Let’s imagine that you are a victim. You are the victim of a horrible crime or natural disaster. Can you imagine how that would feel? It would feel bad, depressing, discouraging, desolate. It would make you simultaneously angry and fearful. Being a victim can make one feel crazy because of all of the emotions. But most of us don’t want to wallow in the idea of victimhood. Most of us want to find a way out as soon as possible.
Now, what would you do with the overwhelming emotions?You could shut down and refuse to feel, possibly isolating yourself so that you will never be the victim again. You could become judge and jury for the rest of the human race, always pointing your finger at others, knowing exactly what their sins are and what they should do to fix themselves so that they would be more acceptable to you. You might decide to walk thru the pain and heal, bringing yourself from victimhood to survivor, ready to help other victims who want to find their peace. It truly is a choice. But being a victim means you don’t see that you have choices.
Choices are a funny thing. Many times we refuse to acknowledge our choices because then we can stay safe in our victimhood. And if you sit in victimhood long enough, it becomes comfortable. It becomes familiar and safe. Kind of like a baby in a dirty diaper. Babies scream when you remove their dirty diaper.Not because they enjoy sitting in their own filth but because they have become comfortable with it and change is cold and disturbing. So, they scream and cry and kick and flail. Yet, when it’s over, they are more content then they were before.
Being a victim is different from playing a victim. Bad things happen to us all. We get to decide how we will deal. Some of us will decide to use a situation to our advantage and soak up the pity that others surround us with. Then, we will manipulate those people so that they will always see us as a victim and never take their pity from us. Because some of us confuse pity with love. We can manipulate them to do things for us. The sad thing is, we don’t recognise that the people who we think we are controlling with their pity for us, are actually using us for what they believe they will get. It isn’t love.It is the farthest thing from love. It is conditional acceptance.
Now, to play a victim one needs to have an audience. The “victim” needs to put on a show. There needs to be an incident and an evil nemesis. All the better for the “victim” if there is more than one evil nemesis. Now, the unaware audience become players in the drama. They immediately fall into line with whatever the “victim” tells them. Ofcourse, there is the back story which makes the “victim’s” story believable. The “victim” selects only audience members who will believe the story.
And even when the truth comes out, the “victim” will hang on and spin the truth so that they do not lose their audience participation. Because there is no sense in playing a “victim” if there is no one watching. If a “victim” loses their audience they have lost their victimhood and they are left with themselves. And “victims” are nothing without someone to blame. They are a shell.
Some of the most incredible people I have ever met are the ones who have come through hell and do not expect or accept any pity from anyone. They are strong and healthy. They don’t believe what they hear. They know there is always another side to every story, and they take responsibility for their own issues. They are not victims, they are survivors. But not just survivors, they thrive, despite of or because of, their experiences. They gain wisdom and strength from their circumstances. They don’t judge others, they are generally happy and they love unconditionally. They have boundaries and abide by them and they find worth in everyone without trying to manipulate others.
And these survivors are not perfect. They are just responsible for their own selves. They don’t blame, they don’t hide, they don’t judge.
I aim to be one of the survivors. I fall short sometimes. Victims, martyrs and saints. Sounds like people we might feel sorry for or have a sad respect for. But to BE one of these labels is life draining, not just for the victim, martyr or saint but for those who genuinely care for the victim, martyr or saint. It is exhausting to care for a victim’s emotional seizures. It is depressing to never live up to the standards the martyr has set and no one can ever compare to a living saint. No matter that these labels are never accurate.
Bad stuff happens, we get to decide how we will deal with it. We always get to decide who we will be and how we will love. It is a choice. And no matter what, we always have choices. Once we understand that, we can no longer be a victim. And just like changing a poopy diaper, it is cold and uncomfortable but it is so worth it. Don’t be a victim of shit and if you think playing the “victim” will win you love and admiration, you are wrong. All it will do is give you a horrible case of diaper rash.