Joined: Oct 23, 2007
mem#10171-D Ben Gay is my best friend these days
Posted: Dec 24, 2009 06:27 AM
Msg. 1 of 4
Copyright Sandy Long
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons I had to learn was how to not be a victim or remain a victim after my bad childhood and the things that have happened to me since childhood. It was actually a very freeing thing to learn as I learned to accept responsibility for just what was my mistakes or errors in judgment and let others take their share.
When one is a child, one has no power over what happens to them. Abuse of all types, illness, the divorce of one’s parents, bad role models and dysfunctional families are all things that a child has no control over. It is totally the responsibility of the adults in a child’s life that controls everything. Once a child reaches adulthood though, the power over their lives comes to them fully.
While the residue of the bad childhood might influence how the now adult behaves, they should at least have a basic concept of what is right or wrong and can use that knowledge to not make wrong choices if they do not get stuck in being a victim. Getting stuck in being a victim gains the now adult all sorts of permissions in their mind to do all sorts of bad behavior; alcohol and/or drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, bad attitudes and even criminal acts are ok for them to participate in because after all, in their minds they do not have to take any responsibility for them, it is because they are victims of their lives as children.
This victimization mind set can occur after one is an actual victim of crime too. The victim of crime, who has a mental problem in the first place, cannot overcome the act of crime and instead uses it to their advantage to gain notoriety or sympathy and also uses it to excuse any bad behavior on their part after the fact. As the survivors of childhood abuse do, they effectively use it as a crutch to lean on to hide their own inadequacies or mistakes in behavior or judgment.
When one uses any sort of victimization as an excuse for bad behavior or so that one does not accept responsibility for their actions, it can carry into all walks of the person’s life. We see this in work environments all of the time, where a person is never happy with their work or company because “the company is picking on me” or whatever complaint there is they have. These perpetual victims can always find something that they are unsatisfied with about their job and use being a victim of the company to explain it away when in reality, the problem lies within the perpetual victim who cannot accept responsibility for their own shortcomings.
Because I am most familiar with trucking, I will use an example of a situation we see in trucking often of perpetual victims.
Joe gets a job with a company. He did not do his homework on the company before hiring on. Joe doesn’t like to run hard and isn’t too good about being on time. The company runs just in time freight to a manufacturer who is dependent on the freight getting there as the assembly lines need the parts in the load. Joe is constantly late causing the factory to shut down the lines until Joe arrives. The company fires Joe. Joe blames the company because they fired him without due cause because Joe is always the victim and cannot accept the responsibility for his own shortcomings in not doing his homework on what the company expected of him and in his not liking to run hard and being on time. Joe will have many jobs in his lifetime and will be fired often, but it is always the company’s fault, never his.
A perpetual victim can always find something to be a victim of. People of this type of mindset often complain of abuse or harassment by co workers or officers in their companies because to them, everyone is out to victimize them. We see this in many stories of sexual harassment complaints. Again an example from the trucking industry.
A female driver goes in to the office with a problem with her truck. She goes to the mechanic and tells him of the problem. The mechanic questions her in depth about what exactly the truck is doing. She gets flustered because she doesn’t know exactly what parts to describe and uses noises she hears as examples actually making the noises herself. The mechanic laughs and the driver gets all bent out of shape and runs in and complains to the HR person that the mechanic isn’t taking her seriously because she is a woman…he harassed her. (True story)
While most instances of people who get stuck in victim mode are more pitiful than dangerous, in some people perpetual victimization can become dangerous to others they come in contact with as the perpetual victim uses their victimization to build themselves up into what I call legends in their own mind. These people usually have underlying mental problems of extremely low self esteem and at time behavior disorders such as bi polarism, major depression or even have psychopathic tendencies.
These types use their victimization to build their reputations so they can feel good about themselves and often use lies about others to do so. They choose as their own victims usually prominent people or people who have good reputations that have been approached in some fashion to gain sympathy; they then set out to totally destroy the person’s reputations by using rumor, innuendo and suppositions.
The, as I think of them, psychological vampires will use anything they come across as weapons in their quest to build themselves up: correspondence, news articles either about the person or done by them in the case of writers, affiliations with groups and/or associations or the work the person does. These vampires twist everything into an attack against them and even lie about what has been said or done by the other person involved.
The vampire has no care to the other person’s career, reputation or lively hood other than to how it can benefit the vampire and perpetuate their victim hood and build their followers and self esteem. At first glance, to a newcomer to the vampire’s environment, the vampire appears to be a figure due sympathy, and the newcomer supports the vampire in their efforts sometimes for their own gain in notoriety or benefit because the vampire’s stories support their own victimization. This usually does not last though as the newcomer starts seeing cracks in the vampire’s stories.
The problems caused by these psychological vampires who revel in being victims can be long lasting though for the people involved and the causes supposedly supported by the vampire. Credibility is lost, careers and reputations are tarnished and feelings are hurt using lies…but to the psychological vampire none of that matters because after all they are just a victim and are entitled to do anything they want to do and there are no holds barred to them to continue their victimization even if it carries over into victimizing others.
Bad things happen to good people; rapes, muggings, murders to name a few and most times one has no control over becoming a victim to these types of crimes, they just happen. One chooses to be a perpetual victim or to use the occurrence as a stepping stone to growing as a person and being stronger. There is only one person who can be assigned the responsibility in these events, the criminal.
In all else however, one has to accept the responsibility for their actions and not use victimization of themselves or others as an excuse for bad behavior. As I said in the beginning, it is freeing to learn how to accept responsibility for ones own actions and not remain in the negative aspect of being a victim and blame others for our own faults. Each person has to take their share of the blame for errors in judgment, their actions and responses, and for what occurs in their lives beyond actual criminal actions by others. In doing so, one finds not only strength but power over their own lives and that is a good thing.
The only stupid question is the one you do not ask...
Joined: Feb 25, 2008
get in , sit down , shut up , and hold on .
Posted: Dec 30, 2009 06:44 AM
Msg. 2 of 4
Once again , very good post . I am sure we all have things that have happened in our past that were damaging to our psyches or our persons . I have been a victim , but worked through it and became a survivor as i refuse to lie down and moan and groan and beat my breast about the wrongs done to me . Do I share a blame in them ? Most certainly . Do I let them control me ? Absolutely not! Some people refuse to have the courage to face the damage head on , I don't ridicule these people , although I feel sorrow for them as they are damaged and refuse to heal .
I used to think that in order to heal from my abuses I should forgive that other person and not be angry at what had been done to me . It took me 20 some years to realize that it was OK to be angry about what had happened to me , and it also took that long to realize that some of the things that happened I DID have control over and that I share some of the responsibilty for allowing the abuse in the first place .
Once you leave victimhood behind you can become so much stronger .
just a bucket truck driver .member #10829-D