Who knew being a victim could be categorized as an addiction!
When we think of addictions, we think of drugs, food, alcohol, sex, cigarettes, exercise, retail therapy or even chocolate but who knew that being a victim would make the addiction list!
A victim is a person who is deceived or cheated, either by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal intervention. Keeping this in mind, one often thinks of a victim as someone who has suffered abuse or trauma. But what about the person who is deceived or cheated by his or her own emotions or ignorance?
Victims often ask, why does “this” keep happening to me? Why do “these” people keep showing up in my life? Why can’t I find a way to create financial success? Why is my health so out of control? Why don’t people treat me with more respect, don’t they understand that I am struggling? And where is God in all of this? Isn’t he supposed to be watching over us and keeping us safe! Why does God let these things happen?
“Victim Mode” can be so seductive because it allows us to blame another person, place, condition or deity for our struggles! It gives a person the opportunity to live a life of excuses instead of potential. If God meant for me to have a better life, he would have given me better parents, more opportunity, more money, made me better looking etc. Why try to eliminate struggle, when there are so many excuses to fail!
If victim mode has such a negative impact on our life, why do people continue to struggle with it?
Why does the alcoholic swear to never touch another drink and then not follow through? Why does the unhealthy person swear to get healthier only to continue making poor eating choices? Why do people struggle with finances and refuse to cut up their credit cards? The answer to all of these questions is because as much as they want something better, what they have is familiar to them – it is what they know. This is their “Known Zone.”
When something feels familiar it’s difficult to let it go, even if it isn’t for our highest good. Most of the time, people living in victim mode don’t want to look at where they are so they ignore it, swear they have put it behind them and move through their lives believing everything is fine and refuse to look at the choices they make that results in more struggle.
The seductive feeling that created the addiction in the first place is forever beckoning and as we tell ourselves that this is the last time we will let this happen, the struggle continues.
Making different choices and wanting to move forward is an unknown variable but looking backward is familiar. It may cause struggle but it’s a struggle we know, this is familiar territory and we know what to do to ignore it or cover it up. We tell ourselves, “I’ve got this” but all the while our life is spiraling out of control because we fear moving out of our “Known Zone.”
The same struggle will continue to show up in our life in different ways until we understand the belief around why we feel we deserve to struggle (victim mode). Someone cuts us off on the freeway, the checker at the supermarket is rude, telemarketers call your phone, you didn’t get that promotion (again), you have the worst job EVER, your family doesn’t understand you, your spouse isn’t who you married; the list is endless.
We tell ourselves that we want out, we want to change, we want a new life, but what does that really mean? Because we don’t have an answer to this our current life starts to look manageable. We believe it’s much safer to live within our daily struggles than to admit we are too scared to let them go. The seduction to stay where we feel safe is a powerful draw.
The seduction of victim mode causes struggle but also gives us something to blame the struggle on, such as:
I would have a better education if only…
I would have married a better person if only…
I could be healthier and love who I see in the mirror if only…
I could be earning a lot more money if only…
I could learn to love the holidays of only…
I could have more self-worth if only…
The “if only” list for living in victim mode could go on and on to fit whatever scenario the victim needs, to explain why their life is such a struggle.
And then, we finally do it! We find a way to end our struggles but it’s something we must commit to doing every single day and soon it feels like another struggle. Yes, we can have days when we feel happy or joyous, but even those feelings can be outside of our “known zone” so we soon make a choice that sabotages that happy feeling because the seductive life of victim mode is what we know.
Nancy Mueller ~ Mastering Your Beliefs Mentor