Victim Mentality

Victim mentality: it’s always someone else’s fault. I was watching Intervention last night when a concerned family member of an addict said this. It struck me as deeply insightful and terribly moving. Not because I’ve never heard the general thought or idea before. I mean, as a psych major we talk about things like Learned Helplessness and self-empowerment all the time. I have, on more than one occasion, reminded a friend that the whole world isn’t against them, and that if they choose to see the world as a universal whole that is always conspiring to screw them over then that is exactly what they’ll find. But I don’t know…I guess maybe it’s the person and the situation that this was spoken about that really made the difference.

Let me explain. You see, the addict this was said about is an Indian man (yes, from India) adopted into a white Christian family. This family already had several biological children in it, and he felt very left out being the only brown face in the crowd.  As he grew up, he began to reject his family because they weren’t his blood, and became very distraught that he would never know his ‘real’ brothers and sisters, or if he even has any. At a young age he decided to take up drug abuse as a way of escaping and dealing with the negative emotions flowing through him, claiming that dope is the only thing he has left.

The thing is, he has maintained through the entire process that this family welcomed him with open arms, never treated him any differently than any of the other children, and showed him the kind of unconditional love that any truly loving family would show to one of their kin. But, since they weren’t his blood it just wasn’t good enough to him.

Not that I’m adopted, but I wouldn’t take anything away from this man as far as how much hurt and trauma he must experience on a daily basis not knowing his biological parents, wondering why they didn’t love him enough to keep him, never feeling like he truly belongs anywhere, etc. But there’s a huge difference between experiencing and dealing with feelings, and victimizing yourself. And there’s an even bigger difference between being the victim of something versus choosing to be a victim in general.

It’s like, in this dude’s situation – sure, a lot of it sucks donkey balls, but the whole thing is that this family loves you to death and accepts you, just like all their children. Having a loving supportive family is something that some people living with their biological parents would KILL for, since they’ve never known what it’s like to truly be loved by anyone, in general. Having a bunch of siblings whom you’re very close to and can trust with your secrets and your life is another thing that many a person dream of. I could name countless other things, but you get the general point: he had many things to be thankful for, many many things to be happy about, and the fact that he CHOSE to reject all those things while clinging to anything that would make him miserable means he WANTED the misery, he wanted to be a victim. And more importantly, the facts weren’t what made him a victim. HE was victimizing HIMSELF. Point blank.

It’s sad how often people nowadays get caught up in this victim mentality. Not necessarily so deeply and completely that they end up becoming drug addicts or something equally undesirable. But I’ve noticed that people are more likely to choose to cling to the negatives, the pain, the unfair things that happen to them in life, and let those things cripple them in some significant way. For example, a guy gets his heart broken by the love of his life so he chooses to become a player and break every woman’s heart he can (or at the very least trample all over them). Or a woman’s trust is betrayed by her BFF so she decides to never get close to another friend again, convincing herself she prefers being a loner.

And when you ask them WHY they do what they do, they respond that “all women are tricks and hoes” and that “people just can’t be trusted”.

Really, all they’re doing is taking a bad situation where they were the victim and choosing to consistently victimize themselves over and over and over again. Of course, these things become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you never trust anyone, never let yourself get anywhere near close enough to a person to build that kind of relationship then of COURSE nobody will be trustable. At least not those around you. And if you choose to pursue a bunch of chicks only looking for a good time out of you because you’re afraid to open up again, of COURSE all chicks will be tricks and hoes. At least the ones who will bother with your emotionally unavailable stone cold ass. Just saying.

The moral of this story: What happens to you isn’t always under your control. And yeah, often times people suck. You can’t help when a life circumstance comes about and victimizes you.  But you CAN choose whether or not you’re going to move forward in life not letting the shit get you down, making the best of things and seeing the silver lining on your gray clouds. Or if you’re just gonna sit your ass in a puddle and stare at the gray cloud until it starts pouring on you so you can complain about how it’s just your luck, you ALWAYS get caught in the storm.

Just a lil somethin somethin to think about this Tuesday morning.


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