Choose Differently. You Are Not A Victim.

Candid Creeper #1 By Tony3

Self-Care Tip #143 – Choose differently.  Be a friend to yourself.

Psychiatry, love of my professional life, married me into his secretive family.  Of course I wanted and want psychiatry, finding so much inner congruence to the paradigms regarding human behavior, emotion, and more.  However, I did not want all the dangers of prescribing, of sharing advice (even solicited advice) if given outside sound proof walls, formalities with documentation, and a doctor-patient relationship that guards against abuse of power.  These are important things for sure but for me, they seemed to seep into my personal life.  For example, I was coached that even a cousin or friend or colleague whom I loved and loved me might throw me into prison, a Joseph toward the land of Egypt, should something go wrong that they thought was connected to my involvement.  Their own guilt and anger would be my judgment.

We do see this.  It is not a myth.  It happens not only in the personal scenarios I have described, but even when treatment is done in the most discreet, professional and informed circumstances.  In eating disorder families, for example, the psychiatrist might become the scape-goat.  Their calorie-deprived daughter, wife, sister, son is hospitalized and despite all their physician does or does not do, the beloved starves and dies.  The survivors are so confused by their grief.  Their pain, an angry god, will consume them if nothing is done.  And that is how the psychiatrist ends up in court to carry the sins away for the lives left behind.

And so my professional relationship with psychiatry became part of the neighborhood zoning that conditioned my choice to be more personally disconnected.  There are other cultural reasons, some of which I have mentioned in the blog-post Journey.  The key though is that is was my choice.  No one forced this on me.  No one forced me to respond in the ways that I have.  I am not a victim to my culture, sex, profession or anything else.  And I can choose differently any time I want.

I choose.  Is not that marvelous?!

Question:  What trips up your choices to connect?  What has helped you choose differently when you needed to?  Please tell me your story.


16 thoughts on “Choose Differently. You Are Not A Victim.

  1. My ex-husband had primary custody of our daughter and was resisting any visitation at all. My boyfriend (who is now my husband) had a job offer that was in Philadelphia. I had to make a decision to stay in California or go to Philly. I learned that no matter how much approval you do or do not get from people around you, the bottom line is how you feel about it. I moved to Philly. Every six weeks I flew to California and stayed in a hotel for a week to see my daughter. I did that for a few years before my husband and I got transferred to live in California. I stand by my decision to do that, no matter how horrible that may sound to others. People, including ones I just met would feel free to tell me how they could never do what I did… but I had to stay strong and believe in myself. I lived on the East Coast for a few years and did a lot of growing and returned a better mother for it.

    • Ideally all MDs might benefit from that. Practicing any sort of medicine is taxing, sometimes in a good way and sometimes not. Having that third person opinion keeps it more objective. Helps expose issues of countertransference I described in a previous post. It’s better for pt and MD if MD has that resource. Hugs

  2. Impressively literesque (it’s my word and called poetic licence). Hmmmm… my boy’s name is Joseph and I vacationed in Egypt and I have a paradigms in my pocket. Connect those things to the psychiatrist in court and I clearly understand that I should wear the blue shirt, grey suit, and stand victorious in the end. Thanks for guiding me. I am serene now. Do you screen these before they go up for your thousands of readers to see? Just wondering. Thanks for the inspiration. I will also not be a victim while choosing my burdens.

      • Yeah… well. ..I’m kind of one of those guys that tends to miss a few details here and there. I paraded into the courtroom looking different in my suit, well matched tie, pressed and starched shirt, and lovely pair of tennis shoes (not just any tennis shoes — the cool kind). The shoes were a last minute adjustment based on the fact that I only had one dress shoe. Once in the court, the judge told me that I looked nice and admonished my spouse’s attorney for mocking my shoes.

        Then, the worst thing that could have possibly happened happened. (Does that have a special name when you use the same word in succession in a sentence and it makes since? Anybody?). The case was continued for two weeks and I will have to wait until then to see my son. Tough but not so bad. I chose my burden, I think. I could have taken on a huge burden and risk by representing myself in court. I will tell you that I am perfectly capable of doing that — that does not mean that anyone else will agree. This kind of goes along with my nature in that I want an immediate result regardless of what it is. Instead, I requested a continuance, delaying interaction with my son but increasing the odds of a favourable outcome. Now the real attorney can step in, along with her nice shoes. To be continued……

        • for a natural gambler, this was impressive. took luv to do. that boy soon enough will get his dad who is making the tuf choices w courage. thank u for speaking up. what day is this of the 2wks? keep us posted. we’ll count down w u.

  3. Are we talking about the patient being victimized by the doctor and perhaps being manipulated for doctor’s satisfaction or the doctor being the victim of accusative patients? Aside from that, two other areas of interest have tweaked my interest. Victimization from a historical/sociological perspective . There remain groups of very vocal individuals claiming reparations “owed” because of their ancestors having been victimized. I have a problem with that. It seems like profiting off the suffering of others. However, the present victimization of populations in Africa. for example, via ethnic cleansing,that go virtually ignored by nations in a position to do something about it strikes me as criminally neglectful and just as criminal as the acts of the perpetrators. Second is victimization in our own societal related lives. My thinking is focused on the receptors not the inflictors. What disables them from breaking free and how to break free is probably the focus of your practice. When I look at the crack devastation of our inner cities (far too many areas in Miami, Florida) there does not seem to be an answer to those two particulars. One thing I remember that seems very meaningful is when Jesse Jackson visited a school in Atlanta, some twenty years ago, to console the student body traumatized by a shooting that claimed several victims. He said words to the effect that we cannot survive as a people if we are driven by our fears rather than our hopes. With that in mind perhaps we can divest ourselves of the immobilization and despair that imposes itself on people with the mindset of being submissive and helpless because it is so unnecessary if armed with strategies for empowerment.

  4. Re;

    Question: What trips up your choices to connect? What has helped you choose differently when you needed to? Please tell me your story.

    ” My relationships with almost EVERYONE I knew prior to a year ago have changed drastically or have become extinct. The uninvited isolation, as well as my daughters privacy, have played a role in shaping my choice to be more personally disconnected. There are other cultural reasons, some of which I’ve mentioned in the blog-post .

    “The key though is that is was my choice. No one forced this on me. No one forced me to respond in the ways that I have. I am not a victim to my culture, sex, profession or anything else. And I can choose differently any time I want.
    I choose. Isn’t that marvelous?!”

    The Quote above is one of the most self empowering concepts any individual, every individual, should have the opportunity to enjoy. It is an amazingly complex pattern of thinking and rationalization that allows one the specific freedom of mind, spirit and soul that you’ve worded so beautifully.

    As profound as it may seem, I only needed to change a few words in your last paragraph. I haven’t been able to communicate, with any degree of simplicity, my reasons for a much needed personal disconnect. And you hit the nail on the head in one paragraph.

    I am not a victim. It’s true that I am a survivor but victim nor survivor could ever encompass the depth of me. I and a victim, I am a survivor…. But More Importantly…I Am ME, exactly who I choose to be. I CHOOSE TO BE FREE.

    Thank You for sharing your words of wisdom.
    : )

    Lily White
    (flying under the radar so to not cause emotional distress in an ever expanding society of individuals who choose to remain “comfortably numb”.

    • dear Lilly, I’m so sorry this took me so long to respond. somehow, i read your marvelous response and meant to reply but missed it when i sat down again at my computer.
      thank you lily white (btw – awesome in cognito name) for letting me know about our resonance. u did in fact say this better for me, about the victim and survivor being true but choice is as or more so true for you and for us. i felt those words get wings and air. thank u for sharing a bit of your personal journey. it is such an honor and there r many of us who feel very much alone. words here might resonate and give company to them as well.
      please, keep talking

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