Victim vs. Survivor Mentality
It would seem unlikely that many people will have the good fortune to escape being a victim of something during their existence. Life, after all, is not for the faint hearted! If one manages to escape disasters, natural or otherwise, there is always illness, disease, accidents, external threats, internal threats, death of loved ones, mental cruelty, physical violence, poverty, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, starvation, bankruptcy.....the list is endless. Being a victim of any of these things often brings about negative and painful consequences, none of which are easy to endure. The fact of the matter is though, once one gets through it. Once the act or abuse or disaster stops, if one has come through it alive and relatively intact, even if damaged or delicate, they are no longer a victim, but a survivor. To my mind there is an absolute world of difference between the mental state of someone who considers themselves to be a "vicitm of" and those that consider themselves survivors.It is my opinion that while survivors of tragic events need every ounce of support, empathy and understanding they can get, it isn't at all healthy to continue to treat people as though they are still victims. IMO remaining a victim actually hands "victory" to whatever the source of the abuse or tragedy was. It allows the event, or the disease or the individual to remain in control. To win as it were. Where as treating oneself or others as survivors empowers. It allows one to heal, to become strong again and to move forward or past (as much as is possible) the dreadful thing that happened to them. Mentally it is a much healthier place to be. For example I experienced a great deal of physical and emotional violence from my late teens into my early 30's. During all of that time I naturally felt very sorry for myself, did the usual pleading and cowering with my aggressor which invariably made the situation worse. I was a classic victim. A victim of both the aggressor and my own mental state. Thankfully there came a turning point in my own mind where I simply decided I was no longer going to put up with this nonsense and instantly I became a survivor. The change was palpable. Never again did I experience either physical or emotional abuse from my aggressor, because I went from a position of weakness to a position of strength and he knew immediately his power over me was gone. It is a choice of course. There are undoubtedly all sorts of subconscious reasons people remain victims, just as there are reasons people choose to be survivors. I would suggest if one is able to adopt the position of being a survivor the road to getting past horrendous obstacles might just be that bit smoother.