A state of mind: Victimization

Have you heard someone say, “Nobody can do something to you unless you allow it”? Did you realize that “victimization” is bullying? Victimization is “the action of singling someone out for cruel or unjust treatment.” When you read or watch the news or hang out at social media, you hear a lot about victims. It appears that people look at things, focus on them, from a negative perspective, contributing to the problem of people feeling more the victim. Perhaps the focus should be made positive.

It is written that people who are victims do not know how to manage their own anger. They are afraid of anger and deny it exists. The anger changes to fear, and the individual doesn’t trust others. They feel like everything that happens is happening to them, and they are overwhelmed because the world is not fair. Like children, they feel helpless. They don’t seem to know that, as adults, they have much more power than they did when they were very young.

There is hope if you’re willing to work on turning things around. You will need to become aware of the negative self-talk and of well-meaning friends who tell you, “You deserve better.” You need to turn the negatives into positives. You need to find constructive ways to manage your anger.

“Cindy” was having some problems with her partner. Over the years she had been conditioned not to talk about the things that upset her. She confided in a friend who consistently said to her, “You deserve better.” The friend was very critical of Cindy’s partner but Cindy didn’t feel comfortable with what her friend told her. “What if I am the problem?” Cindy had asked a number of times. “You’re not,” said the friend. Still she felt uncomfortable, didn’t understand why she couldn’t agree. Then she realized that she had been passive in things that she should have spoken up about. She had felt helpless, without resources. And she realized she had some work to do on herself. The discomfort she had felt became clear to her in an epiphany of sorts: the world didn’t owe her a thing. She was a grown-up now. She had more power now than she had as a child. Cindy decided she had to give victimization the boot to the curb. It would take persistence and determination, She needed to change all the negatives to positives.

First she learned that anger is a “simple, irrational emotional response to frustration. It does not require justification,” writes Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D. at The Human Experience at psychology.com. The degree of anger is proportional to the degree of frustration, not the logic or rationality of circumstances.”

Stop using words to justify anger. Don’t attach frustration to obligation that you think should come from someone else. The world, life, just isn’t fair.

Take full responsibility for your feelings or actions. Don’t blame someone else for your shortfalls. Forgive yourself and move forward with your life.

Explore your alternatives.

And when you speak with your partner about your reasons for being angry, do it without drama. It isn’t always easy to be calm when discussing issues, but communication is key in a relationship – from both persons in the relationship.

Do you deserve better? Have you been too passive about things in the past? Granted, in some relationships when you speak up the person you speak up to tries to shut you down because they don’t want to talk about it, want to ignore it so it will just go away. But you are responsible for taking care of you. You need to learn about self-assertiveness, to understand the difference between empathy and sympathy, to accept your anger and deal with it constructively, ethically, and with your best interests and goals at heart so that you are in control your life rather than waiting for someone to give you permission.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded, in part, by Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

COMMENTS