Here’s why seeing the world through a Victim’s eye is hard to change, and what you can do about it:
- A Victim is always superior to Villains. Status is a perk hard to renounce
- Victim gets pity, which is a form of attention, and attention nourishes. When one is depleted and disconnected from love, any attention will do, including pity.
- Many social organizations are built upon the Victim-Villain-Rescuer triangle model, with support systems that offers a venue to the Victim to complain about the Villain, organized by Rescuers.
- The Victim has the right to complain, which confers entitlement — another perk which is difficult to renounce.
- Victims have stories to tell, about injustice done to them or to others. The emotions aroused by stories of injustice are intense and compelling — from resentment to anger to rage and even hatred — which makes the stories highly likely to be heard. Emotionally charged stories draw attention, and attention nourishes the speaker.
I had enough adversity and known enough oppression as a descendent of Holocaust survivors and a child of an oppressive dictatorial regime behind the Iron Curtain, to be fused in my personal identity with the Victim aspect of my mind. I have complained, felt helpless, felt entitled and when my personal development fans friends told me that I saw myself as Victim and I should take my power back, I had no idea how to do that. Here’s what I figured, so far:
- The Victim is one voice of many inside one’s mind. To free oneself from its grasp requires the counter-intuitive act of giving it a voice. The fused identity with any sub-personality (aspect of the psyche) means that one is locked into that particular perspective. The Victim is the subject, “I”. By giving the Victim a voice, listening to it and looking at it, the Self differentiates itself from that voice, and the Victim becomes an object, an “it”, while the Self, as the subject “I” has access to other options for the Self’s ‘driver seat’.
- There are embodied practices that give the Victim a voice. My favourite is the Voice Dialogue (I’m a lover of language so no wonder I prefer this one), then the Shadow Integration process, which I like doing combining language and embodied states (walk, talk, move, gesture as the Victim). You can also dance, draw, and journal as Victim.