(Last Updated On: December 27, 2023)

Reclaiming Your Worth

A Scam Survivor’s Guide to Navigating Your Worthiness After the Scam

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Your Worth? AXIOS! You Are Worthy

Falling victim to a scam can feel like a brutal assault on your identity and your worth.

The perpetrator, skilled in the art of deception, exploits your trust and vulnerabilities, leaving you reeling with a cocktail of anger, betrayal, and profound self-doubt.

The question that echoes through the haze of disillusionment becomes a gnawing refrain: “Am I still worthy?”

The answer, resounding and clear, is YES!

But the journey to reclaiming your worth, after being so cruelly manipulated, is rarely linear. It’s a path paved with introspection, vulnerability, and a fierce commitment to self-compassion.

Your Worth: Finding the Path Back to Worthiness

Here are some steps you can take to rebuild your sense of worth after the storm of a scam:

1. Worthiness – Acknowledge the Pain: Denying the hurt, anger, and vulnerability only prolongs the agony. Allow yourself to grieve the loss, not just of money or possessions, but of the trust that was violated. Acknowledge the emotional blow without judgment. This isn’t weakness; it’s the first step towards healing.

2. Worthiness – Reframe the Narrative: Scammers operate by distorting the narrative, making you believe you’re the fool, the one who deserved this. Reclaim your agency. You were targeted, not because of any inherent flaw, but because you possess qualities like trust, empathy, and a desire to connect – qualities that make you human and worthy. You were tricked, not condemned.

3. Worthiness – Seek Support: Don’t isolate yourself in this process. You are here, seeking the support we provide, but are you really taking full advantage of it or the other tools we offer? See our SCARS Resources below.

Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, and a therapist who can offer a safe space for you to process your emotions without judgment. Sharing your story and finding validation can be immensely empowering.

4. Worthiness – Prioritize Self-Care: The emotional drain of a scam can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being. Prioritize activities that nurture your soul, whether it’s a walk in nature, a creative outlet, or simply a quiet moment of reflection. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s the foundation for reclaiming your strength and resilience.

5. Worthiness – Focus on Control: Scammers thrive on creating a sense of powerlessness. Reclaim your control by taking small, positive actions. Update your passwords, report the scam to relevant authorities, and educate others to prevent similar experiences. These proactive steps empower you and demonstrate that you are not a victim, but a survivor.

6. Worthiness – Remember Your Strengths: The scam may have shaken your trust and judgment, but your inherent worth remains intact. Remind yourself of your strengths, talents, and achievements. Remember the times you overcame challenges, demonstrated resilience, and showed kindness. This self-affirmation fuels your journey back to confidence.

The SCARS Worthiness Affirmations:

    • You are a Survivor
    • It was NOT Your Fault
    • You are NOT Alone
    • Axios

7. Worthiness – Forgive Yourself: Holding onto self-blame is a heavy burden. Remember, you were deceived, not foolish. Grant yourself the same compassion and understanding you would offer a friend in a similar situation. Forgiveness is not about condoning the scammer’s actions; it’s about releasing yourself from the weight of self-accusation.

8. Worthiness – Find New Beginnings: Don’t let a scam define you. Focus on your passions, explore new interests, and pursue dreams you might have put on hold. This is an opportunity for rediscovery and redefining your path. Embrace the fresh possibilities that lie ahead.

Your Worth: The Road Home to Worthiness

The road to reclaiming your worth after a scam is challenging, but it’s a journey worth taking. With self-compassion, active healing, and a commitment to moving forward, you can emerge from the shadows stronger, wiser, and more authentically you.

Remember, your worth is not measured by the deception you encountered, but by the resilience you find within yourself to rise above it. You are valuable, you are worthy, and you are capable of rebuilding a life filled with trust, connection, and lasting worth.

Your Worth: You Are NOT Alone!

You are not alone. Take this journey one step at a time, and know that you are capable of reclaiming your worth.

SCARS Resources:

PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.

Opinions

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of the Society of Citizens Against Rleationship Scams Inc. The author is solely responsible for the content of their work. SCARS is protected under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) section 230 from liability.

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