Working at No Longer Seeing Myself as a Victim

Seeing oneself as a victim can become addictive! This was the epiphany I had on last Saturday that has rocked me to my core. I was watching a YouTube video of a preacher from a church in Virginia, and his sermon was on Matthew 18:15, wherein Jesus says that if another believer sins against you, meaning offends or hurts you, then go privately to them and the two of you work it out.

As the man preached, I started thinking of an encounter I’d had at the Women’s Bible study a few weeks back, and I thought that maybe I should tell the leader that she had hurt me with something she had said. But, as I thought about it, I felt something like a kick in my spirit, and I heard a voice whisper in my spirit, “You need to stop being a victim!”

As I sat gobsmacked, a number of instances in which I’d complained to my daughter or my husband about what someone had said to me or done to me played like a newsreel in my mind. I had to admit that I seemed to take a lot of things too personally.

I think that when we complain about others, people tend to side with us of victims of other people’s meanness. We feel justified in our wallowing in pity. There is a benefit to complaining that becomes almost like a drug, helping us feel that we are the good guys.

It’s a difficult admission for me to make, but one that I must, if I am to change and see others in a better way. Being the victim all the time is self-centered behavior, as we tend to see how others hurt us or say the wrong things to us, but don’t recognize when we are the offending ones.

We labor under the assumption that we never say or do the wrong thing, which is impossible for any human being to pull off. Always being the victim and never the victimizer results in a false sense of piety and goodness that no one can achieve, but which makes us feel like saints.

As we were driving to lunch yesterday, I told Douglas about the event, and I was amazed to see him breathe a sigh of relief. Of course, as my husband, he is the depository for many of my complaints against others, and too often, he was the object of my complaints to my best friend.

As I listened to him tell me that he was glad that I’d finally came to see my behavior in a more truer way, I knew that I needed to reflect on the roots of how I came to see benefits in always being the victim. Even more, when I think back to what the woman said to me, it really wasn’t enough to get upset about in the first place.

I believe that when I started to relate my stories of surviving domestic violence, people were always so pitying and consoling, which made me feel good in my spirit. Maybe I started to play the victim card to seek commiseration and being seen as strong against the forces of evil that sought to hurt me.

I was about to change churches over what was said to me, and that isn’t God’s will for my life. I just know that I have to change, to not be so sensitive that I turn good people into bad ones on the basis of how they treat me. I hope that I have not hurt people’s reputations with my complaints, but I fear that I have.

I thank God for rousing my spirit to know that a change is needed. Yes, I know that sometimes we are the victims of ugly words and actions, but I must become more discerning on what is worth stressing over and what I should just let fly over my head. In doing so, I won’t feel so much like a victim and need to tell others. I must not depend so much on other people’s approval or sense of my goodness.

Fandango prompt is Root. Ragtag prompt is Rouse. Word of the Day is Labor. Daily Addictions prompt is Number.

4 thoughts on “Working at No Longer Seeing Myself as a Victim

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  1. Part of the problem, for me, is that complaining to people about other people never leaves me satisfied. It’s like eating a couple potato chips. Then I find myself wanting to complain to another person that my friend, to whom I complained, isn’t a good listener. And on and on. What I really should do is either pay someone to listen and provide constructive feedback or just vent in a private diary. Friends, and even my darling daughters, are distracted with their own stuff, and maybe just not the right people to moan & groan at. They can’t DO anything to help, so maybe that’s frustrating for them. I don’t mind listening to others though unless they’re allowing themselves to be treated unfairly repeatedly. Then I’ll get annoyed with them!

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  2. I have to agree with what you say in one sense, but in the other, don’t let your spirit be walked on. There are things that people might say and it is okay to feel hurt about it. I think even if you feel like a victim until you can process the situation. I think the problem comes when “you” (I don’t mean you personally) perseverate and drag more into it. For example, if someone were to say that my writing today was awful, then it is okay to feel bad and a bit like a victim. But if I don’t let it go and I retain negativity towards that person and maybe even others because of it, that is when it is wrong. It is almost like “forgive and forget”. You might not forget but you can choose to forgive.

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  3. Thank you for this message, Regina–you were preaching gently to my heart. I’ve worn victim rags most of my life, feeling entitled…I tend to think it came about, in part, when there was a big move on to be more open about our abuse, stop pushing it down inside and hiding it. The pendulum swings one way and then another. It’s my desire, like you, to embrace God’s healing/deliverance and freedom–to mature, and not be overly sensitive to offenses. Today during my Bible time, I was fretting to the Lord that I often don’t feel I’m making significant progress…and I was blessed to hear His still small voice say, “I will complete the good work I’ve begun in you”. Blessings on your week, I hope you have good Thanksgiving plans! ❤

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