Life is full of events which give us the impression that we are victims to circumstance. Seeing the cup as half full instead of half empty helps a human being to cross that divide between being a victim and being a survivor, although when in the throw of problems within your life, the half full cup is not the clearest of concepts. It takes practice, and a lot of it, to realize that everything that happens within the course of our lives acts as a lesson and can actually have a positive side to it, even though at the time, it seems devastating.
The kind of problems posed to those who are victims of circumstances can be far ranging and include any of the follow aspects of life:
*Death of a loved one
Taking each of these one by one, it can be demonstrated that while each has a negative side to it, a human being can glean knowledge and self respect by facing the lesson learned, rather living as a victim of life. Starting with one topic at a time, let's see how a victim can become a survivor and use negative experience to enrich their lives, rather than becoming part of the victim syndrome.
Abuse takes many forms. From childhood and all the way through our lives, we can be abused by others. Of course, the child victim of abuse is not going to see the positive aspects of that abuse until later in their lives, though having passed the stage of the abuse happening, can use their experience as a positive one. The way that the victim becomes the survivor is that they do not allow abuse to continue through their lives.
Many people accept less than they should out of life and choose to jump from one abusive relationship to another. The survivors have another system, and use the abuse they have suffered to understand those who are abused, and never to let their behavior become abusive. The child that grows up from an abuse situation can glean positive attitude by ensuring that their children are better protected than they were, and walk into grown up relationships with their eyes open to the fact that life isn't perfect, arming them with knowledge that can help their family to be successful and safe from the effects of abuse.
In an abusive marriage, the victim stays within the relationship and feels they have no choice. By taking the stand, and being able to leave the situation, no matter how hard it seems, the first steps towards survival replace the victim syndrome, and help them on the route to recovery. There are many associations which help those in abusive relationships to break free of that abuse, though many continue to be victims because their sense of self worth is shattered. By taking a stand and recognizing that the problem is not your behavior, but that of the abuser, you are able to go forward with tremendous knowledge, recognizing patterns of abuse and being able to avoid ever putting yourself in that situation again.
In this day and age, race has become an issue, and the victims of racial discrimination continue to be victims as long as they accept this as being their entitlement. When they stand up for themselves and for justice and decide that their worth is equal to that of others, the problems seem easier to handle and to survive. No-one has control over the color of their skin. No-one should feel they have to justify who they are, as we are all born equal. Being a victim of racial prejudice can make the victim go one or two ways. Either they become the victim, and fear those of another race, exaggerating the problem even further, or they stand their ground as proud people, and learn that the fault lies with those who victimize rather than those who are discriminated against.
Many victims of racial hatred turn the tables and in turn become racially prejudiced. This makes them even more of a victim, because instead of taking a stance of the behavior of those prejudiced on the grounds of color, they join them and become not only a victim, but a perpetrator. By learning to accept that the world is not perfect, and that the behavior of people who victimize others on the grounds of race is unacceptable, they can rise above it, live their lives in peace and know that they are not the victim, but the survivor.
From school age throughout a lifetime, bullying is becoming a huge problem of weak versus strong, though the perception we have of strong is perhaps distorted. Is it strong to pick on a person weaker than yourself ? Does that define strength ? In fact, having passed the stage of bullying, recognition of bullying as a weakness in character helps a bullied person to become more humane.
The strong of the world are those who defend honor and the right of the individual, not those who impose their bullying tactics on the weak. By recognizing this, the person who is bulled becomes more understanding and therefore stronger than those who bully, because they see the world divided into different types of people and can understand how the little man feels and not let this element of life be part of who they are. They can also recognize this trait when their children come home from school, and be there to protect them, more so than the parent who has taught their child to bully others.
Death of a loved one.
At some stage in life, we all become victims of loss. Of all the things within a lifetime, this is the only certain aspect of life. All of us will die. After passing through the threshold of grief, those who lose people they love have the choice of using their knowledge to make them more compassionate and understanding people who realize the shortness of a lifetime, and who learn that today matters, or they can stay a victim, and make the death of the person they grieve a burden, rather than a lesson.
Death teaches many lessons. It teaches us to grab the moment and to be giving and generous, as we may never get that chance again. It teaches us to appreciate the people we love and never to take them for granted. It teaches the importance of reflection and using that reflection to make our lives better, rather than being a burden.
Betrayal is horrible. There is no other word for it and whether you are the betrayer or the betrayed, there are elements of the victim syndrome in each. The betrayed will justify their actions by being a victim to something wrong in the marriage and throw blame at the other partner. The betrayed will wallow in betrayal and it is natural to feel that you are a victim.
In both cases, the victim element runs out. People get tired of hearing your negativity, and you seem to lose friends faster than the blink of an eye, making the victim syndrome even deeper and more personal. It's easy to say that life promises you anything, as from the viewpoint of a divorcee this seems very distant indeed, although positive attitude and learning from the experience can help you survive. In many instances, couples use children as pawns and the children then become victims themselves. Instead of blame, try looking into yourself to see what you can do to make the situation better. The betrayer isn't going to come back to a miserable person. If they do, chances are they will resent that person after a while who plays on their victimization.
When you start to find the person you were before you married, and the person who attracted your partner in the first place, it's like a revelation. You learn self acceptance, a little indulgence, but most of all learn how to survive. You survived before you met them, and will after they go, though playing the victim makes you seem a very unattractive prospect for future relationships. It also helps children enormously to see the irony of the situation, but to be given a better understanding of it by being positive towards them, helping them not to become victims to your misfortune.
Many people have financial problems. It's always the fault of someone else. It could be the bank, the landlord, the mortgage company. Well here is where you decide whether to sink to the depths and become a victim, or whether to address the problems encountered and survive. Money shouldn't affect emotions though often we let it and by doing this we give huge status to money that it doesn't merit.
If you cannot handle your finances, learn how to. Go to an accountant and talk through the problems you are having. Even in a poor household, they will be able to help you to understand how to manage better with what you have and to learn in that process to cope better and to survive.
People put great emphasis on money, and couple communication gets negative, though by being truthful and facing the crisis head on together instead of alone, you become a winner and your life becomes richer, not financially, but in the reward it gives you that you sorted through rough times, and survived them.
Survival isn't as hard as people make it out to be, though the elements of emotions are those elements which make the path seem obscured by obstacles. Overcoming those obstacles takes time, though at the end of the day, we have one life. We have choices between becoming and staying a victim, or defeating our demons and surviving, leaving the victimization as part of life's rich tapestry of opportunity to make ourselves better people who are able to give more, and receive the reward of being survivors.