Skip to main content

Victim Status

My husband and I have discussed many times, how when a person chooses to classify himself or herself as a victim, it is often a lifetime status that they find themselves stuck in and unable to escape, as though they are forever living under a dark cloud.

It is very difficult to talk to people who have suffered, either from harm directed at them from someone else, or from a random act of the universe, and explain to them that they have a personal responsibility for what has happened to them.

I struggled with the idea for years because it can sound like this sort of approach puts us in a place where we are actually blaming victims for somehow causing the harm that has befallen them.

If you really think about it however, this actually does the opposite, because the idea of having responsibility is ultimately, and always, empowering. It is the absolute best way to help walk someone out from under that eternal dark cloud that seems to stick to him or her so relentlessly.

I was talking with an acquaintance recently about abusive relationships and her strong feelings about them being glamorized by the entertainment industry. I remember specifically that she justified her feelings on the matter by explaining to me that she herself had been in an abusive relationship.

It wasn’t until later, when I was reflecting on that interaction that it occurred to me: “Hey, wait a minute, I have been in an abusive relationship before, and I don’t have the same feelings that she does on the matter.”

I think that this is because I have taken responsibility for the part that I played in that relationship. I know that I must have sought out that relationship at that point in my life for a reason, whether that reason was to teach me something, or simply because I was a young and naive. In the end, I made choices at every step along the way, and I am the only individual who is ultimately responsible for my experience.

In regards to things like sicknesses, or accidents, or random violent acts; no, of course the people that suffer these things are not ultimately responsible for them happening. On some level we can question whether they do have some spiritual responsibility for calling certain hardships into their experience of existence, but directly and physically, the best approach is to empower them with the choices that they have a direct responsibility for once this thing has happened to them.

An individual who suddenly finds that they are faced with a terrible illness, for instance, has choices to make as to how they are going to respond to their situation, as long as they believe that they have a responsibility for themselves, and that they are not ultimately helpless.

We often make the mistake in our culture of setting children up in the beginning to become victims later in life. We tell them to be wary of strangers, but neglect to teach them how to defend themselves. We tell them never to do drugs because they will become addicted and will have no control over their actions. These sort of things set them up to become victims later in life.

Empowerment is vitally important. It is the key to helping people see themselves as capable of changing their lives and their own situations when they are unhappy. We all hold the responsibility for making our own lives happy ones. How many people do you know, going through life, who believe that if they can just have that one thing; that job, or that partner, or that car, that their lives will be happy ones?

This is a result of their training at an early age, which led them to believe that it was something external that was going to bring them ultimate happiness, and not something internal. They are disempowered people, and if something doesn’t help them to see things in a different light, they may end up living their lives as victims.

Just as we are all responsible for our own happiness, we are all responsible for reaching out and helping others discover how to find theirs. No one should have to live his or her life as a victim, empowering people who are living this way is immensely more compassionate than simply consoling them. The hard part is finding a way to help them understand that making the choice not to maintain victim status is the key to changing their life.  


Popular posts from this blog

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.
1.There is a big difference between a roach and a palmetto bug. Real roaches are the guys from New York. They infest, they are spooky smart, they are dirty and nasty, and you have to work really hard to get rid of them. Palmetto bugs however, are big and creepy and dumb. You usually see them outside at night and they will fly right at your face. They don’t infest because they are native and they can’t survive in our AC temps. 2.Every public indoor place will always be frigid. Most of your friend’s houses will be as well. I take a sweater with me almost everywhere that I go, and if I forget to I regret it. 3.Outside of weather emergencies, weathermen are superfluous. In the rainy season, which is most of the time, there is an eighty percent chance of rain, every single day. The weather man has no idea what time it will rain, how hard, or for how long, and there is no way for him to predict it. You just have to go out there with your fingers cr…

The Power Of Willful Ignorance

I watched a woman say these words in a speech a few moments ago and nothing could be more true...willful ignorance is insanely powerful. Willful ignorance is the reason that good German people allowed their neighbors to be dragged off by the Nazis in the middle of the night. It is the reason that American people choose to believe our homeless are lazy and irresponsible instead of facing the reality that their situations have arisen because of widespread mental illness and cooperate greed. It is the reason that you will pick up a steak on your way home from work tonight, not bothering to find out where it came from, because you just don’t want to know. The truth is too disgusting.
I have gone on about the meat industry quite a bit and my goal here is not to do that. I love to eat meat, I will state that again, but the example that comes from our consumption of factory meat is so powerful when it comes to explaining willful ignorance that I want to use it. Out of ALL of the many, many,…

Resolve to be Happy

1. Stay In

2. Read Books

3. Let it go to Voice Mail

4. Write a Letter

5. Dance

6. Invest in Mood Lighting

7. Have Dinner with Friends 

8. Take Walks

9. Bake

10. Breathe Deeply

11. Enjoy your Morning Coffee

12. Play Board Games

13. Hug your Pillows

14. Adopt a New Ritual

15. Look Around

16. Give a Gift

17. Happy Cry

18. Smile at Strangers

19. Cuddle

20. Savor Small Portions

21. Stretch

22. Take Pictures

23. Use Profanity Freely

24. Give Hugs

25. Listen Carefully

26. Beautify your Space

27. Share your Favorite Movie 

28. Laugh Generously

29. Accept Gifts Gratefully 

30. Give Thanks