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Finding Personal Agency/Power Again - Leaving Victimhood

 
gardener
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Phakyab Rinpoche's torture is an interesting example in Are We Done Fighting? about how important escaping victimhood mentality is for continuing one's life and moving forward with a sense of a sense of control and personal agency in one's life:

Phakyab Rinpoche wrote:I understood then how important it is to put our sufferings into perspective, to not lock oneself in a painful past that indefinitely extends the ordeal. When that happens, we become our own torturer.



When observing if one is a victim of victim mentality, some of the features of being in victim mode could be:

Hayley Rose wrote:People living in victim mode tend to internalize unfortunate events and disappointments that are commonplace for everybody. To them, it seems that everyone else has it easier. This is not true. Victims of victim mentality have the illusion that they are constantly under attack from the universe, but only because of the way they choose to digest the things life throws them.



A few possible ways that a person could get ready to stop feeling like a victim could be to:

Nancy Coller wrote:-Take ownership and responsibility for [one's] own needs and wants...
-Practice saying "No."
-Practice forgiveness



In what other ways can victimhood be recognized? How does one leave victim mentality behind?
 
pollinator
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A couple of ideas that I nabbed from other books (their names escape me right now but if anyone is interested I can try and dig them up):

- One book I read suggested to envision the best and most idealistic possible future version of yourself (think 10-30 years down the road) and then try to act the way that imaginary role model would act. Most people don't envision their ideal self as being a victim.

- Another book looked at the different roles people take on as being like hands in a deck of cards. The victim role is commonly dealt and can occasionally be useful and appropriate, but it's a very low ranking hand and loses often. Playing it every time is a losing game. If you have the cards to play a victim hand, you usually also have a stronger hand you could choose to play instead. I forget exactly which roles were suggested but they were along the lines of queens high and Erin Brochovich type scenarios. :)
 
master pollinator
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I really think being a victim causes a lot of dreams to fail.

A person cannot change where they are born, what color skin they are, who their parents were, what their upbringing was like, and how good their education was. All they can do is look for opportunities, and capitalize upon them.

I think out of anyone, I have the right to wallow in "victimness" because the last two years have been tough. I got cancer twice, I have an inoperable tumor on my brain, I got scammed by a logger who clearcut 70 acres of my forest and never paid me the $18,000 he was supposed to, that was to pay property taxes, so I was forced to sell my equipment and almost all of my sheep, then I got conned out of a house, and the worst thing of all, Katie and I lost a child. Those are some pretty good kicks in the teeth again and again.

But in that, I have got more compassion for others, have a deep love of community, and am utterly thankful for what I do have. You can actually read that, it is on every post I make, if you read my signature line: I am indeed THANKFUL. In that case for the great people of Permies, but so thankful for so much more too! I just refuse to wallow in being a victim. Yes, I have been a victim a few times these last few years, but I have also witnessed great compassion and love because of some rotten things. Those that wallow in victim pity just get robbed of joy!
...

Note: I have been gloomy these last few weeks and have posted those thoughts on here. But it is not because I feel like I am a "victim", but rather because I am not sure what to do next. That is just frustration.
 
master pollinator
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I know a fairly well adjusted guy, whose family were cut to pieces with machetes in Rwanda.

I know a really twisted,  bitter guy, who thinks that his parents favored his older brother and ruined his life.

One guy moves on, and one guy holds on to every little thing.
 
pollinator
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In my experience, victims are often looking for someone else to save them, often through manipulation.

I found the book "codependent no more" and the following books by melody beattie to be very helpful. I believe people are repeatedly given a choice and opportunities to stay there or be free. Look for the ways we are all hurt and broken, wounded... Not just you and not you the worst. Look for ways to grieve and then heal, be stronger next time, help others recover, let it go and no longer define yourself by the wounds except in how it helps you empathize with others and love them more. Most of the people I know who are in that mindset stay there for life but occasionally someone breaks free and it's a beautiful thing.
 
pollinator
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Somatic Experiencing brings a nervous system view of staying a victim. 1st it is important to be seen as a victim. It is well known that cops are not supposed to tell a girl she should not have been there,  when she reports an agression!

Then what keeps the victimhood is the stuck activation in the nervous system. So we manage to make this drop in sometimes only one session! It is easy for isolated events. And the method is not mental at all. There is no "trying" to change thoughts or forgive etc. All happens on its own by letting the body process the defensive response,  which is still there because it failed! And it is organic, physiologic, and the mind comes last. When the body has sent all this energy as if to an earth rod,  emotions and meanings change alone.
 
pollinator
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In my experience, those that wallow in victimhood are rarely extremely victimized. But many traumatized people have developed coping skills that at the time allowed them to survive, but are no longer working or needed. It is difficult to leave these things behind.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Stacy Witscher wrote:In my experience, those that wallow in victimhood are rarely extremely victimized. But many traumatized people have developed coping skills that at the time allowed them to survive, but are no longer working or needed. It is difficult to leave these things behind.


This cannot be judged!
Trauma is not about the event but the body reaction. Really, just believe the person!
For the nervous systemy there is no time. Until we do what we need for the resync of the 2 branches of the ANS,  there can be no change.
It is actually easy to leave this behind when it was not a repeated trauma. Just as in agriculture,  we have to do it right.

Somatic Experiencing is such a method and is very permie in nature.
 
Stacy Witscher
pollinator
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Xisca - I think that we are talking about very different things. It is not my intent to judge only to understand. My experiences are with repeated trauma, so that is what I speak to. I have tried many paths towards healing, and have come a long way. For my own healing, I cannot be around victim types. I leave that to others.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Of course yes you can leave it to others and it is best to think about your healing. I did answer for your understanding, as stating what I understood as "some people victimize though not very traumatized" is a common judgement that is not true because traumatisation level has to do with much more than the importance of the event.  
A big part is the type of support after the events. One small accident can have long term effects and seem unrelated!
When we understand what to do and can get to more compassion than empathy, it becomes easier to listen to victims stories. Their deep need is to discharge the activation they feel in the body and cannot alone.

The 1st time I could listen to a victim and stay present to her story without becoming emotionally touched and put down (which would have prevented me to help her) , I was just coming back from a Somatic Experiencing module, so of course I could understand why it came naturally to me.
By staying fine while not having to run from her, I could help her reach my level of emotions instead of us both feeling bad!
I prefer empathy to function this way!

So if you mean by " talking about different things " that your story is more heavy than some others' who look like victims, yes sure it is possible, but I inform that you can also considere that people with less important events can also need to regulate their nervous system.

When I hear people with victim stories, especially repetitive, I know they did not get the appropriate though easy help that would have lifted a burden from them. And I have helped a few to do so by just making them see I noticed the emotion, believed it and not dismiss it. But then I have a training that made me understand what we miss by not being told about it :
I suggest and help to stop the inner dialogue that goes on between the mind and the emotion, to sense where is the body sensation also "talking", which make "move the e-motion" and release it at body level.
I  try to make open the dialogue into a "trialogue"
The body level can modify instantly the emotional and the meaning levels.

When we learn how simple it is and do it, we can not only help a lot but it becomes a self-help,  and self-healing, because it creates a deep sense of love and connection. It is just impossible that it beneficiates only one side!

The main obstacle to generalise this in our society is a toxic cultural shame about being weak, flawed etc, for needing this type of support instead of being able to do so on our own.

This is why I compare to what we know about physical strength and capacities! And this is why I ask for awareness about the science of the nervous system, which can be as physically wounded as any other body system.

Why would it be a shame for only 1 out of about 12 body systems to be hurt? Why do we get hurt regularly by The sentence "this is in your head"? After all,  our head is part of our body! Even thoughts are emanations of the body.  Thoughts are only 1 language we have, the other 2 are emotions and body sensations. The 3 in 1 make what has been coined as the felt-sense.

 
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