It is difficult for a person who is choosing to be a victim/martyr to simply “be bigger.” To do this would bring up cellular memories of childhood experiences with overbearing adults, siblings, friends or caretakers. What is most helpful is to allow oneself to become vulnerable.
What is true vulnerability?
True vulnerability — is the ability to be complete and present within your personal space. It has nothing to do with allowing another person unrestricted access to your personal space. Vulnerability is about bringing yourself forward as you are.
Being complete within your personal space requires a healthy self-esteem and body presence, because this is the gateway from which you fill your personal space. People choosing victim-hood will frequently have some damage to their emotional body because that’s the level people come and meet them at when they retreat.
It is difficult for the victim/martyr to simply become ‘bigger’. It is more frightening for the victim/martyr to be bigger than it is for others. Vulnerability is sometimes overwhelmingly frightening.
Typically, people who heal this pattern receive, as an impetus, some sort of emotional shock. This shock can be in various forms. We can think of a few major examples: an epiphany, a near death experience, an “enlightenment experience,” experiences of extreme spiritual essence (contact), and anything else where they truly feel the safety and the oneness of the universe or with one’s spiritual self.
I personally had a very profound experience that snapped me out of my old reality and mode of victim-hood in late 2007/early 2008. I will write about it in details in another post.
- My epiphany moment
Even though, this may sound like it only works for a few people this is quite the contrary. Yes, these experiences aren’t typical and seemingly only happen for a small number of people. However, the grace and opportunity to reverse victim-hood is always available. The victim/martyr is not always retreating; it’s a constant ebb and flow. Because it’s a constant ebb and flow, the victim/martyr is often big with energy at some points and therefore very open to essence contact and opportunity to heal this pattern.
What helps a person in victim-hood/martyrdom is awareness of energy flows. This awareness can be built in many different ways. Engaging in activities that move energy through the body and feeling the emotions that arise when this is done is immensely helpful. Any awareness that you can make a choice other than getting smaller is helpful.
The easiest and the most common way to heal from the pattern of martyrdom — aside from an emotional shock or enlightenment experience — would be the death of the person that was responsible, the “overwhelming energy” person of childhood.
Many people, as their parents become elderly or die, undergo big changes. There’s no accident to this. They no longer feel held by that big, authority cloud. They are no longer reacting or responding to it. It doesn’t necessarily take the death of a parent but, as that parent ages and the dynamic naturally changes, it is natural for people as they are approaching their 40s and 50s (in what is commonly called the “mid-life crisis” to transition through life and become more confident and aware of all the gifts they have within.
Victim-hood and Martyrdom, in 60% of cases, tends to have less effect later in life as a natural result of becoming more self-aware. Often the death or major changes in the person responsible for its initial impetus will accompany this change.
Another healing situation for the victim/martyr comes from putting oneself in situations where it is necessary to be vulnerable in some way: acting, performing, speaking to groups, and teaching, even teaching one-on-one. In each of these activities, there is no “right” way to do them, and so there is an automatic letting go of desire to be right. All of these activities help to bring the true ‘self ‘out and are helpful in healing victim-hood/martyrdom, especially if one can be aware of the energy dynamics that exist. In other words, be aware enough to feel the trigger to get smaller and simply choose otherwise. But again, becoming truly vulnerable and moving into ‘empowerment’ and high self-esteem can be more difficult for the victim than for people who are not operating under victim consciousness.
If you’re here, and still reading, then you may realize that there is something to learn about this very common dysfunctional condition. Here are a few questions to ponder that may help one to identify the pattern in oneself or in others. Please carefully consider each question and answer each with completely honesty:
1. Do you often have relationships that end ugly? (Mean things are said, you or your partner says or does hurtful actions?)
2. Do you have a long history of being hurt or hurting others in relationships?
3. Do you have a childhood that involves more than one of the following:
a. Yelling at parents, parents yelling at you.
b. Sexual abuse and/or sexual promiscuity.
c. Struggle – feeling people invalidate your opinion.
d. Rejection, abandonment, or other significant loss.
e. Life-threatening event – drowning, suffocating, burning, etc.
4. Do you often have intense feelings of anger, or even rage?
5. Do you blame yourself or blame others for things gone wrong?
If you have answered YES to more than one of these questions, you may have what is known as a “victim consciousness” in your mentality of life. In essence, it is highly likely that you see life from a position of being a victim, and as a result you are self-sabotaging your relationships.
(Note: If you did not answer YES to more than one of these questions, this article isn’t written with you in mind, UNLESS you know, are dating or married to someone who answers YES to more than one of these questions. In that case, you’re probably struggling to find trust, respect, and lasting love in your relationship with this person. If this is you, this article may help as a place to start in getting help for your relationship.
Know that you are not alone, many have won over, and you have help. You can and will succeed in changing your consciousness to a state of victory.
What victim consciousness does to our relationships:
People with a victim consciousness in relationship are often found saying the following types of comments:
“Nothing I do is good enough for you.”
“Why do you expect so much from me.”
“You’re not good enough. You’re good for nothing. All you want is…”
“Why are you attacking me?”
“You are so critical. Why do you blame me for everything.”
“If this happened, I’d only have myself to blame.”
“You invalidate me. Why won’t you listen to me?”
… and so on. Does this sound like stuff you’ve said? If so, you probably recognize yourself more than you want to. But the reality is, you are becoming aware.
- Childhood memories may pop up
You might become angry as you become aware. This is a normal process/reaction of victim consciousness. When the truth is exposed, ‘victims’/martyrs become angry. Recognize that this anger is a way of projecting the victim consciousness to the other party and thus creating a perpetrator.
How that manifests into ugliness:
The cycle a victim unconsciously repeats, again and again, goes something like this:
1. Victim consciousness person has concluded they aren’t lovable or is hurt and feeling pain. As a result, they endeavor to be alone.
2. Victim consciousness person meets attractive person, who expresses interest in them. The attractive new potential mate/relationship will serve as a savior. They are the knight in shining armor.
3. Victim acts like a friend, drawing mate in, but says they “aren’t ready for a relationship,” which creates a challenge to the knight in shining armor. Knight may be male or female, keep in mind – this is not gender specific.
4. After knight becomes emotionally intimate with victim, victim experiences overload. They do not believe they deserve love, because they’re programmed to think that way. They do not believe they will be “validated” because that is not their experience with past relationships/family. They believe they are not safe. As a result, they will “act up” and push the knight away. The knight will question the victim behavior, as any normally reasonable person would. The victim will not respond to this reason. Instead, they become ANGRY. This anger will quickly escalate until the knight has been created into a perpetrator. Now the victim is “justified” in their attitude that they are not good enough, the knight just wants to hurt them, etc., and the cycle is firmly implanted in the relationship.
The victim repeats the cycle. Knight unknowing transitions in and out of savior and perpetrator, unable to make sense of the situation. They will now be in a mode to try to “fix” the relationship, and the relationship is therefore doomed to fail because there is no way to fix or break out of the cycle. The victim will hold onto their protective shell at all costs – it is the only thing that makes them feel safe – and the savior will try to fix at all costs – it is the only thing that will bring healing to the relationship. As a result, the relationship is doomed, just like all the others.
Who created this mess? Well, in reality, both people create it. The knight allows her/himself to be morphed into a perpetrator. Most healthy people will not do this. When one person acts up, they call the other on that. If the other does not respond correctly, a healthy person will break off the relationship and move on. That’s food for another discussion, and I will keep that separate. The important thing to realize is that the victim is the first to act up, and therefore the instigator in what is breaking down and sabotaged in the relationship. It is the victim’s inability to foster emotional intimacy (because they fear that they are not safe) that causes them to act up. This is their undoing in 90%+ of their relationships.
- This may manifest in further verbal abuse, physical abuse, and other bad or ugly things in which the victim may “appear” innocent (they didn’t start punching, throwing, hitting) but due to their pulling away, foul mouth, or other sarcastic comments they may have in fact CREATED their own situation where the other party attacks them out of sheer madness over the challenge of getting along with them. Unconsciously, the victim knows this, but they’ll do it anyway because then they get to play “victim” and hold onto their protective shell.
You are not a victim. And, you do not need to be victimized, helpless, or out of control to get attention or the love you desire. You deserve to be great, glorious, and beautiful. The love you seek cannot be obtained by playing the role of victim. In fact, the only way to find the love you seek is to replace victim mentality with victory mentality.
Do we have a choice?
YES. Even though the victim consciousness becomes firmly embedded in your deep value system and consciousness, you must realize that you are choosing this path as your value system.
No single raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood.
You are choosing victim consciousness because it makes you feel safe. The way to change this pattern is to replace that feeling of safety with one that actually causes you pain. As soon as you realize that victim consciousness behavior is what causes you to sabotage relationships, work, family, or whatever else it impacts, you can create awareness. From awareness you can change modalities of consciousness to deeper root issues, acceptance, acknowledgment, and replacement with new positive behavior pattern.
In choosing to make a change, commit to the idea wholeheartedly. Set your intentions FIRMLY, even to the point of making a contract with yourself/or even God. You deserve the best. Do not settle for less. And, yes, the change starts with YOU.
It is expected that most people who have been in victim consciousness for a long amount of time will more than likely have developed a support network (job, friends, family, advisors) who are for the most part also living in victim consciousness. As a result, the majority of these relationships will have to be significantly altered or replaced by people without victim consciousness. I suggest trying to work on things with family; yet, they are also the hardest to change.
Note: sometimes, the victim will resort to medication to “treat” their pain. If you also are a moderate to heavy drinker (alcohol) and smoker, then I certainly advise you to evaluate, in detail, the substances/ medications you’re putting into your body. Are you SURE you need to take these things? Also, many times, people start taking medications due to an injury, but continue after the injury is gone. As with any advise of this nature, I cannot condone you to stopping medication or changing your prescriptions without a doctor’s overview, by law.
If you’ve woken up and realized, either through this article or elsewhere, that you’re living in a way you don’t want to, through playing the victim, there is no better time than right now to put a stake in the ground and set your intention to make a positive change, once and for all.
Here are some guidelines to help empower you to lose the victim mentality and break free of the Victim Consciousness cycle, thus becoming victorious in love and life:
1. Become aware of what you are doing. If you answered yes or saw yourself in those comments (above) then you know what to look for, in terms of signs that you are creating a victim consciousness in any given situation. If you are blaming a boss, yelling or in trouble with a coworker, or fighting in a relationship, STOP. Take a step away. Ask yourself what is going on. Are you trying to prevent intimacy? Are you trying to act up to make someone else mad at you or abusive towards you? Victims do this! Do NOT analyze who was right and who was wrong. If you’ve been a victim, you always think you were right, and you were hurt because they are wrong, too demanding, expect too much, and you could never measure up. This simply is not true. Remember, with your new empowerment consciousness, you’ve decided to give up that old pattern. So, the first step is to simply become aware of what happened. If you find yourself repeating the old pattern (I’m not good enough, you expect too much, nothing I do is good enough for you, you’re wrong, I’m right, or I’m a failure) STOP – and write this down. Write down what you feel caused the feelings within you. Ask them to write down the feelings within them. Become aware. Try not to point fingers and do not accept or lay blame. Simply become aware.
Your thoughts, feelings and emotions are YOURS. If you let the external world control the way you think and feel, you have submitted and surrendered yourself to the whims of forces that are beyond your immediate control.
Allow yourself to be as YOU are and do as YOU do. That’s not to say you should be complacent and continue doing things that are producing negative results. Rather, it’s about focusing on who you choose to be and recreating yourself as a manifestation of your positive self-image.
Here is a way to see the world without victimization: When someone’s words or actions offend you, you have a choice to observe and accept or to react. Until now, it may have been automatic to have an emotional reaction to someone else’s behavior. But from now on, stop and tell yourself: “This person is neither good nor bad. I neither like them nor dislike them. They just are. They’re another human being doing the best they can. Given their mental programming and conditioning, their beliefs, their circumstances, their present needs and desires, I’d probably be doing pretty much as they are.”
Don’t be a victim!
Whose Fault Is It?
It’s not about blame; it’s about responsibility. It’s not about punishment; it’s about recognizing cause and altering one’s causal thoughts, beliefs and actions. Nobody intentionally creates problems for themselves. Most people simply create their experiences by accident and by default. Instead, if you choose to do so, you can learn to consciously and intentionally create your own experiences.
Co-Creation: We must also consider the fact that a great many of our actions/realities are brought about by the conscious or unconscious cooperation of others. Co-creations include everything from two people privately interacting, to the entire human collective consciousness. For example, the computer you are now using to read these words is a collective co-creation. It is the result of the cooperation and the work of literally hundreds of thousands of people.
Where co-creations are concerned, you cannot control the actions or creations of another. You can, however, control your response to what you find yourself experiencing. And you can influence how and what others create.
Examples of Useful Affirmations:
“I am bigger than I seem.”
“I am that I am and You are that which You are. I accept, honor, and respect you as you are. I honor, allow, support, and respect your right to be who you are, do as you do, and have whatever you have. I honor your right to live your life as you choose, to worship/believe in God, or not, and as you choose. I honor those same rights in me and call for you to do likewise.”
“I honor the Golden Rule, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” (or “Do onto others as they would be done onto.”). As long as you avoid violating others, violating the rights of others or destroying our collective environment, I will honor your right to be, do, have, express, and experience whatever you choose.”
References/Sources: Teachings based on ‘A Course In Miracles’, ‘A Return To Love’, Marianne Williamson, ‘How to Break Free Of Victim-Consciousness”, Janae B. Weinhold & Barry K. Weinhold, Lifecoach4vip.com, aspirenow.com, ‘Flight from Intimacy’, Janae B. Weinhold, Barry K. Weinhold, ‘Breaking Free of The Co-Dependency Trap’, Janae B. Weinhold, Barry K. Weinhold, etc.