The primary narrative in our human society is things happen to us. Most of what occurs is out of our control — the government, the weather, the economy, other people’s choices.
For anyone who’s been deeply impacted by someone else’s negative behavior, as I have, this seems right. I am simply a victim of circumstance.
I can’t help at age 14, my parents chose to uproot me from the community I grew up in and dropped me squarely into culture shock, in a new school where I knew no one. Not my fault I was angry and withdrawn.
The men in my romantic relationships never appreciated me, expected me to be the strong one, the giver. Why were they always taking from me?
Several years ago, my landlord didn’t address a water leak in a timely manner, and I was exposed to a toxic level of mold, which had severe consequences on my health. Didn’t they care?
It’s likely you feel compassion for what I’ve been through and yet, if you’re being honest, you wouldn’t want to stand there while I spouted off about it. It’s one thing to feel for someone else, it’s quite another to be their surrogate punching bag for all the bad things they couldn’t control.
In fairness, I’ll reveal I’ve done a lot of introspection and come to peace with each of these situations. I had crucial conversations that helped me gain understanding and compassion for the other people involved. Most importantly, I’ve owned where I was responsible for my choices and my reactions. Stepped into my power to release these old stories.
Because ultimately, although each of these circumstances was painful and challenging at the time, they also forged me into the person I am today.
It was interesting for a moment as I write this, to step back into the victim mentality. It reminded me how easily anyone can slide into that role.
The victim energy holds us in powerless beliefs and negative self-talk. Which often quickly becomes the persecutor, who points a finger and blames others. See, it’s all their fault and there’s nothing I can do about it!
Yes, sometimes things happen — things which are unacceptable and feel terrible at the time. I am not in any way minimizing anyone’s experience.