Victim Mentality: The Mindset That’s Kicking Your Butt

Victim mentality

I grew up in a family that had it’s fair share of dysfunction and problems.

Out of respect for my siblings whom I love, I won’t go into all the details, but there’s enough material for the makings of a sequel to Osage County. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight.

Someone once told me I should write a novel using my family members as characters. That was after I told her about a distant cousin who poisoned his obese and petulant wife and hid her sizable body in an upright freezer. He told the judge he killed her because he didn’t believe in divorce.

Fortunately there wasn’t anything quite that dramatic in my immediate family, but there was enough craziness to merit years of self-work in adulthood. I DID experience love and support from both of my parents, and that’s a foundation that can heal many wounds.

Nevertheless, I’m sure I’m not alone in suffering pain and emotional trauma from childhood experiences. In fact, every single one of us, even those born into emotionally healthy families, have something that scarred us along the way. If you’re alive and have reached maturity, you can’t escape it. Life simply presents difficulties that cause deep and lasting pain.

I will openly admit as a younger woman I sometimes used my childhood “story” as a way to gain sympathy and as an excuse for my behavior. It’s hard to escape this when you get feedback from people who validate how much you’ve suffered and how hard it must have been for you. For the moment, or maybe for many years, it feels good to have someone look at you with sympathetic eyes or give you a pass when you fall apart or act irrationally. I succumbed to the victim mentality.

Over time, you begin to see how hitching your wagon to this distant story is tethering you to a self you really don’t want to be.

But eventually, your story only goes so far regardless of whether it began in childhood or later in life. Over time, it becomes a very distant story — one that happened so long ago you can’t really remember if the details are truly the details or only your retelling of the details. You are simply in the habit of feeling and behaving like a victim. And over time, you begin to see how hitching your wagon to this distant story is tethering you to a self you really don’t want to be.

Please don’t think me insensitive.

I know how certain childhood and adult life events can stick with you for the rest of your life, no matter how much therapy and self-work you might undertake. There are some experiences you never forget and that trigger a flood of emotions in the most unexpected scenarios. For some people, wrestling with these emotional demons is a daily battle. I’m not trying to undermine this real and true pain.

I do believe, however, that as adults we must reach a point of reconciliation with our stories. Eventually we come to a fork in the road when we’re faced with a choice. Is our story just a story — or is it who we are?

If we continue to allow our childhood pain, or any pain for that matter, to define us and serve as the reason for living a compromised life, then we’ll forever be stuck in a victim mentality.

What is a victim mentality and what does it look like?

Victim mentality is a learned personality trait in which a person feels powerless and unable to cope or take action in difficult situations. This person tends to see him/herself as a victim of the negative actions of others, and continues to feel this way even after the negative situation or actions are no longer real or relevant.

Quite often the sense of powerlessness is learned behavior originating from childhood when core needs were not met adequately. That’s why this mentality becomes so ingrained — it’s had lots of time to simmer.

But any negative, traumatizing event that makes us feel powerless can foster a victim mentality. It becomes a coping mechanism to survive fear, pain, and to reclaim our basic psychological needs of safety, love, affection, belonging, and self-esteem.

Unfortunately, it’s not a very attractive or empowering mindset. Here are some of the behaviors of a person with a victim mentality:

  • tends to blame others and won’t take responsibility for themselves or their actions
  • assumes others have negative intentions or “have it out for them”
  • views other people as happier, luckier, or better and has a “poor me” attitude
  • tries to elicit sympathy or pity from others by feeling sorry for themselves or telling (sometimes exaggerated) stories
  • acts helpless and isolated in order to avoid discomfort or responsibility
  • tends to have a negative outlook and sees “the glass half full” even when their lives are good
  • can be defensive and self-absorbed
  • often focuses on the past and blames past events for current circumstances
  • unwilling to take risks with an exaggerated fear of negative outcomes
  • focuses heavily on problems and with complain about them with others
  • tends to reject constructive criticism or attempts to help them move past victimization
  • exhibits low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • expresses feelings of shame, self-blame, and depression

Even though one with a victim mentality might feel some short term pleasure from getting sympathy, avoiding difficulties or discomfort, or reliving past events, that’s pretty much all they get.

Over time, people with a victim mentality become creepy and off-putting to others around them. Their blaming, stories, and negativity get old, and the people closest to them begin to feel manipulated and uncomfortable.

As adults, regardless of the pain we’ve experienced in the past, it’s our responsibility to our loved ones, and more importantly to ourselves, to initiate healing, self-awareness, and positive change. We must be willing to seek appropriate help and support; find useful coping mechanisms for dealing with pain and fear; and step out of our comfort zones to take the risk of being vulnerable. This is the only way to empower yourself and move from a victim mentality into a state of self love and self acceptance.

Letting go of the victim

If you see any of the traits of victim mentality in yourself, the first step is recognizing how this state of mind is kicking your butt and stealing the joy from your life. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from remaining a victim. Self-empowerment is the most liberating, exhilarating feeling in the world.

Here are some steps toward releasing the victim and regaining your power:

Awareness

All change begins with awareness. When you recognize yourself as someone clinging to a victim mentality, and you see how it’s holding you back from living a full and happy life, you’ve taken the first step toward recovery. Of course self-honesty is essential. It may be embarrassing or uncomfortable to admit you have this mindset, but it is truly a courageous shift toward growth.

Forgiveness

In order to heal and move past your inner pain, you must forgive. You must forgive other people who have harmed you, and you must forgive yourself. Holding on to anger and pain doesn’t change the past or change the person who hurt you. It only poisons you with resentment and negativity. Make a daily decision to forgive and be determined to live a successful and happy life in spite of your past.

Responsibility

Make a proactive decision to no longer allow your story to serve as an excuse for anything. Take personal responsibility for your choices and behavior. Empower yourself as the CEO of your own life.

Gratitude

Your past pain is only one part of your life. But you have so many other experiences, people, and things to feel happy about. Identify everything you are grateful for in your life right now. Write them down, and mentally or verbally express gratitude about them every single day.

Compassion

If you’ve been dealing with a victim mentality for years, it will take some time to shift to a new conscious mindset. Be patient and loving toward yourself. Acknowledge your efforts and successes and be gentle with yourself when you falter, as you likely will. Your intention for positive change will keep you moving in the right direction, even if you fall back into old behaviors on occasion. Personal growth takes time and practice.

What experiences have you had with a victim mentality either in yourself or with someone close to you? How have you handled it or made a positive change? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Comments

  1. “It’s hard to escape this when you get feedback from people who validate how much you’ve suffered and how hard it must have been for you.”
    I don’t recognize myself in many of the points mentioned that describes the victim mentality, but I have to admit that I always “crave” for validation.

    There is a Blog Post that has also helped me understand it better.
    Thank you

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Nikky,
      I think we all want validation, but craving it and allowing our need for validation to define our own self-worth is not empowering. When we define our on values and personal operating system, and we work to live our lives in alignment with those, then the only validation we need is from ourselves. Thank you for sharing Jodi’s post. I just recently met her online, and this is timely!

    • Rachel 36 says:

      Hi I have only just realised with the help of my councillor that I have been seeing for nearly 10 years through depression and my life stories I insist on telling everyone that I am VM. I always feel woe is me and keep saying to people I just want to be happy, feel happy I don’t want to be like this without realising that I’m allowing my past dictate my future by allowing myself to stay in this self hating state. It’s got to the point where even my immediate family have been dragged down by my poor me attitude!!! But now I know what I am doing I am trying to slowly change my habits by taking charge of my life and realising by me staying at home and relying on my security of the family I have created my child like state and in turn this has created more of the woe is me feelings. So now I know it will take time but I will get there as I love myself and love my family even more to ensure I succeed! It is hard but apparently it takes 30days to break a habit so that’s what I intend to do. Of course I’m finding it hard as its only week two and the negative feelings sometimes are so strong I cry but why am I crying for myself!! But I know after getting through depression anything can be achieved. I found your website very helpful as I didn’t quite understand what my councillor meant when he said he realised that I have create the VM state.
      Thank you
      Rachel

  2. This post is very timely for me. I’ve been working through quite a few of these mindsets for a while, and am just now starting to feel like I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve had to forgive others, mentally, for their actions as I was using them as a crutch to justify my own problems. Now I’m taking responsibility for these issues and turning them around.
    It’s easy to play the victim, but like you said, it also tethers you to that mindset long after you don’t want it around anymore. I’m now choosing to let it go and be the person who makes things happen, instead of being the person that has things happen to them.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Carissa,
      That is a very brave and proactive decision. I love your last sentence — that you are the person who makes things happen rather than being reactive. You are a creator and can decide you own vision for your life. Go for it!!

  3. Thank you Barrie, well written and thoughtful. I never realized, til fairlyrecently, how deep my victim mentality was. It started very young, and the details of it all FINALLY no long matter. Initially “it” VM, caused me to survive some horrendous life occurrences. I got sustainable energy from being in the survival mentality. Courage, tenacity, approval, awards, risk taking, false bravado, over achiever, perfectionistic, eventually needing to be reinforced or sustained by years of pot and alcohol abuse, to ease the discomfort, stuffing the pain of seeing the truth….. years of accumulating story after story, of survival, overcoming, to only be confronted with yet another circumstance to endure, collapsed under from the physical, emotional, mental “abuse” or disregard…. only to have this latest one, burn the cross I kept stringing myself up on. It could no longer bear the heavy weight of despair, and accumulated martyr stories. Despite, years and years of therapy ( I also got them to buy into the stories – I just now paid to tell them), tons of transformational work, long term 12 step programs, getting relief, but not real recovery, until I could tell the truth…. The constant in each of these circumstances…. ME. How did I hold it, what stories were I telling… even I was getting tired of myself… but I had, to my credit, been tenaciously committed to survive… and everything I did led me closer to the realization, life was never meant to just survive, but rather Thrive. I had a teacher say to me, several years ago… “Life was not meant to shuffle from the womb to the tomb, surviving, but rather, dancing through this precious gift and journey of life, thriving. It took me a bit of time, to see how I was standing in the shadows of victim mentality, blocking the sunlight of my own committed spirit who wanted to radiantly shine and who had forgotten how. I was the one who was calling for attention, from me, abusing and neglecting me, I was being a petulant little girl, wanting what she wanted as a little girl, long past her childhood, but angry and resentful, I did not get what I deserved then and expecting others to provided, never getting it was for me to recognize, it was me, who I was waiting on, who could give me, what I needed, love, acceptance and self care…..It is still a process… but I have more days of shining, than hiding and I am using my journey to hopefully be illuminating to others, to find their way out of the dark victim hallway, too. Thanks for a great blog post.

    • Oh my Diana — that is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your story. We often do have to get to the point of “being tired with ourselves” in order to break through our victim mentality. Crappy things happen in life. And there will be more crappy things down the road for all of us. After grief, we have a choice — to stay in pain or move on. And sometimes it’s a daily or even hourly choice. Keep moving on Diana. You deserve to thrive.

    • This was so Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing with us. We all deserve to thrive and shine our light on the world.

    • Diana, wow. I am blown away by your powerful story and your clarity of your inner world. I have the same story as you and am just now realizing that after 20 + years of therapy and healing of all kinds that VM is my real issue…that I am my real issue. I am relieved to now know what I need to do. I finally need to forgive all of my past and all of the players so that I can set my little girl free. It is my responsibility to love her enough to finally move on with my life. And be happy. Thank you so much for your openness and vulnerability.

      And thank you so much, Barrie, for writing this wonderful article 🙂

  4. I can’t thank you enough for this piece Barrie, it’s perfect in its timing and really smacked me awake.
    I can relate to the childhood dysfunction story, and I kept recreating it for years by getting into relationship with violent men.
    It’s true, we can’t help what happened to us as children, but as adults we have a choice and opportunities to turn things around every moment – we just have to get out of this cognitive dissonance we’re experiencing when we know so well the mechanics and theory of things, but can’t really feel the emotions that needs to go along with it to fully believe and know it to be so.
    I sure feel it wholeheartedly right now – hopefully enough to change a few things dramatically for the better.
    Thank you so much again!
    Upward and onward!:)

    • You are so welcome Villemo. It takes courage to admit that to yourself and have the willingness to work on change. Bravo to you! With enough practice, your feelings will eventually follow your new thoughts and actions. You are developing new habits that will feel unnatural at first, but keep at it. Be kind to yourself.

  5. Not only is the article very-well written, I admire your courage for opening yourself up to others. By nature, people would love to sweep their dirt under that rag. You brought yours into the open.

    I love you.

    • Thank you Joseph. A lot of my dirt is still under the rug! 🙂 But perhaps sharing some of it will help others know they aren’t alone. Thank you for your kindness.

  6. I wish more people with ‘victim mentality could read this! But only if they admit they need help, only if they realise how much pain and trauma persons around them have to bear because of their mentality. Their problem is that they refuse to come out of their negativity, they think they are the only ons who were the victims, they want all the attention and sympathy and so they never move on. At last those who care for them or had felt closer, even the siblings prefer to abandon them with their self wallowing.

    You can only help somebody if that person is willing to accept help. Such people don’t know the meaning of compassion and forgiveness, they retaliate if such words are mentioned and keep harping on their own hurts and the efforts they have been making to overcome them, which in fact are imaginary! All they care about it SELF and SELF ESTEEM. Some persons are incorrigible.

    • Hi Balroop,
      It is frustrating when you are close with someone who doesn’t recognize this trait in themselves. But people have to be ready and willing for change. And they must come to a point of awareness where they realize letting go of victimhood serves them better than holding on. Try to have compassion even when you must establish boundaries with these people. They are suffering and don’t know a better way.

      • How do you get them to realize the cycle their in -and put everyone else in? Even hinting at a possible negative subject starts the never ending circle of wrong doings (never by them of course, all justified otherwise) how can a wife get through to her husband with this mentality? Focusing on solutions only gets bombarded with million other “unsolvable” subjects.

  7. beachmama says:

    Thank you for writing this post.
    After my divorce I joined a domestic violence support group. They met weekly at a secret location and were guided by a facilitator that appeared clueless in how to move people out of the ‘victim mentality’. I sat rather quietly and just listened for a couple weeks. At my third meeting there were a dozen women ranging in age from 19 to 60. At every meeting so far the same woman (about age 50) held us hostage with her stories of hospital stays, broken bones, bashed in face, etc. She was a beautiful woman who walked with a cane because her legs had been broken so many times she couldn’t walk unassisted. She told her stories with a flourish and I understood that this is how she felt significant. The facilitator asked me to speak as I had been pretty silent. I told her that I didn’t think she or anyone wanted to hear what I had to say. She pushed for more so I spoke. I admitted that when I sat listening to stories I left with the thought, “I’m not like them, they’re victims” That day I realized that I’d held my ‘victim stance’ throughout my 48 years of life. That day I declared that I was done being a victim. Done with pity, fear, self doubt and any significance connected with being a victim. I told the woman who walked with a cane that she was headed for death by her abusive husband #5. There was a lot more I said that day. At the end of the meeting several members of the group came up to me and thanked me for being so frank. I never went back. From that day forward I continued to seek help through counseling, educate my son about abuse and speak up even if it’s uncomfortable. Abuse in all forms is rampant in our society. Verbal abuse cloaked in manipulation and smothered with smiles is something I encounter far too often. I now call people on it. I do it respectfully to allow them to step up but often times it’s such an ingrained habit they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong.
    I recommend the book, ‘The Verbally Abusive Relationship’ by Patricia Evans. It changed my life.

  8. it helps to recognize that sometimes the cause of ones own feelings of being a victim is because one was raised by a someone who strongly identified themselves as one. Even though the pain never goes away it is about trying to recognize it, accept its presence and then place it in a place it does not prevent you going forward each day and living the life you deserve each day

  9. I came across this article while looking for help. My situation is a little different though. My husband has without a doubt a victim mentality. Throughout the years I’ve tried to be there for him how ever I could, I’ve even been in counseling for 2 years trying to figure out what to do. My counselor had mentioned this mentality so I looked it up and to my amazement each and everything I’ve found describes him to a T! My husband doesn’t see anything wrong whatsoever though. Every time we even hint on the subject I get the run around stories of the past, or excuses, blaming this and that, he only did this cuz that happened type of thing. I’ve tried focusing discussions on a solution which only turns from a POSSIBLE solution to one problem but what about a million others-pretty much bypassed. Then weeks-months later the same subjects will arise-as always- but no solution was ever found-as he says. Seeing him negative about everything constantly and or depressed kills me but trying to talk through it is a week long circle of subjects which not one he’s responsible for-always others. OR when I ignore it then I’m inconsiderate and don’t care about him in which case he spends the day trying to get attention-negatively of course. I guess my question is how do you go about making them aware of this cycle? What can I do to get through to someone with this mentality who refuses to see it? Every word, action and thought is justified in some form so how do I paint the big picture without turning it into yet another victim event for him?

    • Wow, this could be me writing this! I am searching the internet to see what help I can find to help my loved one see he is trapped in victim-hood. I just wanted to respond to let you know you are not alone.

    • They call it co-dependency. Often we need to look at our own sense of inadequacy to understand why we are in relationships with other victims. It makes us feel good about ourselves but is also a form of co-dependency as we need the other victim as much as they need us.

    • This is my husband….Mr. victim. I used to be his rescuer. But after a year of individual therapy I am done with it. He seems so unattractive to me now. His ‘poor me’ attitude is such a turn off. If he doesn’t commit to making changes….I am done.

  10. I never thought that this would be possible for a guy to have. I mean we’re macho, and like, don’t have deep emotional feelings, right? It wasn’t until the end of a relationship and the death of my mother to open my eyes. I felt the world owed me everything. I was unwilling to listen to those who loved me. In my mind i was flawless, and the problems that my girlfriend had were self fabricated.

    Oh how I was wrong with my limiting beliefs. Thankfully a counselor is helping me. Victim mentality will hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest. And thank you for writing this article so can always come back to it when i feel weak.

  11. I wasn’t a victim until adulthood when my siblings started shunning me. They have gossiped about me, told lies about me, and treated me to years of “the silent treatment” all because of jealousy and petty differences, including their inability to forgive me for being human. I have long known that they harshly judge me. It really hurts that they don’t include me and my children in their lives. This is not the way i envisioned my life to be. I find my feelings of despair to sometimes be so overwhelming, that i am not acceptable to them because i made a few mistakes. On the flip side of that, they have also made mistakes, but because they don’t speak to me, it doesn’t seem possible that we will ever come to common ground. Their really bad shunning of me started after our Mother died (Father died long ago), and it seems they have taken advantage of this “freedom” and have ramped-up the dysfunction. I have never believed in doing something (bad) to someone just because you can. I cannot fathom why they do this. I have tried to talk to them, but they find fault with everything i say, they judge me, they ridicule me, then they continue to shun me. I find myself constantly wondering how they can live with themselves, if they ever think about me and wish things were different, or if they are the ones who are blocking their phone #s when my phone rings and call display says “blocked caller”. I answer and hear only breathing, then they hang-up. I imagine it’s them seeing if i’m still alive, but i have no proof. I realize that i am battering myself harder than what they are over this epic family failure. I realize i am a victim with victim mentality, and i would like – no, love – to move on and forget the hurt they have caused me and my children. I would love to stop ruminating over what was, what is, and what could have been. I would love to be free of this damaging yoke around my neck and anvil of fearful anticipation hanging over my head. I thank you, Barrie, for your insightful words of wisdom. I hope one day to be free of the victim mentality, with or without my siblings’ acceptance.

  12. How do you help someone see they have a victim mentality in a kind, compassionate and loving way?

    • I told a friend once that she was getting stuck in victim mode when she kept going on and on about things in the past and was constantly complaining about the same old stuff. I said it because I had read a book about positive feeling and energy and recognized my own victim mode thinking. I told her it came to me when reading the book that victim mode eventually serves no purpose but to make us feel lousy, helpless and stuck. To release that through forgiveness or an effort to forget and put behind you propels you forward to enjoying your life again and feeling empowered. I dont know if it ultimately helped her as she was bipolar and had overcome alot but really embraced victim mode with her mood swings. She did take it pretty good at the time because I was trying to stop it with myself. Anyway, all that bad energy of victim mode will just make you more vulnerable to attracting more victimzing. It also feels more empowering to feel you have more control and power ver your lufe because we do!!!!

  13. so it feels like you wrote this article about me. at 9 months my dad left my family, I still got to see him but only at weekends.My mums dad my granddad became a sort of father figure to me until he died from cancer when i was aged 11, at 16 my uncle who I had idolised for years committed suicide and this set me into a downwards spiral of depression and self harming. at 16 i buried a friend who had died in a car crash, at 19 my dad died in a car crash and still to this day i do not know when i last heard his voice.2 years on from this at 21 a very close friend no a brother, ( but not related) suddenly died in a very rare and upsetting way. the winter after my friend passed away i was misdiagnosed with Lymphoma, another 2 years later at 23 i buried another very close friend who had died in a quad bike accident on the other side of the world. i have had more jobs than i can care to remember, 3 failed relationships, one which i honestly wish i could change, i like what you have said, but i have felt the way i do for as long as I can remember, i see the negative in everything, and rarely see a positive outcome for anything. I am working in a job which i broke my back to get, and have only 4 month left until i am qualified and have a wealth of experience. from the outside in my life is perfect, i have a mum 4 half brothers and a step dad, i live at home, i have very little debt, i am not the most academically clever person but i am in no way stupid. i can not life my life like this any more, i have been on anti depressants for years now, they sometimes work and sometimes they dont, either way, i cant go on like this, the though of being taking my own life goes through my mind every other day, only a very few reasons stop me from taking my life.

    i dont know why i am saying all this, i dont even expect a response, and even if i get one, how can some one else help me if i can not help myself??

  14. Wez, please know you are not alone and there are people who care for you even though you haven’t met them yet.

    I will personally pray for you right now and ask everyone reading this to do the same.

    Please talk to someone. 1-800-273-8255 is the national hotline. Or look at this list:

    http://www.hopeline.com/gethelpnow.html

    Sometimes nutritional deficiencies cause lack of energy and depression. Sometimes prescription drugs cause nutritional deficiencies! Allergies or sensitivities to foods or chemicals in the food may hurt you. In a site called Askapatient.com you can type in the name of a drug and see how others have experienced its side effects.

    You have the obligation and the right to control what goes in and on your body.

    Start eating pure, fresh food without preservatives, additives or food colorings. Read the labels! Make sure you are getting enough protein, at least 1/2 the amount in grams of your body weight (150 lbs means 75 or mor grams protein) . Drink pure water, no soft drinks of any kind.

    The are wellness doctors in your area or online who have many articles which provide good information. You CAN help yourself by being informed.

    Start exercising, even a simple walk will help. Another site is boldanddetermined.com to motivate you

    Best wishes to you, please let us know in 3 days what you have accomplished.

  15. Thank you all for sharing. It helps me understand better. I need help. I am married to a VM wife. She can be a very caring an loving person. But she has very defeated personality. She has some good days and I see the person I married, Although looking back I see the VM when we were dating and I was the rescuer before we were married. Now I if I don’t support the VM I am the attacker and causing her the pain. All she wants is validation that the past pains are OK but I see that keeps her down and living it. On Saturdays she wakes up with such negativity and how bad life is and things that happened to her in the past and no hope for the future. I try to be supportive but after 3-4 hours I break and get angry. Guess what. Then I an the bad person and she is the victim again. I have moved out twice in the past for a few months. Things get better so I move back home then it creeps in again and we are back to the same old thing. I guess I feel I am the crutch and when I move out she has to take responsibility for her life and she does. Then we go back in the same old pattern again. And I hear about how I abandoned her. I know if I leave again this will have to be the end but I really don’t want to do that. We have been married almost 30 years. But I need help on how to break the chain. Or is ther no hope. I have talked to her about being a victim and she won’t hear of it. There is nothing wrong with her, it is how I treat her. She gets mad when people tell her how lucky she is to me as a husband and says they don’t know what it is like to live with me. Almost at my end. We start counseling tomorrow again. In the past I sat there and the counselor and her talked and told me I needed to do more and changes I need to make.

    Thanks for any advice!

  16. I’ve been reading articles on the victim mentality all morning. I see the traits in myself: bouts of depression, my mantra of I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I’ll never, I’ll never, I’ll never, and it’s all because this or that happened. It’s not that I haven’t experienced some significant losses in my life, because I have. But after reading this article I connected two very painful dots. Two years ago my marriage of 30 years ended. It wasn’t expected, and I was in shock for awhile, walking around in a daze with the emotional wind knocked out of me. And then I started blaming, complaining, sabotaging any good that came my way. I wouldn’t let anything get between my and pointing the finger at my ex’s betrayal. This is the first dot. The second is this: the above victim behavior keeps me connected to him. I don’t have to let him go as long as I stay angry, as long as he is there to target as the cause of my turned-upside-down-life. I don’t have to come to terms with the reality that this man that I loved for 3 decades in gone. Somehow, and I’m not sure how this works, but it seems as if as long as I can continue to blame him for the past I don’t have to take responsibility for my life now.
    Deep breath.
    I guess it’s time to let go. I’m just not sure I know how.

  17. Thank you for all of your words. I’m 27 and fed up of all the reasons I can’t deal with things, constantly blaming my loved ones and asking them to answer any feeling other than happiness. It’s like I’ve been letting life wash all over me just waiting for my ‘golden opportunity’ the one I imagine every other successful person has…cowardly blaming it on luck and ‘proper parenting’ and ‘nurturing relationships’ I’m really shocked at the extent of this mindset and how badly this must be hurting my partner who has most definitely been compassionate with me when all I read was ‘attack’. All I want now is to take responsibility but can’t help but feel scared in case I can’t overcome this.. After all I’ve been living blind for so long, my ‘auto response’ is all messed up and it’s all my own doing. How do you overcome negative interpretations of everything? X