Escape the Great Blame-the-Victim Hoax

Escape the Great Blame-the-Victim Hoax

Walking to the back of my office today to grab a quick snack, I saw in my mind’s eye my previous client as she headed out the front door.  Thinking of her, I smiled, and a tiny light-bulb blinked on in my head.

Often people feel that seeking help with their lives means that they are somehow less,when what it really signifies is their courage.  My clients are, truly without exception, wonderful, amazing people, and many of them have had in common one thing: Someone in their life has dealt them a heavy blow; someone has injured them, and they need relief from the pain and healing of the injury. So sadly, the injury is often compounded by the belief that somehow they are to blame for it.  They should have prevented it, should have interrupted it, should have found the right words, should have turned right instead of left — surely there is something they should have done that would reassure them that they had control of the situation. That belief may reduce their fear for the future, but it comes with the price of ongoing depression and anxiety, a feeling of always being at fault.

In fact, being on the receiving end of another person’s bad behavior does not mean that you are less or that you are to blame.  It means that you were simply living your life and found yourself in the middle of someone else’s drama. Often that’s an entirely random occurrence; other times it’s because people who have a need to control and destroy others — flower stompers, I call them, and there are both women and men who fit this description — have radar for women who trust and see the best in everyone they meet, or who do not see themselves deserving of being valued. In fact, when emotional, physical or sexual mistreatment happen to an unsuspecting child, it’s not unusual for the patterns of behavior she learns in order to survive and the expectations she develops about relationships to result in her being victimized again as an adult.

Not. Her. Fault. Not your fault.

I often find myself in awe of the great courage my clients summon up in order to extricate themselves from relationships and situations in which they or their children are being victimized — courage that their luckier friends may never have to seek within themselves and therefore cannot fully appreciate.  Is finding a way out of trauma, out of depression — and into a vibrant life being less? No, no, no! It is game spirit at its best.

The painful situation you are in, the fear and anxiety and depression you may feel; all hold the clues for finding your way out.  Don’t hesitate for a moment in getting help to surface those clues and understand them.  It’s hard, it can be painful — and it’s also exciting, rewarding and will fill your heart.  This is your journey, the one that you create by taking yourself out of the way of the flower-stomper, healing your wounds, and growing stronger and even more luminous as a result.