“I am not a victim. I am not a victim. I am not a victim!” It was my mantra at a time when I learned my husband of 20 years was cheating on me with a little ho half his age. And just as I was chewing on that, my adorable, sweet Basset Hound, a loyal companion for ten years, died. And as if that weren’t enough, I had to sell my beautiful house in a lovely neighborhood because I could no longer afford it.
So did it stop there? Noooo. The icing on the cake was when I went away for a month to forget my troubles, leaving my car on a “safe” storage lot, and lo and behold gang members stole it for their drug drops, then abandoned it in Salt Lake City, Utah. Huh?!! Salt Lake City? I live in San Diego!
Now I ask you. Did I have a case for claiming victim-hood? “Of course,” my indignant, righteous self proclaimed! “Look what I’ve lost. And none of it, none of it was my fault.” That’s sure how it looked, right? So why did I work so hard to affirm I’m not a victim? I’ll tell you why. Because relegating myself to that was a trap I wanted no part of.
Victims are sad, powerless people. When something bad happens, they blame someone or something else for it. They grouse and complain, and when offered alternatives to their point of view, they flatly reject them. Victims wear their friends out with their constant tales of woe, steadfastly refusing to step up to the plate and take responsibility. They get this immediate rush from blaming, but in the end, it gets them nowhere. All it does is put off finding real solutions to their problems and worst of all, strips them of their power. If it’s always someone else’s fault, then it’s up to someone else to fix it. So how do you make your life how you want it to be when you’ve given someone else that power? The answer is…you don’t! You’re at their mercy.
Now you understand why I don’t want to embrace victim-hood, don’t you? In fact, I believe that no matter what happens in my life, no matter how painful, ultimately it’s for my betterment. In the short term, it sucks. But in the long run, there are lessons to be learned and gifts to be uncovered. If I consciously go through the crisis, looking for the gifts, doing my best to learn the lessons, I grow stronger and wiser. And with this belief, I have no choice but to say “I am not a victim.” I am the powerful creator of my own life!” How about you?
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for great tips and insights about finding peace and your internal wisdom. You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com