My parents were victims. My Dad shrugged it off (mostly) and moved on. My Mom never did. She lived a life of pain and depression, and shared her legacy of victimization.
She was a dream-killer, a spoil-sport, and a pessimist. She also had great love and in her desire to help herself, she helped many people. Unfortunately, she was never able to save herself.
I’ve always been an advocate of standing up for oneself, not letting the sons of unmarried women get me down, and never playing the role of “the victim.” Unfortunately, just saying those words doesn’t make it so.“Unfortunately, just saying those words doesn’t make it so.”
I am a victim. Starting with an aberrant gestation and congenital defect, I was born broken. This led to teasing, bullying, and a withdrawn, insecure nature. Somewhere in my mid-20s, I was able to shove this aside, but the tools I used to do this – self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, inflicted their own damage. Indeed, the cure can be worse than the disease.
Despite some ups and downs, my life continued to move forward, but just recently I’ve noticed that I’ve been playing the role of the victim. And rightfully so! (I might add) So, being hurt, unjustly fired, losing income and capital, and misunderstood – I sunk deeper into discouragement and began to play the functional victim quite well.
“I should be able to do it well, I had a great role model.”
But as I started becoming aware of this, a couple of weeks ago, I realized I need to turn this around. There’s a problem with that though. If I don’t act hurt, discouraged, and broken, how will those who hurt me know that they done me wrong if I don’t mope, complain, and show them how wrong they were?
There’s a couple of problems with that behavior though.
- First, no one likes to be around a loser.
- Second, angry people are no fun either.
- Third, it’s not socially acceptable to mope.
- And finally, the only one who gets hurt through all of this is (wait for it….) ME!
Bummer. If I’m the only one getting hurt – then it’s really not worth the energy now is it.
Crud. Is my attitude really based on how you (or the collective you) treat me? I don’t think it is – or should be. But think about that for a second…. (time’s up!) – does that give you license to treat me poorly?
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming my parents – and I’m learning to not blame others for my problems. I just learned some bad habits and I need to relearn how to do it better. In fact, if all this stuff is about me learning to be happier, healthier, and more whole – than really, it’s worth it.
Indeed, the better I learn how to navigate this minefield, the better my kids will – and that makes it all worthwhile!
I’m well over 50 – and accelerating down this slope – but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep growing, learning, changing, adapting, and conforming – especially in the areas that need all this shaping.
My marriage will be better, I may live longer, and hopefully, future generations will benefit from my growth.