Since I don’t have much to say regarding my surgery until tomorrow I thought I would change gears and make some comments on my mental health journey. I recently read something about victim mentality and realized that I was still acting like a victim. I guess I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I mean I have been a victim. But I realized after doing some reading and studying that it was holding me back. Here are 11 signs of the victim mentality that I found at Lonerwolf.com.
- They’re constantly blaming other people or situations for feeling miserable.
- They possess a “life is against me” philosophy.
- They think others are purposely trying to hurt them.
- They’re cynical or pessimistic.
- They feel powerless to change their circumstances.
- They enjoy sharing their tragic stories with other people.
- They have a habit of blaming, attacking, and accusing those they love for how they feel.
- They’re constantly putting themselves down.
- They believe they’re the only one being targeted for mistreatment.
- They refuse to analyze their beliefs or improve their life.
- Even when things go right, they find something to complain about.
So, I italicized the ones that I described me and bolded the ones that I know I did in a huge way. Yea, I had a problem. I supposed that every person that has been a victim goes through these things at some point, even if just for a short while, but I guess the problem is when one continues to hold onto these actions for long periods of time. I am kinda embarrassed that I did these things. Maybe that is why I don’t have a ton of friends anymore! (But let me say that the friends I have are amazing friends!)
Even though I didn’t realize I was doing this, counseling was helping me to overcome the need and desire to act like a victim. Moving from being a victim to survivor is what I needed. Being a victim is a state you don’t want to be in. That indicates that you are still being victimized. Guess what? I was still being victimized by myself. I was not allowing myself to move on. To take the necessary steps to take control of my life and take away the control from the ones that actually victimized me. To stop being a victim gives you your power and control back of your life. One thing that my counselor taught me that inadvertantly helped me were things like “I” statements. Instead of saying “You make me feel so mad!” you replace YOU with I and change it around. Something like “I feel so angry when you talk to me that way”. So now your anger is yours, not something inflicted upon you. You are taking responsibility for your anger and letting them know what they did wrong.
Other things you can do is to see yourself as a survivor. Don’t dwell in the past and relive your pain. It’s hard to do, but if you can make the switch from victim to survivor mentality you will find that it is wonderful. Life looks so different from the other side. While trying to do this, be good to yourself. Give yourself some compassion. Love yourself.
One really great thing that has helped me to get through that transition is to practice gratitude and doing acts of service for others who are in need. In your darkest days, you need to count your blessings and then go out and do something kind for someone else. Doing good for others and knowing you put happiness into others lives helps to take your attention off your own pain. It is a confidence boost to help you make that transition from victim to survivor.
Seeing Life in a Whole New Light
Finally being able to tell myself I am a survivor vs. a victim changed my life. It helped me to close the book on my past, accept it for what it was, forgive those who wronged me, and start building back the life that I deserve. You can’t be your best as a victim. Making that change is hard and a lot of people will never make it because they are so deep in the hole of being a victim that the work needed to be a survivor is too hard. They don’t have the self esteem or the confidence to think that they can ever been anything else. Luckily I had my faith to be a constant reminder that I had worth. I have friends who support me. I have family who loves me. But most of all I have kids who depend on me.
Being a survivor requires resilience. Resilience is needed because even though you are a survivor, life is still going to throw things at you. Life is still going to have difficulties, but because you are a survivor you have developed the strength to take this problem head on. It is an uphill battle to make this change, but just take it one step at a time. For more on Survivor Mentality please visit griefjourney.com. This page was suggested to me by a friend and really helped me through the process and kept me encouraged. I am not all the way where I want to be, but I am well on my way and life is looking better every day!