A little while back I had a really hard conversation with one of my closest friends.  I asked him for his honest thoughts and he gave them to me.  What he said was not what I wanted to hear.  As I left feeling completely frustrated and misunderstood, I tried to comfort myself by telling myself that he had no clue what my life was like and how difficult it really is to be in my shoes…

Like so many other times, it was so much easier for me to play the victim then to stand up and face the hard truth in front of me.  I can point the finger at the church, my family, and my friends for all the areas that I am dissatisfied with life, however even if there are areas of fault in others, victimizing myself is never going to get me very far.  That being the case, why do I view myself as the victim so often?

I see it in society all the time as well.  People try to blame their circumstance on racism, sexism, or bigotry and in the end, I think it is simply a coverup for them to step up and be the better person.  Back when I was teaching in the public schools, “Is it because I am Black, (Mexican, a girl, etc)?” was the constant response from students trying to avoid the consequences of their actions when they got in trouble.  My students were under the age of 13 and somehow had already learned, playing the role of the victim was an easy way out of getting in trouble.

In today’s society, I see the LGBT community speak of all the hatred they experience from the church.  While this may be (is) true, when will the LGBT community choose to take the high road and start living out their own message of love and acceptance by loving the church despite its flaws?  All I see is hatred being combated by equal hatred.

In my own life I am trying to stop playing the victim.  It is incredibly hard.  Yesterday I was reassigned classrooms at work.  It was completely out of the blue and everyone at work (including myself) thought that I had done something to my supervising teacher that ticked her off enough to kick me out of her class.  I spent the whole day in the the new classroom trying to not get frustrated by what I thought was unfair treatment.  At the end of the day, having heard the rumors floating around, my new supervisor approached me.  He told me he had requested me to fit a particular need in his class and it had nothing to do with my previous supervisor.  I felt like a fool for all that I had assumed and how quickly I had placed myself as a victim.  As always, I need to start seeing my circumstances through a positive lens… my life is probably far better than I think.

How do you deal with the circumstances where you are being wronged but want to avoid playing the victim?



3 thoughts on “Victimization

  1. It can be SO easy to play the victim, especially when you have a legitimate reason for feeling victimized (trust me, I know–oh, I know!)

    But the truth is, as long as we stay in that place, God can’t move in our lives. He can’t make us into the image of Jesus. We have to forgive others, even if they don’t apologize (yep, I know that one, too!) and run hard after God for refuge.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Your post really got me thinking. I often cringe about a couple people I know who seem to have victim mentalities, but the truth is, I’m guilty of that a lot myself. Even in little comments I make lightly, like, “Why does this kind of thing always happen to ME?” I just finished a really great book recently called Enough, and the author says the first step towards contentment is to tell yourself “It could always be worse”. That’s something I’m trying to take to heart.

    Especially since, as a straight, white, female Christian, I’m speaking from a pretty sheltered worldview compared to what a lot of people have experienced. 🙂

  3. I think that we always walk a fine line when it comes to seeing ourselves as victims. It’s important not to jump to that conclusion right away when bad things happen but I think it’s also important to consider that whatever happened COULD BE due to discrimination. Because the fact is that discrimination exists and pretending it doesn’t is not the answer. I disagree that the LGBT community is fighting the hate from the Church with hate. I think they are trying to change the Church’s mind by pointing out that being LGBT doesn’t make you unworthy of love and equal rights. That’s not hate. It’s asking to be treated like a human being.
    I think you are right to be frustrated that your friend doesn’t understand what it’s like to be you. It’s ok to be frustrated as long as you do something about it. Explain to him/her what it’s like. Make them understand what you are going through by sharing with them and trying to draw parallels witht heir own lives. I thought that my LGBT friends were exagerating their issues when I was a teenager because I didn’t get it. I did not live it everyday and only came to appreciate what they were going through when one of them really opened up and explained. Your friends should be willing to let you do that and keep an open mind. If they can’t, maybe you need to consider getting new friends who will ove you and accept you just the way you are. Because there is nothing wrong with you, regardless of what religion is trying to make you believe.
    Full disclosure: I am not a psychologist so that the advice above with a grain of sand. I’m also an atheist so it frustrates me to no end when I see someone suffering as much as you do because of religion so my comments might be slightly colored by this.

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