Victim mentality is the wish, hope and belief that by accepting nasty behavior and even covering up or excusing nasty behavior, that love will be the end result. I can’t think of one time that compliance led to love. Not even once.
As a Victim I believed that my love could heal others.
I believed that if I could prove to them that they were lovable, that they would love me back. And I put a lot of effort into proving that they were worthy of love. I cooked, I cleaned and I complied. I was quiet and polite or I was funny and bright; I kept the secret, I didn’t ‘bring shame on them’, I turned a blind eye. I accepted what they dished out as it was the normal that they taught me. I thought that was love. I thought that my love was ‘unconditional’.
I tried to ‘earn’ love.
I tried to prove my worth so that I would BE loved.
I didn’t really understand love.
As a victim I believed that if I was compliant, and if I did what they seemed to require from me that I would be appreciated. But the rules always changed. Instead of realizing that their rules always changed, I thought I was stupid.
I believed that if I jumped through their hoops and proved that I was ‘trying’ to be who they wanted me to be, that they would SEE me as worthy. Nobody ever saw me…
they only pointed out what was lacking in me so I tried harder. My trying harder is what made them feel worthy. They had love mixed up with worth and therefore so did I.
But I thought it was me; they told me it was me. Victim mentality believes that when WE are who they want, then we will be loved. Victim mentality believes that it is always up to us to make the changes.
I thought that unconditional love meant that I should put up with the ways that I was regarded and disregarded. I thought that would “prove” that I loved them. (and then I would be loved.)
I didn’t really understand what love was. I only knew what I had been taught about love. I had been taught that love was compliance, obedience, and a false understanding of ‘respect’.
And one day I realized that the way I had been taught love was wrong and that ‘they’ didn’t love me the way they taught me what love was.
Love was all about them. I was the only one working to prove love. I was trying so hard to prove my worth to them (so that I would BE loved) that I didn’t realize that they didn’t follow the very rules that they taught me about love.
Victim Mentality believes that compliance and obedience will result in love.
I can’t think of one time when it worked that way. The harder I tried, the more they asked me to try harder. Because it was my jumping and my trying that made them feel worthy. They have power mixed up with worth. And because this is not how anyone is defined as worthy, they had to make me jump higher and higher. They are afraid that if they ever tell me that I am good enough, I might stop looking at my defects and then see theirs.
I stepped away from victim mentality in order to look at the truth about love and I saw myself for the first time. I saw myself down on my knees, groveling on the floor, begging for any scrap they would throw my way, begging for a love that didn’t exist. I saw myself as a woman who had given her life, and disregarded her own feelings and needs (as I had been taught to do) in order to be loved by people who treated her badly. I saw that as long as they kept me looking at me as the one who was lacking, I wouldn’t notice them and all that they were lacking.
I began to realize that love doesn’t do what they did to me. Love doesn’t define the one ‘loved’ as a servant. Love does not reject the one loved if they have thoughts, feelings or desires that don’t match the ideas, feelings or desires of the “lover”. Love doesn’t shut one person down. Love does not build one person up at the expense of another.
And love doesn’t accept that kind of treatment because it isn’t related to love. Love doesn’t accept unacceptable treatment because acceptance empowers the abusive controlling person.
And as I realized my own victim mentality, I saw my fear of their rejection. As I began to see the truth about the fear of rejection a deeper truth emerged; the deeper truth is that I was afraid of something that had already happened. Being disregarded as an equally valuable human being IS rejection. It was through finally understanding that truth, that I was able to see things more clearly and draw self-supporting and self-valuing boundaries.
And I exchanged my victim mentality for the truth.
I stepped out of the darkness and embraced the light.
I traded my shackles for life giving freedom.
I am not on the floor begging for scraps anymore from people who don’t want to know what love is;
I am dancing in the sunlight, laughing in the rain with my arms spread wide giving and receiving real love.
Please share your thoughts about victim mentality or how you learned (or are learning) that love doesn’t hurt, own, dictate or objectify.
Exposing Truth, one snapshot at a time,
The inspiration for this post comes from my book “Emerging from Broken ~ The beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” available on the upper right side bar here in the website.