Too many survivors use victimization as justification for wrongdoing. They feel that because they suffered, life owes them somehow. I have seen people mistreat others merely because of the bullying they suffered in the past and think that it’s the only way they can feel empowered again. Sadly, I was guilty of the same thing in high school. It isn’t something I’m proud of today.
Example: Some people may choose to rob a bank or burn down a corporate building because they grew up poor and felt like they didn’t get a fair shake in life. Again, they feel like the world owes them and that there’s justification for striking back against a system they believe screwed them over.
When the law finally catches up with them and hauls them off to jail, they become even more embittered because the perpetrators feel that being held responsible for what they did only further evidences that they aren’t getting a fair shake.
These criminals fail to realize that we’re all still responsible for our actions regardless of what happened to us in the past. Evil behavior always brings consequences. You reap what you sow.
Past victimization does not justify wrongdoing. Ever! A reason does not equal an excuse. We’re all responsible for our lives, whether or not we admit it.
I could have gone on bullying others because people bullied me in the past. But where would it have gotten me? Nowhere! That behavior would have only brought consequences and more misery.
Wouldn’t it be better to learn from adversity and take accountability for your life? To try and make your life better than it was in the past? Of course, it would.
A while back, a fellow blogger inspired this post with a comment, and she was spot on with it. For the life of me, I cannot remember who the blogger was, but I’d like to thank her in advance.
Sadly, too many survivors of bullying still render themselves, victims by living in the past. They constantly ruminate over the bullying they endured, wondering if they could have done anything differently and wishing they had.
They look back with remorse, shame, guilt, and regret. Now, it’s normal to do right after you’ve gotten out of the toxic environment that encouraged the bullying. I completely understand because I did it too. However, when this goes on for years and years, you only hold yourself back. Unnecessary baggage only keeps you down.
Many survivors trap themselves in an endless cycle of what-ifs. They keep themselves stuck and forgo opportunities to learn from and grow from their experiences. Some seek revenge. Others only bury it, live in denial, and try to rewrite history.
Understand that this is a waste of your time.
On the other hand, some survivors become conquerors. They acknowledge that, yes, the bullying happened, and, yes, it was painful, then aspire to learn and grow from it.
I realize that, once you’re out of an extremely toxic environment, there will be a period of grief. Again, completely understandable. It’s okay to mourn the loss of time bullying caused. It’s okay, even recommended, to feel angry and hurt for a while. In no way should you ever trivialize this period of mourning because it’s real, and it happens to survivors when they’re fresh out of an abusive situation.
And different people have different periods of grief.
My crying stage lasted a month; yours may be a lot longer or shorter. It depends on the person. Some may choose to get therapy, and others won’t. But there comes the point when you must move on and not allow it to take over your life. Don’t let your bullies live in your mind rent-free for too many years. They’ve already taken away enough of your life. Don’t you think?
You owe it to yourself to heal and begin to accept what happened, then learn and grow from it. Only then can you reach empowerment and find happiness.
It’s because I don’t feel like I’m less than. Yes, my classmates called me the most horrible names in the English language. Yes, they physically beat, ridiculed, and smeared me. And yes, they destroyed my reputation. However, I’m still not a victim because their effects on me didn’t last.
I’m a survivor. In fact, I’m more than that- I’m a winner! Because they no longer have the power to make me feel that I’m less than human. No one has that power now. I’m not a victim because I don’t allow other people’s perceptions of me to determine how I feel about myself nor define me as a person. I know who I am, and I feel good about it.
My classmates may have taken my confidence away and at times, my physical well-being. But they could never take away my soul! They couldn’t take my integrity, my individuality, and my freedom of thought.
They couldn’t take any of the things that mattered!
Another reason I don’t feel like a victim is because I don’t feel any hate nor any desire to take revenge. My energy is better spent on my family, doing what I love to do, and working on my projects. I’m too busy doing me and mine. Understand that any time you hold hate and seek revenge over something that was done to you in the past, it comes from a victim mentality and from a place of feeling that you’re owed some form of satisfaction, restitution, or atonement. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.
I want you to realize that a victim mentality is never good because it keeps you trapped in an abyss of hatred and misery. Anytime you have this mentality, you’re angry and depressed all the time. You feel like the world owes you. But what you don’t realize is that even if the world did give you what you feel you’re owed, you’d still never be happy and you’d only want more, more, and more.
It’s no way to live. I was there years ago and it’s a dark and ugly place.
I’m so glad that when I finally got tired of being unhappy and unfulfilled, my eyes were opened, and I changed my way of thinking.
So, how did I shed the victim-think?
1.By refusing to allow bullies from the past to take up space in my mind and by not wasting another drop of precious energy on people who were never worth it in the first place.
2. By accepting myself, flaws, quirks, and all. I finally decided that I was okay just the way God made me and that I needed no one else’s approval, least of all, the approval of backstabbers, fakes, and drama kings and queens who only pretended to be friends but weren’t out for my best interests.
3. I made it my mission to love and to take care of myself and the people who truly mattered. And that included weeding out toxic people who were only there to use me and to see me fail- those who didn’t belong in my life.
4. Lastly, I did it by focusing on the things that were important– I focused on God, family, my closest friends, and being the best version of me that I could possibly be instead of trying to please everyone and seek approval.
It’s okay to be angry and to take time out to feel those emotions when someone does you wrong. It’s natural to need time to heal. Just don’t set up shop and live in that yucky place for long. Because, if you stay there, it will ruin your life.
I can’t stress how important it is for you to rid yourself of victim-think. It’s the only way you’ll ever reach that beautiful place of self-acceptance and ultimately, peace and happiness. And once you do, it will be such sweet freedom!