by Cornelius D. Jones
At some point in life each person has been or will become the victim of unpleasant circumstances. The cause of victimization often varies but the underlining factor often remains the same and is something unwarranted. Anytime that we are physically, mentally, sexually, or emotionally violated we become the victim. True victims should never be blamed for the awful things that has happened to them. This doesn’t exclude being cheated on nor lied to. The victim has little to no choice in the action by the perpetrator against them. Victims should never be blamed for the awful and painful things that happen to them.
However, once we elect to remain trapped in none threating situations, we officially transition from the victim to the volunteer. For millions of people, it is easier to play the victim than it is to acknowledge they are voluntarily participating in the chaos that surrounds them. It may be difficult for an individual that was originally the victim to clearly see themselves as a volunteer in their situation once they allow it to continue to happen. I know that bad things happen to good people...but it's rare that we are undeserving of all the negative things that we experience. Just like you, I can find a plethora of things that I don't believe was all my fault. However, that doesn't mean I was innocent or a victim of circumstance 100% of the times.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of hours counseling people that have worn hats as both the victim and the volunteer. Most were unaware that they were playing the leading role as both characters. For others it was done through the choice of convenience. It may be inconvenient to accept accountability for the roles we play and the poor choices we make in life. Victimization comes with the benefit of attention and sympathy, while our choices come with ownership and accountability. I agree that adulting is overrated at times but refusing to accept responsibility places us in an immature state of mind. The victim state of mind can and will appear natural to an individual that does not desire to accept any responsibility for the role that they knowingly play. It is more comfortable to see ourselves as the target than it is to see ourselves as the person holding the weapon that is being used against us. We can’t actively participate in our own victimization without becoming the volunteer.
Volunteering to leave the victim behind
In most cases you can choose to prevent further victimization. It starts with volunteering to leave the victim behind. The victim does nothing to benefit us in life and is a constant reminder of the hurt, shame, guilt, and pain that we’ve experienced. Unfortunately, many people volunteer to take their victim every place they go. It travels from relationship to relationship, from job to job and sometimes from one city to the next. with the person that has volunteered to carry it. The good news is when healthy boundaries are created, they serve as protection from remaining the victim. The boundary becomes a source of empowerment. For a person that struggles with addiction or the family member of an addict, establishing solid boundaries is a key component to recovery. If your partner is emotionally abusive, you can allow them to continue to your detriment by volunteering for more abuse, or you can express your needs and expectation moving forward. Once you establish these boundaries, it is strictly up to you to ensure that they are maintained. If the boundary that you set is violated, you have a right to become upset, but it is more important to set a new boundary to protect yourself. Although we may expect others to respect our boundaries, it is just as important that we respect the boundaries that we set. This is the best way to leave the victim behind.