When victims of betrayal and abuse are told things like, "You decide whether or not you are a victim" or "What's done is done," they are experiencing New Age Bypass. New Age Bypass, a form of victim-blaming, is harmful to betrayed and abused women.
Tracy, a member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community, joins Anne on the free BTR podcast, empowering victims of abuse and betrayal to identify and reject New Age Bypass techniques.
Read the full transcript below and listen to the BTR podcast for more.
What Is New Age Bypass?
We’re talking about the common self-help situation where faulty and harmful beliefs include: "If you just think about it differently, then it will change the situation," "You don’t have to set boundaries, you don’t have to do anything different, you just need to think about it differently, then your reality will shift."Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery
When victims of betrayal and abuse are counseled to "bypass" the realities of trauma and healing, and instead achieve a quick and arbitrary end-goal of "putting the past behind" them, they are experiencing New Age Bypass.
What Does New Age Bypass Look Like?
If you've been told the following phrases, you are likely a victim of New Age Bypass.
* "We create our own reality."* "Nobody can hurt you without your consent."* "Everything happens for a reason."* "I wonder why you created this experience."* "It’s just karma."* "There are no accidents."* "There are no victims."* "There are no mistakes."* "Don’t look back."* "What’s done is done."* "Don’t be a victim."* "Your feelings are an illusion."* "Be strong."
Why Is New Age Bypass Harmful to Victims of Betrayal and Abuse?
One of the reasons that New Age Bypass is so harmful is because it is a covert form of victim-blaming. Each of the above phrases carries with it the implication that victims are choosing to be victimized, hurt, and traumatized. By encouraging victims to "move on" and "be strong," New Age Bypassers are invalidating the severity of the victim's trauma.
Victim-blaming is very dangerous for trauma healing because it will actually keep victims stuck. It will actually make it more difficult for them to heal and find safety.Tracy, member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community
When victims are blamed and shamed for how another person treated them, they are re-traumatized.
Victims deserve the safe space to process trauma, grieve, and share their experiences - all while being validated by supportive people. New Age Bypass often seeks to shame victims into avoiding the difficult work of recovery by shoving reality under the rug.
How Can I Protect Myself From New Age Bypass?
New Age Bypass is difficult to identify because it is cloaked in "I'm just trying to help you." Whether it's in a self-help book, 12-Step group meeting, therapy session, or conversation with a friend or family member, victims of betrayal and abuse can learn to identify and reject New Age Bypass.
Here are some of the ways that victims can protect themselves from New Age Bypass: