeps people stuck. If a person is looking for sympathy by applying sympathetic labels to themselves, they're f*cked for trying to heal from PTSD.


thinking about this more today- Watch the movie pulp fiction. Could be a trigger for all kinds of traumas so beware. The only point the movie seems to make is that no matter how big a bad ass you are, there may be a bigger one right around the corner. Fall victim to them and you are just an innocent bad ass not ready for or capable of surviving on the next level. There is always a bigger bad guy. He will make you look like Bambi on the ice before you know it's coming.


wow -- this is an...interesting thread.
I hate both words ...survivor and victim.
For me? shit happened, I didn't die, life went on.

and yaaa.....if only it was that simple. 🥺
Obvs it's not or I wouldn't be fighting all this ptsd crap

But adding the word innocent to it? Somehow totally changes the narrative.
I'm not sure why quite yet but reading all these responses is kind of stopping me in my tracks.
have to percolate on it for a bit.....


I was traumatized as a child and children are considered innocent. Also, I had done nothing wrong. I was not at fault for what happened to me, so I was an innocent victim. There is no shame in being a victim, it can happen to anyone, it does obviously. To my mind, the word victim does imply even an adult can be innocent or a victim. Survivor to me means I did not die from that which could have killed me or I am an example of living past a horrific event.

So I don't have a problem with either "Victim," "Innocent," or "Survivor. For me, these words all describe me at one time or another. I don't think innocence means stupid, or weak, it just means I had no part in causing harm to myself. I think it may mean different things to different people but how others view me is not important, that is not about me. I am only responsible for how I choose to view myself. And I can do that regardless of any word or label used to describe me.

Just my opinion.

why do I have a feeling that missed the point??? aarghh
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The only point the movie seems to make is that no matter how big a bad ass you are, there may be a bigger one right around the corner.
If you KNOW that going in, or think you should have known it even, seems like then you're not really "innocent", Which maybe is why I have a hard time applying "innocent" to myself? Seems like in what ever situation I "should have/ could have" known? @Friday , you have once again come up with an interesting thread!
Was I an "innocent victim?" Highly doubtful. I asked my abuser to abuse me many times. It's the main reason why I couldn't see myself as an person who went through abuse at all. And I think my situation is not uncommon.

I had to go back and completely reconstruct what had happened in order for me to understand that I had been gaslighted into thinking I deserved to be abused. But the fact is that I did want it, so the intersection of "innocent" and "victims" simply doesn't apply to me and others like me.


I've been doing a lot of thinking about this.....

So I think the idea of "innocence" might be less about being a person who has never done bad things, and more about the idea that people can be innocent about the damage/harm other people can cause to them.
Kind of like naive to the dangers of the world, but more impactful

The word victim is defined as someone who is harmed by another. Pretty simple.
But when you become a victim, someone harmed by another, it strips away that veil of innocence that had protected you from the evil that others can do.

Suddenly it is real - that people are not only capable of horrific actions but that they are willing to do those actions to you. Not just a movie or a story. Real people. Real events. Real damage
Isn't that kind of what ptsd is all about - having to re-frame all that you know about the world and your place in it because of what happened to you?

So ya -If I think in terms of losing that emotional innocence instead of "I'm an innocent person" it seems to hit home with me.

why do I have a feeling that missed the point??? aarghh
Nope -- I think you are just way further down this road than I am. You've gotten to a place where you can look at the words victim/survivor/what not as just words. Labels to identify a noun, instead of labels of self disgust and self condemnation

Which gives me hope that I can eventually get there too.


Whoa and wow … what a mind blowing thread . I always saw it as so black and white … i was first sexually abused as a 7 year old child … an innocent - it lasted 7 years and i got through it (damaged to an extent) so i survived it - was able to hold down relationships, successful in my career and able in the most to function. So went from an innocent victim ( even when i was a teen and i was such a troublesome bitch in my teens) and i became a survivor…… although this thread has made me think !!


survivor, innocent or guilty, is so much better than non survivor that I kind of think differentiating is splitting hairs. I am thinking of how so much of the world looks at anyone with our diagnosis as lucky to have a diagnosis, and luckier to be able to do something about it. So goddamned lucky that we can choose to lable our victim status as innocent or guilty and give a damn about it. the pragmatist in me again: Survived. Better than the alternative. So much better that the nth degree of survivor, where we decide if we caused the trauma or earned it or were innocent and it landed on us is useless information.


I suppose part of it is disliking the thing of saying I went through this or that hell but it never affected me ner!

I mean I used to do that when I was in denial but.

Makes me think of how people don't like to hear about this stuff but they do like to hear about people going through every kind of trauma if they triumphed over it. Didn't let it affect them.

So if you've been affected by your trauma you're what? Then victim is used like a slur.


I suppose part of it is disliking the thing of saying I went through this or that hell but it never affected me ner!
I guess I've never thought of "surviving" and including that it never affected me. Most things affect us one way or another, don't they? I got lucky and found a good therapist that I can work with. That affects me too. So, I guess, I've always thought of "surviving" as living through something, one way or another.

"Victim" is a different matter. I've always associated that word with other words like "weak", "powerless", and "vulnerable". Things I don't want to BE. Besides, people have a tendency to feel sorry for "victims" and being on the receiving end of that is something I find disgusting. Don't want to be thought of as a victim, no matter how young or potentially ignorant I was.

I do kind of think there might be something important buried here that I haven't figured out. I, personally, hate the idea of "vulnerability", But my T (and Bene Brown!) both seem to think it's a GOOD thing. I associate the idea of being vulnerable with being in danger. I have NO idea how they're seeing it but apparently not the same way. My best guess is that all of this is related somehow.