Victims: A Challenge

Victims: A Challenge

It is not fair. You have had a bad deal. You are a victim, frozen with a feeling of powerlessness.

There are three responses to threat: fight, flight and freeze. Your freeze response may have been triggered. Long ago you may have learned that freezing was best when you couldn’t fight or run away. A freeze response may feel natural to you if you were conditioned early in childhood. Probably it was right then; even life-preserving if caregivers were inadequate, inattentive or aggressive. You may have learned to be frozen, either in self blame or anger with the world, or both.

Moreover, being a frozen victim can be satisfying: in this mode you can grab a little power by constantly highlighting cruelty and stupidity. There’s plenty of that so you can feel superior in justifiable anger-power or miserable in self-blame. Hence, other people often do what your caregivers may have failed to do, they rescue you. As victimhood has these pay-offs, soon it can become a default attitude to life in general.

Yet in this passive-blaming state you are not humane; you don’t allow for human vulnerability and any mistakes made by you or anybody else. There’s no time for difference, curiosity, fruitful connection or rich intimacy. Your power lies in focusing on faults and criticism. And it’s a lonely and depressing place to be.

It may not feel like it, but you do have the power to change. You can give up rescuers. You can be different and you can find the energy to do the work yourself. You are creative enough to find a more fulfilling life.

Nobody is going to help you but yourself. Of course you have been dealt a bad hand, the world is cruel and stupid so it isn’t fair, but its you who must change.

Search and find your own unique way forward. Admit that its time to change, stop self-isolating; mobilise all possible resources including your partner if you have one; set up/find a group with fellow depressives/victims; follow an interest or cause you care about; try therapy, study, volunteering, exercise, etc.

Start small, you will relapse into victimhood at times but keep going. Remember you learned to respond passively, so you can unlearn it and gradually take more control. 

Just make a start.

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