In a previous article I talked about survivors who are unable to move on with their lives and/or having the attitude that everything that is wrong in their life is the result of another person. In that article it was discussed about how important forgiving yourself is so you can move on.
So where do you start? How can you find out if you are someone who has victim mentality? The first step is to listen to yourself. Are you blaming others in your life for all the distress in it? Are you not accepting responsibility for your actions? Are you giving some other person the power (by blaming them you are giving them the power) to have control once again in your life? Do you look at life as being unfair to you and that everyone else gets the breaks? Have you forgiven yourself? I mean REALLY forgiven yourself? Have you told yourself that was it was OK to be afraid, to not have gotten out sooner? To have fallen out of love with the abuser? Have you forgiven yourself for keeping the kids in that nightmare for so long? These things are just a start. If you have forgiven yourself you have lifted a heavy weight from your shoulders. That weight which is called victim mentality...
Have you decided to get back the power that is rightfully yours? Try this scenario: Jane calls Heidi a lot. Heidi always seems to be in the middle of 50 things when she calls, but stops to talk. After Heidi hangs up with Jane she becomes miffed at Jane. Jane always calls at the wrong time, Jane is inconsiderate, Jane is a rude old Bi**h. In order to rise above the victim mentality, Heidi is given a choice. A choice to stay in the victim mentality or use the power she has to take back control of her life. So how do we move away from the mentality? It took a long time to get settled in with the mentality. There is no overnight fix. There are a couple of different ways that Heidi can remove herself from the mentality.
It is a challenge for anyone with a victims mentality to remove themselves from this mentality. Heidi in the situation above could start the process by telling Jane that the times she is making the calls is inappropriate. That from now she will not be taking her calls late at night.
Some thoughts on removing yourself from victim mentality. Anyone who suffers from victim mentality has to come to terms with themselves. They need to look at them self and say, I do screw up at times. I am not perfect. It is not always everyone else's fault. I need to take responsibility for the highs and lows in my life. The other person can only have control if I allow them. By saying it is always them - and never me - I am allowing the control to be gone. Just like when I was in abusive relationship.
Along with getting control back, It is so important for the victim to free themselves by forgiving. Forgiving themselves and the person who abused them. It is understood that forgiving the person who abused you may be hard, but the abuser continues to win while the mentality is there. Releasing yourself from victim mentality means saying that you forgive yourself for having stayed in the abuse, for having subjected your children to it. For not turning your abuser into the police. For still loving him after all the horrible and mean things he has done. Releasing a victim mentality means that you have decided to move forward with your life.
I would like to end this article with a quote. It is a paragraph that I found and unfortunately has an author who is unknown. Maybe this paragraph says it better then I did in this article. You be the judge.
"The challenge is to move through a problem so that it is no longer a problem rather than remain stuck in feeling victimized. If someone in my life is doing something that causes me significant distress, then my challenge is most often not to stop them but to change my responses so that the next time I will not be adversely affected. Challenging? Yes! But I have retained my power (and part of the exercise of my power may be to move out of unhealthy circumstances). If my happiness depends upon them changing, then I have given away my power. When some discomfort or disaster arises, believing absolutely in its necessity for me will lead me to the new learning I need now. Then, when I have learned the lesson(s), the discomfort will ease."
Barbara Baker lives in Las Vegas with her husband and two labs, ATOM and Eve. She has 4 children and 8 grandchildren. She is the President of TEAMCares Inc. an online organization that provides support and advocacy for victims of abuse. The site is located www.TEAMCares.org.