Being a "victim" can be a way of life for many. In our society, we are adept at assigning blame and making excuses for almost anything. Some adopt this coping mechanism because they are uncomfortable with their own anger. There are also those who feel inadequate and swamped by events. Many harbor a childish belief that the world should be fair, using their early helplessness and applying it to the here and now, keeping them paralyzed from making changes in their reactions.
The 4th and 5th Al-Anon steps made me realize that I was living as a victim much of the time. Endeavoring to make changes sent me looking for answers to my victimhood. These are the behaviors I adopted that slowly took me from victim to a more whole person.
Sadly, there are benefits to the role of victim.
- Victims often know who to approach to get attention and validation. If they don't receive it from one they easily move to the next person who "understands" their situation.
- Victims don't have to take chances. Life happens to them, they don't make life happen.
- They often avoid big responsibilities. Blaming others instead of taking their own inventory.
- The victim gets gratification from being "right" when others do "wrong".
- First and foremost, acknowledging a God who loves me is in charge.
- Gratefulness, gratefulness and then some more of it. A conscious and deliberate effort to change my thought pattern from fearful to grateful.
- Forgiveness. Plain and simple. Forgiving everyone who I perceived or imagined or knew for sure did me wrong, big or small. Offering up what I would hope to receive from the ones that I wronged (girl is far from perfect).
- Cutting myself some slack in order to not be overwhelmed by the process.
- Taking responsibility for my words, my actions, my thoughts. It's a me job.
- Service to others. Getting out of my head and putting on some love and empathy.
- Finally, recognizing those benefits of being a victim and watching my own behavior to avoid, at all cost, going down that path.