Victimology

Victim is an interesting word. in the late 15th century it meant to sacrifice a person or animal as part of a religious rite. In the mid-1600s its meaning shifted to denote someone being “hurt tortured or killed” by someone. In the early 1700s, there was more evolution regarding what types of things one could be a victim of; oppression, injury, disease, disaster, or made to suffer in the pursuit of something. The meaning was further diluted as the 1800s neared, the new meaning was expanded to include being taken advantage of, tricked, or cheated in some way *. Today it has been diluted even further to include someone saying things you don’t like or disagreeing with you. Now everyone is the victim of something, causing many to be easily offended or have hurt feelings. Some feel that someone owes them something or that they are unhappy in their life because of someone other than themselves. The trend is to have someone to blame for why they are not happy or whole. It has even gotten to the point where if anyone says anything that “hurts” anyone’s feelings there can be severe consequences, like losing one’s job or position in the community.

I do not agree with this mentality and I have seen first hand how when a person claims victimhood it can truly send them down a path to ruin. Those who focus on the negative aspects of what has happed to them and who did this or that to them in an effort to put the responsibility for their dysfunction onto someone else will only serve to create their own suffering. This will sound harsh, nothing YOU do is because of anyone other than you. I don’t care what someone did or didn’t do to you in the past YOU choose your life, not them. I am not saying that the past cant influences you (I just had Life cereal with bananas in it today). What I am saying is we choose how that influence is manifested. We all know a situation where two people grew up and experienced nearly the same things, but each chose a different path with very different outcomes. One choosing to use their past as a guide for what not to do and what things to avoid and the other plowing straight ahead choosing to repeat the follies of those in their past. The conversation you have with yourself and the words you choose will determine your outcome.

I have never believed that I was the victim, does that mean I have had a wonderful and happy, sunny, joy joy life? If you have made it this far you already know the answer to that. What it means is I refuse to let anything in my life have power over me. I will give you an example; when people date and let’s say things don’t go as they had hoped and the relationship ends, sometimes BOTH people will tell the story of the relationship as if they were the victim of the other. They will say things like; they cheated on me, they were too controlling, they lied to me, or they did what the hell ever (isn’t it funny how it’s never the person who’s telling the stories fault…lol).  Yes, I know that sometimes there is a person who is at fault, but I have always wondered why we allow that situation and that person to have control over what we do next in our life. So, your ex cheated on you and now you will assume the victim role and design the way you date and often how you think about relationships based off that event. That is a lot of power and control to give to someone who is probably not even thinking about you and may not even remember the event at all. I had a friend who lived his life constantly trying to prove he was a “the man” treating women poorly and basically sabotaging any real chance at happiness all because he was made to feel less than by some girls when he was in HIGH SCHOOL! Yes, a grown man in his late 40s was still holding onto the moments when he was in high school and the “victim” of some teenage girl that I am sure doesnot remember him at all.

Photo credit: kapanihan 

Yes, there are people who are actually the victims of serious crimes like rape, assault, and murder. But I feel that as long as you are living you have a choice. Being a victim gives another person too much power over your life and its outcomes. Even with everything I have been through I have never felt like a victim or that the world owed me anything. Don’t get me wrong I have been hurt and have had to overcome many things in my life but I am not a victim. Even in my situation with Mike I was never his victim, I let a lot slide, I lowered my standards, and in doing so I was making a choice. No one has the right to treat you bad but at some point, someone might. You have the right to choose if that person gets to stay in your life and you also get to choose if this person will have control over you going forward. Being the victim is easy, and it can often attract attention and can help you create an identity and a life that you designed based on being a victim. Dealing with your life as if it were totally yours and under your control is a bit harder and does not always draw the attention of others. Being fully in control of your life means that you take the time to reflect, ask yourself hard questions and choose what you believe to be the best way forward. This mind set frees me from grudges and any ill feelings towards another person, even those that may have done negative things to me. I wish everyone happiness and love no matter the dealings we may have had. I am not writing this blog to bash anyone, I am not upset with any of the people herein, and I hope you don’t feel sorry for me. I have an amazing life, I am sharing my journey in the hope that it will help me to continue to grow, and possibly help someone else along the way. I am not now nor; will I ever be anybody’s victim…

* etymonline.com/word/victim

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